Gert
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:19 pm

4G Modem on RPI in rural area

Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:11 am

Hi All,

Our astronomy club has a small observatory shed in a rural area with no wired connectivity. Solar panel and marine battery are there for limited power. There is data coverage by 'Verizon'. What is the best way to have an RPI 24/7 active at the shed with USB 4G modem (recommendations?). The goal is to have ssh from remote home computers into the RPI and get some weather / sensor / security info. Obviously data volume is an issue. What's the best deal? Pay-as-you-go? I've read somewhere that RPI OS when left to itself had depleted the monthly data volume on USB modem within minutes just doing it's own administrative stuff. What special setup/config needs to be done on the RPI to make it 100% quiet when alone and only respond to user ssh logins from outside? Who has done stuff like this?

Thanks,
Gert

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 10883
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: 4G Modem on RPI in rural area

Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:32 am

A couple of things come to mind.... The first is to use one of the older, slower models, like an A+ or B+ (or even a Pi0W), to reduce power requirements. The second would be to add an RTC and and disable NTP time checking, which is probably where most of the outbound traffic comes from. You might consider having a duplicate Pi where you can update the SD card from time to time, and swap cards when you're on site so you're not chewing up site bandwidth doing system update/upgrade cycles.

Gert
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:19 pm

Re: 4G Modem on RPI in rural area

Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:22 am

Hi all,

I found this company offering a piggyback board for the Raspberry that adapts to mini PCIe modem modules.
Board $39 : https://sixfab.com/product/raspberry-pi ... shield-v2/
Modem 4G LTE $69 : https://sixfab.com/product/quectel-ec25 ... te-module/

The tricky part is what data plan to get from Verizon. They offer a plan for developers of internet connected devices.
https://opendevelopment.verizonwireless ... -and-build
https://thingspaceportal.verizon.com/ccapp/#/home
The plan says :
$20/year +$1/device/month
ThingSpace IoT for Developer - 1GB
1 GB data/year
Share up to 20 Verizon certified devices
1,200 SMS per year per line of service
Automatically renews(you can opt out at any time)

So is 1GB/yr enough ? Maybe OK to 'just monitor'. But it would be tempting to do more.

Any ideas? Other options?

Cheers,
Gert

User avatar
r3d4
Posts: 967
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:21 am
Location: ./

Re: 4G Modem on RPI in rural area

Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:40 pm

+
viewtopic.php?t=167879#p1079496 - How to remote access Pi connected to 4G hotspot

Gert
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:19 pm

Re: 4G Modem on RPI in rural area

Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:46 am

Hello All,

Update on the project. I got a 20W solar panel, charge controller, 12V gel cell battery, 5V RPI adapter. I will run this at my place to find out if the 20W solar and 12V 7Ah battery are enough to run the RPI 24/7. The RPI is of course headless and has no external disk etc. to power. I've seen the RPI at idle using 2W, so the 20W panel is 10x over. Should be OK so that 2.4hrs out of 24 should suffice to generate enough energy for the RPI to run 24/7. I am not sure about the battery. Maybe a second one in parallel will help.

Back to the question of the cellular modem. What is the preference between a USB cellular modem and an RPI hat board?

Cheers,
Gert

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