Layden_lee
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off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:13 am

I want to build a weather station but I don’t want to keep it at my house therefore it won’t be on a WiFi network. What are my options?

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thagrol
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:05 pm

Layden_lee wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:13 am
I want to build a weather station but I don’t want to keep it at my house therefore it won’t be on a WiFi network. What are my options?
That depends on how "off grid" it's going to be. And how far from your house.

Options include:
  • Celluar data
  • One of the unregulated radio bands but that'll be a direct link and need hardware at both ends.
  • Ham Radio, same constraints as above plus licensing
  • Satelite internet service
  • Dial up modem via POTS*.
  • Carrier pigeon (https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1149) :lol:
*: Plain Old Telephone System
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thagrol
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:08 pm

One more option:

If the weather station is outside your WiFi range but within 100m (and you own the land/have the necessary permissions) you could go with ethernet. If you add PoE that's the power sorted too.
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neilgl
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:28 pm

Or if it is not too far away, cycle there each day and copy the data onto a USB stick to bring back home.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:38 pm

thagrol wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:08 pm
One more option:

If the weather station is outside your WiFi range but within 100m (and you own the land/have the necessary permissions) you could go with ethernet. If you add PoE that's the power sorted too.
Stick an Ethernet switch part way out there and it would be possible to go beyond 100 meters. Or, if you can get the equipment, set up using the original COAX Ethernet "cable", which has a maximum length of one kilometer.

Another option would be to log everything to a USB stick, then go and replace that periodically.

I think we need more information from the OP about where *precisely* (relative to power and network access) he means to set up.

stevend
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:28 pm

Acquiring the data and displaying/logging it are separate problems; you just need to get the data from the measuring point to the display point. (And you need power at the measuring point - solar, maybe).

RS-422 is a relatively simple and reliable option, good for 1km at 9600 baud or so (which is plenty fast enough).

Weather stations such as the Davis range use RS-422 from the measuring head to the display panel, so its mostly a matter of lengthening the cable. They (and others) also offer dedicated wireless links.

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scruss
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:33 pm

Yes, country and location matters. In the very worst case, you're networking over satphone, which is $$$$ expensive.

If there's no chance of an affordable, always-on network via cell, you'll need something to keep the system clock in sync. This can be anything from an RTC + battery (okay, but will drift), GPS time sync (power hungry, needs great outdoor exposure) or even one of the radio clock receiver boards (such as for WWVB or DCF77; these are country-specific, need special hardware, aren't as accurate as GPS time, can be slow to sync, are susceptible to interference from strange things* and there are some reception holes due to terrain).

---
* WWVB is on a harmonic of the typical backlight refresh of many LCD displays. Having a display too close to your radio antenna can mean no sync.
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Heater
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:56 pm

Layden_lee wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:13 am
I want to build a weather station but I don’t want to keep it at my house therefore it won’t be on a WiFi network. What are my options?
When you say "off grid" do you mean no mains power is available? As people usually do. That is to say it is running off solar power, batteries or whatever other means?

If so a good way to get data out of their is to use a LoRa wireless system. LoRa will get a signal over kilometers and is designed for very low power consumption and battery operation.

A google search will find you all kinds of LoRa wireless modules to choose from.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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thagrol
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:44 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:38 pm
Stick an Ethernet switch part way out there and it would be possible to go beyond 100 meters. Or, if you can get the equipment, set up using the original COAX Ethernet "cable", which has a maximum length of one kilometer.
You can always roll your own: http://tech.mattmillman.com/projects/usbaui/ ;)

More seriously, in my experience thin and thick ethernet had mostly gone the way of the dinosaurs by the time USB became mainstream. I doubt such a device as a USB to 10 base 2, 10 base 5 or AUI even existed.

I really don't want to go back to thin ethernet. The days of a segment assembled from a bunch of 2m cables and "T" adapters with eveyone's traffic on the same cable were bad enough the first time around.
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bjtheone
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:56 pm

Token ring brought even more joy to network types. Especially when your ring spanned multiple floors and even buildings. There were many things that were very "cool" about Apollo workstations, but that was not one of them.

Heater
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:59 pm

What? The original coax ethernet was brilliant. String some coax around the office and you have your machines networked. No hubs or switches required. No wall warts required to power them. No tangle of cables for those wall warts. It was simple and great.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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thagrol
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:15 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:59 pm
What? The original coax ethernet was brilliant. String some coax around the office and you have your machines networked. No hubs or switches required. No wall warts required to power them. No tangle of cables for those wall warts. It was simple and great.
Until someone trips over a cable or you're the unluck network admin having to check every cable to find the one causing the intermittant outages.
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Imperf3kt
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:08 pm

thagrol wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:08 pm
One more option:

If the weather station is outside your WiFi range but within 100m (and you own the land/have the necessary permissions) you could go with ethernet. If you add PoE that's the power sorted too.
Not if you live in Australia.
The law here states it is illegal to run Ethernet cables outside your main dwelling to another building / outdoor location. At least, without a licensed technician to install said cabling and a lightning suppressor on either end.
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:56 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:08 pm
thagrol wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:08 pm
One more option:

If the weather station is outside your WiFi range but within 100m (and you own the land/have the necessary permissions) you could go with ethernet. If you add PoE that's the power sorted too.
Not if you live in Australia.
The law here states it is illegal to run Ethernet cables outside your main dwelling to another building / outdoor location. At least, without a licensed technician to install said cabling and a lightning suppressor on either end.
Interesting. Wildfire prevention rules? Wouldn't think it would be a problem for a data cable. What are the rules if you run the cable underground?

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DougieLawson
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:27 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:56 pm
Interesting. Wildfire prevention rules? Wouldn't think it would be a problem for a data cable. What are the rules if you run the cable underground?
It's just a protectionist practice to keep the electricians employed because they've got a strong union. You can barely sneeze near anything electrical in Oz without needing certification and a licence.
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Imperf3kt
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:29 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:56 pm
Interesting. Wildfire prevention rules? Wouldn't think it would be a problem for a data cable. What are the rules if you run the cable underground?
It doesn't matter if it's above ground, underground, or even inside your own house, it's all illegal unless you're a licensed technician with a license to install the cable type. Heck, even installing regular coax TV cable requires a permit and license...
This would apply to any devices connected to a network either wired or wirelessly. Arduino and Raspberry Pi owners connecting to other modules using I2C cables have to have cables manufactured that meet the AS/CA S008 standard and cannot make their own cable.
I would have linked a government website, but this website explains it better.
https://www.citizensagainstidiocracy.co ... iy-illegal

And no Dougie, it's not to keep the tradies employed, it's to keep the insurance companies happy.
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stevend
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:10 pm

thagrol wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:15 pm
Heater wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:59 pm
What? The original coax ethernet was brilliant. String some coax around the office and you have your machines networked. No hubs or switches required. No wall warts required to power them. No tangle of cables for those wall warts. It was simple and great.
Until someone trips over a cable or you're the unluck network admin having to check every cable to find the one causing the intermittant outages.
....or until the network hardware salesman's demo system fails to work - faulty terminator!

bjtheone
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Re: off the grid, internet options

Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:14 pm

thagrol wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:15 pm
Heater wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:59 pm
What? The original coax ethernet was brilliant. String some coax around the office and you have your machines networked. No hubs or switches required. No wall warts required to power them. No tangle of cables for those wall warts. It was simple and great.
Until someone trips over a cable or you're the unluck network admin having to check every cable to find the one causing the intermittant outages.
Or you are in a rapidly growing high tech company that has added two more buildings and has an absolute dogs breakfast of old, new, decommisioned, and run but not yet in service network cables, with no decent network maps, and you add in users doing suboptimal things to "their" machines and "their" network. Then all you get is the ring going down and have to first run all over the building to check the machines and then start checking all the cable and trying to isolate where the break in the ring was. Was thrilled when we moved to 10, then 100 MBit and then an inhouse network.

Back when we had a desgn center on one floor it was brilliant.

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