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Author Topic: New to Arduino, looking for help with an idea...  (Read 436 times)
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I have a firewood vending machine. It drops wood off of 4 stacked conveyors, the top conveyor being the last. Basically, all I need is to rig a sensor to a computer or phone that would text me a message on my phone when it is empty. The location of the vending machine does not have WIFI. Any possible way this could happen?
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I have a firewood vending machine. It drops wood off of 4 stacked conveyors, the top conveyor being the last. Basically, all I need is to rig a sensor to a computer or phone that would text me a message on my phone when it is empty. The location of the vending machine does not have WIFI. Any possible way this could happen?

Hook the sensor or whatnot to the Arduino; hook a cellular GSM shield/module to the Arduino - program the Arduino such that when the sensor senses the machine is out of wood, it sends an SMS message to your phone (or elsewhere) via the GSM shield/module.

http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoGSMShield

http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/ArduinoGSMShield

Note that such shields/modules don't tend to be cheap, plus you need to get one that is compatible with your carrier's in your market - and on top of all that, you need to get cell phone service (and SIM card) for the device to work. Plus, it will also only work in areas with cell-phone coverage, of course (if you need something else, you'll be looking at satellite phone modems and such - which are even more expensive).
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Depending on the location, Ubiquity makes some pretty powerful and cheap wifi radios. If you just need to get a signal 500 feet down a road or something, you can use pretty much any of their products. Longer distances are possible, depending on terrain.
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You could try arduino tones over VHF - Civilan Band if you'd like some range, or if terrain allows it, you could use a laser modem to transmit data, or just to make a signal..

The possibilities are unlimited !
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There is an alternative to the ArduinoGSMShield that is on Kickstarter; it's called the SparqEE CELLv1.0. An advance copy if available next month for beta testers but it's rather pricey. What I recommend is ordering and waiting for the finalized chipset delivered in December. In the meantime, you could work on the ArduinoGSMShield. By the time the Kickstarter one is delivered, you can easily deploy it. Hope that helps.
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