Board choice for off-grid project

Hi everyone !
I'm willing to build a solar powered weather station transmitting data Wirelessly to an other device at home. Therefore I need my outdoor installation to draw as few current as possible, I wanna do it using the sleepmode, but also if possible reducing the hardware consumption.

I saw that the arduino pro mini would be the most suitable board for that, but, as I want to keep things easy (The goal is to make it reproductible by neebies) I'd like to use the Sparkfun Weathershield and the Seeedstudio Solar charger shield Solar charger Shield.

I then discovered that the arduino pro exist, and is same sized as the Uno... but unfortunately it seems that this board is not available for now (and I guess it's not a very popular one since i can't see it on any retailer website)..
Do some of you know what would be a good replacement option ?
Thanks

Solar powered Arduino

Well thanks jremington,
but as i told before that project needs to be reproductible by newbies (actually farmers) who don't really have time or will to have any interest in electronics, the goal is to give them an easy way to do it. And therefore shields are very usefull they just have to plug things together and upload the script, I don't want it to be more difficult for them
That's why I'm searching for a so to say "low power consuming Uno sized board"(which arduino pro is, but not available) or adapter, like the MKR2UNO ADAPTER but for the mini or nano.

:slight_smile:

They already make commercial products that work reliably and are inexpensive. These are so inexpensive that they cost HALF the cost of just the weather shield alone.
These commercial products are as 'newbie' friendly as can be.

What is your goal? To make a cheaper version? To teach people to make these things for the sake of learning? To steal the work of others so you can look awesome?

demokrato:
but as i told before that project needs to be reproductible by newbies (actually farmers) who don't really have time or will to have any interest in electronics, the goal is to give them an easy way to do it.

What about a big solar panel and a big 12v lead-acid deep cycle battery?

Or, for economy, perhaps a used starter battery - won't last as long but farmers probably have some lying around.

...R

Wow hell no ! Today none of thoses cheap version is suitable for agriculture since they never have all the needed functions and so on, (no data processing, no cumulativ degree day, no web server to see the records and compare them the the research instituts values...) Today suitables farming weather station are sold around 5000 € plus a 12€/month fee to access the web server. Some are breaking the prices to 500€ and 6€/month.

With a Pi as a server and an arduino as a weather station that cost is around 200€ and the power consumption of the pi monthly...

Is it looking awesome to offer myself (as a farmer) and my neighbors the opportunity to avoid paying such prices to company who just take adventage of the ignorance of farmers in this domain ?

@INTP : you should really think twice before saying what you say, it's offensiv and has no goal

@Robin2 : Yes I considered that and will do it if I can't manage finding a way to reduce the power consumption that much

Offensive is assuming farmers are idiots while you play the genius.

All you said you wanted was 'wireless'. All that other junk was not in your original post, so that's on you for failing to be specific about your goal.

All of that data processing and web server function that you're trying to tack on have nothing to do with your project. You don't put all of that out on your solar/battery powered senor module.
As you said, "solar powered weather station transmitting data Wirelessly to an other device at home". The device in the home, having access to your internet and steady power supply, will be where all that extra crap happens.

There are tons of projects shared about simply using those wireless commercial sensor modules, reading their transmissions, and then doing all that other stuff with an Arduino or more probably a better option, an ESP8266 board.

I don't assume they are idiots are assme they are not electronician nor programmers, I don't pretend to be a genius, otherwise I wouldn't have posted in this forum.

The question I asked had no relation with the communication system nor the way to do a webserver or anything else that's why i didn't talked about it. (by the way the communication will be long range so you're wifi idea doesn't suit my project).
The question was just basically :
" I'm searching for a so to say "low power consuming Uno sized board"(which arduino pro is, but not available) or adapter, like the MKR2UNO ADAPTER but for the mini or nano. "

So I insist, your comment judging my project without knowing it has no point. I don't wan't you to be angry at me, I just want to offer (firstly my father as he is a farmer) but also my friends farmer a cheap alternativ to ultra expensiv commercial offers.
There's a relly big job doing the analysis in the raspy server to make it able to predict plant diseases using scientific models. I'm not "inventing the cold water" I want to make a good opensource system that's all :slight_smile:

My weather station runs 12 weeks on a charge of its 18650 li-ion battery. It's so long between charges, I haven't bothered to attach a solar panel (which was my original plan). Perhaps that will give you some ideas.

@PaulRB: nice work! Where do you get those weatherproof enclosures?

With a ~few mA PV trickle charger, you wouldn't have to do anything for years.

@PaulRB : Nice one that you made, I'll probably do so with a classic car battery I guess, without panels

The larger one from Maplin. The smaller one on eBay. The smaller one is not so good, the screws have already corroded and stained the plastic. Rainwater sits in the screw holes.

demokrato:
I'll probably do so with a classic car battery I guess, without panels

You will need a dc-dc convertor to make 3.3V supply from the 12V battery. Or maybe just a regulator. Not convinced the higher efficiency of a dc-dc convertor compared to a regulator is worthwhile given the self-discharge rate of SLA batteries a over such long periods.

demokrato:
@PaulRB : Nice one that you made, I'll probably do so with a classic car battery I guess, without panels

It would be a good idea to have a solar panel big enough to offset the self-discharge of the lead-acid battery. Actually I would consider it essential unless you intend to treat the battery as a use-once item.

If the solar panel is not too powerful (the equivalent of a trickle charger) there would probably be no need for a solar regulator as lead-acid batteries are fairly robust.

...R

I don't know many people who wouldn't be frustrated and possibly fail with a project that involved plugging shields together, connecting some kind of radio( on both ends), uploading code, etc, etc. They might start to look at the high cost of a simple system as a fair price.

Could you build your father's system as a prototype, and then spin up a custom pcb for the neighbors? I think you'll want something truly 'plug n play.'

Hi demokrato (btw, I dig the 'sciency' avatar!),

I get the desire for a shield compatible board, but truth be told, you won't get the minimum power requirement with any board with an onboard voltage regulator, or annunciator LEDs.Read through Nick Gammon's low power device page again with an open mind. This is the way to really beat the power crunch - minimal, minimal, minimal. I have a series of devices that run a large LED panel, but do so in an energy saving fashion, that are still running on the same set of batteries after 14 months, and they show no sign of slowing down!

The magic is making a board with only the minimum of components, and that either goes into sleep mode or turns off completely between actions. ... For your wireless communications, consider learning about LoRa technology.

@Robin2 : I did not even know about that, thanks!

@mixographer, it would actually probably save me a lot of trouble if I print a dozen of custom ones and give them to neighbors might even be cheaper than pre-made boards

@ChrisTenone : Go ahead with physics, I'm better in it than in Arduino :stuck_out_tongue: I I make a PCB as mixgrapher suggested, I'd probably follow Nick Gammon's topic.
As a first try i'm gonna use a long range HC-12, but SigFox is already on my mind for the second prototype :wink: