Confused about getting Data from a "Thing"

I want to put an Arduino (or whatever) in seasonal house in Maine that looks for and counts the occurrence of a certain event that an Arduino could detect on its digital input pin.

Because I am not at the house most of the year, periodically (maybe once a per week) I want to check or be notified of how many events have been detected. The house has main utility power, wifi and internet service via DSL and an old PC but I don’t really want to keep the PC powered 24/7.

I don’t care how I get notified. It could be email, text message, or me checking into a web site, or the Arduino acting like a client and posting data to a website that I could then check, or me sending a query to the Arduino using TCP or UDP or AT commands or whatever and it responding.

I bought a Arduino Uno Wifi Rev 2 because I intended to use the wifi to connect the Arduino to the wifi router on the premises. However, I can’t find any example of a viable solution to this problem.

Constraints: As I said the house has wifi and internet that is now only seasonal but for $50/mo :frowning: I can get it turned on all year. Cellular service is spotty at best. It sometimes works at night.

The bandwidth requirements are trivial. I’m thinking the data attributes would have the deviceID and the count and the frequency would be at most once per day. Date and time of the event would be nice but not necessary because I can use the transmission date and time, and of course whatever protocol wrappers are needed. It doesn’t not need to be publicly accessible. A private connection would be fine and for that matter “connection” is not even necessary, nor is real time transaction. Just the ability to get the info somehow.
It does not need to be scalable. As of now, it’s one device and will most likely stay that way. If it works out I might add one or more at different more suburban or urban environments where the solutions are likely to be different anyway.

Every idea I’ve pursued so far has run into roadblocks. Such as

  1. Making it a webserver. Ok for LAN access but opening it up to internet has so many difficulties it’s seems like a bad idea.
  2. I thought I found a way to connect it to the house local wifi router so maybe I could remote an Ethernet-to-serial port to send AT commands over the serial monitor but that turns out to need a special development edition of the Uno wifi.
  3. Attaching a LoRa RF. There are no nearby (within 20 miles) gateways into any of the IOT networks like Helium’s Peoples Network or The Things Network or others? I looked at Arduino’s IOT cloud but that requires different hardware and an another monthly fee but if I could figure out how to use it, might be worth it.
  4. Use a LoRa RF capable device and install my own gateway. This is what I’m looking into now but it seems to get quite complicated quite fast and the skill level quite high. I don’t mind learning stuff if it can be done reasonable quick, (not measured in years).

I’m just looking for a suggestion on where to focus because right now I don’t know what to study next.

Take a look at Blynk. You can talk to the app on the Arduino from your phone and you don’t have to open up the firewall. The downside is the $50/month fee for internet access.

You could get a shield to send texts and send one in the evening when cell service is better. Probably cheaper than paying your ISP.

Your phone provider likely has a web site you can hit to send a text to any of their phones. The Arduino could use that to send you a text, but of course you’re paying for internet again.

how about it only using the internet once a day? or twice a week or something?
so every few days it uploads data then disconnects?

I looked into that but it would not work because it said the Uno Wifi was not a supported device!

I have not actually used this myself, and I would not have thought that a Uno with WiFi was the best choice for this, but I’m surprised it won’t work. This is out of line with p9 of the Adafruit io learning manual, and it may be just a matter of ensuring that you have the right libraries.

Thanks for the good tip. I got the Thing up and running with bidirectional communication through the Blynk App. It didn’t take me 3 minutes like the videos show, more like 3 days but it’s working through my home wifi and ISP.

Next I’ll look into that text via cellular shield you mentioned to try to avoid the ISP cost in Maine.