Cellular Communication, Shelter in the Woods
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Cellular Communication, Shelter in the Woods

by RyGuy69t on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:23 am

Hi,
I am working on a project to communicate with a cabin in the woods. I would like to be able to control lights, locks, and be alerted by a motion sensor from my home or cell phone. The cabin is across the city about 5 miles is running off a small solar panel so my solution must be low power. I've ruled out using radio because of interference.

Question: Will cellular communication be a good idea?
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Re: Cellular Communication, Shelter in the Woods

by franklin97355 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:06 pm

If you can get cell service at the cabin it should work. I think there was an article in Nuts & Volts a few months ago about this exact thing.
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Re: Cellular Communication, Shelter in the Woods

by john444 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:53 am

Hi RyGuy,

If you have cell service you might checkout the GeoGram 1 at http://www.dsscircuits.com.
It can send and recieve SMS messages and the one I have works very well.

Good Luck, John
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Re: Cellular Communication, Shelter in the Woods

by RyGuy69t on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:07 pm

I wonder if the Geogram ONE is overkill for my project, I don't need GPS or an accelerometer. I just need the bare bones transmit and receive. I already own an Arduino, accelerometer and GPS module. Also, forgive my lack of knowledge but is 2G standard? I hear about 10g 5, 4, and 3g but never 2g or lower. I've heard of the SM5100B Evaluation Board by sparkfun and the GSM Playground but I don't know the differences or the any info on the ease of use. I'm a noob at all this, I first picked up an Arduino in November.
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Re: Cellular Communication, Shelter in the Woods

by john444 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:04 pm

RyGuy,

I do not know about SparkFun's unit.
I have this one and it works well. As you say, lots of features.
2G is less expensive than the alternaives.
I am paying $20/year. Otherwise, it would not be practical for me.
Phone charges quickly exceed the cost of the hardware.

Good Luck, John
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Re: Cellular Communication, Shelter in the Woods

by RyGuy69t on Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:06 pm

John,
What plan/sim card are you using? Is it also possible to send text messages to the arduino and have it perform a task? For example I want to turn on one light by texting it '1' an two lights by sending '2' and so on.
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Re: Cellular Communication, Shelter in the Woods

by redwire on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:00 pm

I do a lot of remote monitoring using cell communication, in isolated areas. Range depends on what coverage your provider offers, i.e. GSM or HSPA etc. and where the cabin is. I use 7-9dB Yagi antennas on a mast 10-20' high (to clear the trees) for about a 12 mile hop. Careful when the tree leaves come out that you don't lose comms due to foliage attenuation. If you are in a valley, it's pretty tough. I've seen people "bounce" signals aimed into a hill, but rain stops all that. If you spend some time querying the cell modem module RSSI, you can find the best signal strength.
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