Pro-Trinket Driver for Satellite Communications

This is a special forum devoted to educators using Adafruit and Arduino products for teaching.

Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.
Locked
User avatar
biod101
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:21 pm

Pro-Trinket Driver for Satellite Communications

Post by biod101 »

Putting the Pro Trinket to work talking to satellites:

Part I: https://youtu.be/Pykj3gQWkls
Part II: https://youtu.be/GW8Rv60IYdI

Thanks again Adafruit for your excellent documentation and product support- I couldn't have done this without you. I've acknowledged the same in part II, although I am sad to see the ProTrinket is being phased out.

Cheers.

User avatar
Disciple
 
Posts: 848
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:13 pm

Re: Pro-Trinket Driver for Satellite Communications

Post by Disciple »

Excellent presentation! This certainly deserves a writeup in the Adafruit blog, and would make a worthy tutorial IMHO. I'm another fan of the older Trinkets, especially the 5V ones. This is where I get all question-y regarding the project.
  • Where do the various components receive their power, and how much do they consume?
  • How long would a typical unattended operating period run, and how long would a station's full tour of duty last?
  • How many of these stations does your agency operate / plan to operate?
  • How much territory will the full complement of sampling stations span? How are they distributed across various watersheds?
  • Is this type of sampling done upon watercourses that flow continually?
  • Does the sample data inform land use, meteorology/climate, conservation, epidemiology, or all of them?
If these questions are covered elsewhere, I'd be grateful for a link.
Splendid work, and thanks for teaching me what a "thalweg" is. (c;

Hallelujah!
Disciple

User avatar
AnneBarela
 
Posts: 752
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:56 pm

Re: Pro-Trinket Driver for Satellite Communications

Post by AnneBarela »

Will be in the Adafruit blog soon, We'd be interested in hearing more about projects where you've used Adafruit gear. Great work! https://blog.adafruit.com/2019/03/26/mi ... -adafruit/

User avatar
biod101
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:21 pm

Re: Pro-Trinket Driver for Satellite Communications

Post by biod101 »

Thanks for your kind words and interest. I'm happy to answer your questions:
Where do the various components receive their power, and how much do they consume??
The setup is currently powered using the same solar-powered REM setup outlined in this video: https://youtu.be/93ipPhr7QtQ . Essentially, everything is the same, except I have replaced the Feather FONA with a RockBLOCK and Trinket combo to help me communicate from remote areas where there is no cellular coverage. I'm using a Lipo battery to power the Trinket, which is then tapped by the RockBLOCK for power off the Trinket's 5V pin. The charge on the whole setup is maintained using Adafruit's solar-lipo charger (PID-390) and a large 6V panel (PID 500) which work incredibly well together in our sunny state.
How long would a typical unattended operating period run, and how long would a station's full tour of duty last?
Thanks to the solar-lipo charger, the REM which runs of the lipo battery can run for months without maintenance as demonstrated in this video: https://youtu.be/Hvt8sU2gckk . However, the lead acid battery maintaining the autosampler must be replaced about once every five weeks.
How many of these stations does your agency operate / plan to operate?
I have a goal to have ten deployed by the end of the fiscal year. However, it's challenging since we are understaffed. At this time, we have five stations deployed including one on a private ranch that's combined with an ultrasonic sensor. That REM is helping a rancher remotely monitor the stage on his stock tank, which is far away from his headquarters. By having such a setup, we are decreasing the chances that the tank will go dry thus prompting cattle to destroy fencing meant to preserve sensitive riparian habitats. This approach has opened new inroads with our friends in the ranching community, which in turn can help us protect the environment.
How much territory will the full complement of sampling stations span? How are they distributed across various watersheds?
I'd love to have these deployed all over the state of Arizona, but am shorthanded. The YouTube videos are really meant to help us train interns to get them quickly up to speed with the build and deployment of these systems so that I can meet that goal. The REM also provide us with unique opportunities for citizen scientists to collect remote data for their own purposes, thus this playlist which covers other ideas for the same: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 4Hwxp8Z3wN . Background on Arduino for folks who are new to the platform from POV of a hydrologist is posted here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... fp1Ngf6o29 (although Adafruit's own learning section on Arduino is awesome!)
Is this type of sampling done upon watercourses that flow continually?
That's the catch in Arizona - most of our drainages are ephemeral, meaning they only flow in response to rain. This was the incentive for coming up with this alternative since the old way of doing business was to drive out to remote areas and wait for the rain when in the forecast. This was a huge time-and-resource sink, not to mention long dangerous hikes to areas that may have no sample to collect. That background is summarized here: https://youtu.be/Dl7WoKgvDRQ
Does the sample data inform land use, meteorology/climate, conservation, epidemiology, or all of them?
The sample data is collected to support the evaluation of environmental conditions as required of our state by the Clean Water Act. Data collected from the same is used to realize formal environmental assessments. Statistical evaluation of sample data is used to determine if surface waters are impaired, which in turn can help us realize federal grants for overall watershed improvement.

In fact, the REM technology can be coupled with dozens of cheap environmental sensors to provide qualitative (first cut) assessments of all kinds of environmental conditions (e.g. air quality, temperature, etc.) from anywhere on the face of the planet. All you need are a few components from Adafruit, and a little time with Adafruit's learning sections, programming libraries included. On that front, I can't emphasize enough how helpful Adafruit has been to me on this journey.
Last edited by biod101 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
biod101
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:21 pm

Re: Pro-Trinket Driver for Satellite Communications

Post by biod101 »

We'd be interested in hearing more about projects where you've used Adafruit gear.
Thanks Mike,

I'm trying to land a large grant that will require extensive monitoring, for which we have already purchased plenty of FONA's, ProTrinkets, ultrasonic sensors, and other hardware from Adafruit. Coincidentally, I'm meeting with my team this Thursday to explore engineering the same- will keep you posted.

PS - I'm trying to understand current draw on some of these inventions to help others with solar-panel sizing in areas that don't get as much sun as we do here in Arizona. I have a few INA219's purchased from Adafruit that I believe are working properly when a load is applied, but I'm confused about the no-load voltage as posted in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=149411#p737557 . I guess it's not a big deal since the load voltage/current readings I'm getting are reasonable, but I just can't get my head around the no-load voltage being greater than zero when no circuit is applied to the INA219 VIN pins. Do you have any ideas?

Thanks again,

Hans

User avatar
AnneBarela
 
Posts: 752
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:56 pm

Re: Pro-Trinket Driver for Satellite Communications

Post by AnneBarela »

I suggest asking this question in a separate forum thread for best response.

Locked
Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Return to “For Educators”