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Summary

Clouds, rain, snow, cold (and at this moment, hail), are challenges to both my remote environmental monitor and to my bees. Here's a weeks' worth of continuous data that show both are holding up admirably. Notes of interest:

The system can handle several days of cloudy weather. The load on the battery is low and charging happens quickly when the sun does shine.

More important, the bees in the brood box are able to hold both temperature and humidity quite stable in the face of wide swings in ambient conditions. _I assume_ this is an indication that the bees are down in the brood box consuming honey stores there and haven't moved up to the super where there are 10 full frames of honey and pollen.

...continue reading "Performance Update: I’m pretty happy with how things are working"

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Our broken site is fixed -- sort of

Rather than try to recover all the old postings on my hive monitor I'll refer you to my Hackaday project page and only focus here on the latest iteration and update.

In short:

Three DHT22 temperature and humidity sensors are connected to an Adafruit Huzzah ESP8266 breakout board. which WiFi's the data home every 30 minutes.

  • One sensor is mounted at the top of the broodbox.
  • One sensor is mounted just under the inside cover.
  • One sensor is mounted on the top of the hive.
  • A 650 mAh LiPo battery provides power.
  • A 5V solar panel connected through a step up DC-DC booster and a LiPo charging circuit

Some details

The Huzzah deep sleeps for 30 minute intervals to save power. When it wakes up it:

  • Reads the sensors
  • Reads the current battery voltage on the ADC through a voltage divider
  • Connects to my WiFi router
  • Sends the data via an MQTT message to a broker running on a junk netbook
  • Sends the data, using a different MQTT broker to the adafruit.io dashboards I have set up

The code is on github for those who care to take a look.

The local MQTT broker communicates with a Node-Red instance running on the junk netbook. Node-Red grabs the data, throws it into a mongobd database and displays the data graphically. I'm not forwarding ports, thank you very much, but you can see recent data through the adafruit.io dashboards.

And now for some visuals

Here's a Fritzing view of the perfboard followed by the schematic.

perfboard wiring
Perfboard view. Edge connectors connect to power and sensors.
cyberHive Schematic
schematic view of connections

And now some hero shots of the gizmo.

cyberHive Monitor

Here's the monitor in its native habitat. The pink insulation is a "weatherproof" housing. The top sandwich box holds the battery and charging circuitry. The bottom sandwich box holds the Huzzah ESP8266 breakout board. The duct tape "weatherproofs" the cabling to the sensors.

 

 

 

Ambient Conditions SensorThis sensor is mounted on the back of the housing and protected from rainfall.

 

 

 

 

 

cyberHive Housing: Solar Panel Mount

Here's the housing from the front. The 5V solar panel is mounted at a 45 degree angle and pointed south.

 

 

 

 

 


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