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Thread: Is anyone Feeding with stand alone hardware using cell inet and solar panels/battery?

  1. #1
    First officer paradiselost's Avatar
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    Is anyone Feeding with stand alone hardware using cell inet and solar panels/battery?

    Remote locations require innovative solutions on a shoe string budget. Has anyone done this and what did you learn?

    John

    F-RPVD1
    Dumaguete

  2. #2
    Flight attendant
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    I would love to hear some examples and specs of installations.

    In my country mobile coverage (voice and data) is good. In remote places in the interior where there is no (ADSL) internet service such a setup would be great for improving coverage.

    Downside is going to be the cost of the dataplan for the mobile.

  3. #3
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    I currently have a 50w solar panel on the roof of my garage feeding a 12v car battery.

    I hope to eventually run my pi off this once I get it running more stable.

  4. #4
    Passenger K5TED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paradiselost View Post
    Remote locations require innovative solutions on a shoe string budget. Has anyone done this and what did you learn?

    John

    F-RPVD1
    Dumaguete

    Have not done this...yet.. However, I do have some experience with solar powered stations.

    With the bare minimum receiver setup, say, the FR24 receiver drawing .5A and a cell modem drawing about 1.5A, you need a minimum 2.5A to 3A. Some cell modems can run on a wide range of 9-28vdc, so you need to have a battery string that gives 24v for the modem, and then use a converter to get the 5v for the receiver. I would recommend using a series string of 3 x 20Ah SLA batteries. That's 60Ah at 24vdc. If daylight is 12 hours a day, then you should be good and have some reserve for rainy or cloudy days.

    There's nothing shoestring about this, relatively speaking. Depends on the shoes :-) If Ferragamo, then we are ok...

    Some options for the data connection might be to use a wireless bridge between a location with good wired Internet, and the receiver location. It's not difficult to go a mile or so with relatively inexpensive directional antennas and bridge gear. Certainly less expensive than a cell modem monthly data charge. If you have line of sight to the receiver location from a good Internet location, you could get range up to several miles using 900MHz data link gear. Rain will be an issue for longer hauls.

    The most expensive pieces will be the modem and the solar panel. You would need at minimum for 24/7 operation, 24Ah or more (preferably more) of battery, and a 60 watt solar panel minimum. That will give you enough in full sunlight to both feed the receiver/modem, and charge the battery.

    Also, I see that Sky offers 3GB/Month in the Phillipines for about $25. That might be an option. Running that SkyMobi device and a RPi with RTL dongle would work out about the same, power wise.

    Tell us more. What is the proposed remote site? Elevation?

  5. #5
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    Im currently investigating this setup as well. Mine will be RasPi, DVB dongle, Inline amplifier and either USB LTE data dongle or ethernet to ADSL service. Power will be from a 12V battery and appropriate converters for powering RasPi and amplifier with approx 50W solar panel.

    I currently host F-YAYE1 and T-YAYE1 in Yulara NT Australia and will relocate T-YAYE1 away from my house.

  6. #6
    Flight attendant JohnnyBravo's Avatar
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    Interesting idea's!

    I was looking at a BeagleBone with a so called solar power cape found here http://andicelabs.com/shop/solar/beaglebone-solar-cape/
    The BeagleBone and the solar cape can look after the power management, including MPPT of the solar panels and charging the battery.
    You could probably just hook the cell phone modem directly on to the battery, or use a USB data dongle instead.

    Unfortunately the solar cape is out of stock at the moment...

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