Long lasting battery powered wifi sensor to measure beehive weight, temperature and humidityDesigned by TechForge in United States of America
What is it? This battery powered sensor wakes up at certain configurable time intervals to log raw weight, temperature and humidity to a Thingspeak web database. For example see channel: Steen's H...Read More…
This battery powered sensor wakes up at certain configurable time intervals to log raw weight, temperature and humidity to a Thingspeak web database. For example see channel: Steen's Hive This allows monitoring of beehive health, indication of hive increase weight and possible alert of hive swarms. Temperature difference between exterior and interior hive can also indicate bee health. Humidity sensor can determine moisture problems. Hive interior temp/humidity cased in bronze mesh to reduce propolis buildup. Hive weight sensor under base and interior temp/humidity passed to top of bottom deep with the understanding the hive can move within the deep so measurement is approximation of entire deep.
Shipped as assembled unit, but you will need to install and configure WiFi on your hive as shown in picture and documented in user manual.
As bee management gets more complex with mite and inter-hive related issues, having accurate data and differential over the season and with other hives helps determine in a non-invasive manner if protective measures are needed and if they are working. Ideally this can also be used to cross-monitor multiple hives especially in a local area to help determine common issues and effectiveness of treatments. Resulting data streams can be mined for more efficient bee management.
Many beehive keepers are hobbyists and may not have consistent dedicated time needed to inspect and react with scientific methods of treatment to the issues facing modern beekeepers. Also competing similar wifi sensor logging systems are several hundred dollars, outside the reach of many amateur beekeepers. At one hour sample intervals 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery should last over a year between recharge cycles.
WiFi WPA configuration to access point is needed and described in documentation. Upon each sensor cycle, a new wifi connection is established, and if not successful (wifi password changed, access point power outage, etc) unit will go to sleep for 24hrs before retrying to avoid battery drainage. Prior to this battery saving mode, the configuration mode lasts for 3 minutes to configure updated wifi, channel parameters and cycle period. Once wifi configuration is made, wifi password hash is stored in flash, and not visible by wifi sniffers in cleartext. Prior to ordering, ensure wifi strength appropriate at hive location with app such as "Wifi Analyzer" <-80dBm will work, but <-70dBm optimal. This is roughly 200-300feet from wifi access point depending on obstructions.
Data channel can be shared with others and historical data can be downloaded for analysis. User will need to setup a Thingspeak account and based on API string configure BeeCorder to post measurements to respective channel. Video shows an example configuration process, (on unit without weight sensor).
This is a beta class unit, so issues may be expected with prompt customer service response for resolution. If issues are minor and can be design optimized, intent is to launch as more formal polished product. Thanks for reviewing!
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