LoRaWAN is a great long-distance, low-power transmission protocol. One of the questions that often comes up after deploying a gateway and nodes is “what’s the greatest distance I can successfully transmit between my gateway and node?” You could watch your Application traffic on The Things Network as you move to strategic locations and see if packets appear. However, an automated approach to this could save time and allow you to cover more ground. To do this, you’ll need a node with a GPS to send its location and software to aggregate the received data on a map to show the node transmission locations. This way you can have the node automatically transmit at a rapid interval as you walk, cycle, or drive to various locations.
I found the highest and brightest part of my yard, cleared the vegetation, lightly tilled the earth, and laid bricks and 4x4s to walk on. I erected a fence from bamboo harvested in the yard, to protect it from an American bulldog that shares the yard.
With the acquisition of a new distillation unit, I decided to transfer and adapt the Arduino control interface from my previous distillation unit to this one. I wanted a redesign that would reduce size and increase functionality. The 120VAC solid state relays, Arduino, and a resistor were the only components that made the cut into the new design. A 16×2 LDC and a rotary encoder with a push button were picked up for input and feedback. The rotary encoder allows unrestricted rotation as well as having a normally open push button. This, in combination with an LCD, seemed to be the simplest interface with the greatest functionality.
I discovered the cheap tabletop distillation unit that I purchased had design flaws beyond mere poor craftsmanship. Further insult was that with the seller’s no refund policy meant it was mine for good. I had been burned, but that didn’t get me down. The flaws were minor, but made proper operation a challenge. However, I like challenges.