We wanted to monitor beehive remotely and online. You would say it is easy to use mobile data for such purpose. But there are some cons: The coverage is not good enough, not all the people do have mobile data activated, the pricing is quite high for our purpose and last but not least such solution consumes a lot of electricity causing the battery dry in a day or two.
iTRUBEC Sigfox beehive monitor
So we did a brief research and found a network which is dedicated to IoT stuff like our iTRUBEC beehive monitor – Sigfox. Sigfox covers 96 % of the Czech Republic area and 98 % of CZ population:
Sigfox network coverage in CZ
Sigfox has very acceptable cost (for less than 200 CZK (8 €) can be sent up to 120 messages daily for one year, each up to 12 bytes) and the device is very efficient in the consumption. So we started to prototype.
Arduino Nano as the brain of iTRUBEC Sigfox beehive monitor
Whole solution is designed that way so it could work without the connection to the electricity – it works on battery charged by a small solar panel. The size of the batter was chozen as big as is theretically needed to survive several days without solar charging – we will see how it works in reality.
Monitor has three sensors, two of them are monitoring temperature and the third one temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure. Data are captured and sent over the Sigfox network approximately each 15 minutes.
SigFox message contains also other data like the signal strenght. We would like to experiment with geolocation in the future too. This will be used together with vibrations sensor to prevent stealing of beehives.
iTRUBEC Sigfox beehive monitor with solar panel