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Level monitoring for a remote water tank

  • 01-06-2021 11:19am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ BnB


    I have a 10,000 Litre Water Tank in a remote location that I want to monitor the levels on.

    I have a water source that feeds troughs in about 50 acres in a slightly remote area that is always giving me trouble. I put a 10k Litre tank in place (as a buffer) a few years ago that really helps. The only problem now is that, if something goes wrong (a joiner breaks, cattle knock over something etc) and the water starts leaking and my tank empties, I don't know about it until, the water stops coming at the other end - At which stage, I already have a problem. It will take at least a few days for the tank to fill again and even when it does, I have a pain in the hole of airlocks to clear along the way before it all starts flowing again.

    So ultimately, I would love to put something in place that would allow me to monitor levels in the tank remotely and ideally even send me an alert if it drops below a certain level.

    I have no power at the tank so it would need to be battery powered and I am guessing it would need a Sim card with some kind of subscription to communicate with me.

    Has anyone ever put something similar in place ?

    I came across the one below after a bit of googling but I don't know anything about it.

    https://thingslog4u.com/product/thingslog-lmdl-1101-low-power-2g-level-monitoring/


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭ Pod123


    What about an oil monitor that you use on your heating oil tank. You said the tank is remote but you have to plug in the receiver for this and how far it can be away I don’t know. Ours is about 80 meters from the oil tank.


  • Registered Users Posts: 861 ✭✭✭ onrail


    I know of equipment that I use for my off-farm 'work' that would do what you require, but it's probably way OTT in spec and cost for what you need.

    http://www.rotek.eu/geotechnical-environmental-engineering/water-level-monitoring/data-loggers/baro-diver

    There's a Tinkering thread on the F&F forum that has some really knowledgeable guys who could help I'd say.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,304 ✭✭✭ ChippingSodbury


    Hi, this is my stuff: https://www.railtemperature.com/
    It can measure water level among other things. It uses a solar panel and comes with an integrated SIM (you need mobile phone signal in the area). It comes with a web application that you can view the data either on your phone or at a PC; it can also send you a text based on the water level. I supply the full system so you don't need any technical know-how. Send me a PM if you're interested.

    554674.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    BnB wrote: »
    I have a 10,000 Litre Water Tank in a remote location that I want to monitor the levels on.

    I have a water source that feeds troughs in about 50 acres in a slightly remote area that is always giving me trouble. I put a 10k Litre tank in place (as a buffer) a few years ago that really helps. The only problem now is that, if something goes wrong (a joiner breaks, cattle knock over something etc) and the water starts leaking and my tank empties, I don't know about it until, the water stops coming at the other end - At which stage, I already have a problem. It will take at least a few days for the tank to fill again and even when it does, I have a pain in the hole of airlocks to clear along the way before it all starts flowing again.

    So ultimately, I would love to put something in place that would allow me to monitor levels in the tank remotely and ideally even send me an alert if it drops below a certain level.

    I have no power at the tank so it would need to be battery powered and I am guessing it would need a Sim card with some kind of subscription to communicate with me.

    Has anyone ever put something similar in place ?

    I came across the one below after a bit of googling but I don't know anything about it.

    https://thingslog4u.com/product/thingslog-lmdl-1101-low-power-2g-level-monitoring/

    The device in your link looks like it will do what you want.

    I've a few more DIY solutions.
    https://farmer-eds-shed.com/oil-water-level-monitor-and-distance-sensor/

    I'm currently setting one up for 3G/4G, for a remote location too.


  • Site Banned Posts: 1 thingslog


    Hi BnB,

    Beleive it or not by some googling we also found this thread. So yes the ThingsLog level monitoring unit you are looking for would do what you are looking for. Note that it is not just hardware but also a platform and mobile app based on some monthly subscription.

    As an end result you will be able to monitor your tank on a web portal and also on a mobile app.
    Data could be recored on a per minute basis and transfered every couple of hours.

    Low/High level alerts will be instant so later on you can based some logic and with relay board to make some extra automation like to switch on/off a pump.

    You don't need solar or any other power source on site unless you want to achieve real time or close to real time data transfer.

    Maybe as a farmer for you would be interesting to check our blog (sorry can't paste links here) there are some other farmer usecases like lifestock/broilers consumption monitoring, remote pressure monitoring and others.

    DIY projects are great fun but in the end everything is time and money.

    If you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask us here.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 8,699 Mod ✭✭✭✭ greysides


    MOD:
    ChippingSodbury, thingslog, thank you both for your helpful posts in reply to the OPs query.
    However, we need to have a talk behind the scenes as your posting on behalf of a commercial interest contravenes some of our rules.
    Please don't post again on this thread until we iron this out. I'll PM you both later today, given the current time.


    Edit:
    Thingslot is cleared to continue posting explanatory/helpful content.

    The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress. Joseph Joubert



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    thingslog wrote: »
    DIY projects are great fun but in the end everything is time and money.

    Welcome to boards thingslog,

    I think DIY projects are more than just fun, many of the most innovative farm inventions start off with people tinkering on their own. Often commercial products may be lacking in some features that an individual requires which can lead to some home development or even just tweaking of the commercial products available.

    Don't get me wrong though as I realize the average person wants/needs plug and play off the shelf solutions too. I'm currently building a fairly extensive IOT network across my very fragmented farm which covers several kilometres I'm using a mix of technologies both off the shelf and DIY all managed under a single opensource server with dedicated app.

    Anyway I won't fill this thread full of my DIY idea's as the OP probably wants an off the shelf solution such as yours, but anyone interested in DIY solutions can follow the tinkering thread here:

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2058073034


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ BnB


    OP here just replying to my own post. I bought that monitor that I linked to above and set it up about 6 weeks ago and it is working great. It was a small bit fiddley to setup (from a settings point of view) but the actual physical installation of it was straight forward and once it was up and running then it's very straight forward.

    I set it up on my tank which was full and set an alarm to go off it it went below 3/4 full. It seemed to work away fine and stay full for the last few weeks. Got an alarm this morning and I was able to log in to see the tank had been slowly emptying over night. Went up and checked it out and found that cattle had knocked a pipe out of the back of a trough and the water was spilling down the field. Without the alarm the tank would have been empty by the end of the day. Cattle without water - I'd have to get a slurry tank of water up there to keep them going and then spend probably the rest of the day trying to get F***ing Airlocks out of the whole System. So, for me, it more than paid for itself just today.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Its good to have some peace of mind. As a matter of interest what is the monthly subscription like?

    Post edited by emaherx on


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ BnB


    It's €9.90 per month which isn't too bad considering that includes the Sim card too.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    It would be steep enough if you needed more than one sensor though.


    I finished off 2 of my DIY ones, using IOT SIMs from https://1nce.com/ €10 should last a few years in them. Mine is a gateway solution so its one SIM per farm block rather than per sensor.

    Like you I've already had it report an issue that has made it worth while.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ BnB


    There is an option to just buy the device and put your own IOT Sim into it but you have to then figure that out yourself. I went for the fully setup option because I needed a painless setup ASAP as I'd already had issues this Summer. There is no contract with the subscription so I think I can cancel any time I want if I want to use it with my own IOT Sim instead



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,906 ✭✭✭✭ _Brian


    Sounds like something the raspberry pi technology could do cheap enough.


    ive never spent the time to familiarise myself with them so can’t offer advice. But it’s where I’d be looking.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    I can understand that, you are paying for a complete service including support. If it is contract-less can you cancel and restart the subscription as required? It could cut out some of the costs if not being used over the winter months.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,167 ✭✭✭ emaherx


    Raspberry Pi can absolutely be used but the OP wants and found a completely configured off the shelf solution.

    But since they have and in case anyone else is interested here is my current setup.

    Gateway Device: Raspberry Pi Zero, 4G Modem Hat, and a LoRa Radio transceiver.

    Sensor Nodes: Arduino compatible boards with built in Lora transceiver + sensor modules.


    I've gone for separate Gateway device and sensor nodes so that sensors spread over several acres of land can share a single IOT SIM card, but sensors could also be connected directly to the Raspberry Pi Zero if required. My Setup also uses a Raspberry Pi 4 as a central automation server which manages devices on a few different blocks of land but if required the Pi Zero could run a local automation server also.



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