Arduino Weather Station with LoRaWAN Part 1: Hardware

In my previous post and youtube video, I gave a brief introduction to LoRaWAN and also showed a circuit in which a small weather station is connected. The circuit can be operated at any location, even without an internet connection.

For this circuit, I have also built a suitable housing and written the software to operate the whole thing in a power-saving mode with batteries and LoRaWAN.

This is what the impressive result looks like

This is part one of a three-part series. In part 1, we dive into the fascinating world of hardware and circuits to create a working prototype. Part 2 is about getting the weather station software up and running and seeing the first data in the Helium Console. In part 3, we will develop a housing for the whole thing and display the data in a smart home dashboard.

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Helium Mining and IoT Applications: Experiences and opportunities

This post is about the Helium Network, a decentralized, blockchain-based solution for the Internet of Things (IoT) that relies on LoRaWAN technology. The Helium Network enables IoT devices to connect to each other in a cost-effective and energy-efficient manner, while offering incentives in the form of cryptocurrency, called Helium Network Tokens (HNT), for those who participate in the network as miners. I will share my experiences with Helium mining and deploying IoT devices on the network, discuss business models and use cases for different players, and compare to other LoRaWAN networks such as The Things Network (TTN). If you’re interested in IoT, cryptocurrencies, or decentralized technologies, this is the place for you!

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Smart Home Dashboard with Home Assistant, MQTT, Certbot and Nginx Proxy

Home automation, monitoring and control requires a user interface that is easy to use. There are numerous commercial solutions for this.

My Smart Home Dashboard

If you have high requirements for data security and privacy, a self-hosted smart home solution is the way to go. I tried a few open-source solutions and ended up happy with “Home Assistant”. In this post I want to explain how to get a minimal instance of Home Assistant, MQTT, Certbot and Nginx Proxy up and running with Docker Compose.

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Balcony Power Plant in Schwetzingen

Until a few months ago, I was happy with my previous electricity provider. A short time later, however, came the nasty surprise. My monthly fee went up from 42€ to 66€. This meant that the previous contract was no longer attractive.

I want to generate my energy with the power of the sun in the future

I’ve been interested in having my own solar panels on the balcony for a while. I have so much unused space. Due to the energy crisis, bureaucratic hurdles in Germany for balcony power plants were removed. The stars were right and I took this opportunity to become a little more self-sufficient.

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Introduction in LoRa, LoRaWAN, The Things Network and Helium Mining

The Internet of Things is a term for objects, sensors, “things” that sit around somewhere and send data to a network to build applications or business models with that data.

Architektur von LoRaWan, Bild: Elutz

The LoRa network and LoRaWAN as a protocol is a very exciting technology that promises to send sensor data over an energy-efficient wireless network. “LoRa Gateways” are used to receive these signals. The gateway has access to the Internet and persists this data in an application server of a LoRaWan network. “The Things Network” (TTN) is an open LoRaWan network where anyone can provide their gateway and where anyone can connect their sensors with existing gateways around the world. Also there is “The People’s Network” with which you can even earn passive income as a gateway operator. I recently purchased several LoRa modules and a gateway. In this article I would like to discuss the different aspects of LoRa and evaluate it in the context of my battery powered interet devices.

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Alternatives to Raspberry Pi and Arduino

For developers and tinkerers working with electronics, it has become a permanent condition that there are no more Raspberry Pis or Arduinos in stock at reasonable prices. According to announcements, Raspberry Pi parts are going so fast that they only sell to B2B customers.

It’s time to permanently look for alternatives. I would like to present a few good alternatives that are currently in stock and are at least as good (or even better) than their Raspberry Pi or Arduino counterparts. Watch the video here.