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January 19, 2022 - - Welcome Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: January 19, 2022

My pre-alpha sensor dashboard for clients

Hi guys, I'm here for some guidance if you would have a minute?

I'm looking to create a temperature monitoring setup for some extreme temps, with a big bunch of sensor units and an app to monitor them all. It would be a proof-of-concept approach, but packaged enough to be a pre-alpha product towards first clients who know what they're getting into. I want to keep it simple and straightforward on the hardware side, for both myself and them.

My current idea is to have an ETH connection for each unit & have them call a public API endpoint to upload new measurements. The receiving application runs in the cloud and will provide a monitoring dashboard to the users. Keeping it simple to avoid issues with client network firewalls, ports, etc, but looking at MQTT for the future. On the hardware side, I've currently got a Raspberry Pi B+ with a Pmod HAT & TC1 module up and running doing exactly this, but I want it creaper and smaller. Currently I'm looking into a Orange Pi Zero running Armbian (the ETH POE is a nice feature, more straightforward to install if the client setup allows it) together with for example a MAX31855K.

I have a few questions or issues with the current plan though:

  • Unlike the raspberry HAT, I'll need to look at GPIO wiring for this I guess? Not sure I can find back a diagram for this + possible python module to control it. Shouldn't be too hard but need to investigate
  • I'm wondering how I connect this sensor in the best way, I just use jumper wires or solder these to the board? Feels very much not like a product I'd like to send to a client though, but then again I don't know, I've never looked inside alpha versions of IoT company sensors :-)
  • Same for the local software, it'll be all on an SD card, for anyone to pull and and start messing with
  • I'll also have to 3D print a cover to hold both PCBs (pi + sensor).

Overall I'm wondering if there are no better or even easier options for me, keeping in mind that I'm not a hardware expert, there is no big budget and I do have some time pressure. Suggestions on both hardware & software architecture choices are welcome!

As a next step, I've already had a look at the chinese manufacturers (eg Dragino?) which provide whitelabel sensors, and I guess it will be either this or creating some custom PCBs. I don't like being stuck to something proprietary (hardware or software) though. Any suggestions on this is welcome as well! I have no clue where to start there, but that's a story for another time. First I would like to focus on getting a client-worthy v0.1 up-and-running.

Thanks in advance!

submitted by /u/Pixorian
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