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Old March 31st, 2018, 12:03 PM
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Default Remote monitoring

Who is using remote monitoring and is it working for you? My situation is that I will have a collection tank about a 1/4 mile away with no access to power. I would just love to be able to monitor sap levels either on my computer or sending the info to Merna's phone. Anyone using this new tech that can share feed back?
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Old March 31st, 2018, 12:54 PM
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Hey Brian: If you like to build things you might want to look into Arduino's a bunch of my ham radio friends use them. Its kind of a tinker toy electronic bread board. Get the correct component and you can do just about anything, keep track of temps, on off power, control power, compile data, send data over air or wire, the list keeps going forever. Just google arduino and you'll get enough info to keep you busy for a week I'm setting one up to track temp / humidity then wifi send that to my computer and show that on a graph. Cheap too. Jay
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Old March 31st, 2018, 01:01 PM
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Thanks Zucker. I will do some research for sure but it sounds like a whole new learning curve I didn't sign up for.
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Old March 31st, 2018, 02:12 PM
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We started experimenting/building these before they had them commercially. Did one version with just a few sensors with the UVM Instrumentation & Modeling Facility. That was followed by an 11 vacuum station system built by UVM Engineering students as part of a senior project. A few years after that commercial devices started being available. We use the H2O Smartrek system extensively in our operation with about 90 vacuum sensors (one at each pump and at the end of every mainline) and 6 tank sensors (as well as a handful of custom tree pressure sensors). Very useful since none of us live on site.

Other vendors offer (or soon will) similar equipment. I can't comment on those since I've not tried them.

A single tank sensor, gateway (connects the sensors to the internet/tablet), Android tablet, and perhaps a vacuum sensor (if you have a pump) and maybe a repeater (depending on your distance and line-of-sight) and you should be all set. Might not be cost effective for you at this point yet. Your call on that.
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Old March 31st, 2018, 02:18 PM
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Good info. Thanks Tim. The does this equipment run on batteries like a game cam or do they all need power?
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Old March 31st, 2018, 05:05 PM
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I have a $20 WiFi cam and a $20 reman hotspot at my tank. Saves me countless trips to check on things. Works if you have cell service at the tank. Mine runs off a deep cycle 12 volt battery. Have to charge about 2 times per season. Trying a solar panel on it this year. Jury is still out. I will try to find a link to the camera later.
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Old April 1st, 2018, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ex View Post
Good info. Thanks Tim. The does this equipment run on batteries like a game cam or do they all need power?
Only the gateway needs line power, but you can also use a portable (battery operated) gateway instead. You need wifi signal where the gateway is located.
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Old April 1st, 2018, 02:51 PM
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https://m.ebay.com/itm/Wireless-720P...app-cvip-panel


This is the one I use. I like the 360Eye app.
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Old April 2nd, 2018, 02:35 PM
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Bryan,

We went with the H20 Innovations monitoring system last year - just 3 vacuum monitors plus the gateway and tablet. We have since bought another 8 vacuum monitors and have plans to add another 3 this coming season.

It has allowed us to identify which lines have leaks so simplify our time spent walking lines, it has told us when a releaser failed (zero vacuum because a float fell off, the ball got sucked up into the top of the releaser) several times, plus when our 2000' x 2" vacuum line pulled apart after a deep freeze which has more than paid for a few of the sensors in a single season!

Another plus is you can watch which lines freeze up first and which ones thaw out first. I now have plans to add a dryline to get better vacuum further out into that section of woods. It should mean the sap runs an hour longer per day for those 600 taps.

Another plus is we now know the effect our sap ladders have on vacuum. Our one ladder we lose about 2" for a 10ft lift. For our triple sap ladder (3 lifts of 8ft each) we lose about 5" Hg but it's better than we thought!

Since we don't have Wifi in the sugar camp I can't monitor from my Samsung yet but we'll see what we can do!
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Old April 5th, 2018, 12:43 PM
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I also have the h20 smartrek system and I really like it. This is my second year with it and it has saved me countless trips to check tank levels and vacuum levels. I have 3 tank level sensors, 3 vacuum sensors and a remote control relay with which I can turn on/off my vacuum pump and sap pump. The remote relay really frees me up in the evenings so that I can go out and still turn on the pump to empty the sap tank in the woods or shut off the vacuum pump when it freezes. I can do this from wherever I have cell service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
Only the gateway needs line power, but you can also use a portable (battery operated) gateway instead. You need wifi signal where the gateway is located.
You only need wifi if you want to be able to monitor it remotely from your phone. The main tablet communicates via Bluetooth from the gateway.

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