Things Network meet-up, Tuesday 14th March

Apologies for the rather short notice, but will be hosting the first Things Network Calderdale meet-up on Tuesday evening. Bit more info at:

I plan to bring along a selection of LoRaWAN device platforms and to take a look at the capabilities of each. Suggestions invited also for a practical group project or other activities. E.g. we could look to design a moisture sensor to complement the river level one, or perhaps have a series of basics workshops.

Given short notice, tagging folk I suspect might be interested: @paul123, @RoboGuy, @davidhayward, @Giles.

I’ll be here for this. In particular I want to see and hear about the gateway options that we discussed when I was sounding out this idea last year. Augmenting the data with other sensors is also on my list.

My driving force is to get Squadrons to install gateways but clearly those that are not near any flooding rivers will need to collate other data or find an alternative project though that won’t expand the availability of LoraWAN gateways in South and West Yorkshire. I also have interest from the “local area” but they don’t really understand it as they’re all a bit old :wink: but Mirfield suffered significantly from the boxing day floods in 2015 and this has raised the interest level.

As usual I will be travelling from Barnsley so I reserve the right to be late but I should be okay. Might have to bring a sandwich to munch on whilst we’re all talking.

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Sounds good @9600 I will be down there from about 18:30 Hrs. Cheers :sunny:

I’d hoped to pop in briefly, @9600, but I’m dog sitting this week, & Eric got bored with the 6pm meeting I went to. So, I’ll be along tomorrow hopefully - at least briefly.

I’ve ordered and received an RPi 3 now which I will be expecting to set up with Raspbian, nginx and whatever else is required to use this Node Red stuff. I have a much easier time understanding the electronics aspect of this than the server/linux aspects so getting this working is the ordeal for me. Once I get myself to a point where I can SSH in I might bring it along one Wednesday (or get remote access to it at least) and get 1-1 input at an open evening.

I’ve looked at the ThingsNetwork page and I don’t think the information to get the data from the existing nodes is publicly available. Presumably if I register and join the Calderdale group that will change? (Haven’t tried yet! can’t think of a username)I’ll post a link to my work when it’s done to see if it looks reasonable outside my own browser!

Mostly thinking out loud here but if I fall into the engineer’s trap and think to myself because I can probably work it out, I don’t need to engage or ask others, I’ll not engage and benefit.

Node-RED has a built-in httpd, so you shouldn’t need Nginx. It defaults to some high port number, but if there is no other web server running on the Pi, you can configure it to listen on port 80.

The only The Things Network nodes currently configured are set up to simply “ping” an uplink message, so as to test end-to-end connectivity via the gateways and be able to monitor for failure. I have two Flood Sensor nodes that I’m in the process of setting up and at least one should be live next week, at which point I should be able to provide you with access to data from it.

Oh, how helpful of them! Having it on a separate port seems sensible. I can frig it anyway using a port forward on the router if need be or do a frame in frame redirection.

I doubt I will have this working before next week! Thanks for the tips! Are there some screens with HDMI inputs at the space? I have the pie with me and might be able to scrounge an SD card from work to set this thing up. I only need to get as far as an SSH prompt really though an X session over SSH might be convenient.

I suspect that all the monitors are VGA and DVI. Kept meaning to order some HDMI to VGA adapters for this sort of thing…

I much prefer to administrate Linux systems over SSH and so when I set up a new Pi, before I insert the SD card into it and boot, from the PC I used to write the card out I:

  • change it’s hostname to something unique by editing /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts
  • enable SSH by creating an empty file called “ssh” on the boot partition

That way when the Pi is booted I can log in with:

$ ssh pi@meatandpotato.local

Assuming I changed the hostname to meatandpotato and I’m logging in from another Linux system. Not sure if you use a different suffix to “local” for an mDNS name on Mac or Windows…

I’ll try getting that ready then. SSH on linux isn’t a problem to try.

I am making a big amazon order so I will look at adding a couple of useful adaptors as add on items. VGA to DVI tend to be common but some Pi oriented ones might be sensible. Presumably I can get my tax back on them on my elf assessment which will be nice.