Affordable LoRan/GPS system for Cattle Tracking

Thread Starter

Sid723

Joined Oct 9, 2015
11
Can anyone suggest to me affordable and reliable GPS and LoRan modules that can be used, along with a small micro, to track cattle at a large ranch in Mexico?

The system will not use Wifi, cell phone technology or any other communications medium. I envision each unit to contain a small micro, GPS module and LoRan module. Each of these will be Lipo battery powered and put onto a collar of each cow on the ranch. The ranch may have several solar cell powered stations around and along with each of the other units will create a mesh network. This mesh network should then communicate with the LoRan base station where the base station will receive cattle tracking data.

Anyway, just an idea. Anyone have experience with low powered, reliable and affordable GPS and/or LoRan modules?
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,505
Anyone have experience with low powered, reliable and affordable GPS and/or LoRan modules?
I have just enough experience to suspect that there is no such thing, but let's see if someone refutes that. The problem is not getting the location. GPS units are cheap and precise. The problem is transmitting the GPS position to a central receiver. Transmitting requires power and that means battery size and weight.

Somebody is advertising on TV that they use tracked herds to locate poachers in the field, by the effect the poachers have on herd movements. So, what you want must be out there. I just question whether anyone would consider it "affordable".
 

Thread Starter

Sid723

Joined Oct 9, 2015
11
I have just enough experience to suspect that there is no such thing, but let's see if someone refutes that. The problem is not getting the location. GPS units are cheap and precise. The problem is transmitting the GPS position to a central receiver. Transmitting requires power and that means battery size and weight.

Somebody is advertising on TV that they use tracked herds to locate poachers in the field, by the effect the poachers have on herd movements. So, what you want must be out there. I just question whether anyone would consider it "affordable".
Yes, GPS would get the position, but the LoRan would be needed to relay that position data to the network, then eventually to the home base. This way all cattle positions can be mapped.
 

-live wire-

Joined Dec 22, 2017
959
Why not have something where you slowly charge a capacitor or supercapacitor slowly and use it to transmit data within a few mS, every minute or so? Just a thought.
 

KJ6EAD

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,581
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Thread Starter

Sid723

Joined Oct 9, 2015
11
The least expensive modality I can think of for live tracking at intervals would be a GPS enabled APRS protocol radio in the UHF band. I'm not aware of an off-the-shelf version that would survive your usage situation. I also bave no knowledge of Mexican radio laws or if they would matter. References:

https://hackaday.com/2007/11/18/hackit-frsgmrs-portable-radios/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_Packet_Reporting_System
That is very interesting indeed. I will have to do some research on those two. Thank you very much.

As for the rest of the ideas, thanks as well. Please update this post if you come across any other ideas or products you may come across.

I am really not looking for a ready-to-go solution here. Just would like some recommendations on low cost and reliable modules for GPS and LoRan that can easily interface with an arduino or PIC micro. I will do the homework on marrying all the systems together ong with a lipo power source.

Thanks again.
 

KJ6EAD

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,581
Take a look at whatever telemetry equipment is currently in use with wildlife researchers as well. I suspect all available systems rely on directional receive antennas but it's worth a look.

Here's a company that makes small radio modules for various purposes. I have 20 or more of the DTXM models from a cancelled work project several years ago.

https://www.ritron.com
 
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SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,549
The system will not use Wifi, cell phone technology or any other communications medium.
Then how do you plan to get the data from each animal? There are systems that track animals using GPS and give burst location updates every so often - wildlife people use them all the time. But these use "other communications medium".
 

Thread Starter

Sid723

Joined Oct 9, 2015
11
Then how do you plan to get the data from each animal? There are systems that track animals using GPS and give burst location updates every so often - wildlife people use them all the time. But these use "other communications medium".
Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRanWAN).
 
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