Base station permanent mounting questions

I’m planning on a permanent installation of my base station. I have a couple considerations, but there could be others that I’m overlooking. I’d be interested in others’ experiences of comments!

My current thinking is to install the Reach base module in a pole-mounted weatherproof plastic box. The antenna and sufficient ground plane would be mounted at the top of the pole, perhaps 2m above the ground. There would be a small solar panel (10W) mounted on the pole, well under the antenna. Also inside the plastic box would be a 8Ah 12V battery and a solar charge controller.

Here are my concerns:

  1. Continuous operation

    Has anyone run the Reach module continuously, 24x7, say, for a year? The rover would be active very infrequently, but, if I install the base module, I would just leave it run.

  2. Temperature

    Since the box is waterproof, the only weather condition would be the temperature. Here in the Atlanta area, a maximum ambient temperature could occasionally reach 45C. The plastic box is a light gray, so it should not heat appreciably as a result of the sun.

    I’ve noted that the Reach module is rated for 40C, limited by the rating of the Edison. I don’t expect much heat from the battery or the battery charge controller.

    Perhaps I should remove the plastic sheath that protects the Reach module?

  3. Other considerations?

    Is there anything else I should think about? For example, there are two GPIO pins available - I’m thinking that I should probably interface a simple temperature and voltage sensor to allow reporting of those conditions through the Edison/WiFi.

Hi Matt,

I think that what you are attempting to do is definitely possible. We have a constantly operating base in our office, but we have chosen to run a long cable outside and have all the electronics inside the building. It is much more convenient in my opinion, if there is a possibility to do so.

Thank you, Igor! I like this idea.

Originally, I thought I would be limited to a standalone base, away from my house, so that I could have a precise lat/long surveyed to where the base antenna is located.

Putting the antenna on top of my house would give a clear (very good) sky view, but it’s a two story with a steep roof, so getting an antenna up there would be tough. Plus, getting the lat/long reference point from a surveyor would be practically impossible.

Now, with the “average in” feature to set the base coordinates, I don’t need a precise surveyed reference point for the base, making a house-mounted base station possible.

Given that my house’s roof access would still be difficult, I’m going to stick with the installation in a weatherproof box, mounted on a pole. I’ll post a picture once I get it up. I think it’ll be in a month or two.

However, I am re-assured that I can run the base continuously. To maximize cooling, I think I’ll remove the plastic sheath.

My project build is nearing completion. I’ll post/share more late spring / early summer when I start testing this puppy out. It’s looking very, very good!

Thanks again.

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