author
14Instructables994,638Views197CommentsWellington, NEW ZEALANDJoined July 24th, 2006
Retired educator/writer

Achievements

100+ Comments Earned a bronze medal
10K+ Views Earned a bronze medal
  • 433 MHz Tape Measure Antenna -suits UHF Transmitter Tracking!

    You first need to more exactly specify just what freq. you'd in mind! Is it the US 315MHz ISM ? What modules - not all have such a handy RSSI tap. Are you just receiving (a lost model ?) & if so what is your setup?As for the dimensions perhaps look at using the YagiCAD program I mentioned at Step 5, or simply scale using the classic lengths & spacings shown at Step 4.NOTE: For lost model work the far superior LoRa approach may be best. See my "Introducing Lora " Instructable. Stan.

    View Instructable »
  • Medium Wave AM Broadcast Band Resonant Loop Antenna.

    Hi Geoff (assumed in Australia?) & thanks for the very full account, although I'm bemused by what you're hauling like this late night - kangaroos ? Fish ? Gold bullion ?! QUICK RESPONSES* Polycarb. is transparent to UHF signals. * Ground planes & whips give omindirectional radiation* As your need seems very directional a beam antenna may better suit. The classic for this is the esteemed YAGI* Are you working in an area with other 433 Mhz devices ?* If your battery is weak then get better ones - try a Lithium ?* What exactly is your TX/RX control device?* Budget ?* Is the comms one way or 2 way ( duplex) ?FWIW a major issue may be that even better 433 MHz devices struggle to give reliable comms at 300-400 metres. Almost anything obstructive (terrain, rocks, trees, buidlings et...

    see more »

    Hi Geoff (assumed in Australia?) & thanks for the very full account, although I'm bemused by what you're hauling like this late night - kangaroos ? Fish ? Gold bullion ?! QUICK RESPONSES* Polycarb. is transparent to UHF signals. * Ground planes & whips give omindirectional radiation* As your need seems very directional a beam antenna may better suit. The classic for this is the esteemed YAGI* Are you working in an area with other 433 Mhz devices ?* If your battery is weak then get better ones - try a Lithium ?* What exactly is your TX/RX control device?* Budget ?* Is the comms one way or 2 way ( duplex) ?FWIW a major issue may be that even better 433 MHz devices struggle to give reliable comms at 300-400 metres. Almost anything obstructive (terrain, rocks, trees, buidlings etc) in the signal path will attentuate or even block transmissions!! This is especially an issue in damp environements such as rainforests. Hence I can easily get relaible 500 m line of sight (LoS) data links from a nearby hillside to my beach side home here in coastal NZ, BUT at street level am struggling with even a to timber homes, garage doors, power lines & significant trees.NZ/Aus.regulations limit to just 25 mW (about the power of a glowing LED!) & you'll only really get further with ELEVATED ANTENNA, different modulation techniques ( LoRa especially), superior receivers or (illegal) higher power transmitters.A small 433 MHz data repeater may have some mileage - these are quite legal in Aus/NZ.Otherwise a possible approach could be to use "PRS" UHF CB data Ch. 22/23 reserved for telemetry/control. I once put an outback type onto these for stock water monitoring - he was previously trying to cover several km with just 433 MHz . Several firms market gear just for these slots I recall.Stan. ( Ham ZL2APS since 1967)

    Extra: Australian firm Electrosense => http://www.electrosense.com.au/ offer UHF CB "PRS" based monitoring & control systems, as do Kiwi firm Gallagher. Prices are NOT cheap, but at least check out their approaches.  Stan.

    View Instructable »
  • Medium Wave AM Broadcast Band Resonant Loop Antenna.

    Hi AussieF1: This Instructable was for low freq MW band (~1MHz), yet you are after presumably enhanced coverage for UHF. Although I've done lots over the decades with 433 MHz this confuses about your need- best you clarify VERY FULLY ! FWIW often a directional Yagi may best suit if you know the signal direction, otherwise the esteemed "Slim JIM" design can be ideal for low angle omnidirectional work. In any case at UHF a CLEAR PATH & ELEVATION can be everything. If you have "junk" in the way then it's unlikely that 1km 433 MHz ranges will arise with the legal 25 mW TX power UNLESS you can elevate RX/TX antenna significantly. Regards - Stan. ( Ham ZL2AJZ since 1967)

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Introducing LoRa™ !8 months ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Andrew: OK & thanks for full briefing, which increasingly seems familiar in fact ! About a year back a VERY similar request came in from an Andrew who was also trapping up your way - although I recall then it was possums & over a wider catchment! Was this you ?Irrespective the next step is to make a simple UHF penetration check. Cheap handheld UHF CBs are ideal for this, as if their 1/2 Watt voice signal can't penetrate the bush then certainly a 25 mW data signal will be struggling. Best supply me a Google Earth link too so I can visualise the region.I await your report ! Regards- Stan. ( Wellington )

    View Instructable »
  • manuka made the instructable Introducing LoRa™ !8 months ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Hi Andrew ! Quick initial comments = where are you (& this trapping site)? What sort of traps used? How often checked anyway? Budget? Time frame? Your e-skills? Have you made any quick wireless trials (using say UHF CB handhelds)? How circuitry likley to be powered ? Overhead vegetation not so dense that solar powering ruled out? WiFi indeed would be near useless, BUT 433 MHz could suit. Cheap (US$5 range) high performance 433 MHz modules now abound, with the Chinese HC-12 transceiver (as below) particularly well thought of. If you've just 100 metres range then LoRa is probably an overkill, especially since it's more costly & still developing (VERY rapidly !) =>https://hackaday.com/2017/12/07/the-internet-of-non-electronic-things/#more-284816 and especially =>http...

    see more »

    Hi Andrew ! Quick initial comments = where are you (& this trapping site)? What sort of traps used? How often checked anyway? Budget? Time frame? Your e-skills? Have you made any quick wireless trials (using say UHF CB handhelds)? How circuitry likley to be powered ? Overhead vegetation not so dense that solar powering ruled out? WiFi indeed would be near useless, BUT 433 MHz could suit. Cheap (US$5 range) high performance 433 MHz modules now abound, with the Chinese HC-12 transceiver (as below) particularly well thought of. If you've just 100 metres range then LoRa is probably an overkill, especially since it's more costly & still developing (VERY rapidly !) =>https://hackaday.com/2017/12/07/the-internet-of-non-electronic-things/#more-284816 and especially =>https://hackaday.com/2017/09/19/hybrid-technique-breaks-backscatter-distance-barrier/Stan.- Wellington, NZ

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Introducing LoRa™ !8 months ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Hi Andrew ! Quick initial comments = where are you (& this trapping site)? What sort of traps used? Budget? Time frame? Your e-skills? Have you made any quick wireless trials ? Vegetation not so dense that solar powering ruled out? WiFi indeed would be near useless I feel, BUT 433 MHz could suit. Cheap (US$5 range) 433 MHz modules now abound, with the Chinese HC-12 particularly well thought of. If you've just 100metres range then LoRa is probably an overkill, especially since it's more costly & still developing (VERY rapidly !) =>https://hackaday.com/2017/12/07/the-internet-of-non-electronic-things/#more-284816 and especially =>https://hackaday.com/2017/09/19/hybrid-technique-breaks-backscatter-distance-barrier/Stan.- Wellington, NZ

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Kid Friendly Bamboo Geodesic Dome11 months ago
    Kid Friendly Bamboo Geodesic Dome

    Marvellous - kids certainly love domes! OK if I add this picture to the Instructable ? It transpires your Liger Leadership Academy is in Phnom Penh -Cambodia, so guess you've lots of bamboo. Mmm -perhaps consider making a larger one & covering it with mesh etc ? Stan. ( Welington -New Zealand )

    View Instructable »
  • manuka made the instructable Introducing LoRa™ !1 year ago
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Introducing LoRa™ !1 year ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Scios: OK on your "8000 hectare" cattle farming cousin, & glad he's looking at commercial options ! You never did specify either his "farm's location " or it's terrain- such apscts are CRUCIAL for comms. insights...At your UHF starter level perhaps the best INITIAL way is with some simple handheld UHF PRS CBs used to explore coverage. Their power is typically a few Watts, giving a range maybe a few km in built areas, but MUCH more if Line of Sight (LoS). LoRa offers 10 times the range for the same power, BUT you are legally only allowed 25milliWatts ! As every 6dB gain doubles range (thus 100mW gives twice the range of 25 mW) then by chance 25 mW LoRa will cover about the same as 1 Watt PRS.As fair as UHF data starters go, these days I suggest the extremely ...

    see more »

    Scios: OK on your "8000 hectare" cattle farming cousin, & glad he's looking at commercial options ! You never did specify either his "farm's location " or it's terrain- such apscts are CRUCIAL for comms. insights...At your UHF starter level perhaps the best INITIAL way is with some simple handheld UHF PRS CBs used to explore coverage. Their power is typically a few Watts, giving a range maybe a few km in built areas, but MUCH more if Line of Sight (LoS). LoRa offers 10 times the range for the same power, BUT you are legally only allowed 25milliWatts ! As every 6dB gain doubles range (thus 100mW gives twice the range of 25 mW) then by chance 25 mW LoRa will cover about the same as 1 Watt PRS.As fair as UHF data starters go, these days I suggest the extremely versatile US$5 Chinese HC-12 transceiver modules. I import these directly from Satisfy Electronics in China (freight free too), & all my work with them has been PICAXE related (& GUI config). HC-12 now have significant Arduino/Instructable exposure, so suggest checking the likes of this => https://www.instructables.com/id/Long-Range-18km-Arduino-to-Arduino-Wireless-Commun/Regards- Stan.

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Introducing LoRa™ !1 year ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Scios: Mate- Google may well be our friend but years of browsing experience can refine ! Aside from this I fincreasingly feel that almost no UHF radio link may be up to your cousins monitoring challenge. His 8000 hectares spread is "equivalent" to a rectangle of sides 40 km x 20km for heavens sake. Aside from the terrain (which you STILL have not clarified) the curvature of the earth may well come into play for UHF signals propagated from near the ground. And being water holes they probably WILL be at ground level ( or even below) - your cousin may need to erect significant TALL masts to raise the trasmitters high enough for coverage. To put terrain in pespective consider my harbour side Wellington location. In FRONT we've a clear view across water & can see NZ's So...

    see more »

    Scios: Mate- Google may well be our friend but years of browsing experience can refine ! Aside from this I fincreasingly feel that almost no UHF radio link may be up to your cousins monitoring challenge. His 8000 hectares spread is "equivalent" to a rectangle of sides 40 km x 20km for heavens sake. Aside from the terrain (which you STILL have not clarified) the curvature of the earth may well come into play for UHF signals propagated from near the ground. And being water holes they probably WILL be at ground level ( or even below) - your cousin may need to erect significant TALL masts to raise the trasmitters high enough for coverage. To put terrain in pespective consider my harbour side Wellington location. In FRONT we've a clear view across water & can see NZ's South Island ~40km away across Cook Strait, but immediately BEHIND me are a range of thick bush clad hills that rise to 1000 metres. Even a 5 Watt PRS handheld is pushing to get a km in the latter.All up - & since his spread is obviously a commercial business- tell him to take a look at drone planes that can fly a programmed waterhole circuit & take pix for him to view. Copters have too short a flight time (approx 10min) but planes of course have wing lift & some FPV (First Person View) ones can stay up for MUCH longer.Stan.

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Introducing LoRa™ !1 year ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Kiwi firm Gallagher's approach is essentially water TANK level monitoring, which is probably less prone to stock mischief.& vegetation etc than open ponds/dams. A quick Google shows an Australian firm seemingly offering similar, with the 2 way radio gear off the shelf UHF CB PRS handhelds! See => http://www.electrosense.com.au/uhf-telemetry.htm But you can't beat "management by walking around" on a farm! There may be the likes of sick/dead cattle polluting the pond that a sensor would not register. Here in NZ some farmers are already using agricultural drones to check crops, stock, gates & dams etc - ranges of the on board video camera can be several km ! See a recent ag. drone review => https://bestdroneforthejob.com/drone-buying-guides/agriculture-dron...

    see more »

    Kiwi firm Gallagher's approach is essentially water TANK level monitoring, which is probably less prone to stock mischief.& vegetation etc than open ponds/dams. A quick Google shows an Australian firm seemingly offering similar, with the 2 way radio gear off the shelf UHF CB PRS handhelds! See => http://www.electrosense.com.au/uhf-telemetry.htm But you can't beat "management by walking around" on a farm! There may be the likes of sick/dead cattle polluting the pond that a sensor would not register. Here in NZ some farmers are already using agricultural drones to check crops, stock, gates & dams etc - ranges of the on board video camera can be several km ! See a recent ag. drone review => https://bestdroneforthejob.com/drone-buying-guides/agriculture-drone-buyers-guide/ Stan.

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Introducing LoRa™ !1 year ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Scois: MATE - an 8000 acres "farm" & 20 km links ( LoS ?) , along with seemingly a mission critical stock watering need ! We are NOT talking hobby farm/kids stuff here, & I suspect the application is also VERY commercial.Thought for the future - specify the setup RIGHT at the beginning of a technical request so helpers can better get an handle on things.At least in outback Queensland you should have plenty of sun for solar charging, but the implications of something falling over are pretty profound... I was raised on a NZ farm & well know how even simple things (stock hi jinks etc) can cause mischief...25 mW LoRa at 433 MHz may just do but I'd say that UHF CB "PRS" channels 21 & 22 are best suited. These legally allow 5 Watts TX power & are ...

    see more »

    Scois: MATE - an 8000 acres "farm" & 20 km links ( LoS ?) , along with seemingly a mission critical stock watering need ! We are NOT talking hobby farm/kids stuff here, & I suspect the application is also VERY commercial.Thought for the future - specify the setup RIGHT at the beginning of a technical request so helpers can better get an handle on things.At least in outback Queensland you should have plenty of sun for solar charging, but the implications of something falling over are pretty profound... I was raised on a NZ farm & well know how even simple things (stock hi jinks etc) can cause mischief...25 mW LoRa at 433 MHz may just do but I'd say that UHF CB "PRS" channels 21 & 22 are best suited. These legally allow 5 Watts TX power & are specifically assigned for just such telemetry & telecommand applications. Regards- Stan.

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Introducing LoRa™ !1 year ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Scios: Ahem- although that board at http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1Pcs-3Km-433Mhz-Sx1278-Lora-Long-Distance-Wireless-Data-Transmission-Module-Ic-S-/302134571083?hash=item46589fb04b:g:RScAAOSw44BYJH22 is billed as "LoRa" I seriously doubt it! Semtech LoRa products are 7 pins aside & labelled Semtech/SX or HopeRf (2nd sourced). That " 8 a side" chip looks an STM micro. The sockets imply some sort of stacking is needed for yet another board - which is probably actually an SPI LoRa module... Range is appealing BUT so is reliability & good data rates. Again I say you REALLY need to start simply (perhaps with HC-12) & gain 433 MHz experiences. Folks can waste SO MUCH TIME & MONEY otherwiseI also again point out that NZ/Aus 433 MHz regs allow ONLY 25 mW (mil...

    see more »

    Scios: Ahem- although that board at http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1Pcs-3Km-433Mhz-Sx1278-Lora-Long-Distance-Wireless-Data-Transmission-Module-Ic-S-/302134571083?hash=item46589fb04b:g:RScAAOSw44BYJH22 is billed as "LoRa" I seriously doubt it! Semtech LoRa products are 7 pins aside & labelled Semtech/SX or HopeRf (2nd sourced). That " 8 a side" chip looks an STM micro. The sockets imply some sort of stacking is needed for yet another board - which is probably actually an SPI LoRa module... Range is appealing BUT so is reliability & good data rates. Again I say you REALLY need to start simply (perhaps with HC-12) & gain 433 MHz experiences. Folks can waste SO MUCH TIME & MONEY otherwiseI also again point out that NZ/Aus 433 MHz regs allow ONLY 25 mW (milliWatts) transmitter power.WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU TRYING TO DO WITH THIS RADIO GEAR, WHERE (city/rural etc) & WHAT BUDGET ???? Stan..

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on Dr_Acula's instructable Simple Arduino Wireless Mesh1 year ago
    Simple Arduino Wireless Mesh

    Scois: WHOA THERE on high power modules - at 433 MHz Kiwis & Aussies (you seemingly are in Brisbane?) are allowed just 25 milliWatts transmitter e.i.r.p. ( effective isotropic radiated power)... Stan.

    View Instructable »
  • manuka made the instructable Simple Arduino Wireless Mesh1 year ago
    Simple Arduino Wireless Mesh

    Scois: Modest blush - glad those pages were helpful! Happy to help BUT you really need to roll up your sleeves & get some UHF RF hands on I'd say. For this the HC-12 modules ( which most certainly are NOT LoRa) are ideal.Chinese firm Chengdu EBYTE offer a E32-TTL-100s1 TTL friendly LoRa module that may be superior & cheaper that Dorji's. I have some here but have yet to explore d features. See =>https://cdebyte.en.alibaba.com/product/60459293814-803162175/E32_TTL_100S1_3km_SX1278_LoRa_433MHz_wireless_rf_transmitter_and_receiver_module.htmlWhere are you ??? Regards- Stan. ( Wellington, NZ)

    View Instructable »
  • manuka made the instructable Introducing LoRa™ !1 year ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Scois: I remain a keen LoRa man, but confess to not progressing on from Dorji's TTL friendly " two chip" DRF1278DM. The SPI "single chippers" of HopeRFare certainly smaller & cheaper, but their software can be much more demanding. In fact some Chengdu EByte E-32-TTL-100s1 Chinese modules just to hand may be tempting, especially since they are US$6-$9 each. I've yet to give them a whirl, but you may stimulate me into doing so ! See =>https://cdebyte.en.alibaba.com/product/60459293814-803162175/E32_TTL_100S1_3km_SX1278_LoRa_433MHz_wireless_rf_transmitter_and_receiver_module.html Regards- Stan

    View Instructable »
  • manuka made the instructable Simple Arduino Wireless Mesh1 year ago
    Simple Arduino Wireless Mesh

    Dr_A: Long time no hear! Did you consider Semtech's wonderful LoRa devices ? LoRa ranges are typically an order of magnitude BETTER than similar 433 MHz modules. Yes - km instead of 100s of metres & great punch thru' bush & timber buildings. See => https://www.instructables.com/id/Introducing-LoRa-/Aside from these darlings, Chinese sourced HC-12 transcievers have fast tending THE peferred 433 MHz module, especially when compared with classic ASK. Prices are under US$5 (with free p&p), & config. via a Kiwi sourced GUI makes their use a breeze. Regards- Stan. ( "Manuka" from PICAXE Forum)

    View Instructable »
  • manuka commented on manuka's instructable Introducing LoRa™ !1 year ago
    Introducing LoRa™ !

    Thanks for the link =>http://www.makerfabs.com/fabs/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=131&search=LoraThe 2014 era Instructable, although PICAXE related, was intended .(at that time). to outline/verify (in a cost effective manner) Lora issues, settings & claims

    View Instructable »
  • Long range, 1.8km,  Arduino to Arduino wireless communication with the HC-12.

    Don't know who this "range" request is for, but my response is that it depends on the RF environment, transmitter power & local band noise ! LoS (Line of Sight ), with simple ~165mm wire whip antenna & elevated I managed a good 500 metres with controlling PICAXE's at both ends. However at ground level thru' typical urban clutter (mostly wooden buildings here in NZ) I was lucky to get 100 metres. The spring antenna in my trials was NOT as good as the wire, so you'd perhaps max a few 100 metres in open space & under 100 metres in built up urban areas ( less if solid walls & conctrete etc).If you want more range then I can HIGHLY recommend Semtech's LoRa™ technology, which give km instead of 100s of metres. See => https://www.instructables.com/i...

    see more »

    Don't know who this "range" request is for, but my response is that it depends on the RF environment, transmitter power & local band noise ! LoS (Line of Sight ), with simple ~165mm wire whip antenna & elevated I managed a good 500 metres with controlling PICAXE's at both ends. However at ground level thru' typical urban clutter (mostly wooden buildings here in NZ) I was lucky to get 100 metres. The spring antenna in my trials was NOT as good as the wire, so you'd perhaps max a few 100 metres in open space & under 100 metres in built up urban areas ( less if solid walls & conctrete etc).If you want more range then I can HIGHLY recommend Semtech's LoRa™ technology, which give km instead of 100s of metres. See => https://www.instructables.com/id/Introducing-LoRa-/

    View Instructable »
  • Discover Electronics With Snap Circuits Arcade (A Review)

    Bravo - although indeed a tad costly the Arcade's POV display should REALLY appeal to youngsters! Quite some years back (~2008) I PICAXEd a basic snap kit's sound module to very good effect. This proved cheap, versatile & very educational. See =>https://www.instructables.com/id/quotSnap-connectorquot-PICAXE-microcontroller/

    Bravo - this POV display should REALLY appeal to youngsters! Quite some years back (~2008) I PICAXEd the snap kit sound module to good effect. See https://www.instructables.com/id/quotSnap-connectorquot-PICAXE-microcontroller/

    Bravo on posting this - the whizzing POV display should REALLY appeal to youngsters! Quite some years back (~2008) I gutted & PICAXEd snap kit sound modules to good effect. See=>https://www.instructables.com/id/quotSnap-connectorquot-PICAXE-microcontroller/

    Bravo on posting this - the POV display should REALLY appeal to youngsters! Quite some years back (~2008) I PICAXEd the snap kit sound module to good effect. See https://www.instructables.com/id/quotSnap-connectorquot-PICAXE-microcontroller/

    View Instructable »