Hill farm advice

I have a friend who runs a Scottish hill farm / estate. Part of this means that in the winter months he has to cull the red deer in the remote parts of the estate (well the whole place is remote). Traditional radio communication wouldn’t work unless he used multiple expensive repeaters so I suggested meshtastic.

Has anyone built any static meshtastic stations with solar power and battery that would stand some punishing weather? I’m mainly worried about the cold making lipo batteries useless and solar panels getting covered in rime ice / snow.

Thanks in advance

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my experience in solar, batteries, and autonomous solutions is that ‘‘ideal calculation’’ should be tripled to cover bad weather periods,
About batteries and Temperature, you must select carefully hte caracterstics (and the brand)

for example 18650 ‘‘no brand’’ have clearely not the same behaviour (and autonomy) than some famous ones,

hope it helps
Have a good week,

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Yes I have built an autonomous solar powered relay, it’s up on a mountain top, has been operating continuous for almost 5 months. Solar Relay Build - Ireland


Do you know if the heating has had to kick in yet and how well it has worked? Ta

I can’t say for sure, however, when it was initially placed in situ, temperatures dropped to -5C and the unit continued to function. It wasn’t of course the coldest time of the year. The battery and resistor are in a hammond box which is insulated and then inside another waterproof box, which could also be insulated if needs be. The panel is an oversized panel and seems to be keeping the array operational, placing this panel at a steep pitch would help with snow gathering , frost. Of course this won’t completely eliminate the problem, but will help a lot.

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Same sort of scenario here in Glencoe, except the system would be used for tracking walkers/runners and possibly dogs. The T-Beams or TTGO Lora32 boards work well as day trackers, its the repeaters I’m trying to build that can withstand all year round operation.

@KeithMon Has been working on a great option for a solar node using LTO batteries which have great temperature range. If you’re in the discord you can check out the sub-channel under #solar-power called #LTO for more information.

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The LTO chemistry is worth a look (as well as the bespoke charging board)! I bit the bullet today and ordered 2 x RAK Meshtastic starter kits…I was faffing around with trying to get a power sharing p mosfet add on to the TP4056 but still need to get an ldo regulator to take my 6v panel down to a voltage the Lora32 likes.
As far as I can see the RAK should take a fairly small 5v panel and I’m away. Initially will still use a lipo (insulated with fire rated foam). We live on the West Coast and rarely get days below -10°c