Lab Notebook

15 December 2014

This was a service visit to the installation at cells 3 and 4 with the intent of getting the network back online and putting tools in place to diagnose future power issues.

The gateway/base station on the pole was replaced with production hardware. The new box contains an Intel Galileo Gen 2 board, with a Silvertel AG9712-2BR module installed to enable the power-over-ethernet feature. The radio hardware is the production LWM basestation board, version 1.0, installed with two omnidirectional antennas. The box also contains a handful of silica gel packets. Two CAT5 cables run from the basestation into the power box, one for network/power and the other to the remote monitoring port on the new charge controller. A new hole was drilled in the power box to accommodate the additional cable. The gateway is running a Yocto image with revision 11:8e02ce4042e6 of the Tidmarsh overlay. This machine is tidbase4 on the VPN.

The charge controller (originally one of the 30A Renogy units) was replaced with a Tracer 2210RN MPPT charger that has a remote monitoring port. Software running on the gateway should post the power status to chain-api every 5 minutes.

The batteries in most of the wireless nodes are severely depleted from trying to discover a nonexistent base station for the past several weeks. All but about 15 of the nodes are still online, however, so they will be left alone until the next service visit. The original set of nodes which do not undergo the association procedure are doing better.

The audio box and solar panel have been brought back to the lab. The mounting hardware needs to be reinforced for the larger (and heavier) panel. The box itself needs a new battery. The decision was made not to try to reinforce the panel and leave the box because the batteries in the internal node that can be remotely used for powering the box on and off were one of the sets that was completely dead, so the box would not be useful in its current state. It should be reinstalled sometime early next year.

The microphone that was suspected to have been cut by vandals was located about five meters away from the location where it was installed (and the other end of the cable remains). The pattern of tooth marks on the microphone end of the cable strongly suggest that the damage was not caused by a human. The microphone looks like it will still be usable after a new connector is installed on the short section of cable that remains.

-- Brian and Gershon