<![CDATA[Van der Lee Vineyard - Vineyard Blog]]>Sat, 10 Mar 2018 15:11:39 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Using FDR moisture sensors with Vinduino R3 sensor station]]>Sat, 10 Mar 2018 22:56:00 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/using-fdr-moisture-sensors-with-vinduino-r3-sensor-station
The Soilwatch 10 is a very affordable FDR (Frequency Domain Reflectometry) sensor, also called capacitive sensor, made by Pino-Tech.  Measurement is done a 75 MHz, which is a good frequency for reducing soil type effects. According to the designer, the design is waterproof and can be buried in soil for extended period of time without affecting accuracy. It is available via the Tindie market place  (www.tindie.com).
Although the Vinduino R3 sensor station was originally designed for resistive soil moisture sensors, measuring soil water tension, it can easily be adapted to support FDR sensors. 

​FDR sensors are active devices, and must have electrical power to work. Besides operating voltage and ground, there is an analog output wire that provides 0-3V according to the measured soil water volume. The Soilwatch 10 sensor can operate between 3.1 and 5 V, and has internal voltage regulation. For connection to the Vinduino station, we can connect the sensor supply voltage to the battery via a power switch. We do not need the sensor during sleep mode. To save battery power, a built-in power switch on the Vinduino station can apply power to the sensors only when we need to make measurements. In this blog article we describe how to connect three sensors, and how to re-assign one of the wire terminal blocks for connecting sensor power. To do this we add a wire connection from the Accessory connector, J13/pin 1, to the terminal block J4/pin7 (SENS_X4). That’s all the change needed.
​For 3 sensors, we can combine the green wires (ground) and brown (Vcc) together and connect them to the terminal block ground (J4/pin 10), and Vcc (J4/pin7). The sensor analog outputs can be connected to J4/pin2 (sensor 1), J4/pin4 (sensor 2), and J4/pin 6 (sensor 3).  Although this article describes using 3 sensors, up to 6 FDR sensors can be connected to one Vinduino station.
​Vinduino example  code for using the Soilwatch 10 is now available on github: https://github.com/ReiniervdL/Vinduino
Upload the Vinduino code for Soilwatch 10 before connecting the sensors and power the system.
With FDR sensors, the soil type influences the measurement, and you need to calibrate for 0% soil moisture. For 0% calibration, place the sensor in oven-dried soil. Find the ADC reading and map that as “0%” in the Vinduino code. For 100% reading fully immerse the sensor in water. By using the map function, we assume a linear calibration curve. 
<![CDATA[Vinduino R3 Sensor station passes FCC testing]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:48:17 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/vinduino-r3-sensor-station-passes-fcc-testingToday we passed FCC and IC compliance testing, required for any electronic product to be sold in the US and Canada. The test engineers at Element labs in Irvine told us the the Vinduino station tested performs well below the rated emissions spec. Good to know that we can use our existing design for production without modifications.
​Here are some pictures from the test location, a special room where no radio frequencies can penetrate.
<![CDATA[Come see us at the San Diego AgTech Panel]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 04:40:43 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/come-see-us-at-the-san-diego-agtech-panelMeet the founders, investors, educators, and government officials who are building the future of Agriculture Technology. Join us for a fun evening of networking, panel discussions, and AgTech pitches.

More info: 
<![CDATA[CONSERVING IRRIGATION WATER]]>Mon, 03 Jul 2017 17:42:31 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/conserving-irrigation-waterConserving irrigation water and improving irrigation efficiency are major concerns for growers. Many technologies exist to collect information on soil moisture, weather, and system performance meant to improve irrigation decisions. But this generates a large amount of data which needs to be integrated and analyzed.

The Central Coast based Vineyard Team organizes an education event for growers with the title "Conserving Irrigation Water" on August 3 in Soledad California.  Here you can learn how one grower is using sensors in the field and on the irrigation system in conjunction with software to turn “big data” into actionable decisions. This irrigation decision support system uses environmental sensor data, predictive algorithms, pattern detection, and advanced predictive modeling to generate irrigation “prescription.” All of this is managed through a computer, tablet, or smart phone dashboard.

You will see the devices, learn about the software, and hear how the recommendations generated by the system fit into the overall picture of this grower’s vineyard management.

Confirmed speakers include:
  • Jason Melvin, Vineyard Manager, Zabala Vineyards
  • Reinier Van der Lee, Founder & CEO, Vinduino

Link for more information and registration: www.vineyardteam.org
<![CDATA[New office location Vinduino LLC]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:50:17 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/new-office-location-vinduino-llc
Our commercial branch, Vinduino LLC, found a new office location, bringing 25% irrigation water saving technology to the local vineyards and wineries in Temecula. Our new business address: 43200 Business Park Dr., suite 110, Temecula CA 92590. www.vinduino.com
<![CDATA[Easy Vinduino WiFi module testing]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 17:06:17 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/easy-vinduino-wifi-module-testing
While most agricultural projects need long distance wireless, WiFi is an easy to use and low cost solution for all projects close to home. If you have an existing WiFi router or hotspot, there is no need for an additional gateway.
Adding an ESP8266 WiFi module is easy, as the Vinduino board connector J1 is designed for it. The firmware to send your sensor data to ThingSpeak.com can be downloaded from Github.

After downloading, the code needs to be modified, using free Arduino IDE software. Here you can add your local WiFi login information and your ThingSpeak API key. Remove the WiFi module before programming the board.

After editing and uploading your firmware to the Vinduino board, you can use the same programming cable to monitor data being sent to the WiFi module, and the module response data. See picture for the wiring. The gray wire is ground, the white wire is the data. Connect the white wire to J2 connector pin3 for monitoring commands to the ESP8266 module, and pin 4 for WiFi response data. The Arduino IDE software has a serial monitor that works fine for this purpose when set to 115200 baud.

With wire bridge J6 you can set the module power to "always on", or to switching on when an Internet connection is needed, saving battery power.

The communication modules need a battery attached to the battery connector J5. When not using a Vinduino supplied battery, make sure your battery has the correct polarity.
<![CDATA[Vinduino has landed in Chile]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:58:35 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/vinduino-has-landed-in-chile
Vinduino has landed in Chile. Watch the video of Vinduino partner Innovosen install sensor stations at a 40 acre almond orchard. https://goo.gl/3nMBR4
<![CDATA[New Vineyard Management System Offers Breakthrough Affordability]]>Sun, 09 Apr 2017 23:53:30 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/new-vineyard-management-system-offers-breakthrough-affordabilityPicture
Europe based Elmitel and Vinduino, located in California, have joined forces to create a leading edge vineyard management application with unique features. The application, aptly named eVineyard, offers full integration of the award winning Vinduino sensor stations for saving irrigation water. It also supports planning and job assignments, as well as integrated pest management and reporting, saving time and resources.
eVineyard has been developed in Europe in collaboration with local vineyards, and has been localized for use in the USA in concert with Vinduino.
“This is a unique collaboration between Old World and New World companies to combine our know-how of viticulture and IT technology. Our solution covers from sensors to actionable information, and is totally focused on meeting the requirements of winegrape growers”, says Reinier van der Lee, CEO of Vinduino LLC. “This system is designed to meet the requirements of vineyard operations with 1000 acres or more, while being uniquely scalable and affordable for smaller growers due to the use of open data and open source technology.”
“eVineyard offers a complete set of software tools to help wineries of all sizes work smarter, save money, and improve from season to season.”, says Matic Serc, CEO of eVineyard. “Built in tight collaboration with winegrowers, eVineyard is fully adapted to workflow in the vineyard and intuitive to use during vineyard work. The data from sensors, work records, and all other parameters are not just archived and available for the winegrower, but also connected together and processed with the help of the agronomic algorithms, to help winegrowers decide when to irrigate and when to spray in order to reduce environmental impact, save costs, and avoid issues. Involvement in European innovation projects helps us bring state-of-the-art features to both small family-operated, as well as the largest wineries, at a suitable price level.”
“We use eVineyard in our vineyards to help reduce the amount of spraying, and are very happy with the realized savings,” says Izidor Vehovar, winemaker at Vina Vehovar.

About Elmitel

Elmitel is a Slovenian privately held company, and developer of the eVineyard management system. Our vision is that the crops we consume should be as natural as possible, and produced with pride in a sustainable way. This is why we incorporate the latest technologies and methods in our simple-to-use software for wineries of all sizes. We help growers around the world produce highest quality crops in the most sustainable and economic way.
The team behind eVineyard consists of people with agronomic and software backgrounds and is involved in EU’s innovation projects on the topic. We won several European awards for our approach. www.evineyardapp.com

​About Vinduino

Vinduino is a privately held company, based in California. Our technologies provide accurate live information needed for adapting crop management to changing climate conditions. With this information, a farmer can use resources more efficiently, save time, and optimize yield. Our awarded Vinduino sensor stations are proudly designed and assembled in Temecula Wine Country, California. www.vinduino.com

<![CDATA[Vinduino at AG World Expo]]>Thu, 09 Feb 2017 22:02:52 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/vinduino-at-ag-world-expoPicture

Meet us at AG World Expo Tulare California, February 14-16, booth 1319 & 1320.
World Ag Expo is the world's largest annual agricultural exposition. More than 1,500 exhibitors display the latest in farm equipment, communications and technology on 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space. Free seminars focus on a variety of topics important to dairy producers, farmers, ranchers and agribusiness professionals.


<![CDATA[Raspberry Pi LoRaLAN gateway for Vinduino]]>Sat, 24 Dec 2016 17:05:41 GMThttp://vanderleevineyard.com/vineyard-blog/raspberry-pi-loralan-gateway-for-vinduinoLoRa Sensor Gateway
The Vinduino gateway receives LoRaLAN sensor data from the Vinduino sensor stations and forwards via WiFi to a ThingSpeak account. To date, the Vinduino project has been using an Electric Imp solution, which required some soldering and PCB assembly.

The following project update, describes a gateway that uses a LD20-H USB LoRa dongle from Globalsat, and does not require any electronics tinkering. This dongle is basically a USB version of the Globalsat LM-210 LoRa module used in the Vinduino sensor station, and, alike the module, works as a wireless UART. Combined with a serial terminal program, this makes a great debug tool to check out the LoRa network and sensor stations.
The Vinduino LoRa gateway can handle up to 300 sensor stations within a range of 5 miles, and can be made for less than $100, assuming that an old PC’s useful life can be extended for the task of working as gateway. Because the software is based on the operating agnostic Python-3 programming language, the supported PC platforms that can function as gateway include Windows, MacOS, Ubuntu Linux, and of course Raspberry Pi. For increased traffic handling, more USB dongles can be added, working on different frequencies.

The Python-3 gateway script, although tested to be working reliable for its basic gateway function, can be customized/improved as needed. For locations where access to Internet is not reliable, or intermittent, we added a SQLite database to store all sensor data locally. 
One possible application could be to store data locally and upload when an internet connection is available. This may also be a good starting point for developing smart irrigation algorithms.
The Globalsat LD20-H is available on Tindie

PS: This LoRaLAN gateway is not compatible with LoRaWAN sensor stations.
LD-20H features
  • Ultra-high sensitive receiving ability by LoRa spread spectrum modulation technology
  • Long-distance transmission (1KM to 10KM)
  • Easy to use and easy to configure
  • Multiple dongles for multi-channel gateway
  • Programmable parameters:
    • Frequency: 862-1020 MHz
    • RF data rate: 0.81K, 1.46K, 2.6K, 4.56K, 9.11K, 18.23K bps
    • Max TX power: 5-20 dBm (100mW max)
    • UART baud rate: 1200-57600 bps, parity non, odd, even

Python modules needed for the Vinduino gateway script:
  1. serial
  2. time
  3. thingspeak (linux install: $ sudo pip3 install thingspeak)
  4. sqlite3
DB browser for SQLite (http://sqlitebrowser.org) is a great program to manage the SQLite database.
Linux install: $ sudo apt-get install sqlitebrowser
For Windows, install the Cypress USB serial driver
For Linux: 
Linux does not require a special drivers for the USB serial interface, however ensure that you have qt4, gcc, and libusb installed. The USB driver stack in Linux has a built-in driver for CDC-ACM class devices. The Cypress chip inside the LD-20 supports CDC-ACM class, CDC-ACM driver gets automatically bound to the device and creates a device node in /dev/ttyACM*(* -The name of device node will vary based on the number of devices connected).
Here is a good description for testing the USB serial connection in Linux:
I found that Ubuntu and RPI recognized the USB serial port, but assumed it was an AT-command modem. 
A solution that worked for me is to bypass the ModemManager: 
sudo systemctl mask ModemManager.service