Great progress was made with reducing the system power consumption, the unit can now keep working for 2 weeks without solar power recharge. The selected Polycase NEMA enclosure is watertight, sturdy, and easy to install.
With all that, we are looking forward to the first test installations.
The long range modules communicate to a central gateway, which makes the measurement data available on the Internet.
The new design has 4 inputs for (gypsum) soil moisture sensors, driven by insight from last year's measurements that soil moisture measurement at 4 different depths gives more useful details about irrigation water percolation than 3-level measurement.
We also included support for an external digital temperature sensor.
Small growers may not need long range, and can use a simpler setup where the vinduino unit connects directly to the Internet using WiFi. We are using the ESP8266 module, wildly popular in the Maker community because of it's low price and programmability.