Nerves and Agriculture / remote outdoor deploys

Sensors are becoming a bigger deal in agriculture and I’ve came across various commercial platforms that are using Raspberry Pi or Beaglebones under the hood with cell data for sending sensor data to the cloud. Most of the sensors are low powered devices with long term batteries and sending data across nearby sensors in a type of mesh network back to the “brains” connected to Internet over cell data to allow the sensors to transmit over a wide area being low powered. which can then send that data on up to the Internet with a cell data modem (example is soil moisture probes)

Curious if anyone has experience and tips for deploying remote nerves based devices “out in the field” with alternative power and Internet sources like this?


the first commercial project i used Nerves for was for greenhouse automation. Unfortunately i’m unable to share a huge amount of information about it, but the general layout was that we had a central Nerves device with a wireless radio on it, then we had a ton of sensors and actuators in the greenhouse that all reported to that central device. The central device could be connected via “normal” internet connections such as Wifi or Ethernet, and we also allowed a LTE modem to be used. I don’t have many “tips” as you say other than, there is nothing Nerves specific about it - so it should be relatively straightforward.


Sounds like an interesting project you worked on, thanks for the response. Agreed that majority of such a setup wouldn’t be nerves specific but even hardening the hardware devices in cases against excessive heat, cold, moisture etc would be interesting to hear about too. Devices in greenhouses would be in less extreme weather conditions, but probably was addressed to some extent?

We used a beaglebone black which is certified to be used withing a set of acceptable environments. Most devices have this, but you have to check all the parts you add yourself such as radios if you are going wireless, sensor microprocessors, sensors, motors, etc.

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While I can’t really speak to the majority of your question, have you looked much at LoRa? You should get pretty good range (2-3km in a city, can do over 5km in rural areas, if there is high altitude and good line of sight you can get more) on low power devices, often used for deployments with battery life requirements several years long.

LoRa is definitely on the radar too. I’m just in an evaluation stage and comparing what others are doing

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Interesting topic. How would one go about creating a low-powered nerves setup that can last quite some time with a battery?