The project has went Solar!

A project log for Bin Temperature Monitoring System

A grain monitoring system that will cost about $500CAD (raw materials) instead of $4000 CAD. Also open source instead of closed source.

kody-alan-rogersKody Alan Rogers 09/01/2019 at 02:580 Comments


I have the BinTempSensor inside the BBQ at home right now attached to a solar panel. Attaching a solar panel is an important step because it is needed to keep the project off the grid and able to be used in any bin. 

It has been running for almost 3 days now and when it was running only on battery it only lasted two days at most. I have been checking it during the day and it seems to get fully charged (the battery) around noon each day. I would consider it a success.

The next steps are:

  1. Make an enclosure for the Arduino: made of wood at first, but likely will be a 3D printable enclosure in the end
  2. Move the temperature sensors off of the breadboard onto wires and eventually those wires will be wrapped around a rope or cable that will be dropped into the bin.
  3. The final step for this version will be adding a heating mechanism inside the enclosure (I'm from Canada and it gets cold here). Right now it is planned to be a separate circuit that will be switched on and off by the Arduino.

I am hoping to list step by step instructions to build the device to the point it is within the next week, but harvest and the new semester are starting so it may not be for a bit longer. For now the instructable I wrote a while back has the set up with the battery and I'll give a bit of a blurb below of how to extend it.


Next steps are:

  1. Buy the needed supplies: solar panel charging kit, the solar panel, DC jack adapter, and an extra battery is also needed
  2. Cut the wires off the extra battery (we need them)
  3. Now solder the wires from the extra battery to the wires from the charging kit
  4. Plug the battery into the charging port of the solar panel charger
  5. Take one end of the wires that were soldered together and plug it into the load end of the solar panel charger
  6. Plug the other end of the soldered wires into the Arduino
  7. Plug the solar panel into the DC jack of the solar panel charger

Remember that the set up should be placed in a rain proof, but not water proof, enclosure to ensure that water does not mess things up.

Sorry for such a brief description I promise that within a month I will have better instructions (hopefully within a week!), but I thought it be good to give an update of where things are at.

Thanks for reading!