Asking for guidance to find the right hardware/software kit for a connected hive in a rural setting

Hi there,

Very nice work!

I am aware that a newbee dropping in and asking a bunch of stupid questions [out of the blue] is cringe-worthy, but I am having a tough time negotiating this community.

I am based in the US so I see @NewHopApiary’s work they shared at My DIY "Hive Minder" monitoring setup (LoRa sensors w/ Grafana) as an exemplar of what I’d like to accomplish. I am struggling in my search for a “here is the simplest setup you can do, stupid!” type of reference. I am hoping you can point me to the right place to sort of emulate what @NewHopApiary has.

In my head, if I can find a “Start here” for Sensor > LoRa > Home Node > ??? (cloud?) I would be multiple leaps forward.

I have developed several OpenSource projects with controllers so the basic premise of a project like this is comfortable, but I just can’t seem to get a toe-hold on how to get started here.

I would have sent you a PM, but this interface is strange to me (after being on the Internet since the beginning) and I don’t see the message icon on your avatar :) If you can message me and would prefer that for this question, please do so.

And believe me, I am cringing as I go to hit “Post” but I’m so completely lost …

1 Like

Dear Lee,

thank you for writing in. Please do not worry about dropping in and asking questions, the sound makes the music. Having newcomers ask innocent questions is always a good chance for us to reflect and eventually improve on what we are doing, reporting and publishing.

Let us know if the resoures shared below will help you along already to get a better insight into the topic what it would take to replicate a DIY kit of this type. Otherwise, we will be happy to answer further questions and provide better guidelines.

Forum content

Apologies that the forum and our resources do not provide a concise path to folllow when aiming to build/replicate a complete system, following the approach of

Indeed. It would be so sweet!

I took the chance to create a meta-level outline at Awesome Hiveeyes -- A list of curated resources, where I tried to compile the most concise resources collected throughout the forum, and maybe a bit beyond. Let’s consider this to be a living document, hopefully updated regularly as we go.

Forum usage

Please don’t be afraid of the German content you will find here. There is a translation button below each post and it does a pretty decent job. Feel free to ask or respond in English, even on German threads.

With kind regards,

1 Like

That was one of the things that slowed me down actually. While reading through threads in German I hit some sort of rate-limiter related to translating posts. For a few, I even hit a “content too long to translate” error. It would be nice to be able to translate a thread at once.

I will take a look at that next, thank you.

1 Like

I get a page not found error on this one.

1 Like

Resources not available yet

Apologies. Some of the resources already linked into this compilation are still being edited by their original authors, i.e. they are currently still in draft mode yet [1].

OpenHive V4

@clemens is planning to build the fourth iteration of the original OpenHive system based on the DFRrobot FireBeetle. Before any further resources are published about it, check Search results for 'firebeetle' - Hiveeyes.

What I can say about this appliance is that the board will also include a GSM modem, most probably the SIM800 again. So, depending on which type of telemetry you are looking at, it might not be the right choice anyway [2].

  1. I felt like the articles are close to completion, so I decided to include them already in order to humbly build up a very slight pressure towards publishing them, mainly to remind us that those resources will not be forgotten about. On the other hand, they might in fact not be ready for public consumption yet. If this is the case, we will have to respect that and I would like to recommend to check back at a later point in time. Ping @clemens and @wtf. ↩︎

  2. I am referring to that because I learned you are aiming to replicate @NewHopApiary’s work roughly outlined at My DIY "Hive Minder" monitoring setup (LoRa sensors w/ Grafana), where they are using LoRa for submitting telemetry data. ↩︎

1 Like

Correct. I am housing my hives on my land and I can rely upon a rural setting, and < 1/2 mile (0.8 Km) in all of the cases I have considered. That seems to scream LoRa to me.

1 Like

Choosing LoRa

All right. I think the designated board within our community on this matter is the HTCC-AB01: Heltec CubeCell Dev-Board, being a development board which can be used reasonably well in production. On the projects I am aware of,

Maybe both of them want to report about experiences and outcomes or point out to specific resources about them.


When looking at the infrastructure side, did you plan to do plain LoRa, or maybe also use LoRaWAN?

On this matter, @MKO recently reported about setting up a LoRaWAN gateway at their site at Günstiges Lora Gateway -- MikroTik LoRaWAN wAP LoRa8 kit, which I think turned out to be a device well done.

@wtf: You are actually still using a Pycom Pygate 8-channel LoRaWAN gateway at your place, right?

Forum usage tips

Feel free to use the search function to find out more about certain details after getting accustomed to acronyms and jargon. I think the search functionality of Discourse is pretty decent and I personally use it more often than not.

Here we go.

I know it’s sad. Will you be able to support yourself on this matter and use Google Translate or DeepL Translate: The world's most accurate translator instead?

That + my remedial German (I was stationed in WEST Germany in the 80’s) should get me.

The smart-scroll is breaking the Google Translate contextual choice, I need to take a minute and see if I can disable that and make it work.

1 Like


Use the link [en] Autonomous Cell #3: Ground Soil temperatures with CubeCell, DS18B20, Solar & LoRa for getting a translated variant of the post we focused on, in order to work around the “This post is too long to be translated by the [inline] translator” problem.


Oh well, I also heard about that. – Google Search Indexing and Discourse - #8 by neounix - support - Discourse Meta

It looks like the magic toggle is to add ?_escaped_fragment_= to the URL and use that URL with Google Translate [1].

So, these URLs look quite good to me already.

  1. Picked up from Disable or bypass feature detect for Googlebot (while serving JS app to crawlers) - #7 by stance455 - support - Discourse Meta. ↩︎

No, it isn’t, this gateway is now at my place (though not yet online); he’s going to continue with the Mikrotik solution.

1 Like

Is the “The Things Indoor LoRaWAN WiFi Gateway - 8 Channel LoRa 900 MHz” (Product ID: 4345 on Adafruit’s website) a reasonable starter gateway for some initial work? A lot of the shields and hats with multi-channels seem to have supply chain issues right now, and for ~$100 that seems like it might be a good choice until things are not so weird.

At least @clemens uses it AFAIK, he could tell.

1 Like

I have 3 of them here in the US and like them. I emailed TTI and asked if they were still being produced and they said yes, they are still popular. They do not come with instructions, so you’ll need to google that. Setup process is a little funky but it works. Great for the price!

1 Like

Thanks so much! Might as well give that a go. It should get me going fairly quickly, at least for dev work.

One of those TTIGs [1][2] was donated to me for developing Terkin and Kotori, but, as far as I know, I forwarded it to @einsiedlerkrebs the other day. I think he even managed to attach an external antenna to the device after tearing it slightly apart, in order to increase coverage.

You will find diverse reports on the TTN forum about this device, also some troublesomes, with eventual lockups. Maybe this is just what users observed that @NewHopApiary refers to as »funky setup process« ;] [3].

Personally, while never having worked with it, I also think it is a very reasonable starter gateway, suitable for development and home automation. For production usage in a rural area (outdoor conditions!?) you will probably also have a look at the Mikrotik or a similar device again in the future.

  1. New gateway: The Things Indoor Gateway - TTIG - The Things Indoor Gateway - The Things Network ↩︎

  2. The Things Indoor Gateway - TTIG part 1 - TTIG - The Things Indoor Gateway - The Things Network ↩︎

  3. Also, I think the migration to TTNv3 caused some troubles for many users. This should now be a thing of the past, and current shipments will probably include modern firmware releases to resolve this matter. ↩︎

1 Like

@Andreas I haven’t experienced any lockups yet. My comment about the setup being odd is that you have to hold a reset button for 5 secs and then a setup button for 10 secs. Just seemed convoluted to me.

Here are the instructions for setting up the device and “Claiming” it.

@lbussy I have the unit plugged into an outlet inside a house. I then have several Dragino LSN50 units outside about 225 meters away. I’m seeing about -90db RSSI and about 9 SNR.

1 Like

I am purchasing it for the workbench - but should serendipity strike and it continues to work with my remote devices, so much the better.

Something that’s just struck me is that the Arduino repository doesn’t have a LoRa node exemplar. All I see is RFM69 which I understand is not LoRa. Am I right?

Is there a reason LoRa doesn’t seem to be represented there? As a newbie, I may not understand the nuances, but it seems like LoRa would be a primary solution.

1 Like

Dear Lee,

thank you for your excellent question. You are absolutely right. RFM69 is not LoRa. LoRa is RFM95/96. And even LoRa is not LoRaWAN. Roughly ;].

I had to catch up on this topic a bit, mainly because the work in this area spun off into two different dedicated projects by @wtf and @MKO, both based on the HTCC-AB01: Heltec CubeCell Dev-Board.

Arduino firmwares with LoRaWAN telemetry now has a short summary in order to give an overview about both projects to the community in this context, and to compare some of their properties.

Would this feature set be a common ground what you also roughly be aiming at?

With kind regards,