Remote Water Trough Monitor Project - Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Remote Water Trough Monitor IoT project. As part of this multi part series, I am stepping through the process of applying an IoT solution to the use case of monitoring a remote water trough used for livestock like horses, cattle and sheep. This project will serve as an affordable agtech pilot and will be installed at an agricultural site to check suitability.

If you missed the first post, head to Remote Water Trough Monitor Project Part 1.

This post will cover the requirements of the solution and explain the IoT technology including: IoT devices, IoT sensors and IoT platform.

I reviewed the LoRaWAN Dragino SW3L as part of researching for this IoT solution.


  1. The device needs to be battery powered as there will be no power at target sites
  2. Data visualisation will be available online 24 hours a day and will be mobile friendly
  3. The device must either support battery changes or solar power for long term use
  4. The budget is $200 AUD / $135 USD / €120 EUR
  5. The monitoring sensor will communicate over long distances > 2km / 1.25 miles i.e. lorawan or nbiot or cat-m1
  6. The system will be able to send alerts via email or SMS
  7. The device will be weatherproof
  8. Must log water flow and battery levels
  9. Retains measurements during communications outages
  10. Alert if battery, communications or water flow conditions are degraded
  11. The device can be powered down during cooler seasonal periods

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Both LoRaWAN and NBIoT LPWAN communication options were explored. It was decided due to coverage and hardware requirements that NBIoT would be a better fit in Australia.

Due to budget constraints the Dragino CPN01 device was selected and paired with a budget water flow meter. The Dragino will be modified to include a toggle switch to allow full power down during cooler times of year - this will prolong battery life for many years.
I would choose the
Seeed Studio SenseCAP S2100 Data Logger if using LoRaWAN.

The Datacake IoT platform was selected to consume and visualise the data. This environment has high availablity in the cloud, can provide email/sms alerting, it is affordable and is web accessible on any device.


For this project the following hardware is required:


Dragino CPN01 unboxing

One of the downsides of the Dragino products is that they need to be programmed via a separate USB to serial interface. This requires you to open up the cover (needs to be done to power it on anyway) and connect 3 jumper wires to the main board. These are then connected to a USB to Serial adapter for configuring from your laptop.I have covered how to do this on a related Dragino SW3L Lorawan Water Flow Sensor post.

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