Whether you do your own wireless network planning or work with a vendor or consultant, the following information will need to be collected particularly if the vendor assisting you is off-site.
Name, address and locations
Email and contact information for the farms
Name of the decision maker for the farm
Pictures or map of the place that needs to be monitored
Type of operation (vegetables, orchards, dairy, etc.)
Facilities present (greenhouse, tunnels, walk-ins, etc.)
Do you currently use any sensors?
If Yes, then provide some details (make and model) of the equipment and sensors used
Are there any mobile monitoring requirements
Do you have solar panels or wind turbines (and battery set up on the farm?
Do you have any weather stations on the farm?
Cabled Internet Access
Is your Internet via cable? DSL? Sattelite?
Internet Provider(eg., Comcast)?
Internet router make/model/name
Does your router have WiFi? What is the name (SSID) and password?
Does the router have an empty port that can accept an Ethernet cable?
How many feet in what directions from your router does WiFi cover? (use a mobile device such as smart phone to test)
Do you have any WiFi repeaters or "hot spots" going to other parts of the farm?
Cellular Internet Access
How much of your farm and fields has good cellular phone access?
What computer types do you use (Apple, Windows)?
Do you have a stable, always on computer with Internet access that could accept a USB gateway?
What devices (computer, tablet, phone) do you use to check our email?
What types of phones do you have that can accept text messages?
Who is your cell phone carrier?
What is the phone number to use for text message alerts?
110 Volt AC Power
Which buildings/storage facilities/greenhouses/tunnels have power outlets in or near them?
Do all of your power lines come from one transformer from the street? (powerline WiFi extenders may be usable)
Do you have an inline, ie., not a portable power backup generator? (may prevent using powerline WiFi extenders)
For each sensor location
Where is the location?
Is the location Inside/Outside?
What sensor Type(s) will be there? (one or more)
- Air Temperature
- Relative Humidity
- Soil Temperature
- Soil Moisture
- Leaf Wetness
- Weather Station (rainfall, wind speed/direction)
- Solar Radiation
- 12 Volt Battery voltage monitor
- 110 Volt AC Outlet power on/off
- Water Presence/Absence
- Electric Fence Voltage Monitor (under development)
Distance in feet of this location to Internet router
Sources of interference (walls, trees, greenhouse metal, earth, etc.) between sensors and Internet router
Need solar shield?
110 V power available near this specific location?
Permanent or Seasonal, ie., when will it be used?