AgTech and Internet connectivity

August 4, 2022

Introduction

As AgTech and the internet of things (IoT) continue to develop, there is an increasing need for farmers to have reliable internet connectivity on their farms. One way to provide this connectivity is through the use of a solar powered 4G router. Solar powered 4G routers are ideal for agricultural applications because they can be used in remote locations without need for AC power. Additionally, solar powered 4G routers can be used to create a private wireless network on a farm, which can be used to connect various agtech devices. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of using a solar powered 4G router for agricultural applications and provide an overview of how to set up such a system.

What is AgTech?

Farmers have always been early adopters of new technologies that can help them improve their operations. Today, there is a growing movement in agriculture towards the use of digital technologies, often referred to as AgTech.

There are many reasons why farmers are turning to AgTech solutions. One of the most important is the need to increase efficiency and productivity in the face of mounting challenges such as climate change, soil degradation, and water scarcity.

AgTech can help farmers address these challenges in a number of ways. For example, precision agriculture tools can be used to more accurately target inputs like irrigation and fertilizers, resulting in less waste and greater yields. Similarly, AgTech solutions like climate data services can help farmers make more informed decisions about when to plant and harvest their crops.

The use of AgTech is not without its challenges, however. One of the biggest is the high cost of many AgTech solutions. Another is the lack of connectivity in rural areas, which can limit the usefulness of AgTech tools

How does a solar powered 4G router work and what are its benefits for AgTech applications?

A solar powered 4G router is a type of Wireless Mobile router that is designed for use in outdoor environments. It uses a solar panel to power the device and can connect to the internet via a cellular data connection. The benefits of using a solar powered 4G router for agtech applications include:

Reduced reliance on grid power: Solar power is renewable and sustainable source of energy that can be used to power agtech devices. This reduces the reliance on grid power, which can be unreliable in remote areas.

Increased flexibility: Solar powered 4G routers can be placed in a variety of locations, allowing for greater flexibility in terms of internet connectivity.

Improved reliability: Solar powered 4G routers are designed to operate in extreme conditions, making them more reliable than traditional routers.

Lower cost: Solar power is a free source of energy, which can lower the overall cost of agtech applications.

How to set up a solar powered 4G router for agricultural applications

There are a few things to consider when setting up a solar powered 4G router for agricultural applications. First, the router must be placed in an area where it will receive direct sunlight. Second, the router should be mounted on a pole or other structure to ensure proper ventilation and protect it from the elements. Third, the solar panel must be properly angled to maximize sun exposure. Finally, the router should be connected to a power source, such as a solar battery, to ensure uninterrupted operation.

Pronto Networks PC14O outdoor routers requires very little power to operate and can be powered with a small solar panel that included embedded battery backup. One such example is hunting camera solar panels that can supply 12V power to PC14O. In our experience, on a typical day, battery gains enough charge to run PC14O throughout periods when sun is not shining. Ideally, you should have at least 4AH battery backup to last over multiple cloudy days — which will require a larger solar panel. However, the setup described here will be fine for most sunny locations.

solar powered 4G LTE Router for remote applications — Pronto Networks PC14O
Pronto Networks PC14O with Solar power

Examples of agtech devices that can be connected to a private wireless network

There are a variety of AgTech devices that can be connected to a private wireless network. These include:

  • Automated irrigation systems: Automated irrigation systems can be controlled remotely via a private wireless network. This allows farmers to manage irrigation schedules and water usage from anywhere.
  • Agricultural sensors: Agricultural sensors can be used to monitor soil moisture levels, temperature, and other conditions. The data collected by the sensors can be transmitted to a central location via a private wireless network.
  • Livestock tracking: Livestock tracking systems use GPS to track the location of animals. The data collected by the system can be transmitted to a central location via a private wireless

Conclusion

A small investment in wireless internet technology can enable many benefits of AgTech. Setup is simple and can be completed in less than an our if plug and play devices like PC14 are used. With the help of cloud management dashboard, a live status of your network, its connected devices and uptime is always available.

More such applications like Construction Site Internet and Tiny Homes can use similar 4G Routers and Solar power


Onsite install of a PC14O Agtech Router with Solar panel

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