Hivetool Developers Report 2016-01-16

Communication. Email is convenient but the “insider information” hinders progress and causes duplication of effort. How can we publish our communications? Forum, wiki, blog, list server? There is a forum and blog on is a wiki. What will you use? Suggestions? Software?

Donations. Most organizations have a fairly low rate of donations. I don't know if it is beekeepers in general or your wanting a hive monitoring system, but everyone has contributed, either money or time. On 28 orders (42 dev kits), donations total $549.40. The goal is to get systems in as many hands as possible for evaluation to speed development. We've used the money to build and ship about 25 interface boards for “free”. Is it OK to use the donations this way? Any other ideas?

Interface board. Ask if you need the interim interface board. They are cheap ($10 total, bare boards are less than $3 each and cheap to ship) and I can get plenty. If you already have a working system, you probably don't want one. If it is going to be more than 6 months before you build, you probably don't want one as we hope to have a better board by then, a multichannel Analog to Digital Converter board with real time clock and power supply. It will use the same RJ connectors but needs a power supply connector. Any improvements to the interim board, or suggestions for ADC chips, connectors, features?

Manufacturing/Distribution. The load cells, HX711 board, power supply, connectors, bolts are manufactured in China. The Pi is probably manufactured in Europe but is available locally. When we have the final design, I think it makes sense to have the boards manufactured and assembled in China. But this stage of development calls for small lot purchasing and short run manufacturing. We are trying to have a packer in China procure the parts and ship the dev kits. Are there better ways to develop and manufacture, either short term or long term? Know any board and fab houses in China?

To Do.

  1. Load cell mounts. Inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture. We have nice frames and rails but still looking for the perfect solution.
  2. Yard controller. Ryan is working on this. Several people (Emil, Dave, Carl) are interested.
  3. Cellular data link. Several folks are working on this (Emil, Dave). Others are interested.
  4. Graphing software. Want to be able to graph user selected variables. Grafana, Multigraph? Guillaume has Grafana running on the Pi. Needs to run on a hosted web server in addition to the Pi.
  5. Data warehouse. Steven is working on this.
  6. Enclosure. Lots to choose from and some good ideas but no perfect solution.
  7. Video streaming. Several folks are working on it.
  8. Other hardware, sensors. Buttons to flag manipulation changes, zero scale? Vandal/theft alarm?

There is a lot of good work going on. It is important to share the information to speed development. What is your choice? Forum, wiki, blog, list server?

Thanks, everybody!


NE Georgia
United States
34° 52' 45.1128" N, 83° 23' 48.4728" W


I vote for using this forum for sharing information. Maybe a problem if we can't upload pictures.
I just commented the Solar design with new info for power usage.