In this parts list, we’ll take a closer look at each component. We’ve ordered the list from inside out, starting with the circuit boards and sensors, then moving onto the power sources and protective case – all of which make up a FieldKit station.
The Core is the central hub of the Station, responsible for logging and sending data from the environmental sensors to the FieldKit mobile app and web portal. It is made up of 3 boards:
- Upper Board
- Lower Board
- Module Base
The Upper Board consists of an MCU (microcontroller), onboard memory, data backup on microSD card, RTC (powered by an onboard super-capacitor), and an OLED interactive display screen. This is the brains of the station.
The Lower (Radio) Board equipped with battery and solar connectors, a WiFi module, GPS, and LoRa wireless communications. This is the communications center of your kit.
The Module Base attaches to the Upper and Lower Boards. It is the platform on which to attach module boards.
A Sensor Pack is a set of boards, cables and instruments that plugs into the Core to gather readings on a specific environmental factor e.g. weather or water. A Sensor Pack might measure one or multiple parameters relevant to that factor. For instance, the Weather Pack measures temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction and rainfall, whereas the pH Pack measures just pH.
A Sensor detects physical changes in its environment and communicates that data to the Core. A sensor might sit directly on the Module Board, on an external Sensor Board, or within instrumentation like a Probe, Rain Gauge, Anemometer or Wind Vane. (These instruments are often themselves just called “sensors.”)
A Module Board is 1 of 4 boards that sit on the Module Base and acts as the interface to the instruments. It communicates environmental data gathered from its attached Sensors to the Core.
A Sensor Board is a board that sits inside an external enclosure and connects to the internal Module Board. It communicates environmental data gathered from its attached Sensors to the Module Board.
A Probe is an instrument (or sensor) used for measuring, testing, or obtaining data.
Ex: pH Probe / Dissolved Oxygen Probe / Conductivity Probe / Water Temperature Probe
A Cluster is a set of instruments (or sensors) that are located in the same place.
Ex: Weather Cluster that contains a Rain Gauge, Anemometer and Wind Vane
To be able to power the electronics to gather and sync data, you’ll need a reliable power source. A FieldKit station can be plugged into a power source like your computer or the wall using the Micro USB Cable. Or, for remote deployments you can use a charged Battery, or a Battery plugged into a Solar Panel for ongoing charge. Just make sure you have a good source of sunlight.
Micro USB Cable
Plugging a Micro USB Cable from a power source into the Lower Board will turn on and power your system. If a Battery is plugged into your FieldKit, it will recharge the batteries.
The standard Battery Pack includes three 2000 mAh 18650 Li-polymer batteries. These batteries are rechargeable either through USB plug-in or a supplementary solar panel.
A Solar Panel absorbs sunlight and converts it into electricity to power the electronics. We use a 10 watt solar panel for our system.
The FieldKit Case is a custom designed case that allows for multiple mounting configurations and installation positions. It secures and protects FieldKit electronics from the elements.
The Wake Button on the Case wakes up the station and turns on the Station WiFi signal. This enables you to connect to the station with your phone and sync station data.
A Cable Plate is a customizable part of the case system with different port configurations that allow cables to pass in and out of the case. Each case comes with a cable plate, but you might consider buying additional alternative configurations to suit different module setups. You can also opt to laser cut your own plate. In that case, visit the Cable Plate page to download the .svg and .stl files.
A Gland is a portal in the case system, allowing cables to pass through while keeping the interior elements protected from the outside.
When we talk about a Station, we mean the combination of the hardware and software listed above that collects and syncs data with the FieldKit mobile app and web portal.