How to make a unit stay on?!


#1

Ok, so not everyone can build a MOAN unit BUT I have the next best idea!

A unit that will turn back on after the battery dies!!!

Ok, great wow. Why is that so important? Allow me to explain…

You put a unit in a little waterproof box with a USB solar panel on the top, have the solar panel plugged into the charging cable, and plugged into the unit.

The battery in the Mesh unit might die BUT when it’s charged up again and/or has power running to it the unit will turn on all by itself thus allowing that node relay traffic.

This little feature will allow nodes to stay on and functional without the user having to turn it back on manually, thus making remote nodes more reliable and really making them functional.

So my only question is: HOW DO WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!?!?!?

The USB solar panel

The little box

I ordered both and they will be here Thursday :slight_smile:


#2

It was hoped that this could be implemented via a firmware update, but that seems not to have been possible. The latest is that there must be a hardware change made in future update to the current build.

Meanwhile, you need to add a battery to your box. Voltaic makes some that have a Always On feature, as do many more recent battery packs that are designed to recharge those tiny ear buds many people use now to listen. So long as there’s always power, the GTM will stay on.


#3

@Rahul_Subramany @danielagotenna @Jin_Gotenna @VirginiagoTenna
Let’s make this happen!


#4

I am sure there is a way to make it happen with a hardware mod I just don’t have units I can break in the process of R & D


#5

How about a small driver circuit that closes the power button circuit for 1 second after the external battery reaches a certain voltage?

A 1 second press of the power button is enough to turn my Mesh unit on, but not enough to turn it off.


#6

More simple than that.


#7

That could work tho! Now let’s make it happen by the end of the day today!


#8

I suspect there is a way. I’ve already broken a GTM (the Land Cruiser got the best of that collision) and what’s broken is the power button. I can tell you it’s a momentary contact button, with three contacts along one side, plus two more on the opposite side near the ends of the switch body; these may supplement grounding of the switch or might be merely supportive of the switch body.

The fateful accident that led to my GTM’s demise squashed the poor thing’s case, breaking it partially open. This also mashed the metal shielding surrounding the GTM’s circuits and broke it loose from several of its mounting feet. This dislodged the switch, but I was able to get it going again by pushing on it creatively to get contact. Remember that the connection made is momentary, not like a toggle that leaves power on when in position. The momentary contact initiates the boot-up, like computers we’re more familiar with.

I tried to solder the shielding back down with little luck. I managed to get the switch tacked down for a brief time, but the rough life it led caught up with it, as the previously massively insulted mounting traces then pulled away from the board despite being gentle with it. At that point, I cut some wires and soldered them in so I could do the switching away from that bruised spot on the board, securing them with a dot of epoxy.

BTW, it needed a charge so I’ve plugged it in and the red lights are on. This hasn’t been an issue since the ahem accident, it’s acted completely normal when charging. Always a good idea to be cautious with any charge circuit, especially under these circumstances, just saying.

I’m hoping it just needed a good rest. :star_struck:

However, I haven’t yet received several guesses at what type of switch it is that I ordered in hope I could replace the squashed switch with one of them and perhaps get it going again. Experimenters should also remember that since this is a hack of a design that has been approved by the FCC, there are probably things that goTenna can’t assist us with and, well, it does void your warranty so why expect any help with that?

But hey, does that stop the dedicated hacker? Not at all, just needs more work and then report back on your findings to the community. So long as you don’t mess with the RF side of things, I think the consumer is on pretty safe ground to hack away at the rest and maybe come up with something that could improve everyone’s experience. People in the HAM community have enough knowledge to do more and stay on safe ground. Others have similar experience and we all take responsibility for what we do when the warranty is tossed aside by the kind of curiosity that’s always driven experimenting in the radio spectrum.

But it does void your warranty. :roll_eyes:

Just remember whatever you do, the mesh depends on common standards and common courtesy. The goTenna Mesh is a pretty good balance at a hardware/firmware solution when combined with the various software development options available and soon to come. New ideas are great, but they should retain and build on the beauty of flexibility and interoperability already inherent in the device and the networks it now makes possible.


#9

This is awesome! I declare this an official race to keep a Mesh on!


#10

I would’ve got it fixed sooner :crazy_face: , but I had another project on the workbench last evening after the postman brought me a small package from China :man_pilot:

I got lucky in guessing what my poor abused GTM needed, just a new switch. The first one turned out to be all I needed when they arrived, a SP DT switch like these:
No Handle Ultra Mini Micro Switch SPDT Sub Miniature Micro Switch

I had to do some more fiddling with the RF shield, with it finally coming completely off before getting reliable operation. I think the big crush pushed something to where it shorted, so I had to lift the loosened shield with some toothpicks, then just took it off as the simple solution. The shield likely is necessary in some high RF environments, but I think it should work OK unshielded. I haven’t tried pairing it yet, but hope it will replace a intact GTM I use as a home node. With the switch on the extension wires already, I can locate it outside the watertight box making it easy to reboot. Will do some testing on it to confirm proper operation soon.


Li-ion Cycle Life and BMS questions
#11

Forgot to include this “proof of life” photo in my earlier post, which in the background also shows my competing project of last evening, a HOn3 narrowgauge coach bashed from an old Westwood kit for Sumpter Valley Railway passenger cars. It’s just a little larger than a GTM in its case, unlike this naked one…

Today I stripped the RF shield off to reveal the main board.

The only thing I haven’t quite solved is the issue I’m having on startup. Looking closely at the copper trace that marks the perimeter of the RF shield, just below center you can see some solder slobbered on in one of the spots where I made my vain effort to reattach the RF shield the Land Cruiser impact loosened.

Turns out that’s right where I think the Bluetooth antenna’s feed passes through the RF shield. I think the BT antenna is the snake-like squiggle that is about 2/3 covered by the white stripe. As it passes under the shield, a small capacitor is located. It’s a little messy in there right now. To start it, I have to apply some pressure on this area to get things going. Like to get it back so it starts right up at the touch of the button, but don’t want to kill it by too much love either.


#12

And it’s back to work as the homebase node, although now known as “crashTenna.” Here it’s back earning its keep in the UMESH test rig.


#13

Well done! (+10 resurrection magic) :sparkles:


#14

How I make it stay on… A 60 AHr (@12VDC) feeding it. I have to switch it out, like once every couple months, but I can handle that.


#15

add a solar lipo battery charger [adafruit.com] I am using 2000 2200 mah battery it lasts 3 days in darkness. Bigger batteries are available. It charges the aux battery & supplements the original if demands require it.


#16

More battery is a little obvious. I used to work at a place with some big old forklift batteries that might be good for 6 months or so… :factory:

What about the original question of reboot on power restoration? As we know, apparently doing this update proved impossible solely through firmware. Perhaps it might be possible simply by some sort of electromechnical wizardry? A servo-intiated push of the power button offboarded as I’ve done seems possible, although it could be something of a kludge. Still, if it saves a trek to the top of the tower or the mountain, if could be useful before a slick factory version of this functionality becomes available.

I’d almost bet there are better solutions than that one though.


#17

Has anyone else tracked the charge cycle of an always powered on unit? I did a little informal one and it seems that it goes back into charge as soon as the internal battery is a few % down. Where I’m going with this in my mind is that this knowledge, if fed back in, might be somehow helpful in the restart issue.
Maybe a little data logging ammeter is in order.
But a couple L16s would be awesome.


#18

I’m a software hacker not a hardware hacker… can someone clarify for me whether they actually figured out a DIY to do this yet?


#19

Sure, I should’ve done that better, but things have been a little crazy around here this last week with taxes and all. Here’s a couple of reference pica.

The first shows the board pinouts the three colored wires (yellow,white and red) are soldered to, which are the old 3 pins that the original switch connected to.

The second pic shows the wires connecting to the 3 terminals on the switch. It is a momentary switch. When at normal position, released, the switch has connectivity between the two end terminals, i.e. connects the yellow and red wires.

When pushed, the switch opens that circuit and closes a circuit between the center terminal and the one that is closest to the end with the red button on it, i.e. connects the yellow and white wires.

Hope this helps.


#20

Your switch, replace with 3-5 volt relay, control the relay with a Electron / arduino with 2g connection. Then use iftt and control it with a webpage.