RoadTest: Raspberry Pi Click Board Sensor Kit
Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: There are other environmental and motion sensors available on the market. The boards provided in this Road Test differ because of their ease of use/plug and play connections which eliminate the need for soldering connections.
What were the biggest problems encountered?: From an evaluation, development and testing standpoint, this Road Test was originally part of a beehive monitoring and management conference presentation to be presented in the late summer of 2020. Unfortunately, the conference was postponed. Consequently, the beehive monitoring software development was also postponed indefinitely. So, this Road Test will focus on the more pragmatic aspects of these products. It was a little tough to open the Environment click box due its box within a box packaging design. Fortunately, after 3-4 minutes of study, the solution became apparent. All other packaging posed no problem.
From an evaluation, development and testing standpoint, this Road Test was originally part of a beehive monitoring and management conference presentation to be presented in the late summer of 2020. Unfortunately, the conference was postponed. Consequently, software development for this project was postponed as well. So, this Road Test will focus on the pragmatic application of the products provided.
All products were received, unboxed, and given a thorough visual inspection. There were no issues with the boxes, damage or mislabeling.
My primary focus has been in the areas of machine learning and AI, and the application to beehive monitoring also includes physical movement. That is, beehive theft is a multimillion dollar crime. During the annual pollination season in the Central Valley of California approximately 90% of all bee colonies in the United States are brought to the almond groves for 12-14 days. Beekeepers active in commercial pollination can command up to $200.00 USD per hive per season, with the value per healthy hive of $800.00-$1,200.00 each. This means there are many incentives for unscrupulous beekeepers to steal and then rent or sell stolen hives. Most pollination contracts are based on trust and a handshake, making it very easy to sell stolen hives. The LSM6DSL click, with its 3-axis digital accelerometer to detect movement, was a welcome addition to the Raspberry Pi 3, Model B, the Pi 3 click shield, and the Environment click pictured above.
Assembling the Raspberry Pi 3, Model B, with the Pi 3 click shield was easy and straightforward: simply line up the black plastic connector, pictured on the right side of the Raspberry Pi 3, Model B, with the matching pins of the Pi 3 click shield, and apply firm, even, downward pressure until the Pi 3 click shield is seated. The LSM6DSL and Environment click boards were added in the same fashion. I highly recommend taking your time and being careful to prevent any bent pins or broken connectors.
The fit of the connections of the click boards now mounted on the Pi 3 click shield was impressive. The inside of a beehive is a fairly hostile environment, with curious bees coating any foreign objects with a plant-based sticky material called propolis. Bees can and do chew through wood. Plus, beehives are normally transported on flatbed trucks, being jostled and bounced around from locations as far away as Maine and Florida. So, secure connections are important. From left to right, immediately above, is the sequence of assembly. Please note the red LED status light in the upper left corners of the images. This indicates that there is sufficient power and amperage being provided to the Raspberry Pi 3, Model B. A blinking red LED status light indicates a potential power issue.
The image above shows a better, easier-to-see, image of the green LED status light of the LSM6DSL click board. It was the same for the Environment click.
The loading of the Raspberry Pi OS was routine and I was able to perform a few simple data collecting operations. The emphasis being a few and simple. I am hoping to augment this project's capabilities once software development begins again.
I see the key advantages of this kit as a critical prototyping and development system. That is, using other click board offerings with the Raspberry Pi platform, developers can easily physically add and remove hardware features and capabilities to projects without having to commit to time-consuming and potential damaging soldering and desoldering operations. Depending on environmental, general operating conditions, this system could also be deployed in limited commercial applications.
Raspberry Pi 3, Model B: http://www.element14.com/raspberrypi
Pi 3 click shield, LSM6DSL click, and Environment click :http://www.mikroe.com
Raspberry PI OS download: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/
S2 sbshin reading your commentary and looking at the dates assigned to the RoadTest, I suspect COVID-19 has impeded your ability to use the equipment as you described in your application. That is unfortunate.
Are you able to provide the details on what you hoped to accomplish with the equipment? Your raised my interest level writing about possible security uses for the equipment. A description of what you hoped to accomplish in the world of bees would be fascinating and an enjoyable read (for me at least)
I confess when I read your post, I thought it was a bit thin. The RoadTest commissioner is the person you serve but be aware the RoadTest arena is competitive and expectations that people will delivers is high. Lick your wounds at not having your project to focus on and I encourage you to take another crack at expanding the testing of the equipment.
The equipment for the RoadTest appears to be a bunch of sensors. If you are unable to apply the sensors to your original project then exploring the sensors using other avenues would be acceptable. You would have had to get the sensor to work in order to use them maybe measuring the temperature in a fish tank is the alternative.
I hope there is more review coming.