LoRa Repeater Solar Enclosure Experiments

I've been thinking about plans for some LoRa repeaters and printed two mock-ups today. This one is a low-profile solar-powered design, intended to sit on a rooftop:

There's room for a board and battery, but it would need a waterproof enclosure. I haven't found a specific enclosure yet, but the design is parametric (designed in OpenSCAD) so it could be adjusted to fit.

I played around a bit with deploying and retrieving with a quadcopter:

The cells should be pointed south. I was hoping it would be possible to pull the repeater around to orient it, but I'm not sure that will be practical. At minimum, I need to try it with a longer cable, so the propellers aren't blowing it all around. Pick-up was a lot easier:

Hanging from the drone is a hard drive magnet. There's a screw on the top of the enclosure to receive it. The screw threads securely into the enclosure without a nut, so it could be cut to length to avoid protruding beneath.


I also made a design for hanging from a tree branch:

Solar cells on all sides, so that it can still charge regardless of how it rotates. These are 5v 68mmx37mm cells, which would be connected in parallel. The tube is made of 1.5" PVC pipe, so it's waterproof. It might be possible to get away with 1.25". There's an ordinary PVC cap on the bottom, with a hole drilled for the antenna (and there would need to be holes for wires from the solar cells. The cap is an Oatey Gripper test plug, with a nut welded (thanks Matt!) to the top for hanging. Tomorrow, I'm going to start playing around with hooks and trying to hang it from a tree.

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