Using EmonCMS for Horticultural Project

I hope that Applications is the correct category for this.

I would like to introduce our use of EmonCMS dashboard for an alternative use. I chose it partly to learn about using and customising it, and partly to promote it to new community.

The dashboard displays data collected from a raised bed at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) in Reading, Berkshire, UK. This data is collected by a MicroBit and sent to EmonCMS using LoRaWAN wireless via an LPWAN gateway, the Internet and The Things Network.

The dashboard can be found via and there is a link to a video that introduces the project. During 2017 it was growing Sugar Beet for a science project running at MERL, and for 2018 new projects are being invited.

We also have an upcoming LPWAN project planned for an agricultural college in North Wales and are considering how best to include Open Energy Monitor products.

Best Regs, Mike


Just spotted an active TTN Gateway at Brynrefail The Things Network so coverage is spreading in North Wales. I will encourage the college to add theirs as soon as it is installed.

Is the Dashboard no longer working?
The feeds don’t appear to be updating.


That is odd! the values seem to have stopped changing at around 4am on the 12th Feb, but it seems the datapoints since that time are still being created albeit at fixed values, as if the source was still sending data but no longer sensing any changes.

Hello Paul,

You are quite correct. The reason for the flat-lining is that values are transferring via a server workflow that takes the last sent value, so if new data is not received from lower in the chain, then the last values continue to be forwarded to Emon.

We are having some WiFi problems (that I can elaborate upon) between the gateway and the server, and that maybe the cause of data loss, or it may be chickens sitting on the antenna! Solutions are in train for the WiFi problems, albeit a slow one. I am visiting tomorrow to find the cause of this dropout and we are certainly learning a lot about supporting such connections, including the need to be close to the customer.

Thanks for your interest, Mike

Hello @mikethebee great to hear from you! We received an email about this event yesterday, I imagine its your project?

Feel free to drop in to the office if your passing Parc Menai, Bangor, perhaps we could come down to see the setup too? :slight_smile:

Great for us connect again. I will be updating this thread very soon. Have a great weekend. -Thx Mike

I checked with my colleague on the TTN project, Mark Stanley, who is the main driver of this workshop, and it is indeed our one. I and Richard.W. (from Cardiff) will be assisting.

It would be great to get together while we are so close. Email me and I will loop you in with Mark and we can make arrangements.

KR, Mike

Hello Again Paul,
The WiFi link had died, something that has happened less often than I expected given it is a guest network provided by the university, but it is difficult to determine the cause from our client side. I reconnected it and was back up and running on Friday afternoon. We are still in the process of getting wired access through IT and this should remove one problematic link in the chain. This project has been great learning in ways we didn’t expect. All this is grist for our workshops comparing business, academia and community projects, something OEM has already become familiar with :smile:
Thx Mike

Hi Mike, good to see you’re back running, these things happen!
Have you considered some sort of watchdog? I use node-red to alert me via a push message should my feeds stagnate.


Hello Paul, Thank you for your suggestions, I do get alerts but need to visit the site to address them.

The workflow is more complex than needed for the function, but was implemented to provide the flexibility the scientist needed for this test bed during 2017, and in part to overcome the temporary connectivity constraints I mentioned earlier.

TheThingsNetwork provide an account server, dashboard, sensor and Gateway map, and support node-red too. I know if the Gateway is down but don’t have remote access, in this case, to restart it. I created the wifi bridge using a customised pi and didn’t add a watchdog reboot/reconnect function which would be a useful addition.

We were inspired to start the Reading chapter of The Things Network in Nov 2015 at a very early stage of TTN itself. TTN is going though the growth stages in a similar way to that OEM has gone through, albeit with a different project. The backend service is just at the V3 release which is adding Location tracking, private and hosted implementations, roaming and more. Integrations with AWS, Cayenne, IFFT, and others are being implemented.

I was keen to look at integrating with EmonCMS as I have always admired the project and wanted to promote what it can offer and look at its datastore and dashboard for communities adopting TTN for transporting sensor data. This goal has been successful and spreading the news and learnings about the journey so far is what this is about.

We are happy to come and talk more about LoRaWAN and TTN and its value to rural projects in particular. The workshop linked in earlier is an example of what we are doing.

KR, Mike

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