So things like:
Doesn’t really cut it price wise, IMO. I mean, how do I configure things like this into a simple single sealed low-maintenance box, with no ongoing costs, that can run off a small solar panel without the need for a large 12 volt lead acid battery? The APRS stuff needs a radio, and an antenna, and it all has to be turned on for it to work. I want something that turns itself on.
I am looking at a less pro home made thing like a esp-8266 or similar Ardunio, with an RFM-95, some sensors, and a $20 GPS. Total cost <$100 Australian for the electronics. The wifi facilitates upgrades and bug fixes without opening up the sealed weatherproof box. The finished product would have nothing but a few buttons and a couple of lights. There would be a power off button, but motion would activate it on automatically, and it would remain on until the power-off button was hit.
Also, we have remote gates, pumps, tanks, and livestock, all which could be IOT enabled. Presently, it takes a lot of walking or driving to check on these things.
A single or double gateway setup would enable a future of very low cost home made devices, at what appears to be a lower price point than the APRS system - where a radio would be needed for each device. I have a rough fantasy of as many as 50 devices (tractor being one) to be installed over a 5-10 year period. I have given it a little thought, and believe that leveraging open source software with budget hardware could result in sealed boxes running off solar panels with few to no controls - boxes that just ‘work’.
Lorawan seems to fit the bill, especially as a downlink from the internet via a gateway could allow a light to come on to confirm a series of SMSs had been sent, in the case of the tractor.
Tall plan is $10 a month, and using node red to help diagnose, wire and manage the gateways and devices and messaging seems like a good option.
Getting back to the original post, I still think the pager is a device that I could borrow code from, or at least study, in a long term way.