Looking for heavy duty water sensor - outdoor environment

(G Tr) #1

Hi, I have an LSN50 LoRa Sensor Node https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/marketplace/product/lsn50

I am looking for a heavy duty water sensor that would work with the LSN50 Sensor Node. I am not looking for water level, only the presence of water. Any ideas?

(G Tr) #3

I have a programmer. Should I have him post the question on the board here?


Hello GTr,

Build at first a proof off consept,

  1. Install a gateway (if you all ready have one running skip this step but it should be a right step to have all ready your own gateway to the TTN)

  2. Setup your LSN50 device to connect TTN, see what you get off data out off it. Look for the data to the console page’s at tthe TTN.

  3. Then go as a example to Cayenne or other dachboard builder
    https://cayenne.mydevices.com and build your example off it, look what you get off data out off your device, and make at first a concept dashboard.

  4. If you get that online you have build your first proof off consept and a programmer could translate that to a App (on your phone)

This platform here is specialy for DIY (do it by yourself).
Succes with build things,


(G Tr) #6

Thanks for the offer Johan! I would have jumped all over that offer a day or two ago but I located an individual that is going to take care of the programming end of things.

I am finding out through my research that it is hard to find robust quality water sensors under $50. That is somewhat surprising to me.

(Floodnetwork) #7

I found the same with ultrasonic sensors. When you look for IP67 and above the price goes up very quickly. The Maxbotix sensors are used all over the place, but they add a huge percentage to the Bill of Materials (BOM) for a sensor device.

Very robust water presence might be possible with marine supplies. For example, this bilge detector:

By the way, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask about sensor types and suppliers in this forum. Things have matured, you don’t need to be a software developer to develop an idea or a product like the early days of TTN. A developer would be better used developing software than browsing suppliers’ websites looking for a sensor.

Good luck


(Mrpackethead) #8

The sensors for this kind of thing seem quite simple, but to make them reliable is quite a challenge. The cheapest ones are simple a bit of PCB with exposed pads, and they make resistanace measurements… the problem is the pads get corroded, and electrolysis occurs because you are typically running them in one polarity.

There are some resonably priced sensors however to do the job. Adafruit sells one, and if you go hunting on aliexpress you’ll find them considerably cheaper if that is any issue.

(Afremont) #9

The problem with using DC current to detect water is that corrosion will eventually occur. I have built DC based detection for a game room prop using a mosfet transistor and stainless steel probe to drastically slow the corrosion, but it still occurs eventually.

The best way is to use AC signal. Here is a simple circuit that will likely work well, but you will want to power it down when sensor sleeps, assuming battery power. This circuit may be able to be powered directly from an io pin of an Arduino. I would assume that it only consumes a few milliamps when in operation.


(Mrpackethead) #11

Here you go, 2 for $25 on aliexpress.

(Afremont) #13

It would be nice if there was a forum category to connect experts with others willing to pay for help. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t business based use of ttn allowed as long as fair use policy is observed? Ive seen posts alluding to that, but maybe I’m jumping to a conclusion?


Please open a new topic for that if you have ideas , then TTN can respond

(Jac Kersing) #16

It is. Commercial use of the public network is allowed. Contributing to the network is very much encouraged of course.

(G Tr) #17

Thanks a lot for the suggestions guys! I really appreciate it. I ordered those 2 from Aliexpress so will see how those work out. The bilge alarm detector may work also if I recessed it into the furrow deep enough to get enough depth to trigger it.

I agree it would be great if we could connect with professionals (those that charge a fee) on this forum. Free help is great but paying someone and being able to talk on the phone has a value as well. I wasn’t getting anywhere on here a couple days ago so I found out about Upworks. I did a search on there and found lots of people that fit the bill so went that route.

At any rate, the more gateways the merrier…right?

(G Tr) #18

By the way, don’t take me wrong on the previous post, I know that many many of you are professionals on this forum that volunteer a ton of great info! Thanks again

(Wschmidt) #19

Yes I’ve enjoyed reading and learning here it helped me out on my project too. Thanks to all who added to this thread.

I had asked a question earlier on the same topic but it got locked up shut down with a semi snotty comment to me and I had no chance to answer back or explain myself.

So once again thanks to all who contributed to this thread with helpful links and advice.


Hello wschmidt,

I saw your post all so but I think i give you the same answere as to GTr.
Make for your self, with help off us clear with the technic.
Order a gateway, and Lora-sensor and go play with it. thats the way I have learned everything.
Follow the steps i give to GTr (Looking for heavy duty water sensor - outdoor environment)
And build something with the tools you got with the TTN-Console (management Gateway, device’s) and a dashbord like Cayene.
A if you walk in troubles, please share it with us, then we can help.

(Andershedberg) #21

People have cut off our soil moisture sensors and used it for water measurement for cows drinking bathtubs. If the ends of the wires are in water, there is a measured resistance that goes from very high ( not in water ) to lower ( in water ).


I noticed someone recommended the electronic soil-moisture sensors at Alibaba who is made from air-humidity sensors. They do not survive direct contact with water, the soldering shortcircuits, so can’t be used outdoors in heavy rain where the sensors will be drowned in water.