Where are the TTN projects that do "good"?

This forum is missing a conversation about the good things people are doing with The Things Network. So lets start one!

The aim is to share ideas on projects that are working towards something “good” - whether that’s addressing the climate crisis, saving the polar bears, tackling loneliness, or helping schoolkids learn science. Maybe we can compare findings, maybe together we can have a bigger impact and do more good?

There are 142,489 TTN community members today - I’m sure many of us want to make the world a better place. Shall we talk about it, and learn from each other?


I’m doing something that probably fits this bill - monitoring the orientation of traditional windmills as they turn relative to the wind. The objective is both to keep them safe from the risk of tail winding (ie. wind on the back of the sails which can cause structural damage) - and in the process create a useful educational resource.

We have the monitoring working in one windmill at the moment - Upminster, near London, UK - but have quite a bit of interest and are expecting to expand the system to several more windmills in the next few months.

We’re still very much in development but you can see the system in action at: www.smartmolen.com/tech/upminster


The Things Network Madrid, along TTN Barcelona, TTN Zaragoza, TTN Sevilla and TTN Valencia, is contributing to the scholarship project “Pájaros en la nube”.

It is a little birdhouse monitorized with a VL6180x distance sensor and 3 temperature probes.

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This looks fantastic @justindabobo - thanks for sharing.
Did you know that Norfolk and Suffolk have county-wide coverage of TTN …and I’m led to believe quite a few windmills?

I really like the idea of using the data you generate as an educational resource.

It looks like you’re sensing wind speed and then some kind of compass on the windmill itself?

Love this @jfmateos - what a cute design for a birdhouse!
I guess you must have access to a hackspace with a machine for cutting the wood?

The website https://pajarosenlanube.ibercivis.es/ is fantastic - I loved seeing the progression from prototype birdbox to the current model.

The insect-eating birds of Madrid are getting some luxury accommodation! I hope they repay you with lots of interesting data :smiley:

How did TTN Madrid get involved in this project?

Thanks, yes - we’ve made a custom build compass which is mounted in the cap of the windmill - an Arduino MKR WAN with a magnetometer, that transmits data via the Things Network (excellent given the device can’t be mains-powered as it’s in a moving part of a windmill). We measure the wind speed and direction using a weather station on the roof of an adjacent building, and compare the two. In theory the windmill should self-regulate and stay facing the wind through the fantail mechanism on the back, but there is a bit of a dead spot in the event of a direct tail wind, which is why we need to be aware and then turn it manually if that might happen.

We have interest from a windmill in Norfolk and have become aware of the county-wide TTN coverage there - looks like it might be an excellent fit for the technology!

We’re planning to install a couple more sensors and make a video of how it all works over the next couple of weeks, so will post an update when we’ve done that.


Sounds great, and look forward to the update. I haven’t tried the Arduino MKR WAN yet - our go-to microcontroller for low power is the Grasshopper - it’s quite pricey, but very low power and lots of i/o.

On the educational side of things, have you engaged with anyone? I have a great contact at West Suffolk College if you’d like an introduction?

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Dear @mark-stanley

All the fab information is available in this repository:

This project is a cooperation between local fab-labs and TTN communities.

The project was initiated by IberCivis, a Citizen Science foundation, and it’s being financed by another government foundation (FECYT).
I would be nice to know about other similar project to adopt them here in Spain.

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100% agree @jfmateos - and it would be great to see Birds in the Cloud being replicated in other countries too. This is what I hope we can encourage on this forum.

Here’s a link to one of my projects - we had a few burglaries in my neighbourhood during lockdown last year: Did I Lock Up? – Thingitude – community led IoT

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Another community driven project that could be of interest is mapping WiFi AP using apps like wigle.net for indoor geo-location. We have developed a device called TTNMAD_SOS that includes GPS+ESP03 for indoor and outdoor geolocation.
Sorry, only in Spanish video:
We are using it to on demand location of elderly people

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Oh I really like this idea @jfmateos :smiley: - using wifi and gps is a great idea. I imagine it would be popular with parents whose kids go wandering off in shopping malls too.

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This Wednesday I’ll be installing a Tektelic Agricultural sensor in the poly tunnel at my daughter’s primary school.

I’m also donating a RAK Indoor gateway and it will be connected to Datacake.de for the graphics.

We’re hoping to add more sensors as the school/kids require them - I’ve got quite a few different types kicking around since I closed down my company! :smiley:


And here’s the results - the sensor installed in the soil and the dashboard from Datacake.co - I’ll be publishing a brief write up on a new blog very soon! :slight_smile:


Very nice Matt - how are you hoping the students will use it?

Perhaps there could be some simple experiments around the conditions that allow seed germination for example? One of my early school memories involves growing a bean :slight_smile:

Spoilers… :wink:

That’s pretty much the plan, yes.

They also have an ERS-Lite so they can compare the temperature/humidity indoors with that of the poly tunnel and see if that makes a difference to plant growth etc.

This is (hopefully!) the first of many sensors that will get deployed down there so they can include real-time data into their curriculum at all ages!


@mark-stanley - here’s the full write up, I’ve started iothree.co.uk as a place to record any volunteer/outreach work I’m doing around connecting people to places via things, so as I do more of this kind of stuff I’ll be logging it there :slight_smile:


I’m working on projects for monitoring agricultural water usage in regional Australia on top of other sorts of agricultural data acquisition.


Paging @TonySmith - have you two met? If not, you should probably talk…

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I think it’s a bit weird to say about your own project that they’re doing “good”.
Personally, I think there can a very nice match between TTN and citizen-science projects.

Stuff I’m working on:

  • Bat box monitoring: in the city of Delft, Netherlands, some bat boxes were built into bicycle bridges and we put in Browan/tracknet sensors to monitor for motion, temperature and humidity, to see if the boxes are actually used by bats and to get an idea about the typical conditions inside the boxes. I just got them transferred to TTNv3 and added set up the data path to cayenne mydevices: - Cayenne
  • Airborne particulate matter monitoring, forwarding the data to sensor.community, LoraWanDustSensor - RevSpace

In several other cities, citizen science measurements are being done, using TheThingsNetwork, for example https://meetjestad.net/ in Amersfoort, Netherlands and Apeldoorn-in-data http://apeldoornindata.nl/