SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

Tips and questions relating to the GPS modules from SFE
By thefost
Hey all,
My church has through the past 12 years drilled a significant number of water wells in Tanzania. Recently we have had the idea of tracking if the wells are operating on a semi regular basis, but the very wells that we need to track the most are also the ones that are the most remote, and don't have any sort of infrastructure.
I have a pretty good idea of how to track the up-time, a simple arduino based data logging system should be fine, but I don't know exactly how to get the data back to me to be usable here in the US. I was thinking of maybe using a GSM shield, but I have no idea how the cellular networks work over there, and I would hate to build the devices and not be able to retrieve the data. Can anyone shed some light?
User avatar
By TS-John

Hmm. This is an issue indeed. GSM would certainly be the best method assuming you actually get any signal out on any of these wells. What you could do is use a combination of radio modules and a GSM module.

For instance, if your wells are around 40 miles away from each-other and you have good line of sight you can use the Xtend module with a high gain antenna:

The idea would be to have your sensors on the Xtend/Arduino well and have the data daisy chained through Xtend module until you get to a rig that has a GSM connection probably in a city.

This is all I can think of. It will be a big project and it can be costly as well.