Using SenseCAP T1000 LoRaWAN GPS Tracker for cattle tracking

SenseCAP T1000 is a credit-size GPS tracker using LoRaWAN low-power long-range connectivity. Smart Agriculture is one specific application that can leverage IoT and LoRaWAN to analyze and manage soil, crops, and water, but also to track the location of livestock.

This is an important aspect of farming, and we’ll use the SenseCAP T1000 LoRaWAN GPS tracker to track cattle in this article/review.

LoRaWAN Cattle Tracking

SenseCAP T1000 unboxing

SenseCap T1000 unboxing

The package contains the  SenseCAP T1000 GPS Tracker device, which is about the size of a credit card, and a charging cable.

SenseCAP T1000 Button LED

Smart cattle tracking with SenseCAP T1000 LoRaWAN tracker

Here are some of the benefits and features of Smart cattle tracking:

  • Identify the location of the swarm in real-time
  • Identify animals easily
  • Increase efficiency and reduce human labor
  • Secure your farm by using the tracker as an anti-theft device
  • Weather change alerts
  • Virtual fence to generate an alert when the animal leaves the designated area without actually building a fence around it.

The SenseCAP T1000 can help farmers monitor livestock’s whereabouts, temperature, and activity.

SenseCAP T1000 Configuration

We’ll first need to install the SenseCAP Mate app for Android or iOS, and then register before adding the SenseCAP T1000 device by scanning its QR code and configuring various settings as shown below.

SenseCAP Mate App
Add Device and set Geolocation Strategy to GNSS only
LoRa paremeters work mode
LoRa settings and Work Mode’s uplink interval set to 1 minute

SenseCAP Portal

The SenseCAP Portal is Seeed Studio’s IoT cloud platform system to which we can sign in or register first, and then we can select “Global Station” to add a LoRaWAN Gateway device and connect it through the Internet to the cloud server.

SenseCAP Sensor Node

Note: The reviewer does not have access to a Seeed Studio LoRaWAN Gateway and as such could not take advantage of the SenseCAP Portal cloud server but.. SenseCAP T1000 can still be used with other brands of LoRaWAN Gateway, including other Network Servers as well, and that’s the way we’ll proceed going forward.

SenseCAP T1000 with Private LoRaWAN Network

The reviewer installed four outdoor LoRaWAN Outdoor gateways (MultiTech Conduit gateways) to cover a large area and used the ChirpStack software to act as a LoRaWAN Network Server and an Application Server with various software packages such as Node-RED, InfluxDB, Grafana which we previously used with the RAKwireless WisGate Connect gateway.

Private LoRaWAN Platform Outdoor Gateways

We first had to add the SenseCAP T1000 device to the ChirpStack Network Server. In Device-profiles, CODEC section, select Custom JavaScript codec functions.

ChirpStack codec

In the Payload Codec field, copy and paste the Javascript program that you’ll find on GitHub.

After the SenseCAP T1000 device successfully connects to the network server, it sends GPS coordinates and sensors’ data. It will do so every minute with the data found in the payload as Packet ID no. 6 as shown below.

gnss location sensor data LoRaWAN gnss raw payload SenseCAP T1000 payload data

ChirpStack will show the Displays Device data that has been confirmed.

chirpstack device data

Raw data encoded with Base64

chirpstack base64 payload

Payload data description

chirpstack payload data

Payload after going through a Base64 decoder

chirpstack base64 decoded data

In order the get the data above follow the steps below:

  1. Turn on the device by pressing and holding the power button for about 3 seconds.
  2. The light will blink and the device connect to the LoRaWAN network.
  3. Place the SenseCAP T1000 device behind the cow’s ear. For convenience, we used a cow neck strap for this review.

SenseCAP T1000 cow neck strap

We tested the solution with an actual cow near Huai Sai reservoir, in Mae Mo District, Lampang Province, in Thailand.

SenseCAP T1000 Review Smart Agriculture Cattle Tracking

We tested it for about 30 minutes, and the SenseCAP T1000 can send uplink data every minute and the gateway stores it in an InfluxDB database.

NodeRed Flow
NodeRed Flow
influxdb data
Data in InfluxDB database

Here’s a short video showing the cattle including the (lucky) smart cow that got a SenseCAP T1000 LoRaWAN GPS tracker attached to its neck.

Conclusion

The SenseCAP T1000 GPS tracker works well to track assets outdoors using LoRaWAN low-power long-range wireless connectivity with up to one-meter accuracy, while the device can make use of WiFi and/or Bluetooth for indoor positioning.

However, the battery may be a limitation when tracking larger animals that live in open grasslands, such as herds of cattle, sheep, deer, horses, elephants, camels, and others as it can’t be used for a long period when updating the data every minute. If used outdoors as in the case of cattle tracking, the SenseCAP T1000 LoRaWAN tracker could be used with a LiPo battery in combination with a solar panel that’s about the same size as the SenseCAP T1000 device to automatically recharge it and extend the battery. An extra sensor to monitor the relative humidity would also be a plus.

We’d like to thank Seeed Studio for sending the SenseCAP T1000-A LoRaWAN GPS Tracker for review. The GPS tracker is currently offered on Kickstarter starting at $29 plus shipping. Deliveries are scheduled to start in October 2023, or next month once the crowdfunding campaign is over.

CNXSoft: This review is a translation – with some edits – of the original article on CNX Software Thailand by Ninephon Kongangkab, and edited by Suthinee Kerdkaew

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4 Comments
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Martin Fischer
Martin Fischer
8 months ago

From Browan there is also the GPS-Tracker TBOL100

Jeroen
8 months ago

But is there a LoRaWAN network in those remote places?

Aljaz
Aljaz
8 months ago

That’s nice, but range is limited (even tho LoRa stands for long range) to open space, no trees or small hills/valleys in between. In thick forest, LoRa Penetration is next to nothing – 250m max, being estimated and confirmed by several scientific articles.
Every farmer will first ask you for reliability and range. This is just not here. Unless you have LoRaWan gateways every 200m.

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