Sebastian Köln wrote:Gordon, that sounds like an awful lot of stuff to fail! I don't want any electronics exposed to the weather here, and given how much fence is needed, I doubt a 5 "smart clips" on every post would be affordable.
If you have to pay someone (I am picking the labour rate from local car dealerships here) $160 per hour to build things, then none of this could be affordable. And knowing the work some of these "technicians" perform (I would rather have a mechanic fix my car, than a technician), it won't work long.
Have you ever looked at an Arduino board? Or a Raspberry Pi computer? I think the original price point for Raspberry Pi (model 1) was $35 USD. About the size of a credit card.
Two of my desktop/servers that I have here, have 750W power supplies. I just bought a Pinebook Pro laptop which has a Rockchip 3399 CPU in it. I also have a Raspberry Pi clone here, which has the same Rockchip 3399 CPU in it. It has a 15W power supply (wall wart). I first tried to install a 1 TB NVMe SSD in it which drew 6.8W of power, and the machine wouldn't boot. Too much power. I had to go buy a different SSD which only draws 4W of power; now it boots.
I am going to use that Rockchip 3399 RPi clone, as part of a GPS basestation on my farm so that I can do realtime kinematic corrections and get precisions down to about 1cm. Not bad for something with the cross section of a credit card (it's about 2-3 inches thick, but most of that is air). I think the local John Deere dealership sells add-ons to equipment (and then yearly subscriptions) for thousands (10s of thousands? More?) of dollars. Once I get my GPS base station up and running (probably about $400 CDN for parts), I may let local farmers use my data for free, or some minimal price. If commercial operations look to access the data, it will be closer to John Deere's prices.
Lots of electronics gets "potted". Once the circuit (which could include a printed circuit board) is finished, it is put in a mold and liquid epoxy resin is poured in to encapsulate all of the electronics. This works for low power electronics (because epoxy is lousy at conducting heat). But the epoxy encapsulation pretty much keeps all the weather away from the electronics.
We can make epoxy conduct heat better. The two best heat conductors are diamond and graphite/graphene/buckminsterfullerene/carbon nanotubes. Diamond doesn't conduct electricity, whereas all the other carbon based things in the second category do. So, some kind of diamond addition to epoxy could probably let epoxy potting work for higher powered circuits to (if we get the price of diamond low enough).
There has been a zillion service stations and similar, who have buried steel tanks for gasoline, diesel, .... And lots of those installs (especially the early ones) resulted in huge leaks of fuel into the ground and huge potential bills for someone to redevelop the land after the service station went away. A local company in that business a few years ago dug up a glass/epoxy tank which had been buried for 50 (?) years. It looked like new. Glass/epoxy is still more expensive on the initial install; but lifetime costs is like comparing someone who gets migraines most days with a person who has never had a headache.