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Solar-Powered Monitor Checks Remote Stock Tanks
Cattlemen will soon have a new way to remotely monitor water levels in stock tanks using their cell phone.
The solar-powered Tank Toad Remote Water Checking System lets you know about water level problems without having to physically visit the tank. It uses submersible pressure sensors, or sonar sensors, to measure the water level in remote stock tanks. It then sends a text message with the information to your cell phone.
“We’re gauging the level of interest in the system and hope to market it later this year. We think it’s an affordable system that will save ranchers time and money,” says Damon Printz, Meadowlark Solutions, Albin, Wyo.
The system comes with a solar panel that hooks up to the “Tank Toad” monitor. A cable with the submersible pressure sensor runs from the monitor down to the bottom of the tank. Alternatively, the sonar sensor mounts on a metal arm that hangs over the tank. “The sonar sensor measures the distance to the water and tells you how empty the tank is,” says Printz.    
The customer receives an SMS text message once a day telling him if the water is too high or low. The customer can use the system to inform up to 5 different phone numbers.
“The satellite system will be a little more expensive than a cell phone system, but you avoid the problem of poor cell phone service. As long as the sky is clear you’ll always get a connection,” says Printz.
Instead of selling hardware, the company plans to rent the monitor for $400 per year and charge $30 per month for satellite service. “With this plan, you pay less up front and can pay for service on a month by month basis, without having to commit to a long term contract. We will provide product support and any replacement equipment that’s needed,” says Printz.
Areas with good cellular coverage may be eligible to use the cellular plan instead of the satellite plan. He says the cellular plan will probably cost about $100 per year.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Damon Printz, Meadowlark Solutions, 2816 CR 159, Albin, Wyo. 82050 (ph 801 252-6135; info@tanktoad.com; www.tanktoad.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1