discussion / Sensors  / 10 January 2019

Notification systems for trap activation

Can anyone recommend trap alarm devices that send notifications (via SMS or email) when a trap has been activated?

I work in remote locations (in Australia) with no phone reception so notifications would likely need to be sent via satellites (e.g. Iridium) or other remote forms of communication.

I mainly use foot-hold and cage traps. Traps are typically spread over large areas (e.g. 20 000 hectares), generally in locations with very flat topography.


We haven't used these, but have had good luck with their camera traps:


I realize they are cellular - but maybe they could be hacked in some way...?

Good luck!



Ted Howard
The Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust
Chair - Hutton's Shearwater Charitable Trust

You might be able to make a LoRa mesh network, if the traps are within range of each other.   If you had the network come up for 1 minute every hour, it could be quite low power, and still give reasonably rapid notification.

You might be able to use a central base station attached to a tethered helium baloon as a simpler configuration.  Might not work on very windy days but not too many of them outback.   Low power LoRa signals are good for about 25km line of sight, which should cover your 20,000 Ha.   Having the central station permanently on, but the traps stations only come on when triggered could then be very low power.    I haven't actually built one, but have done a bit of reading about options for a project I am working on here.

Tim van Dam
Smart Parks
Founder of Smart Parks - www.smartparks.org / Founder of OpenCollar - https://opencollar.io
WILDLABS Event Speaker
Commenter level 1

You can do this with LoRa, no problem :)

Hi Andrew, 
Two more suggestions coming in through twitter: 

Laura Finnegan: 

We've been using this https://www.vectronic-aerospace.com/wildlife-monitoring/trap-transmitter/

— Laura Finnegan (@lfinnegal) January 27, 2019


Hi Andrew, I have some friends at Frontier Labs (@FrontierLabsAU) that designed an Iridium-enabled satellite trap alert system. Here are the deets: http://www.frontierlabs.com.au/index.php?p=1_9_Satellite-Trap-Alert-System

— Rob Appleby (@wildspyrob) January 26, 2019

Please do report back on what you decide to do?