Sensor Gnome GPS point

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Kristina Cockle

Feb 28, 2022, 2:08:51 PM2/28/22
Hi everyone, my colleagues are setting up our first Motus tower in Corrientes, Argentina, and we want to leave the sensorgnome under a roof (outdoor gallery of a house), plugged into the wall socket and with 20-m cables going up a nearby tower of rebar to the 9-element Yagi antennas. It has a raspberry pi.

The Sensorgnome won't take a GPS point from under the gallery roof where we want to keep it (protected from the rain and close to the electrical outlet). Is that ok?

It's a subtropical grassland with big electrical storms, high winds and rain. The electricity goes off several times per week. My collaborators live in the house but don't want to have to fiddle with the sensorgnome too often.

We are putting nanotags on Common Nighthawk at this field site.

Thanks for your help!


Feb 28, 2022, 2:24:11 PM2/28/22
to Motus Wildlife Tracking System
It's not essential per se that there is a constant GPS fix if the station isn't being moved around. However, the GPS is necessary for setting the proper time and that is absolutely critical.

If this is a Raspberry Pi SG it likely has an attached clock with battery backup. So if the SG can acquire a GPS fix to set the clock (might have to take it outside), and the battery in the backup is still good, then you should be ok leaving it where it doesn't get a regular fix, at least for a little while. You might also find that it does manage to get fixes, but only every day or two instead of hourly.

It really isn't ideal to leave it somewhere where it can't get reliable fixes regularly though. Do you have an external antenna for the GPS? If that isn't doing the trick, one with a longer cable may allow it to reach past the roof.

Pat Lorch

Feb 28, 2022, 3:24:29 PM2/28/22
to jsayers, Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Hello Kristina,
    If you email me a mailing address, I can send you a GPS antenna that should connect to the GPS on the sensorgnome. It has a 20 foot cord and an SMA male connector. 

Patrick Lorch

On Feb 28, 2022, at 11:24 AM, jsayers <> wrote:

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Kristina Cockle

Feb 28, 2022, 7:40:32 PM2/28/22
to Pat Lorch, jsayers, Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Hi, thanks for your help. Maybe I need to backtrack a little. Is this the GPS (circled in blue)?

WhatsApp Image 2022-02-28 at 12.12.11 PM.jpeg

The person who gave me the SensorGnome told me that this is the GPS. But my collaborators, who now have the SG in Argentina, say that the GPS seems to be inside the Raspberry Pi: 

"When we put the black square outside to try to get a signal we had wifi but no GPS. 
When we put the yellow box outside with the raspberry pi we got GPS." 

Sorry for the confusion; I am 10,000 km away troubleshooting via text message.


Pat Lorch

Mar 1, 2022, 6:36:31 AM3/1/22
to Kristina Cockle, jsayers, Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Hello Kristina,
    It looks like you already have what they need. That thing you circled is what I was going to send. It is a GPS antenna or “hat”.  All you need to have them do is take that hat, unwind the cord and feed it out through the hole in the box. If it won’t fit, it should be possible to unscrew it and thread the little end through the hole and screw it back in.  Then you just need to get that hat up above the roof someplace. It has a built-In Magnet for attaching to anything iron. You ca. also just cable tie it to a nail or something. 
    Feel free to have them contact me directly if that is helpful. 

Patrick Lorch

On Feb 28, 2022, at 12:48 PM, Kristina Cockle <> wrote:

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