In cab Inventory display / adjustment & alternate Field Tool

I’m considering making a smart bale counter for recording bales as they are made with farmOS integration to increment inventory levels, the same counter can be left in the tractor cab to decrement inventory levels as bales are consumed also. The plan is to use a microcontroller and small LED display.

I’d be interested to hear other peoples thoughts on microcontroller integration with farmOS, I’ve a few ideas but open to suggestions.

Authentication options:

  • Creation of long life authentication tokens for devices with limited input, (possibly not that desireable)
  • Lightweight webserver on microcontroller for entering configuration and credentials, (nice but complex and resource limitations of microcontroller may be an issue)
  • Use an intermediary server, such as Node-Red to handle Authentication, (Probably simplest option and already implemented on farm)
  • Use Data streams some how?, (its a bit more than the usual sensor project and will probably need some form of 2 way communication, but could possibly be worked out with a module that responds after receiving data.

Potential features:

  • Current Inventory Levels / (estimation of supply in weeks based on current livestock inventory??)
  • Current Work in Progress Count
  • Work off-line
  • Synchronize at end of job/when in signal coverage
  • Select Crop type, hay/silage/straw etc.
  • Integration with balers counter
  • Manual increment/decrement buttons
1 Like

Have been thinking a bit more on this recently and started using @Symbioquine’s Asset-Link for tracking bales being consumed. So far this is on my phone, but I’m planning on getting a 10" Android Head-unit for the tractor. The built in browser can easily run Asset-Link but it’s also possible to install Node-Red directly on the unit which opens up the possibility to interface the tractor and mounted implements using ESP32 or similar microcontrollers. Running on Android : Node-RED

Note: Asset link is still in development and not yet recommended for production


Still undecided on a head unit for the tractor, most I’ve looked at are unknown brands with questionable hardware specs or running dated Android OS versions. So this may end up being phone or tablet based with a decent cab mount.

I started experimenting on my phone and installed Node-Red locally which cuts out the need to access an instance running on a remote server which may be useful in remote locations, meaning this can now be developed into an offline tool, it also means that node-red can get direct access to the phones hardware including GPS, Bluetooth or be an IOT gateway for sensors mounted on the tractor or implements.

UI for recording bale usage

UI for recording bales during harvest, bale count will be incremented by an Arduino or ESP32 on the baler.


Nokia xr20 is perhaps a usable unit? Mobile with decent screen size, and almost unbreakable.
It’s also Android One. 4 years of security updates.


Is this Node-Red dashboard?

1 Like

Yes, it is.
I think this is going to be really useful for loads of projects. It’s sort of a pocket automation server could be interesting for linking devices like tag readers and weighing scales to the phone while creating logs.

1 Like

Maybe interesting to @mikefarms too, might be an alternative to your raspberry pi in a bag?

1 Like

Yes this is VERY interesting. Asset Link seems promising. Interested in whether Node-Red and asset link talk nicely for you yet? I’ll dig into it after the holidays. Thanks for the heads up!


Not really tried to make them work together, it’s more that I’ve tried achieving the same thing in 2 different ways to evaluate which is better for my use case.

Asset link is very promising as a general field tool but I’m leaning more towards the Node-Red option for the moment, for it’s ability to connect with external hardware/sensors. Also Asset Link is still in pre-Alpha and may be change significantly before actually being released. But since they are both web apps they may well end up living side by side, I guess some links between them would not be impossible.



I’m working a Quick Log Tab, It should work to create a basic log of any (/most?) log types. I figure it will be useful in the field for creating spontaneous logs on any asset, where the base fields and flags can be set with details in the notes, if a log needs more fields set then I can simply set the “needs review flag” and complete the log later with info posted in the notes section. Obviously for more common tasks I will have a more targeted Tab, but this is to cover scenarios not prepared for yet.

1 Like

Really cool. I might borrow this too :slight_smile:
It’s good you set the review flag, so you can review the notes at a later time. They seemed a bit genereal. :innocent:

Are you running this with Node-Red on the same unit?

1 Like

Yea no bother, I’ll share the flow when I finish it.

:smiley: My note taking is impeccable! :crazy_face:

This is all running on Node-Red hosted directly on the Android phone, but there is nothing in it at the moment, that requires it to be.

1 Like

I think it was getting a bit cluttered with dropdown boxes, maybe splitting it up a bit looks/flows better?

1 Like

I think this one was better. :clap:
Complex flow? I be this could be done in a general matter and populate/show/hide whatever is needed.

1 Like

Not too complex yet anyway, but then again it doesn’t work either as it’s far from complete, mostly just been working on the UI first but I think the final flow will be OK too.

Have a look here if you want to play with it farmOS-Node-Red-Android-Project/farmOS.json at main · Farmer-Eds-Shed/farmOS-Node-Red-Android-Project · GitHub

1 Like

Thank’s. I’ll have a look in a few days. Farm caught me up… :farmer: :tractor: :wood: :cloud_with_snow: :pig2: :pig2:

1 Like

There’ll be no panic @pat

1 Like

Just had a very brief look at the flow.
At first I got scared, and thought I had to upgrade :rofl:

Those boxes, are they just a visual help for grouping nodes? Not seen that before. I see there’s a group menu item in node-red.

Link in/out is also new to me. Looks very useful in this case.
Is linking just a wireless (wifi :slight_smile: ) connection between nodes?

The flow seemed userfriendly for general stuff indeed.
Nice work @Farmer-Ed

For my use when working with the crops, I think I would add some buttons to show more tailored data entry.
Or possibly buttons that prefill the flows you already made. That could work well too.

I’ve also worked on your csv-import flow the recent days.
It now picks fieldbee export csv file from my nextcloud, and formats it to suit my farmOS data.
Haven’t made the real import yet, but I’ll get there in the end.

I’ll have to decide on my workflow with FieldBee, and what to enter directly in farmOS.
A mix of those is propably what’s going to happen no matter what I decide :roll_eyes:

1 Like


More or less, they also sort of lock the nodes together so they drag as a group, but they can still be edited individually,

Yea, these are kind of interesting and even work for connecting flows from different tabs, but I’m using them to keep it a bit more tidy looking.

Yea, lots of options, I’m keeping this one intentionally sort of vague in scope, for at least starting logs that I haven’t fully built flows for, but it will probably become the template for the more focused flows adding and/or removing fields as needed.

I’ve uploaded the latest version to GitHub which includes all of the logic to create a post, just needs some tidying up and maybe some sort of confirmation message.

Good stuff, I’ll be interested to have a look.
I do plan on revisiting my CSV flows too, I’ve learned a lot since I started with them and probably could refine them a lot, maybe you are already finding that yourself?

1 Like

I learned a lot too, indeed. Think I could reduce the API calls a lot with better planning of my flows.
Linking between flows and tabs would make sense in that matter, I think.

But it works :slight_smile:

Regarding CSV I’m not sure yet what I need. I’m currently planning for how I should make farmOS my nr1 software for the crops.
I’ll push the flow some day soon…

1 Like