Workshop: Useful Information

On Sunday Ben and Andy will be running a workshop on Oxford Flood Network at Wuthering Bytes in Hebden Bridge.

If you’re thinking of joining this workshop here’s a little extra information for you. 

The Aim

Aside from the fun of participating in a citizen science project we want everyone to learn about deploying sensor networks - a critical part of the Internet of Things.

Oxford Flood Network is in the early days of development and we hope that bringing a number of volunteers together we can tap people’s skills to develop the overall flood network concept, making more flood networks possible with less trial and error.

What to Bring

Team 1 - Indoors - If you want to help assemble some sensors then please bring along

  • a soldering iron,
  • solder and
  • some side-cutters.

We’ll be experimenting with Node-RED and Raspberry Pi, so bring along:

  • Your Pi Model B and cables
  • a spare SD Card
  • A Ciseco Slice of Radio or SRF stick if you have one

Team 2 - Outdoors - We’ll be outside trying to find a suitable location for a sensor and doing some range testing before coming back indoors to help team 1.


  • Some wellies or waders
  • (raincoat?) and
  • some ideas/tools for attaching a sensor to something.
  • Get in contact with oxfloodnet on Twitter if you have a step-ladder. (no point in doubling up)

So far we’ve experimented with these, so if you have any handy bring it along

  • velcro strips,
  • cable ties,
  • magnets and
  • Sugru.

We may just be able to use the decking of the town hall, or put the sensor under a bridge. The more inconspicuous the better.

A Word About The Sensor Devices

We’re bringing some sensor kits along and we’d love it if you could help with some basic assembly or soldering. Unfortunately due to the cost of the components you can’t take them home with you unless you can pay £140 each.

We’d like to be able to give something back to the community for having us at Hebden Bridge so we’ll be donating a sensor to the cause. If you want to crowdfund a second one then we’re all for that.

Yawn Health & Safety…

The outdoor team members will need to sign a disclaimer to make sure none of the organisers are liable for accidents. As you might expect we’re not able to guarantee your safety, but we want to keep things simple and avoid potential incidents.

  • If there’s heavy rain we may have to reconsider.
  • If we need to get into the stream it will be slippery (duh) so keep your wits about you and make sure you have a partner.
  • If we can attach from above there may be heights involved on bridges, so be sensible and don’t over-reach. It’s not worth it for a sensor.
  • There won’t be mains voltage in use outside and all equipment will operate at ~3-5v
  • Duck shit is likely


After all that I will lighten up and remind you that this is meant to be a fun exploration of the challenges in building your own sensor networks.

I can’t wait!

Making a citizen-built flood detection network in Oxford, based on river levels, groundwater and local knowledge.

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