mDash Cloud platform for IoT Devices Targets ESP8266/ESP32, STM32, and TI CC3220 Wireless MCUs

mDash firmware

Cesanta (a company based in Dublin, Ireland) recently launched mDash – an IoT cloud platform for administration of various IoT modules. This platform supports Espressif’s modules ESP32 & ESP8266, STM32 (L4,M4) and TI CC3220, and offers a bunch of features which are known to be  challenging tasks in the IoT world. This includes OTA (Over-The-Air) firmware updates, remote configuration and administration, alerts and notifications, remote device control and file management. This can be achieved through 3 programming platforms – Arduino IDE, ESP-IDF and through Mongoose OS. For evaluation and testing purpose mDash offers a simulator that run as a docker container. Refer our previous post, to understand how to get started with Cesanta’s Moongoose OS for ESP8266. Basic WorkFlow mDash Library The company offers reference firmware/library for the defined hardware platforms. This been implements by using secure MQTT for communication, re-connection and initial provisioning with mDash cloud. You can find the library for ESP32 & ESP8266 with a few examples …

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Reolink Argus Eco Review – A Sub-$100 Solar Powered Security Camera

Reolink Argus Eco IP Camera Wall Mounted

I’ve been thinking about installing one or more IP camera in my home for a while, and for ease of installation and considering I’m renting, my preference was to go with one of those battery IP cameras similar to Amazon (Immedia) Blink IP camera or Eufy EverCam security camera that last six months to one year on a single charge. But earlier this year I came across Reolink Argus 2 battery powered security camera that looks like good value at $100, and also came with an optional solar panel so you don’t have to ever charge the camera.  The company latter contacted me to know whether I’d be willing to try out their latest Reolink Argus Eco camera with similar features but an even lower $89.99 price tag. I got my sample a few weeks ago, and I had time to install it, and play around with the camera during that time, so  I’m now ready to report my experience …

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BLE Micro is a Tiny, Coin-Cell Powered Bluetooth 4.0 Development Board

BLE Micro

DFRobot Bluno is a Bluetooth 4.0 LE development board following Arduino UNO form factor, and powered by TI CC2540 chipset. The board sells for $24.90 on their online store, and the company provides firmware and mobile app source code, but if you ever wanted a similar solution in a much smaller form factor, and powered by a coin cell battery, the company has now launched BLE Micro board. BLE Micro board specifications: Bluetooth Chip – Texas Instruments CC2540 8051 MCU with USB, Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity Wireless Connectivity Frequency: 2.4GHz Transfer rate:  ≤1Mbps Modulation: GFSK, Bluetooth low power, V4.0 Sensitivity: -93dB Transmission distance – 30m in free space USB – 1x micro USB port Expansion – 21 through holes with reset, power signals, UART, and GPIOs. Input Voltage: +3.3 DC Power Consumption – Working: 10.6mA average, ready mode:8.7mA Temperature Range – -10 ℃ ~ +65 ℃ Dimensions – 49mm x 35mm Typical applications include iBeacon,HID connection, wearable equipment, and Bluetooth …

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MakerSpot CC2640 is a $20 Bluetooth 5 LE USB Dongle

Bluetooth 5 was announced in May 2016 with four times the range, twice the speed of Bluetooth 4.0. Since then SoCs, development boards, and smartphones have been announced with Bluetooth 5, but so far I had not seen any Bluetooth 5 USB dongle to add the new Bluetooth version to existing computer or boards. While I’ve not been able to find a consumer grade Bluetooth 5 USB dongle yet, today I found out something close it to with MakerSport CC2640 USB dongle / board based on TI CC2640 chip. GT-Tronics CC264BPA-UDOG (actual name) USB dongle specifications: MCU – Texas Instrument CC2640R2F Arm Cortex-M3 SimpleLink Wireless SoC with Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity – Bluetooth 5 Low Energy BLE including built-in antenna; backward compatible with BLE 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 Silabs CP2110 HID to UART bridging device Debugging – 10-pins JTAG connector for CC2640 debugging and firmware flashing The dongle is enumerated as generic HID device, and no driver required for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OSX, …

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hIoTron Modular & Enterprise IoT Development Kit is Designed for Fast Prototyping

Hi-Nodes

hIoTron modular & enterprise IoT development kit is described by the company has a “fully pre-programmed prototyping kit for quickly building and testing your IoT concept” with plug-n-play module allowing for flexible prototyping. Beside the hardware comprises of a gateway and nodes, the kit also integrates with the company’s enterprise IoT Platform enabling easy design of custom mobile application & GUI dashboard. The company offers standard, advanced, and custom kits, but to keep things simple, let’s focus on the content of their standard kit first: Hi-Gate IoT gateway: WiSoC – Texas Instruments CC3200 Arm Cortex-M4 @ 80 MHz with 1MB flash, 256KB RAM Storage – 1MB serial flash, 512KB EEPROM Connectivity 802.11 n/g/n Wi-Fi,  2G GSM/GPRS (optional 3G/4G), ZigBee, BLE 4.0, sub-1GHz RF/NON RF to REST/MQTT gateway Expansion – 2x GPIO port pins, 2x analog port pins Power Supply – 9-12V DC 3x modular Hi-Nodes (up to 25 supported per gateway) based on Microchip/Atmel ATmega328P MCU: Powering node – via …

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Amazon FreeRTOS Released for NXP, Texas Instruments, STMicro, and (soon) Microchip Microcontrollers

FreeRTOS is an open source real-time operating system for microcontrollers released under an MIT license, and when it comes to adoption in embedded systems it’s right there near the top with embedded Linux according to Aspencore 2017 embedded markets study. For example, some Espressif SDKs for ESP8266 or ESP32 are based on FreeRTOS, and so is Mediatek LinkIt Development Platform for RTOS. The recently announced Amazon FreeRTOS (a:FreeRTOS) leverages the open source operating systems, and extends it with with libraries that enable local and AWS cloud connectivity, security, and soon over-the-air updates. a:FreeRTOS is free of charge, open source, and available today. In order to get started, you’ll have a choice of 4 hardware platforms: STMicro STM32L4 Discovery Kit IoT Node (B-L475E-IOT01A) powered by STM32L475 ARM Cortex-M4 MCU with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, RF (868 / 915 MHz), and NFC connectivity, plenty of sensors NXP LPC54018 IoT module (OM40007) based on LPC54018 Arm Cortex-M4 core @ 180MHz with Longsys …

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UDOO BLU and BLU SENSE IoT Modules Integrate Bluetooth LE, Zigbee, and 6LOWPAN Connectivity

UDOO is known for their Linux boards based on NXP and Intel processors for makers and the education market such as UDOO NEO or UDOO x86, but the company has now developed UDOO BLU and BLU SENSE battery powered modules based on Texas Instruments CC2650 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller, both with Bluetooth LE, Zigbee, and 6LOWPAN connectivity, and the SENSE model adds some extra sensors. UDOO BLU and BLU SENSE specifications: Wireless MCU – Texas Instruments CC2650 ARM Cortex M3 MCU @ 48 MHz with 128KB flash, 8KB SRAM with 2.4 GHz radio Connectivity – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZigBee, 6LoWPAN Sensors (BLU SENSE only) –  NXP FX0S8700CQ accelerometer & magnetometer sensor, NXP FXAS21002C gyroscope & temperature sensor Expansion 1x 5-pin sensors Snap-In I2C connector for UDOO Bricks 2x 10-pin headers with 8x Digital GPIOs, 6x ADCs, 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 1x UART Misc – 3x User Configurable LEDs (Red, Yellow, Green), 2x buttons Power Supply CR2032 battery holder 2-pin …

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Texas Instruments CC3200 WiFi SensorTag is Now Available for $40

Texas Instruments launched SensorTag in 2013, and at the time there was just a Bluetooth 4.0 LE version with 6 different sensors. I bought one for $25 at the time, and tried it with a Raspberry Pi board and a BLE USB dongle. Since then, the company has launched a new multi standard model (CC2650STK) supporting Buetooth low energy, 6LoWPAN, and ZigBee, and has just started to take orders for CC3200 WiFi SensorTag for $39.99, which seems expensive in a world of $2 ESP8266 modules. But let’s see what the kit has to offer: Wireless MCU – Texas Instruments CC3200 SimpleLink ARM Cortex-M4 MCU @ up to 80 MHz, with up to 256KB RAM, Hardware Crypto Engine, DMA engine Storage – 1 MB serial flash memory Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with on-board inverted-F antenna with RF connector for conducted testing Sensors – Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, light sensor (OPT3001), humidity sensor (HDC1000), IR temperature sensor (TMP007), and pressure sensor (BMP280) …

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