M.2 and Half-size mPCIe Cards Support Real-Time Ethernet and FieldBus Networks

Hilscher cifX M.2 and half-size mini PCIe cards powered by the company’s NETX 90 network-on-chip multi-protocol Cortex-M4 SoC bring real-time Ethernet and FieldBus to compatible systems. The tiny cards are designed for PC-based devices such as IPC’s, HMI’s and robots, and support various firmware for PROFINET IO-Device, EtherNet/IP Adapter, EtherCAT Slave, or OpenModbus/TCP. The company claims its cifX M.2 (A+E key) and half-size mini PCIe cards are the smallest multiprotocol PC cards on the automation market with a size of 22×30 mm and 30×26.8 mm respectively. The cards also support extended temperature from -20°C to 70°C and offer one hardware platform for all real-time Ethernet slave protocols. Besides PROFINET IO-Device, EtherNet/IP Adapter, EtherCAT Slave, and OpenModbus/TCP, Hilscher will provide support for CC-Link IE Field Basic and Ethernet POWERLINK Slave in new firmware available in Q4 2020, and OPC UA and MQTT functionalities are planned for future releases. The cards are supported in PC-based devices running Windows, Linux, INtime, RTX, and […]

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Sonoff Zigbee Bridge Now Supports Tasmota Firmware, Home Assistant, Zigbee2Tasmota

Sonoff ZBBridge (aka Sonoff Zigbee Bridge) WiFi to Zigbee gateway was launched a few months ago for $16.90 plus shipping, and it’s now also listed on Banggood for $17.99 shipped. It allows users to control Zigbee devices connected to the gateway using the eWelink mobile app used with other Sonoff devices. But many people like to run Tasmota firmware on their Sonoff devices since it’s open-source and provided more flexibility such as integration with Home Assitant or Domoticz. There was already support for Zigbee in Tasmota at the time but only for Texas Instruments SimpleLink CC253x Zigbee MCU’s, and Sonoff ZBBridge is made of an ESP8266 WiSoC and a Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Gecko Series 2 Cortex-M33 Zigbee microcontroller. So I just suspected that eventually, Sonoff Zigbee Bridge could support Tasmota open-source firmware but that would take some time… It took about four months. Not too bad. It started in the comments section on CNX Software and other places, with the […]

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$4 ITEAD CC2531 Zigbee USB Dongle Works with Zigbee2MQTT Out of the Box

Some of ITEAD Studio’s Sonoff home automation devices include Zigbee connectivity with for instance Sonoff BASICZBR3 smart switch or a version of Sonoff S31 smart socket with integrated Zigbee. Those devices usually work via a Zigbee enabled gateway that could be a router, Raspberry Pi SBC, or mini PC, which ITEAD did not offer so far. But to help people making their own Zigbee gateway the company is now selling a low-cost ($3.99) CC2531 USB dongle preloaded with CC2531ZNP-Prod firmware (Zigbee coordinator firmware), and compatible with Zigbee2MQTT open-source Zigbee to MQTT bridge once plugged into a PC, Raspberry Pi, or another Linux SBC. ITEAD CC2531 Zigbee USB dongle specifications: MCU – Texas Instruments CC2531F256 Zigbee and IEEE 802.15.4 wireless MCU with 8kB RAM, 256kB Flash pre-loaded with CC2531ZNP-Prod firmware for zigbee2mqtt application Host Interface – USB 2.0 male port Expansion – 8-pin unpopulated header with 8 I/Os Debugging – Debug connector Misc – 2x user buttons, 2x user LED’s Dimensions […]

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How to Improve Productivity with an ESP8266 Light Controller & Andon Manufacturing System

ANAVI Light controller was launched in 2018, and I had the chance to review a sample and wrote a guide showing how to use an ESP8266 board to control an LED strip using Arduino code, MQTT protocol, and HTML5 code. It’s a fun toy for people using it at home, but Paul Cancouët – working for Wing company offering “Logistics as a Service” solutions – added several ANAVI Light controllers to their packing warehouse. You can see the lights on the left side of the packing stations. Those are pretty, but what are they for? The lights help to improve productivity using an Andon system usually found in factories, but in this case, used for packing. Andon – meaning paper lantern in Japanese – refers to a system to notify management, maintenance, and other workers of a quality or process problem with the alert either activated automatically or manually by a worker. Initially, they went with an offline solution using […]

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ANAVI Gas Detector ESP8266 Board Monitors Air Quality, Toxic Gases (Crowdfunding)

ANAVI Gas Detector

Leon ANAVI is a software engineer with an interest in open-source hardware, and he had previously launched several ANAVI boards for home automation based on Espressif ESP8266 or for Raspberry Pi boards including ANAVI thermometer, ANAVI light controller, and ANAVI Infrared pHAT among others. Leon has now introduced a new board on Crowd Supply: ANAVI gas detector. The board is powered by ESP8266 WiSoC providing WiFI connectivity, and supports MQ gas sensor modules such as MQ-135, MQ-2, or MQ-3 in order to monitor air quality and detect gas leaks. ANAVI gas detector board specifications: Wireless Module – Based on ESP8266 Tensilica L106 32-bit processor with Wi-Fi 4 802.11 b/g/n connectivity Display – Optional Mini OLED display Gas sensor support – MQ-135 for air quality or any other 5V MQ analog gas sensor Expansion – 3x slots for I²C sensors Debugging / Programming – UART pins for flashing custom firmware Misc – Button Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port […]

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Embedded Linux Conference & Open Source Summit 2019 Schedule

Embedded Linux Conference 2019 Schedule

In the last few years, I covered the Embedded Linux Conference and IoT Summit schedules since both were happening at the same time and in the same location. But the Linux Foundation have recently announced the Embedded Linux Conference will combine with the Open Source Summit, so the IoT Summit appears to have been phased out. The full schedule for the events taking place on August 21 – 23, 2019 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, USA, has also been released, so I’ll create a virtual schedule with some of the sessions most relevant to this blog. Wednesday August 21, 2019 11:30 – 12:05 – What’s New with U-Boot? by Simon Glass, Google LLC U-Boot is a widely used bootloader in embedded systems. Many users are unaware of the wide feature-set of U-Boot, particularly features added in the last few years. This talk aims to bring users (and prospective users) up to speed on the state of the art in […]

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Split Home Energy Meter Combines ESP32 with Microchip ATM90E32 IC (Crowdfunding)

Split Home Energy Meter

It’s always useful to monitor the electricity consumption of your house, as you can easily and quickly find out whether an appliance is suddenly consuming a large amount of electricity before finding out from your next utility bill. It can also help remotely monitoring if an appliance has stopped working and fix it as soon as possible, for example an electric pipe heater making sure your pipe do not freeze in a holiday home. In many cases, a qualified electrician needs to be involved for the installation of whole home energy meters both for safety and insurance matters. We’ve seen in the past energy meters fit easily into a circuit breaker box but they may not be suitable for all setups. I’ve previously reviewed an inexpensive digital clamp meter that you just need to clip on one of the wire connected to your home without having to mess with dangerous voltage and current, nor worrying about UL or TUV certifications. […]

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Getting Started with Temperature & Humidity Sensors on ESP8266 using ANAVI Thermometer

ANAVI Thermometer Air / Humidity / Water

ANAVI Thermometer was launched on CrowdSupply in January.  It is an ESP8266 WiFi board with a built-in DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor, support for external DS18B20 waterproof temperature sensor, as well as other sensors thanks to three I2C sensors. I received the ANAVI Thermometer starter kit last month, and I’ve only found time to play with it in the last few days. I’ll start with a unboxing, assembly guide, before showing it action, and I’ll try to make it interface with Home Assistant over MQTT. ANAVI Thermometer Starter Kit Unboxing The kit comes with ANAVI Thermometer board, a plastic stand, a USB to TTL debug board, an I2C OLED display, a few nuts and bolts, and a couple of KiCad and ANAVI stickers. Leon ANAVI also added a traffic light board and LEDs, but it’s not normally part of the kit 🙂 ANAVI Thermometer board include an ESP8266 module, AM2302 (wired DHT 22) temperature and humidity sensor, a terminal block […]

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