Tri-Panel Waterproof Solar Power Bank Sells for $25

A few years ago, I purchased a power bank with a solar panel, but it only came with a 1.5W panel, and I found it took around 10 to 20 days to charge the 8,000 / 10,000 mAh battery in sunny Thailand, allowing me to charge the phone 4 times. So the rate of charge was not quite enough for self-sufficiency, and while I placed the power bank on a roof outdoors, it was not ideal since it was not waterproof, and I forgot to remove it sometimes when it rained, but it still survived for over two years… Solar power bank are mostly useful if you go outdoors in places without electricity for a few days, or if you have a project that would benefit from being powered that way. Depending on your requirements, a faster rate of charge and waterproofness may be useful features to have and that’s […]

RAK8211-NB iTracker Battery / Solar Powered Module Comes with NB-IoT & Bluetooth 5 Connectivity, GPS, and 5 Sensors


Rak Wireless has recently launched a new products called RAK8211-NB iTracker based on a Quectel BC95-G NB-IoT module, Nordic Semi nRF52832 Bluetooth 5 chip, and Quectel L70-R GNSS module. The asset tracker module also comes with 5 different sensors to monitor motion and environmental data, and can optionally be powered directly by a solar panel.RAK8211-NB iTracker specifications: Connectivity NB-IoT via Quectel BC95-G (Global) wireless communication module + SIM card socket Bluetooth 5 via Nordic Semi nRF52832 Arm Cortex-M4F micro-controller (Arduino compatible) GPS/GLONASS via Quectel L70 GNSS module Sensors LIS3DH 3-axis “nano” accelerometer LIS2MDL 3-axis digital magnetic sensor. Tilt sensor BME280 pressure, humidity and temperature sensor OPT3001 intensity of light sensor Expansion – 3x headers with SWD, 2x sensor out + tilt out (also usable as GPIO and analog inputs), 3.3V, GND, and reset Power Supply – 3.5V to 18V via solar panel (P2) or battery (P3) Dimensions – 43mm x […]

SODAQ SARA is an Arduino Compatible Cellular IoT Board with LTE-M, NB-IoT, and GNSS (Crowdfunding)

There really seems to be a push for cellular IoT those days, with new hardware coming up every week.  Following up on their NB-IoT shield for Arduino last year, SODAQ has now launched two versions of SARA boards based on u-blox SARA LTE-IoT modules, and u-blox M8Q GPS/GNSS module. Both boards are Arduino compatible thanks to a Microchip SAMD21 MCU, and while u-blox SARA board follows the Arduino form factor, u-box SARA SFF is much more compact (50×25.4 mm) and potentially easier to integrate into a project or product. Another pretty unique feature (AFAICT) is that you can power the board directly with a solar panel. u-blox SARA board specifications: Wireless module (three options) with external antenna: SARA-N211 NB-IoT, band 8 and 20, for the European and African market SARA-R410M Dual mode LTE-M and NB-IoT module for all global bands SARA-R412M Triple mode module with LTE-M, NB-IoT and 2G for […]

8Power Vibration Energy Harvesting Technology Powers Batteryless LPWAN GPS Trackers, MEMS Sensors

While IoT products usually promises one to 10 years battery life, they will be several billions of them, and ARM’s CEO even forecast one trillion IoT devices in the next 20 years. Recharging batteries at home may be fine, but imagine having to recharge or replace batteries on top of electric poles, inside walls, in remote locations, and other hard to reach places, considerable resources would have to be deployed just to replace or recharge battery every year or whenever the battery is close to being depleted.  That’s why work on energy harvesting technology for batteryless devices may be so important, and 8Power is one of the companies working in the field through their vibration energy harvesting technology that is said to harvest up to 10x the power of competing devices under comparable condition thanks to the use of parametric resonance phenomenon. The company has recently announced their Track 100 family […]

Barionet 1000 DIN Rail Programmable I/O Controller Runs OpenWrt

Barix, a Swiss company specializing IP- based communications and control technology, has introduced a new Barionet programmable I/O controller with Barionet 1000, the first model of the company to run Linux, and in this case OpenWrt, and to offer WiFi and USB connectivity. Barionet 1000 specifications: Processor – Undisclosed System Memory – 64MB RAM Storage – 16MB flash Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; IPv4 & IPv6 support. USB – 2x USB Host Ports Serial – 1x DB9 RS-232 serial port User programmable I/Os 2x relay outputs (30 VDC max, 5 A) 4x open collector digital outputs (4 x 24 VDC, 0.3 A) 8x contact closure inputs (0 – 15 V), including 4x 12-bit analog inputs (0 – 15 V) 1-wire interface for 18DS20 temperature sensor Misc – 11 LED status indicators Power Supply – 9 to 30V DC (2.5 Watts max) Dimensions –  103mm x 85mm x 31mm; […]

BitScope Blade Industrial Mounting & Power Systems Support Up to 40 Raspberry Pi Boards

BitScope Designs, a manufacturer of embedded mixed signal test, measurement and data acquisition systems, has announced the launch of a new models of their industrial desktop, rack or wall mountable power and mounting power systems with BitScope Blade Uno, Duo, and Quattro supporting respectively 1, 2 and 4 Raspberry Pi 3/2/B+/A+ boards. The blades can also be mounted in a 19″ rack with up to 40 Raspberry Pi boards. The three systems share many of the same specifications: Power Supply Unregulated 9V to 48V DC power, compatible with most 12V & 24V UPS, most DC solar power systems 4A (peak) switch mode supply built-in 2.1mm socket or industrial power tabs Can be used with low cost passive PoE, Can power external USB, HDD & SSD 5V auxiliary power for example for Pi Display Expansion& I/O ports Full access to RPi’s I2C, SPI, UART & most GPIO Slot for camera connector […]

The Internet of Bridges? Connected and Solar Powered Systems for Rainfall and Stream Water Level Monitoring

We often drive on a bridge fitted with some solar powered equipment, and recently they added a solar powered camera pointing towards the river, so I became curious and decided it would be fun to have a look, and find out what it was all about. There are now 3 solar powered and connected systems. The first system has a larger solar panel connected to a Bosch camera, and a white box… The sticker on the box gives away the purpose of the system: “National Disaster Warning Center” If we look the other side of the system we’ll see an antenna (for 3G/LTE?) as well as a light pointing down to a scale to measure the water level… Probably not the most cost effective way of checking out the level, but it works, and they should have a live feed in case something goes very wrong, and it might be […]

Wanscam HW0029-4 is a Solar Powered All Weather IP Security Camera with WiFi, 3G/4G Connectivity

I’ve just watched a video on about Enlaps Tikee solar powered device designed to take timelapses over several days and transfer the pictures / video over WiFi, 3G, or 4G. The project has been fully funded on Indiegogo at the beginning of the year, and shipping is scheduled for Q4 2016. It looks like an interesting device for a niche market, but since I’ve noticed some products launched on Kickstarter already exists in one form or another in China, I’ve decided to have a look on Aliexpress, and I found Wanscan HW00269-4 solar powered camera with 3G/4G connectivity, and while it addresses a completely different need, as a 720p IP security camera, I still decided to have a closer look. Wanscam HW0029-4 specifications: SoC – Hisilicon Hi3518E ARM9 processor @ 440 MHz Storage – Built-in 16GB, expandable to 128GB Camera / video recording 1/2 1MP Star light CMOS sensor 8mm […]

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