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Posts Tagged ‘arduino’

RAK Wireless Introduces LoRa + BLE Module, LoRa GPS Tracker, and NB-IoT/eMTC Arduino Shield

December 9th, 2017 No comments

We’ve previously covered several products from RAK Wireless, including RAK WisCam Arduino compatible Linux camera, RAK CREATOR Pro Ameba RTL8711AM WiFi IoT board, and WisCore modular development kit for application leveraging voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa.

AFAIK, the company had not released any new products since their RAK831 LoRa gateway module launched last summer, but they just contact me with the release of three new wireless products, namely RAK813 BLE + LoRa module, RAK811 LoRa tracker board, and WisLTE NB-IoT/eMTC/eGPRS Arduino shield.

RAK813 BLE + LoRa module & Development Board

Main features and specifications:

  • Connectivity
    • LoraWAN via Semtech SX127x (LoRa) chipset
      • Frequency Ranges
        • 433MHz, 470MHz
        • FCC Frequency range 902~928MHz
        • CE Frequency range 863~870MHz
        • MIC Frequency range 920~928MHz
        • KCC Frequency range 920~923MHz
      • Receiver Sensitivity: LoRa down to -146 dBm
      • TX Power – adjustable up to +14 dBm, max PA boost up to 20dbm
      • Range – Up to 15 km in rural area, up to 5 km in urban area
      • u.FL antenna connector
    • Bluetooth 5 via Nordic Semi nRF52832 SoC, u.FL antenna connector
  • 33 castellated holes with up to 13x GPIO, 1x UART, 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 3x ADC, SWD, GND, VDD (LoRa/BLE), and antenna pins
  • Power – 3.3V DC input; consumption down to 2uA in sleep mode
  • Dimensions – 27.20 x 23 x 1.7 mm

Bear in mind that while nRF52832 SoC support Bluetooth 5, it does not support long range mode. The module is expected to be used  for environment monitoring, parking systems, smart cities, asset / personnel positioning, smoke alarms, industrial monitoring and control, and other remote battery powered applications.

In order to get you started before you design your own baseboard, the company also provide WisLoRaB-RAK813 Arduino compatible board with external antenna connectors, micro USB port for power programming, and a reset button. Documentation now is limited as we can only download the hardware datasheets for the module and board.

The module is sold for $14.90 on Aliexpress, with only 868MHz and 915 MHz models available right now, and the development board goes for $19.90 plus shipping, again with the same frequency range models.

RAK811 LoRa Tracker Board

Specifications:

  • Connectivity – LoRaWAN Version V1.0.2 via RAK811 module based on STM32L151 MCU and Semtech SX1276 LoRa chip; SMA connector for antenna
  • Location – GPS/GLONASS via Ublox MAX-7Q GPS Module, u.FL antenna connector
  • Expansion – 2x 10-pin with I2C, GPIOs, SWD, GND, VCC (3.3V)
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for charging and debugging
  • Battery – Optional 2200mAh rechargeable battery good for 2 years (depending on use)
  • Dimensions – 54mm x 22mm x17mm with antenna connector
  • Temperature Range – -20°C ~ 60°C

There’s also a RAK811 SensorNodeBoard with the same features minus GPS.

Documentation looks pretty good here, as beside the datasheet, we can download the user manual, schematics, etc.., and source can be found in Github with CoIDE  or Keil5 tools supported..

RAK811 TrackerBoard is sold with LoRa and GPS antennas, a micro USB port, some jumper cables, jumpers, and battery for $29.99 plus shipping on Aliexpress with two models for 868 MHz or 915 MHz bands.

WisLTE NB-IoT/eMTC/eGPRS Arduino Shield

Specifications:

  • Wireless Module – Quectel BG96 with Cat.M1 (eMTC) / Cat LTE NB1 (NB-IoT) & EGPRS connectivity, GNSS support (GPS)
  • Antennas – 2x u.FL antenna connector for LTE and GNSS
  • SIM card slot on back of the board
  • Expansion
    • Arduino UNO compatible headers with UART, 1x I2C, 2x ADC, etc…
    • UART switch pin (blue header)
  • USB – micro USB port for power and debugging, 1x USB host port
  • Misc – Reset and power buttons, USB boot jumper, serial voltage selection (3.3V or 5V)

I had heard about BC95 NB-IoT module before, but I think it may be the first time I come across BG96 module, and beside adding EGPRS and Cat M1, is also adds GPS positioning, a USB interface, I2C, one extra UART interface, and one extra ADC interface. NB-IoT uplink and download data rate are also a little higher than in BC95.

The company provides a getting started guide while connected to a PC, and BG96 AT command sets documentation on their website, but AFAICT there’s no code in their Github account, like Arduino libraries to easily use the shield. I did find another user, probably a beta tester, that wrote an Android Things driver for WisLTE.

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If you are interested in the board, WisLTE is sold for $39.90 plus shipping on Aliexpress.

LattePanda Alpha/Delta Kaby Lake & Gemini Lake Development Boards Support Windows 10 Pro or Linux (Crowdfunding)

December 8th, 2017 5 comments

LattePanda development board based on Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” processor was launched nearly exactly two years ago on Kickstarter. The board also included an Atmel MCU for Arduino compatibility, and contrary to most development boards on the market, focused on Windows 10 support instead of Linux. The crowdfunding campaign was very successful having raised over 440,000 GBP from around 4,000 backers, and now you an still buy the board and accessories on DF Robot or Amazon.

The company is now back with not only one, but two new LattePanda “hackable computers”, namely LattePanda Alpha powered by an Intel Core m3-7Y30 dual core “Kaby Lake” processor, and LattePanda Delta based on Intel Celeron N4100 quad core Gemini Lake processor. This time beside offering Windows 10 Pro, they are also committed to support Linux.

Beside processor, memory capacity, and storage options, LattePanda Alpha/Delta boards share most of the same specifications:

  • SoC
    • AlphaIntel Core m3-7Y30 dual core / quad thread Kaby Lake processor @ 1.6/2.6 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 615 @ 300/900 MHz; 4.5W TDP
    • DeltaIntel Celeron N4100 quad core Gemini Lake processor @ 1.1/2.4 GHz with Intel UHD Graphics 600 @ 200/700 MHz; TBD TDP
  • System Memory / Storage
    • Alpha – 8GB LPDDR3-1866 dual-channel, 64GB eMMC 5.0 flash, 1x M.2 M-key slot for SATA or NVMe SSD, micro SD slot
    • Delta – 4GB LPDDR4-2400 dual-channel, 32GB eMMC 5.0 flash, 1x M.2 B-key slot for SATA SSD, micro SD slot
  • MCU – “Arduino Leonardo” compatible MCU, so it should be Microchip/Atmel ATmega32u4 AVR MCU
  • Video Output & Display I/F – HDMI port, DisplayPort via USB-C port, eDP connector for external displays, touch panel
  • Audio – Via HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet,dual band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB – 3x USB 3.0 type A port, 1x USB 3.0 type C port with support for PD (Power Delivery), DP (DisplayPort)
  • Expansion
    • 1x M.2 E-key slot with PCIe ×2, USB 2.0, I2C, SDIO, UART and PCM
    • 2x 50-pin headers with I2C, I2S, USB, RS232, system control pin, Arduino pins, and EC (BIOS) pins
  • Misc – RTC header, adjustable cooling fan header
  • Power Supply – USB type C port or 12V DC via header
  • Dimensions – 13.5mm thick

The design is similar to having a Windows 10 or Linux computer with an embedded Arduino board, so it might be convenient as an all-in-one Arduino development platform, or for project where you both need the processing power from an Intel processor, and the real-time and I/O capabilities of a micro-controller.

Both versions of the board are based on low power processors, but they still need to be cooled, so a large heatsink and/or a case with a fan can be provided.

Several variant of the boards will the available:

  • Delta 432 with or without Windows 10 Pro, and optional 7″ touch display and “titan” case.
  • Alpha 800 without eMMC flash
  • Alpha 864 with 64GB eMMC flash, optional Windows 10 Pro, 7″ touch display and “titan” case

Just like the first boards, LattePanda Alpha & Delta have been launched on Kickstarter, with a funding target of 125,000 CAD (Canadian Dollars) equivalent to roughly $97,000 US. I’ll use the US dollar equivalent prices for the pledges which start at $129 for LattePanda Delta 432 board, and $269 for LattePanda Alpha 800 board. The complete Alpha 864 bundle with Windows 10 Pro and all accessories requires a $419 pledge. They also have rewards with 10 units. Shipping adds around $17 worldwide, and backers should expect to receive their rewards in May 2018.

LattePanda Alpha is the very first Gemini Lake hardware I’ve seen so far on Crowdfunding websites, and the price bodes well for upcoming Gemini Lake mini PCs which should not be that much more expensive than Apollo Lake ones.

Via Time4EE

NB-IoT Overview, Technical Presentation, and Getting Started (in Thailand)

December 7th, 2017 5 comments

As I mentioned in my post yesterday I attended a talk about NB-IoT at Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0 (2017). It was presented by representatives from AIS, a large telco company in Thailand, and I’ll give a summary of what I learned beside that Xiaomi Mi A1 camera is not that good after all, and I should have taken my DSLR camera with me instead. So apologies for the poor quality of some of the photos…

The talk started from a higher level, including marketing / business propositions, and has time passed it become more and more technical.

The first part of talk was presented by Phuchong Charoensuk, IoT marketing specialist at AIS, and he provided some more details about the company, and their current B2B IoT/M2M market (400,000 subscribers), before providing an overview of IoT, and how NB-IoT will bring in not only larger businesses but also startups and makers.

He also went through some of the benefits of NB-IoT network with (eventually) low cost devices, easy deployment, deep penetration (works indoor and underground), low power consumption with up to 10+ years batter life, and support for 100K connection per cell.

At some points he explained the different use cases of 4G, 3G, and NB-IoT / LTE Cat M1, and showed how LTE in automotive application was used by both the company to first track manufacturing and then telemetry, and the consumer for infotainment. Of course, no NB-IoT here.

The second speaker was Jarun Sinsawasmongkol, Future Network Developer Manager, and he started from a slide by ndimensionz showing the differences between M2M and IoT, with the former more focused on machines, and hardware based, while IoT is mostly software based with the cloud and big data, although we still obviously need the sensors to get data.

He went through the main component of the IoT network from B2C/B2C/B2C2B users, sensors and devices, the network itself which can be private or the Intenret, IoT platforms in the cloud, and finally the apps running on the platforms.

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Next up was the start of a comparison between IoT solutions following 3GPP standard such as eMTC, NB-IoT, or EC-GSM-IoT, and competing solutions like Sigfox, LoRa, Ingenu RPMA, etc…

But before that an explanation of about NB (Narrow Band) means, basically NB-IoT communication just takes over 200 kHz either in standalone mode, in the guard band, or inband.

NB-IoT comes with many of the same features as LTE like OFDMA for download and SC-FDMA for upload, but has been tweaked to provide a simpler and lower power comsumption with the following changes:

  • 200 kHz bandwidth
  • More retransmissions (up to 100 times)
  • No MSISDN needed
  • No IP mode
  • Network resource optimization

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The table below compares Sigfox, LoRa, LTE Cat-1/0, LTE Cat M1 (eMTC) and LTE Cat NB1 (NB-IoT) with the latter having similar features and complexity as Sigfox/LoRa solutions.

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NB-IoT coverage should eventually be better than LTE coverage thanks to NB-IoT coverage extension features using power spectrum density boosting (PSD) and repetition to extend the range of a cell tower.

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NB-IoT power saving mode (PSM) is what makes 10+ years battery life possible, as the node can stay in sleep state for up to 310 hours.

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The final two speakers, including Pornsak Hanvoravongchai, Device Innovation Manager, dealt with the node / sensor part of NB-IoT. First, Nb-IoT should be using embedded SIMs (eSIM) instead of traditional SIM cards since they allow for smaller footprints, and are more durable with better resistance to vibration, high temperature, and humidity levels.


Plenty of companies are already involved with NB-IoT starting with Silicon vendors including Hisilicon, Qualcomm, ZTE Welink, Sequans communication, Mediatek,  Nordic Semi, Intel and Altair Semiconductor. But as we covered a few days ago, there are also new entrants like Riot Micro.
The list of NB-IoT modules is even longer with:

I just added links to the companies I had never heard from. Some modules were listed on the next slides..

Some extra companies also joined the development ecosystem with devkits, MCU, sensors, or even antennas and batteries especially designed for NB-IoT, and other LPWAN standards.


Finally, another person took over the talk with more practical technical information for makers.

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NB-IoT includes three connection modes: CONNECT while transmitting/receiving data, IDLE, and PSM (Power Saving Mode) where it does not attempt to make any connection for a given time, which depends on your own requirements.

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Power consumption for the three modes is illustrated in the chart above. I could see the scale on the right even during the live event.The company also introduced their NB-IoT Arduino shield with embedded SIM. They also appear to have XBee and mPCIE (USB) NB-IoT modules, again with an eSIM.

The software architecture of AIS NB-IoT platform includes an Arduino library for AIS NB-IoT shield, CoAP protocol, a dashboard, and an API.

Some IoT projects use the REST API (HTTP) or MQTT, but CoAP over UDP is recommended in this case, because it minimizes the amount of data required compared to HTTP, and hence saves power.

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AIS NB-IoT Arduino library and sample code can be found on Github, and works with Arduino 1.8.1 or greater. Next up was time for a demo from an AIS representative showing transmission and reception of data with one base station that was enabled with NB-IoT for the event.

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If you are based in Thailand, it’s now possible to register your interest for AIS NB-IoT Arduino shield that will be sold for 1,990 THB (~$61) and ship on February 14, 2018. The registration page is only opened until December 9th. I was expecting some more details about the kit on that page, but sadly it’s just a form asking for contact details.

It should be noted that only a few base station will work with NB-IoT at first, with connectivity first available in Bangkok around AIS D.C., AIS SC Tower, and Chulalongkorn University, and upcountry close to Chiang Mai Maker Space, Prince of Songkhla University, and Khon Kaen University. Anywhere else and you will likely not be able to connect at least in early 2018.

Finally, we got a demo from a member of the Chiang Mai Maker Club that got an early sample of the Arduino shield, connected it to an Arduino Mega with GPS, and various sensors, and as I understand that retrieved data while flying a drone (TBC).

I talked with AIS a little bit after the event, asking confirmation about initial coverage, and since it’s not exactly free to enable NB-IoT, despite using the same LTE base stations, they will only enable a few as previously mentioned. Considering NB-IoT will only be enabled for the 4-day event at the exhibition center, I suspect they may be recurring fees or royalties that AIS may have to pay to maintain the network.

A Day at Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0

December 6th, 2017 6 comments

The Chiang Mai Maker Party 4.0 is now taking place until December 9, and I went there today, as I was especially interested in the scheduled NB-IoT talk and workshop to find out what was the status about LPWA in Thailand. But there are many other activities planned, and if you happen to be in Chiang Main in the next few days, you may want to check out the schedule on the event page or Facebook.

I’m going to go though what I’ve done today to give you a better idea about the event, or even the maker movement in Thailand.

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Booth and activity area should be the same over the 4 days, but the talks, open activity, and workshop will be different each day. Today, people could learn how to solder in the activity area.
The even was not really big with manufacturers/sellers like ThaiEasyElec, INEX, or Gravitech closer to the entrance…


… and slighter higher up in a different zone, companies and makers were showcasing their products or projects. I still managed to spent 5 interesting hours at the event attending to talks and checking out the various projects.

I started my day with a talk entitled “Maker Movement in South East Asia” presented by William Hooi, previously a teacher, who found One Maker Group and setup the first MakerSpace in Singapore, as well as helped introduce the Maker Faire in Singapore in 2012 onwards.


There was three parts to talk with an history of the Maker movement (worldwide), the maker movement in Singapore, and whether Making should be integrated into school curriculum.
He explained at first the government who not know about makers, so it was difficult to get funding, but eventually they jump on the bandwagon, and are now puring money on maker initiative. One thing that surprised me in the talk is that before makers were hidden their hobby, for fear of being mocked by other, for one for one person doing an LED jacket, and another working on an Iron Man suit. The people around them would not understand why they would waste their time on such endeavors, but the Maker Space and Faire helped finding like minded people. Some of the micro:bit boards apparently ended in Singapore, and when I say some, I mean 100,000 units. Another thing that I learned is the concept of “digital retreat for kids” where parents send kids to make things with their hands – for example soldering -, and not use smartphone or tablets at all, since they are already so accustomed to those devices.

One I was done with the talk, I walked around, so I’ll report about some of the interesting project I came across. I may write more detailed posts for some of the items lateron.

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Falling object detection demo using OpenCV on the software side, a webcam connected to…

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ASUS Tinker board to handle fall detection, and an NVIDIA Jetson board for artificial intelligence. If fall is detection an alert to send to the tablet, and the system also interfaces with Xiaomi Mi band 2.

Katunyou has also made a more compact product, still based on Tinker Board, for nursing home, or private home where an elderly may live alone. The person at the stand also organizes Raspberry Pi 3 workshops in Chiang Mai.

I found yet another product based on Raspberry Pi 3 board. SRAN is a network security device made by Global Tech that report threats from devices accessing your network using machine learning.

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Nordic Technology House showcased a magic mirror based on Raspberry Pi 3, and a webcam to detect your dance move, but their actual product shown above is a real-time indoor air monitoring system that report temperature, humidity, CO2 level, and PM 2.5 levels, and come sent alerts via LINE if thresholds are exceeded.

One booth had some drones including the larger one above spraying insecticides for the agriculture market.

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There was also a large about sewing machines, including some smarter one where you can design embroidery in a table before sewing.

There were also a few custom ESP8266 or ESP32 boards, but I forgot to take photos.

The Maker Party is also a good place to go with your want to buy some board or smart home devices.

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Beside Raspberry Pi Zero W / 3, ESP8266 boards and Asus Tinker board seem to be popular items in Thailand. I could also spot Sonoff wireless switch, and an Amazon Dot, although I could confirm only English is supported, no Thai language.

BBC Micro:bit board and accessories can also be bought at the event.


M5Stack modules, and Raspberry Pi 3 Voice Kit were also for sale.

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Books are also available for ESP32, Raspberry Pi 3, IoT, etc… in Thai language.

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But if you can’t read Thai there was also a choice of book in English about RPi, Arduino, Linux for Makers, IoT and so on. I then attended the second talk of the day: “NB-IoT” by AIS, one of the top telco company in Thailand. Speakers included Phuchong Charoensub, IoT Marketing Specialist, and Pornsak Hanvoravongchai, Device Innovation Manager, among others. They went through various part include a presentation of AIS current M2M business, what IoT will change (e.g. brings in statups and makers), some technical details about NB-IoT, and the company offering for makers.

I’ll go into more details in a separate post tomorrow, but if you want to get started the good news is that it’s now possible to pre-order a 1,990 THB Arduino Shield ($61) between December 6-9, and get it shipped on February 14, 2018. NB-IoT connectivity is free for one year, and will then cost 350 Baht (around $10) per year per device. However, there’s a cost to enable NB-IoT on LTE base stations, so AIS will only enable NB-IoT at some universities, and maker spaces, meaning for example, I would most certainly be able to use such kit from home. An AIS representative told me their no roadmap for deployment, it will depend on the business demand for such services.

If you are lucky you may even spot one or two dancing dinosaurs at the event.

Gameshell Portable Retro Gaming Console Features Clockwork Pi Allwinner R16 Board (Crowdfunding)

November 24th, 2017 3 comments

Allwinner R16 with its lowly four Cortex A7 cores and Mali-400MP2 GPU would not normally come to mind when designing a gaming console. But Nintendo used the R16 processor twice in their retro gaming consoles: NES Classic and SNES Classic Edition.

Clockwork, a startup based in Hangzhou, China, decided they could also do gaming console with the processor: Gameshell. But their product is quite different, as it’s both a portable console with 2.7″ display, and a development platform with the console based on Clockwork Pi development board, and an Atmel AVR (Arduino) based keypad board.

Gameshell specifications:

  • Clockwork Pi development board
    • SoC – Alwinner R16-J quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
    • System Memory – 512MB or 1GB (in future revision of the board)
    • Storage – 1x micro SDHC slot
    • Video Output / Display I/F – 18-bit RGB display interface, micro HDMI (planned in revision of the board),
    • Audio Output – Via HDMI, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
    • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
    • USB – 1x micro USB port
    • Expansion – 14-pin header with UART, I2C, SPI, GPIO
    • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or 3.7V battery
    • Dimensions – 70×50 mm
  • Keypad board
    • MCU- Microchip Atmel ATMega160p MCU
    • 30-pin header with flat headers
    • ISP programming connector
    • I2C? interface to Clockwork Pi
    • micro USB connector
  • Display – 2.7″ RGB display with 320×240 @ 60 Hz
  • Stereo Speaker Module
  • Battery – 1,050 mAh good for 3 hours of continuous use, 100 hours standby
  • Weight – 195 grams

The console runs Linux, and supported thousands of games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, SNES and more. Doom, and Cave Story are included in the console, with more free games coming in the future. The game console is designed to be disassembled, so that you can use it as a Linux + Arduino development platform for education and/or fun. You can run the company’ Clockwork OS with classic games support (apparently via RetroArch) and programming languages, but other OS will also be provided including Debian, Ubuntu, and Raspbian.

Gameshell is now on Kickstarter, and it’s going rather well right now with over $180,000 raised for the project. A $109 early bird pledge will include the white and gray Gameshell, a micro SD card preloaded with the OS and games, and a logo sticker. They also have rewards with different a rear shell with a different colors, and bundles with multiple consoles. Shipping add $10 for one console, and delivery is planned for April 2018. You may also find more details on Clockworkpi.com website.

Detect Lightning with Those AMS AS3935 “Thunder” Boards

November 24th, 2017 1 comment

Launched in 2012, AMS AS3935 Franklin lightning sensor  is – at its name implies – a lightning sensing IC. The chip was designed for low power, portable or fixed wire-line applications, and beside detecting electrical emissions from lightning activity, it can also provide an estimation of the distance to the head of the storm from 40km away down to 1km, while filtering out other signals from motors, microwave ovens, etc…

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The chip interfaces via SPI or I2C to the host processor / micro-controller, and comes in a small MLPW-16 (4x4mm) package. Price is $3.55 per unit for 1k orders. Applications include wearables, golf carts, pool safety, portable GPS, bike computers, weather stations, uninterruptible power supplies, smart grid systems, environmental monitoring systems, etc… Basically, AS3935 can be used either for weather monitoring, or safety applications.

I’ve found two maker boards with the chip: MikroElectronika Thunder Click board compatible with MikroBUS socket (available now), and SwitchDoc Labs Thunder Board recently launched on Kickstarter, but that may be easier to use since Raspberry Pi and Arduino kits are offered.

MikroElectronika Thunder Click Board

Specifications:

  • On-board modules – AS3935 lightning sensor IC; MA5532 coil antenna
  • Detection – Distance to the head of the storm from 40 km down to 1 km in 14 steps; Detects both cloud-to-ground and intra-cloud (cloud-to-cloud) flashes
  • I/Os –  GPIOs, and SPI
  • Supply Voltage – 3.3V or 5V
  • mikroBUS socket compatible
  • Dimensions – 42.9 x 25.4 mm

You’ll find documentation and examples on the product page, where you can also purchase it for $35.  The board is ideal if you own a board with a mikroBus socket such as Hummingboard Gate, or Microchip Curiosity, although MikroElectronika sells MikroBus adapters for Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards. Note that the sample are for Microchip PIC32, so you’d have to adapt the code to your own platform.

SwitchDoc Labs Thunder Board and Kits

Specifications are basically the same as for Thunder Click boards, except it exposes two Grove connectors for Seeed Studio modules, and it interfaces to the host processor via I2C instead of SPI, and include 3 I/Os for interrupt and 2 analog inputs on the header.

But if you want something really easy to get started, the IoT Kits for Arduino or Raspberry Pi Zero W are the way to go. They are plug-and-play with an LCD display showing lightning info and a buzzer sound the alarm when lightning is detected, customizable thanks to open source software, and can be connected to the Internet over WiFi.

The Arduino kit includes:

  • The Thunder Board
  • Grove Mini Pro LP Arduino @ 16MHz
  • Grove WiFi Interface, LCD Display, and Buzzer
  • Grove cables
  • USB cable for power
  • FTDI cable for Programming
  • 3D printed enclosure or files depending on selected perk

The Raspberry pi kit includes:

  • The Thunder Board
  • Grove Temperature and Humidity Sensor, LCD Display, and Buzzer
  • Pi2Grover for Raspberry Pi
  • Grove Cables
  • 3D printed case or files  depending on reward

You’ll need to add your own Raspberry Pi board to the second kit, preferably Raspberry Pi Zero W.

The kits can transmit data to Pubnub over MQTT, which then displayed on Freeboard Internet dashboard as shown below.

Since lightning only occurs during thunderstorms, it would make testing problematic, or at least very slow, if you just had to wait for natural occurrences. So the company also made the Thunder Lightning Simulator board based on Arduino.

The Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed it funding target with over  $5,000 raised, and 12 days to go. A pledge of $23 should get your the Thunder Board, a $75 pledge is asked for respectively the Arduino and Raspberry Pi kits with 3D printed file, while $170 is needed if you want a complete Arduino kit with case and simulator. Shipping adds $3 to $30 depending on rewards and destination. Delivery is scheduled for next month.

Arduino Create Adds Support for Linux Development Boards (based on Intel processors for now)

November 7th, 2017 No comments

Most people are used to program Arduino compatible boards with the Arduino IDE that they’ve installed in their Windows/Linux/Mac OS computer, and manage everything locally. But Arduino introduced Arduino Create last year, which includes Arduino Web Editor allowing you to perform the same tasks in your web browser, and save your files in the cloud.

The company has now added Linux support to Arduino Create so that users can now program their Linux devices as if they were regular Arduino boards, and easily deploy IoT applications with integrated cloud services. The initial release has been sponsored by Intel, and currently supports X86/X86_64 boards, but other hardware architectures will be supported in the coming month.

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In the meantime, AAEON UP2 board is the best platform to get started, as a complete getting started guide is available for the platform. But other mini PCs such as Intel NUC, Dell Wyse, Gigabyte GB-BXT are also supported, and you’ll find more generic instructions to get started.

Multiple Arduino programs can run simultaneously on a Linux devices and can communicate with each other thanks to MQTT based Arduino Connector. There are a currently three projects based on UP Squared board on the Project Hub, and if you need help, a dedicated forum has been launched.

Intel provided a few more details about the initiative in their announcement, highlighting the following points:

  • Reduce set up time with native integration of UP Squared Grove Development Kit with Arduino Create
  • Pre-installed custom Ubuntu Server 16.04 OS on the UP Squared Grove Development Kit
  • Simple getting started experience in Arduino Create for Intel based IoT platforms running Ubuntu on Intel Atom, Intel Core, or Intel Xeon processors.
  • Integrated libraries and SDKs such as UPM sensor libraries supporting over 400+ sensors, OpenCV, Intel Math Kernel Library, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, etc…
  • Supports the ability to run multiple sketches / programs at the same time
  • Export your sketch to a CMake project providing an easy development bridge to Intel System Studio 2018
  • Integrates mraa, the hardware abstraction layer by Intel, into the Arduino core libraries enabling support for all Intel platforms

Giveaway Week – Wio GPS Tracker Board

November 3rd, 2017 106 comments

It’s Friday, and the fifth day of giveaway week on CNX Software. Today, I’ll be giving away Wio Tracker, an Arduino compatible board based on Microchip / Atmel SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0 MCU with GPS, Bluetooth, 2G GSM/GPRS connectivity.

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My review of the board was rather negative, as I only managed to make Bluetooth 3.0 work while following the documentation as it was back in May. Since then the documentation seems to have improved, and other people have been more successful than me, and made the blink LED, and GPS samples to work. This version of the board only support 2G, so make sure it is still supported in your region/country.

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To enter the draw simply leave a comment below. Other rules are as follows:

  • Only one entry per contest. I will filter out entries with the same IP and/or email address.
  • Contests are open for 48 hours starting at 10am (Bangkok time) every day. Comments will be closed after 48 hours.
  • Winners will be selected with random.org, and announced in the comments section of each giveaway.
  • I’ll contact the winner by email, and I’ll expect an answer within 24 hours, or I’ll pick another winner.
  • Shipping
    • $5 for registered airmail small packet for oversea shipping payable via Paypal within 48 hours once the contest (for a given product) is complete.
    • If Paypal is not available in your country, you can still play, and I’ll cover the cost of sending the parcel by Sea and Land (SAL) without registration if you win.
  • I’ll post all 10 prizes at the same time, around the 8th of November
  • I’ll make sure we have 10 different winners, so if you have already won a device during this giveaway week, I’ll draw another person.

Good luck!

The board is now sold for $24.95 on SeeedStudio, but if 2G sunset has happened or is coming soon in your country, you may consider Wio LTE board instead with 3G/4G connectivity. But as with other 4G capable devices, it is quite more expensive as it costs around $100.