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Posts Tagged ‘gps’

PingPong IoT Development Board Supports Cellular Connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, Sigfox, and More

October 19th, 2017 No comments

Round Solutions, a supplier of products, services and concepts for industrial M2M and IoT markets, has introduced PingPong IoT development board with either Microchip PIC32MZ running an RTOS, or PIC32MZ DA running Linux, and equipped with a Telit modules for either 2G or 3G cellular + GNSS connectivity.

The board can also support WiFi, Bluetooth, ISM/RF, NFC/RFID, LoRa, Sigfox, Iridium satellite, and serial interface thanks to a range of expansion boards.

PingPong IoT board specifications:

  • MCU / Flash
    • RTOS version – Microchip PIC32MZ 32-bit Microcontroller @ 200 MHz, with 512 KB RAM and 2 MB Flash Memory + 4 MB external memory
    • Linux version – Microchip PIC32MZ DA  (Full specs TBA)
  • Connectivity
    • Cellular connectivity
      • Telit xE910 module with 2G, 3G and/or 4G LTE (coming soon)
      • Data
        • GSM/GPRS – Uplink/Downlink: 9.6 kbps
        • UMTS – Downlink: 384 kbps, Uplink: 384 kbps
        • HSPA+ – Downlink: 42.0 Mbps, Uplink: 5.75 Mbps
        • LTE – Download: 100 Mbps, Uplink: 50 Mbps
      • Frequency Bands (MHz) – 1800, 1900, 2100, 850, 900
      • 2x SIM card slots, SIM on chip
      • u.FL antenna connector
    • GNSS
      • Telit SL869 module for GPS, Glonass, and Galileo E1
      • u.FL antenna connector for GPS
    • 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45)
    • Connectivity stackable expansion boards for
      • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: with webserver on board
      • Satellite communication: Iridium
      • ISM/RF:433MHz/868MHz/915MHz/2.4GHz
      • NFC/RFID: Protocol EPCglobal Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C)
      • Sigfox/LoRa: Ultra low power transmitter
  • Other stackable expansion boards:
    • I/O & Serial Board: 10 digital/10 analog/4 frequencies, RS485, RS232
    • Still image and video camera
  • USB – 1x micro USB port
  • I/Os
    • 2x connectors for stackable extension boards with UART, SPI, CAN, I²C
    • 1x CAN interface, 2x analog inputs, 4x 3-state logic inputs, 4x NMOSFET outputs, 1-wire interface
    • 2x current measurement inputs (24-bit resolution)
  • Sensors – Magnetometer, accelerometer
  • Power Supply – 9 to 60V DC
  • Dimensions – 85 x 52 x 23 mm
  • Temperature Range – -40 C to +85 C (industrial grade)
  • Certification CE

 

The RTOS version uses C/C++ and Python and comes with a USB CDC bootloader, while the Linux version is more versatile with support for Open VPN, IPSEC tunnels for example for IoT gateway / router functionality. The source code is available for both operating system, and the company can also provide ready-made software packages for remote metering, asset tracking, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth gateway, MODbus over TCP, or MODbus RS485.

The board is also compatible with MPLAB Harmony, and can connect to Cumulocity IoT Cloud Platform or Telit m2mAIR Cloud out of the box.

The Linux & 4G versions of the board still appear to be in development, but PingPong IoT 3G/RTOS board is available now, starting at 197 Euros with the board only, and up to 445 Euros with the WiFi/Bluetooth, and RF/ISM add-on boards.

Intrinsyc Launches Open-Q 660 HDK Snapdragon 660 Development Kit

October 7th, 2017 3 comments

For many years now, Intrinsyc has been releasing Qualcomm mobile development platforms that that are used by companies wanting to design and manufacture smartphones or other products based on Snapdragon processors. Those are usually full featured, including a smartphone display, and well suited to such product development.

Their latest development kit is the Open-Q 600 HDK (Hardware Development Kit) powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, an upgrade to Snapdragon 653 with about 20 percent improvement in CPU performance, and 30 percent in GPU performance. The kit is also equipped with 6GB RAM, 64GB flash, a display, wireless modules, sensors, camera interfaces, expansion headers, and more.

Intrinsyc Open-Q 600 specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor with
    • Four Kryo 260 performance cores @ up to 2.2GHz, four Kryo 260 low power cores @ up to 1.8GHz
    • Adreno 512 GPU @ up to 650 MHz supporting OpenGL ES 3.0/3.2, Vulkan, DX12 FL 12, OpenCL 2.0 full profile
    • Hexagon 680 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtensions (dual-HVX512) designed for 784 MHz
  • Memory – 6GB LPDDR4x
  • Storage – 64GB eMMC 5.1 flash (combined with LPDDR4x RAM in eMCP package), microSD slot
  • Display / Video Output
    • 2x 4-lane MIPI-DSI connector + touch panel support
    • Optional 5.7″  AMOLED display with 1920×1080 resolution, PCAP touch panel, via 4-lane MIPI DSI interface
    • DisplayPort 1.3 on USB 3.1 Type C port up to 2560×1600 (WQXGA) @ 60fps
  • Camera I/F
    • 3x 4-lane MIPI CSI interfaces with 3D camera support
    • Optional camera board with 2x rear-facing 13MP sensors (Samsung S5K3M2) and 1x front-facing 8MP sensor (OmniVision OV8856)
    • Dual 14-bit Qualcomm Spectra ISPwith support for: 16 + 16 MP, 540 MHz each; 24MP30 ZSL with dual ISP; 16 MP 30 ZSL with a single ISP
  • Video Support
    • Encode – 4K30 HEVC/H.264/VP8/MPEG4
    • Decode – 4K30 8-bit: H.264/VP8/VP9, 4K30 10-bit: HEVC
    • Concurrent – 1080p60 Decode + 1080p30 Encode
  • Audio – Qualcomm WCD9335 audio codec; audio expansion headers; 3.5mm ANC headset jack
  • Wireless Connectivity
    • Dual band (2.4/5GHz) 802.11 b/g/n/ac  1×1 MU-MIMO WiFi with MH4L antenna connector and PCB antenna
    • Bluetooth 5 BLE
    • GNSS  – GPS/GLONASS/COMPASS/Galileo via Qualcomm SDR660 GNSS receiver with PCB antenna and SMA connector option
    • 20-pin NFC expansion header
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port (for debugging), 1x USB type C port
  • Expansion I/Os – I2S, SPI, GPIO, JTAG, 24-pin sensor I/O for optional STMicro sensor board
  • Battery – Optional 3,000 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Power Supply – 12V/5A input from included wall adapter; Qualcomm Power and Battery Management (PM660 + PM660A + SMB1381)
  • Dimensions – 170 x 170mm (Mini-ITX form factor)

Click to Enlarge

The platform supports Android 7 Nougat, but there’s not too much public information about software support, except that “Users of the Open-Q 660 Development Kit will receive product documentation and access to complimentary tools and software updates, and additional technical support or product development assistance through Intrinsyc’s technical support services”.

The early adopter version of the kit can be pre-ordered for $999, not including optional display or camera board, which respectively add $210 and $250. The optional battery is not shown in the order page, all orders are subject to approval from the company, and kits should be shipped by the end of October. Visit the product page for additional information.

Via LinuxGizmos

Geolocation on ESP8266 without GPS Module, only WiFi

October 3rd, 2017 8 comments

When I think about geolocation in I normally think about global navigation satellite systems such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, or Beidou, as well as IP geolocation, but the latter is highly inaccurate, and often only good for find out about the country, region, or city.

But if you’ve ever been into your phone location settings, you’d know GPS is only one option, as it can also leverage cellular base stations and WiFi SSIDs, where the former working where there’s coverage, and the later in area with a high enough density of access points. Somehow, I had never thought about using such technology to find location with WiFi modules until Espressif Systems released an application note entitled “Geolocating with ESP8266“.

This document describes how the ESP8266 module may be used to scan for nearby Wi-Fi access points and, then, use their SSID, RSSI and MAC address to obtain a potential fix on the device’s geolocation, using Google geolocation API.

That’s basically a two step process with an AT command returning the list of available APs, SSID, RSSI, and MAC Address:

and after setting up a secure SSL connection, you can then feed that data to Google Geolocation API to get the location with a command that looks like (wifiAccessPoint data not filled here):

Further research led me to m0xpd experimentation with Geolocation on ESP8266 last year, using both IP geolocation (found to be very inaccurate), and Google or Mozilla APIs, and posted his Arduino source code on Github. The Google API found his actual home in Manchester with just the information retrieved from the list of access points.

That also means that unsecured devices on the public Internet can easily be located, as an hacker logins to a router or IoT device, he just needs to run a command to find out the information required by his preferred geolocation API.

Mictrack MT600 4G GPS Tracker Supports Traccar, OpenGTS, and Other GPS Tracking Platforms

September 19th, 2017 2 comments

Cellular GPS trackers have been around for a few years, but so far mostly 2G or 3G GPS trackers with products like Ping, Particle Asset tracker, and many other models selling on Aliexpress. 4G GPS tracker have been less common. However, recently we’ve seen platforms like Wio LTE and AutoPi that could handle GPS tracking over LTE connectivity, and another alternative would be Mictrack MT600 that ready-to-use solution to track your car or other vehicle with GPS and 4G.

Mictrack MT600 hardware specifications:

  • GNSS
    • U-BLOX7 GPS Chip
    • GPS sensitivity -162dBm
    • Channel – 56
    • Positioning Accuracy – 10m
    • Cold start: 30s; warm start: 15s; hot start: 1s
    • SMA antenna connector
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • Qualcomm 4G LTE chip
    • MT600-A model (North America):
      • 4G FDD LTE: 700/850/1700/1900MHz
      • 3G UMTS: 850/1700/1900MHz
      • GSM: 850/1900MHz
    • MT600-C model (Asia):
      • 4G FDD LTE: 900/1800/2100MHz
      • 4G TDD LTE: 1900/2300/2500/2600MHz
      • 3G UMTS: 900/2100MHz
      • GSM: 900/1800MHz
    • MT600-E (Australia/Asia/Europe)
      • 4G FDD LTE: 800/850/900/1800/2100/2600MHz
      • 3G UMTS: 850/900/2100MHz
      • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
    • MT600-J (Japan Only) – 4G FDD LTE: B1/ B3/ B8/ B18/ B19/ B26
    • MT600l-V (Verizon Only) – 4G FDD LTE: 700/1700MHz
    • MT600-AUT (Telstra Only)
      • 4G FDD LTE: 700/850//1800/2100/2600MHz
      • 4G UMTS: 850/2100MHz
    • SMA Antenna connector; SIM card slot
  • Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer sensor, temperature sensor
  • Misc – 4G, GPS and charging LEDs; micro USB port, microphone port, J2 “reserve” connector
  • Input voltage – DC 9V-36V via J1 connector
  • Battery – 700mAh/3.7V for backup
  • Power Consumption – 60mA standby current
  • Dimension – 90 x 70 x x 24 mm
  • Weight – 138g
  • Temperature Range –  -20°C to +70°C
  • Humidity – 5% to 95% non-condensing

MT600 GPS tracker ships with GPS and 4G antennas, a 6-pin power cable, and an SOS button by default, with an optional relay available. The 6-pin cable connected to the car’s battery, the SOS button, ACC (12V) power, and optional to the relay connected to the fuel pump. It’s unclear what the reserve connector, micro USB port, and headphone port are for, since they are not mentioned at all in the user manual, except for the diagram above.

6-pin cable connection diagram

It can be controlled / managed through SMS, computer programs, or Yi Tracker mobile app for Android or iOS which will allow you to monitor the real-time position of your car, trip history, alarms for SOS button, low car/backup battery level, towing, high temperature, speeding, and geo-fencing. The company also lists support for camera, door sensor, and fuel sensor but only for ODM partners, which might be the reason why J2 connector and micro USB port exist. The video below explains about the connections without actually showing how to connect it to an actual car, and shows to get started with the tracker using a mobile phone.

The manufacturer claims the “protocol is open” (but does not provide any details), and explains the device is also supported by various third party GPS platforms such as Gurtam, GPSGate, CoryUSGPS, Orange GPS,  OpenGTS and Traccar, with the last two being open source platforms.

Mictrack MT600 is sold on Aliexpress, often under other brands, for $108 shipped and higher. The company has also just released MT550 global 4G GPS tracker using LTE CAT M1/NB1. More info and products can be found on Mictrack website.

Wio LTE GPS Tracker Board Comes with a 4G Modem, Supports Espruino Firmware (JavaScript Programming)

September 6th, 2017 6 comments

Seeed Studio launched Wio GPS tracker with a 2G GSM module a few months ago, and while it should work in some countries, others are phasing out 2G networks, and only support 3G or 4G. The company has now launched an update with Wio LTE board with the same form factor, and most of the same features except they replaced the 2G/Bluetooth/GNSS module with a 4G LTE/GNSS module, and Atmel SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller by an STMicro STM32 ARM Cortex-M4F MCU.

Wio LTE board specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32F405RG ARM Cortex M4F MCU @ 168 MHz with 1MB flash, 192+4KB SRAM
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Connectivity via Quectel EC21-A (America) module
    • LTE Cat.1 modem:
      • FDD LTE: B2/B4/B12 WCDMA: B2/B4/B5
      • AT Command: 3GPP TS27.007 and enhanced AT Commands
      • Data – LTE-FDD Max 10Mbps(DL) Max 5Mbps (UL)
      • NanoSIM card
      • 2x u.FL antenna connectors
    • GNSS – GPS/BeiDou/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSS with 1x u.FL GNSS antenna connector
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack with mic and stereo audio
  • Expansion – 6x Grove Connectors (2x Digital, 2x Analog, 1x UART, 1x I2C)
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and firmware update
  • Misc – RGB LED, LTE power button, MCU reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, 2-pin JST 1.0 header for battery
  • Dimensions – 54.7mm x 48.2mm

When I reviewed Wio GPS Tracker, the instructions provided to use with the Arduino IDE did not work very well. So let’s hope they will come up with a better and up-to-date getting started guide for Wio LTE board in their Wiki. Alternatively, the new board also supports Espruino for JavaScript programming for the I/Os, micro SD card, 4G, SMS, and GPS, and shown in Espruino Wio LTE page.

Seeed Studio is now taking pre-order for Wio LTE US Version for $97.50 plus shipping. Quectel also has other EC21 modules like EC21-E (EMEA, Korea, Thailand, India), EC21-AUT (Australia), and others, so I’d expect Seeed Studio to also launch variants of Wio LTE board that work in other countries.

AutoPi is a 4G & GPS OBD-II Dongle Based on Raspberry Pi Zero W Board (Crowdfunding)

September 1st, 2017 8 comments

We’ve previously cover Macchina M2 OBD-II dongle based on an Arduino compatible MCU, and with 4G LTE support for the maker market, and iWave Systems OBD-II dongle with 4G LTE and LTE running Linux on NXP i.MX6 for the B2B market, but so far I had not seen an hackable OBD-II dongle running Linux for the maker market. AutoPi dongle fills that void as it is based on Raspberry Pi Zero W board, runs Raspbian with Autopi software (AutoPi Core), supports 4G LTE, GPS, etc,.. and connects to your car’s OBD-II socket.

AutoPi dongle specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2835 ARN11 Core processor @ up to 1 GHz
  • System Memory – 512MB LPDDR2 SRAM
  • Storage – 8GB micro SD card
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • 4G Cat 1 modem with 3G/EDGE fallback working worldwide (but region locked)
    • 4G bands – Region specific
    • 3G fallback (WCDMA) – B1, B2, B4, B5, B8
    • EDGE fallback – B3, B8; quad band
    • micro SIM card slot
  • GNSS – Integrated GPS + A-GPS
  • Wireless Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Video – mini HDMI output up to 1080p60
  • Audio – Built-in speakers
  • Car Interface
    • STN-2120 OBD-II, SW-CAN, MS-CAN to UART Interpreter IC
    • Supported Protocols: ISO 15765-4, ISO 14230-4, ISO 9141-2, SAE J1850 VPW, SAE J1850 PWM, SW-CAN, MS-CAN, ISO 15765, ISO 11898 (raw), K-Line, L-Line
  • Expansion – 18x unused GPIO pins
  • Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer
  • Power Supply – Via OBD-2 interface; built-in power management to avoid draining the car’s battery
  • Dimensions – 90 x 45 x 25 mm

The dongle comes pre-assembled with an OBD extension/relocation cable, a case with all electronics including RPi0 W, a micro SD card with AutoPi Core, and some Velcro strips.

Setup is pretty easy with 5 steps:

  1. Insert your micro SD card
  2. Insert the dongle into your vehicle’s OBD-II port
  3. Connect to AutoPi WiFi access point
  4. Configure the device with APN string and AutoPi key
  5. Connect to AutoPi cloud

The cloud platform allows you to remotely monitor your car, and the customizable dashboard gives access to an history of trips, car data, OBD commands, IFTTT, custom Python code development, terminal access, and a REST API is also available to develop your own web app.

Click to Enlarge

A lot of different features are possible thanks to AutoPi dongle and cloud platform, such as voice commands to control windows and aircon in your car, theft detection and tracking, remote start, crash detection with SMS alerts, auto lock/unlock from a smart device, and so on. All is supposed to be done securely, but the company did not provide that many details about that critical part for a such system.

AutoPi’s developers  have launched a Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise at least DKK 475,000 (~$76,000). If you live in Europe, you can pledge ~205 Euros to get an AutoPi from the batch to be delivered in January 2018, others can pledge ~$261 to get a sample from the second batch in March 2018. Note the software will improve overtime, and while all models will be upgradeable, AutoPi dongle with the fully implemented firmware and software will be delivered in the third batch and beyond starting from May 2018. Shipping adds ~$9.60 to Europe, and ~$14.4 to the rest of the world. You may want to visit AutoPi.io website for many more details about the solution.

Sony Spritzer is an Arduino Compatible Board with Built-in GPS, Audio Codec

August 14th, 2017 9 comments

Look who is joining the maker community! Sony has showcased their Arduino compatible Spritzer board during the Maker Faire Tokyo on August 5-6. Despite lacking on-board network connectivity, the board is said to have been designed for IoT applications with features such as an integrated GPS and an advanced digital audio codec and amplifier.

Sony Spritzer specifications:

  • MCU – Sony CDX5602 ARM Cortex-M4F ×6 micro-controller clocked at up to 156 MHz with 1.5MB SRAM
  • Storage – 8MB Flash Memory, micro SD card
  • GNSS – GPS, GLONASS, supported
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack
  • Expansion I/Os
    • Digital I/O Pins – SPI, I2C, UART, PWM ×4 (3.3V)
    • Analog Pins – 6ch (3.3V range)
    • Audio I/O – 8ch Digital MICs or 4ch Analog MICs, Stereo Speaker, I2S, CXD5247 audio codec with 192 kHz/24bit High-Resolution audio
    • 2x camera interfaces
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for programming
  • Power Supply – Via Power barrel and Vin pin?
  • Dimensions – Arduino UNO form factor?

In case you wonder why they bother to include GPS, but not WiFi or Bluetooth, that’s because the board is actually based on a Sony GPS chipset (CDX5602GF or CDX5602GG) that’s manufactured using FD-SOI process allowing for much lower power consumption. I don’t understand the meaning of “x6” in the specs, unless that’s an hexa-core Cortex M4F MCU, which I don’t think is possible.

Click to Enlarge

The block diagram above does a decent job at explaining what’s feasible with the two chipsets used in the board. You’ll have to connect external module to get Bluetooth, WiFi, and LTE, a display up to 360×240 resolution can be used via SPI, all sort of sensors can be connected via the expansion header, the board is suitable for microphone arrays, and it can be powered by batteries thanks to a charger circuit and fuel gauge inside CXD5247 audio codec / PMU chip. The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE and USB cable.

The company demonstrated the board the Maker Faire with a drone utilizing the GPS and the 6-axis sensor support, a smart speaker utilizing the audio functions, a self-driving line-tracing miniature car, and a low-power smart sensing IoT camera using the camera interface of Spritzer.

You’ll have to get patient before getting hold the board, as the Spritzer board is planned to be available for developers in early 2018. Visit the product page (in Japanese) for more details.

Thanks to Jasbir for the tip.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 1200 Platform for Wearables Supports LTE Cat M1 and NB1 (NB-IoT)

June 28th, 2017 No comments

After Snapdragon Wear 2100 and 1100 launched last year , Qualcomm has announced a new Snapdragon Wear 1200 platform still designed for wearables, but with lower power consumption, less processing power, a more compact package, and built-in support for LTE IoT communications standards such as LTE Cat M1 and LTE NB-IoT (Cat NB1).

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 1200 key features and specifications:

  • CPU – ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.3 GHz
  • Memory / Storage – Support for discreet or MCP NAND and LPDDR2
  • Display – Support via SPI for simple UI and displays
  • Modem
    • Global multi-mode supporting Cat-M1 / NB1 / E-GPRS.
    • Supports LTE FDD and TDD for Cat-M1 and E-GRPS and FDD only for Cat-NB1
    • Up to 300 kbps downlink and 350 kbps uplink for Cat-M1
    • 10 kbps download and 60 kbps upload speeds for Cat-NB1
    • Integrated voice support for VoLTE
  • Other Connectivity – Pre-integrated support for Qualcomm 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 / Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Location
    • GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou constellations supported
    • Accurate Wi-Fi and cellular positioning, optimized for Cat-M1/NB1
    • Low power Geo-Fencing
    • Qualcomm Cloud Based Location Services with   day GNSS predicted orbits service, Qualcomm end-to-end Global Terrestrial Positioning (GTP) Wi-Fi
      and cellular service
  • Security
    • Qualcomm Trusted Execution Environment
    • Wireless protocol security
    • Hardware based security with Secure Boot/storage/debug, hardware crypto engine, hardware random number generator, and Trustzone
  • Power Management
    • Ultra-low Rock Bottom Sleep Current (RBSC) for extended standby
    • Power Save Mode (PSM)
    • Extended Discontinuous Receive (eDRX)
    • Charging – Companion charging chipset
  • Package / Process – 79mm2 package; 28nm manufacturing process

The product brief actually mention an ARM Cortex-A1 core, but this must be a mistake, as later on Qualcomm explains the platform is cost-optimized to reduce the BOM and NRE with an ARM Cortex A7 core “eliminating the need for MCUs” . The company also claims the solution is scalable thanks to broad software re-use, and the possibility to add voice, WiFi, and Bluetooth. The solutions is also said to last 10 day on a charge with LTE standy, when paired with 350 mAh battery and using eDRX.

Linux and ThreadX operating systems will be supported, and while Wear 1200 chipset is supposed to target wearables such as kid, pet, elderly, and fitness trackers, I’d assume it might also be useful for some IoT applications like GPS trackers provided it’s cost-effective. Reference designs from Borqs and Quanta are available in order to allow manufacturers to bring products to market quickly. You may be able to find a few more details on Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 1200 product page.