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Posts Tagged ‘lora’

Arduino MKR WAN 1300 & MKR GSM 1400 Boards Launched with LoRaWAN and 3G Connectivity

September 25th, 2017 4 comments

Arduino has introduced two new boards right in time for Maker Faire New York: MKR WAN 1300 with a LoRa radio, and MKR GSM 1400 with a “3.75G” cellular module, both software compatible with Arduino Zero, and in Arduino MKRZero board form factor.

MKR WAN 1300 Board

 

Click to Enlarge

Arduino MKR WAN 1300 specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip Atmel SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash (8KB for bootloader)
  • Digital I/O Pins – 8x digital I/Os, 12x PWM, UART, SPI, and I2C, 8x external interrupts
  • Analog Pins – 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC), and 1x analog output (10-bit DAC)
  • DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA
  • LPWAN connectivity
    • Murata CMWZ1ZZABZ LoRa module based on Semtech SX1276 and STMicro STM32L
    • Antenna power – 2dB
    • Carrier frequency – 433/868/915 MHz
    • Working regions – EU/US
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • Misc – Reset button, 6x LEDs, 32.768 kHz RTC
  • Power
    • 5V via micro USB port or Vin pin
    • 2x AA or AAA batteries support
    • I/O Operating Voltage – 3.3V
  • Dimensions – 67.64 x 25 mm
  • Weight – 32 grams

It’s interesting to note that the Murata module includes an STM32L MCU, and exposes ADC/DAC, GPIOs, SPI, I2C.. pins, so in theory it would be possible to create a similar board without the Microchip/Atmel chip, but Arduino IDE compatibility may have suffered despite work on Arduino STM32, and the exposed I/Os could not be the same (e.g. only 4x ADC).

MKR GSM 1400

 

Click to Enlarge

Arduino MKR GSM 1400 board has very similar specifications, except it replaces the LoRa radio with a u-blox cellular module, and supports LiPo batteries:

  • MCU – Microchip Atmel SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash (8KB for bootloader)
  • Digital I/O Pins – 8x digital I/Os, 12x PWM, UART, SPI, and I2C, 8x external interrupts
  • Analog Pins – 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC), and 1x analog output (10-bit DAC)
  • DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • u-blox SARAU201 cellular module supporting 3.75G UMTS/HSPA with 2G GSM/(E)GPRS fallback
    • NanoSIM card slot
    • u.FL connector for external antenna
    • Working regions – Global
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • Misc – Reset button, 6x LEDs, 32.768 kHz RTC
  • Power
    • 5V via micro USB port
    • 5V to 12V Vin pin
    • 3.7V LiPo battery support
    • I/O Operating Voltage – 3.3V
  • Dimensions – 67.64 x 25 mm
  • Weight – 32 grams

Both boards are up for pre-order with shipping expected for November 15th with MKR WAN 1300 going for $39 / 35 Euros excluding VAT, and MKR GSM 1400 selling for $69.00 / 59.90 Euros excluding VAT. Further documentation is accessible through the store links.

LimeSDR Mini is a $135 Open Source Hardware, Full Duplex USB SDR Board (Crowdfunding)

September 18th, 2017 13 comments

LimeSDR open source hardware software defined radio was launched last year with the promise of integration with Ubuntu Snap Store allowing to easily download and install various radio implementations such as LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, etc… It was offered for $200 and up as part of a crowdfunding campaign, but Lime Microsystems is back on CrowdSupply with a cheaper and low end version aptly called LimeSDR Mini.LimeSDR mini specifications:

  • FPGA – Intel Altera Max 10 (10M16SAU169C8G) with 16K Logic gates, 549 KB M9K memory, 2,368 KB user flash memory
  • Storage –  4 MB flash memory for data; 2x128KB EEPROM for RF transceiver MCU firmware and data
  • RF
    • Lime Microsystems LMS7002M RF transceiver
    • Tx & Rx SMA connectors
    • Frequency range – 10 MHz to 3.5 GHz
    • RF bandwidth – 30.72 Mhz
    • Sample Rate – 30.72 MSps with 12-bit sample depth
    • Power Output (CW): up to 10 dBm
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port via FTDI FT601 controller chip
  • Expansion – 8-pin FPGA GPIO header
  • Misc – 2x  dual color LEDs, JTAG
  • Power – USB or external power supply
  • Dimensions – 69 mm x 31.4 mm

The company also put together a table to compare LimeSDR to LimeSDR Mini and other product on the markers from the dirty cheap RTL-SDR stick to more expensive and advanced solutions like Ettus B210.

The new LimeSDR Mini board will support the same development tools such as LimeSuite, and Snappy Ubuntu Core apps as its old brother, although I’m not quite sure about the status about the app store, as they did not provide that many details. The board will also be open source hardware, with hardware design files that should be released on MyriadRF’s Github account shortly before or after shipping. The company will also offer some accessories for the board such as an acrylic enclosure, and three SMA antennas optimized for 800-960 MHz, 1710-2170 MHz, and 2400-2700 MHz.

LimeSDR Mini Prototype (no SMA connectors) in Acrylic Case

The goal is to raise at least $100,000 for mass production, and after a few days they’re off to a good start with over $76,000 pledged. All 500 $99 early bird rewards are gone, but you can still pledge $139 for the board with delivery planned for December 31, 2017. Shipping is free to the US, and $10 to the rest of the world.

WizziKit is a DASH7, LoRa and Sigfox Wireless Sensor & Actuator Network Kit

September 13th, 2017 2 comments

Over the last few years, I’ve written several article about LoRaWAN, Cellular IoT, and Sigfox based long range low power IoT solutions. DASH7 is another LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) standard that operates on the same 868 and 915 MHz ISM bands as LoRa and Sigfox, but has much lower power consumption, and the cost of a shorter range up to 500 meters, instead of the 5+km associated with LoRa or SigFox.

The DASH7 Alliance Protocol (D7A) is an Open Standard, and if you want more details you can download version 1.1 of the specifications on DASH7 Alliance website. I’m writing about DASH7 today thanks to an article on ST blog about Wizzilab’s Wizzikit, an evaluation kit and framework for DASH7 with a gateway, and several nodes that can also optionally support LoRaWAN and Sigfox protocols.

Click to Enlarge

The kit is comprised of the following items:

  • WizziGate GW2120 Ethernet/Wifi/Dash7 gateway – based on GL-iNet AR150 router –  with antenna for the selected band (868/915 MHz) and USB power cable.
  • 2x Nucleo-L432KC STM32 development board compatible with Arduino. mbed, and ST morpho
  • 2x D7A SH2050 Nucleo Shield with a multimode Murata Lora Module supporting LoRa, DASH7, and Sigfox, as well as four sensor chips: light sensor,  magnetometer & accelerometer, humidity and temperature sensor, and a pressure sensor.
  • 2x mini USB cable to power up and program the Nucleo boards

DA7 SH2050 Shield

You’ll also need to add you own USB power adapter for the gateway. The kit also comes with access to the company’s DASH7Board cloud service. The Wiki includes some information, including a quick start guide explaining how to register the gateway, and start loading the demo code using mbed. Since DASH7 is much more power efficient than LoRaWAN it can either be used to prolong battery life, or to send more frequent messages for example to control actuators. With LoRaWAN, downlink access can only be initiated by the end node, but DASH7 is bi-directional allowing for OTA firmware upgrades. The solution was showcased a few months ago at ST Techday with two demos: sending a message to a single node, and OTA code upgrade (actually picture upload) to multiple boards with a broadcast message.

Wizzilab’s Wizzikit is sold for 299.00 Euros with either 868 and 915 MHz band. Further details on be found on Wizzilab website.

RadioShuttle Network Protocol is an Efficient, Fast & Secure Alternative to LoRaWAN Protocol

September 6th, 2017 5 comments

LoRaWAN protocol is one of the most popular LPWAN standards used for the Internet of Things today, but some people found it “lacked efficiency, did not support direct node-to-node communication, and was too costly and far too complicated for many applications”, so they developed their own LoRa wireless protocol software called RadioShuttle, which they claim is “capable of efficiently sending messages in a fast and secure way between simple LoRa modules”.

Some of the key features of the protocol include:

  • Support for secure or insecure (less time/energy) message transmission, multiple messages transmission in parallel
  • Unique 32-bit device ID (device number) per LoRa member, unique 16-bit app ID (program number for the communication)
  • Security – Login with SHA-256 encrypt password; AES-128 message encryption
  • Air Traffic Control – Nodes only send if no LoRa signal is active on that channel.
  • Optimized protocol –  Message delivery within 110 ms (SF7, 125 kHz, free channel provided); default LoRa bandwidth 125 kHz (125/250/500 kHz adjustable), as narrow bandwidths allow for a longer range; Automatic transmitting power adjustment
  • Operating modes
    • Station, constant power supply recommended –  12 mA in receiving mode, transmitting mode (20 to 100 mA)
    • Node Online (permanently receiving), constant power supply recommended – 12 mA in receiving mode, transmitting mode (20 to 100 mA)
    • Wireless sensor (Node Offline checking) – Node reports back regularly. 1 µA in standby mode, battery operation for years.
    • Wireless sensor (Node Offline) – Node only active if events are reported. 1 µA in standby mode, battery operation for years.

The Radioshuttle library has a low memory and storage footprint with current requirements of

  • 100 kB Flash for RadioShuttle library with SHA256 & AES
  • 10 kB RAM for Node Offline/Checking/Online mode
  • 10 kB RAM for Station Basic mode (RAM depends on the number of nodes)
  • 1 MB RAM for Station Server mode (Raspberry Pi, 10,000 LoRa nodes)

The solution supports various Arduino boards, some ARM Mbed boards (e,g, STM32L0, STM32L4), and Linux capable boards like Raspberry Pi or Orange Pi (planned). Semtech SX1276MB1MAS and SX1276MB1LAS (SX1276-based), MURATA CMWX1ZZABZ-078/091 (found in STM32 Discovery kit for LoRaWAN), and HopeRF RFM95 transceivers are supported.

LonRa Board – Click to Enlarge

The developers have also designed their own LongRa board, compatible with Arduino Zero, based on Semtech SX1276 LoRa radio chip with a 168 dB link budget and support for 868 MHz & 915 MHz frequency. The board can be powered by its micro USB port, or by two AA batteries if you’re going to use the board as a wireless sensor node.

RadioShuttle protocol is not open source for now, and while it support multiple devices as stated previsouly, if you are not using LongRa board, a 25 Euros license is required per device.

 

$6.10 Loraduino Board Combines LoRa and Atmega328P MCU

August 30th, 2017 8 comments

We’ve previoulsy seen low costs SX1278 LoRa modules @ 433 MHz  which you could connect to your own board, but Electrodragon is now selling Loraduino board with an Atmega328P MCU and SX1278 for just $6.10 / 5 Euros plus shipping, and using a layout similar to Arduino Pro Mini.

Loraduino specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip / Atmel Atmega328P MCU with Arduino pro mini bootloader
  • Storage – 16Mbit SPI flash for data
  • LoRa
    • Semtech SX1278 IC with 433mhz, or 470mhz central frequency
    • 10 km max range
    • 20dbm max power rate (configurable by software)
    • Tx current: 120 mA @ + 20 dBm; 90mA @ + 17dBm;  29mA @ + 13dBm
    • Data Rate –  1.2K to 300Kbps with FSK;  18 bps to 37.5Kbps with LoRa
  • Expansion
    • SX1278 Lora: leadout for pins IO1, IO2, IO3
    • Atmega: 14x digital input/output pins (including 6x PWM outputs), 6x analog inputs (TBC)
  • Misc – Programmable LED (D7),  power LED, and charge status LED.
  • Power Supply – On-board Lithium battery source jack, and MCP73831 smart charge IC. Charge when 5V power supplied to board.
  • Dimensions – 46×23 mm (Arduino Pro Mini: ~33x17mm)
  • Operating temperature –  -40 ℃ ~ +85 ℃

The board ships with a spring pin antenna, and a battery cable. The MCU and SX1278 chip are connected through an SPI interface. There’s limited information on the Wiki, where they explain you can use the board with Radiohead RF95 library, and load rf95_reliable_client.ino in Arduino IDE to test it out.

Thanks to Zoobab for the tip

RakWireless RAK831 LoRa Gateway Module is Based on Semtech SX1301 Base Band Processor

August 6th, 2017 7 comments

We’ve previously covered several products from RakWireless, with a Realtek WiFi IoT board, a WiFi camera board, and a Amazon Alexa compatible audio board. The company has now launched RAK831, a LoRaWAN gateway board powered by Semtech SX1301 base band processor, and working with their RAK811 LoRa node or other compatible nodes.

Click to Enlarge

RAK831 LoRA gateway board specifications:

  • Connectivity
    • Semtech SX1301 base band processor with LoRa concentrator IP
    • Frequency bands – 433, 470, 868, or 915 MHz
    • Sensitivity – Down to -142.5 dBm
    • Maximum link budget – 162 dB
    • Output power level – up to 23 dBm
    • Emulates 49 x LoRa demodulators
    • 12x parallel demodulation paths
    • 1x (G)FSK demodulator
    • 2x SX1257 Tx/Rx front-ends high frequencies
    • 2x SX1255 Tx/Rx front-ends low frequencies
    • Range  – Up to 15 km (Line of Sight); several kilometers in urban environment
  • GNSS – Optional GPS support
  • Host Interface – SPI
  • Expansion – 24-pin 2.54mm pitch “DB24” header with access to SPI, 5x GPIOs, radio related signals, and +5V / GND
  • Misc – Status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V
  • Dimensions – size 80.0 x 50.0 x 5.0mm

The board can be used for various applications such smart metering, wireless star networks, home/building/factory automation, wireless sensors, wireless alarm & security systems, and so on. The guide start guide found in the documentation page, explains you’ll need a USB to SPI adapter board, for example based on FT2232HL chip,connected to an Ubuntu computer, or instead a board with an SPI interface running Ubuntu, or other Linux distribution. Finally, you’ll need to install  the software found in RAK831_LoRaGateway Github repository.

The company has also sent beta samples to several testers, and one of them – Naresh Krish – wrote a guide to use RAK831 with Raspberry Pi 3 board, registering the WiFi <-> LoRa gateway with TheThingsNetwork, and connecting to a RAK811 node.

RAK831 gateway is for $120 and up on Aliexpress for 433 MHz, 868 MHz or 915 MHz frequencies, or $125 if you want to add the acrylic case shown above. You may find additional details on the product page.

Gumstix Pi Conduit Gateway Board Leverages Raspberry Pi Compute Module, Off-the-Shelf LoRa and Cellular Modules

August 4th, 2017 No comments

Gumstix has designed Pi Conduit Gateway baseboard for both the Raspberry Pi Compute Module and RisingRF RHF0M301 LoRa gateway module, in order to create a Linux based LoRa gateway that can optionally support LTE or other cellular connectivity via NimbeLink Skywire cellular modem.

Conduit Pi LoRa Gateway board specifications:

  • 200-pin SO-DIMM connector for Raspberry Pi Compute Module / Raspberry Pi 3 Compute Module (CM3 / CM3L)
  • Headers for RisingRF RHF0M301 LoRa Module
  • NimbeLink Skywire 2G/3G/4G cellular modem connector
  • Low profile 10/100M Ethernet jack (implemented via USB 2.0)
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for debugging via an FTDI USB to TTL chip
  • Misc – User (GPIO5) and reset buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V via power barrel

The board was designed using Geppetto, which means you should be able to customize it to your needs by modifying it the original design in a web browser, and order your brand new custom board from there.

Let’s have a closer look at the LoRa and LTE modules – pictured above – for the baseboard:

  • RisingRF RHF0M301 LoRa Gateway and Concentrator Module:
    • 10 channels (8 x Multi-SF + 1 x Standard LoRa + 1 x FSK) LoRa/LoRaWAN gateway or concentrator module.
    • RF input power – less than -13dBm
    • Frequency ranges (SKU dependent) – 430MHz ~ 437MHz; 470MHz ~ 490MHz; 779MHz ~ 787MHz; 859MHz ~ 870MHz; 900MHz ~ 930MHz
    • Host Interface – SPI
    • 24 pins DIP header
    • Operating voltage – <= 6V
    • Dimension – 40 x 63 mm
    • Temperature range – -40°C to +85°C
  • NimbeLink Skywire cellular modem modules:
    • 2x 10-pin headers
    • Several models for 2G CDMA, 2G GPRS, 3G EVDO, 3G HSPA+, LTE Cat 1/3/4, or LTE Cat M1
    • GPS supported on some models
    • Interfaces – XBee Standard, UART, and USB (on some models only)
    • Operating voltage – Depends on module (
    • Dimensions – 33 x 29 x 10.5 mm
    • Temperature range – -40°C to +85°C

Gumstix are known for their Overo modules based on Texas Instruments OMAP/Sitara processors, so they’ve also made an Overo Conduit Gateway using Overo modules instead of the Raspberry Pi SoMs, but only supporting RisingRF LoRa module, not the cellular ones. The video below gives an overview of the new Gumstix LoRa solutions and how to customize the board in Geppetto.

Pi Conduit Gateway board is sold for $84, but bear in mind that you need to add the price of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, RisingRF module, and optionally NimbeLink Skywire cellular mode. The Overo baseboard is quite cheaper, and also customizable at $59. Visit Gumstix LoRaWAN family page for the full details.

Microchip based Orange LoRa Explorer Kit Connects to Orange’s own LoRaWAN Network

June 19th, 2017 No comments

You’d think Telecom operators with all infrastructure in place would focus their IoT efforts on LTE Cat M1 or LTE Cat NB-IoT, but Orange has setup its own LoRa network in France with the aim of achieving national coverage by December 2017, at which time they’ll also test interconnection and roaming with other European operators. The company has also launched the LoRa Explorer Kit based on Microchip solutions, and designed by SODAQ.

Click to Enlarge

Orange LoRa Explorer Kit specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip Atmel SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB RAM, up to 16KB EEPROM by emulation
  • Storage – 4Mbit serial flash (Microchip SST25PF040C)
  • Connectivity
    • Microchip RN2483A LoRa module + PCB antenna
    • Microchip RN4871 Bluetooth 4.2 module (BLE) with ceramic antenna
  • Security – Microchip ATECC508A1 crypto chip to securely store LoRa keys.
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for charging and programming
  • Expansion – “Arduino M0” compatible headers with 10-bit ADC, 20x GPIOs, I2C, etc…
  • Misc – MCP97001 temperature sensor; RGB LED
  • Power Supply – 5V vai micro USB; 3.7 LiPo battery; on-board rechargeable coin cell battery;  Microchip MCP 73831 Charge controller
  • Dimensions – 40 x 25 mm

The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE. The page https://lpwa.liveobjects.orange-business.com/ must have some information, but you must be a customer as it requires a login to access it. The company claims you’ll get access to user guide, sample codes, and Orange libraries. Systev blog explains how to get started in details with Explorer board and Orange LoRa network. Beside the hardware, you’ll also get 6 months free access to the Live Objects platform for device and data management, and 6 months free connectivity through the “IoT Connect Low Power” service, which would then costs 1€ to 2€ per month per object depending on volume.

You’ll find a few more details on Orange Explorer LoRa kit product page, and you can purchase the kit for €83,49 including 21% VAT on SODAQ shop.

Thanks to Tirguy for the tip.