433/868/915 MHz LoRa Modules Are Now Selling for $6 and Up

Market forecasts for the Internet of Things promise billions of connected device in the years to come, but this won’t happen when LPWAN  connector sensors cost $50 or more, so prices will have to come down. I’ve been told that one company is working on a WiFi + LoRa module that’s going to sell for $5 to $6 sometimes in 2017, but in the meantime, it’s possible to get some LoRa modules for less than $10, albeit limited to 433 MHz frequency not the more common 868 MHz (EU) and 915 MHz (US), thanks to products such as AI-Thinker Ra-02 module. Ra-02 specifications: Chipset – Semtech SX1278 low power long range transceiver Radio 433MHz frequency (420 to 450 MHz range) +20dBm – 10mW constant RF output vs. V supply; up to 300 kbps bitrate Supports FSK, GFSK, MSK, GMSK, LoRa and OOK Modulation Mode 127dB RSSI wave range. I/Os – 16x half through holes with half-duplex SPI communication, GPIO and …

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Pycom To Sell WiFi, BLE, LoRa and Sigfox OEM Modules for Your Own Hardware Projects

Pycom is the company making some relatively popular IoT boards programmable with Python such as WiPy, LoPy, SiPy, and soon FiPy, supporting respectively WiFi+BLE, LoRa+WiFi+BLE, Sigfox+WiFi+BLE, and for the latter all four plus LTE CAT M1/NB1. Those little boards are great for personal projects and/or to experiment, but for those of you who would like to integrated IoT connectivity into your own hardware projects, Pycom will soon launch three OEM module for corresponding to WiPy, SiPy and LoPy connectivity featues with respectively W01, S01 and L01 modules. Key features: W01 WipY 2.0 OEM Module – Dual network BLE and WiFi – 7.95 Euros L01 LoPy OEM module – LoRa, WiFi and Bluetooth – 14.95 Euros S01 SiPy OEM module – Sigfox, WiFi and Bluetooth; Available in both 14dB (for Europe) and 22dB (outside Europe) version for respectively 14.95 and 19.95 Euros All three models have basically the same functionality as the full board, but there are missing the voltage regulator, …

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NXP Modular IoT Gateway Supports Thread, Zigbee, NFC, Bluetooth and WiFi Connectivity

NXP has just announced a modular IoT gateway solution for large node networks (>= 250 nodes) based on Volansys i.MX6UL system-on-module, supporting wireless communications protocols such as Thread, ZigBee, NFC through add-on modules, on top of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. NXP Modular IoT Gateway specifications: SoM – Volansys i.MX6UL 200-pin SO-DIMM module with: SoC – NXP i.MX 6UL ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 528 MHz System Memory – 256MB to 1GB DDR3L  RAM Storage – 1GB to 4GB NAND flash, optional 4GB to 16GB eMMC flash, EEPROM for device info PMIC, Mbit Ethernet PHY Wireless Connectivity Expansion Modules: PN7120 explorer board for NFC Kinetis KW41 module for Thread support JN5169 module for Zigbee support 2x MikroBUS headers Baseboard connectors / features: Storage – 1x micro SD slot Connectivity – 1x 10/100M Ethernet port, Murata WiFi 802.11 b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.1 + EDR module with external antenna connector USB – 2x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG ports, Debugging …

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39 Euros FiPy Board Supports Sigfox, LoRa, LTE Cat M1/NB1, Bluetooth 4.2, and WiFi (Crowdfunding)

Long range LPWAN solutions have just started to hit the market, and there are so many standards such as Sigfox and LoRa that it’s difficult to know who will eventually be the winner, or if different standards will co-exist over the long term, and in a general sense it might not be so easy to decide which one is best suited to your project without experimenting first. Pycom has a solution to this problem, as they’ve made a board similar to LoPy with WiFi, Bluetooth, and LoRa, but instead included 5 long and short range IoT protocols: Sigfox, LoRa, LTE Cat M1 & Cat NB1, Bluetooth, and WiFi. Pycom FiPy board specifications: SoC – Espressif ESP32 dual core Tensilica L108 processors @ up to 160 MHz with BT 4.2 and WiFi System Memory – 4MB RAM Storage – 8MB flash memory Connectivity WiFi 802.11 b/g/n @ 16 Mbps up to 1 km range & Bluetooth 4.2 with common u.FL antenna …

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Badgerboard Arduino Compatible LoRa Board Goes for $43 and Up (Crowdfunding)

Here comes one more LoRa board to play with. Badgerboard combines an Arduino compatible Atmel/Microchip AVR MCU with a Microchip RN2483 or RN2903 module in a breadboard compatible board powered via  micro USB port or an external battery. Badgerboard specifications: MCU – Atmel ATmega32U4 MCU Connectivity – LoRaWAN via Microchip RN2483 (EU – 868MHz) / RN2903 (US – 915 MHz) modem with SMA connector and antenna USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming Expansion – 2x 18-pin unpopulated headers with SPI, I2C, 13x GPIOs, 6x 10-bit ADC, 3.3V and GND signals; open drain output for relays up to 24V 100 mA Sensors – STM HTS221 temperature and humidity sensor Misc – Reset button; user and Tx/Rx LEDs; power on/off switch Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, or Li-Ion/ Li-Po battery via JST connector Dimensions – 56 x 26 mm The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE and “tested and verified libraries for LoRaWAN …

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A Closer Look at Ingenu RPMA Alternative to LoRa or Sigfox LPWAN Standards & RPMA Development Kit

I’ve recently started to write a bit more about long range LPWAN standards for IoT applications, especially LoRa and Sigfox, as commercial networks are being launched, and relatively low cost hardware platforms are being introduced to the market. There are also other highly expected standards such as Weightless and LTE Cat M that will bring more competition to the market. Ingenu RPMA (Random Phase Multiple Access) is another available standard that’s been in deployment for a while, and based on an earlier comparison of  long range LPWAN standards, it comes with long range, supports up to 384,000 nodes per “sector”, operates in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz ISM band, and offers high combined uplink and downlink bandwidth than competitors. Ingenu recently contacted me and provided some more details and information about their technology and development kit. One of the documents includes an “independent analysis completed by ABI Research, Inc.” comparing features of Sigfox, LoRa, EC-GSM-IoT, MB-IoT, LTE Cat-M1,  and RPMA. All …

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GR-LoRa is a Reverse-Engineered Open Source Implementation of LoRa PHY

LPWAN standards such as LoRa or Sigfox allow you to transmit data over long distance, at ultra low power (up to 10 years on a AA battery), and for free if your use your own network (P2P or gateway), or a few dollars per years if you go through a network provider. The low cost is possible since those standards rely on 900 MHz ISM bands, meaning nobody has to pay millions of dollars to the government to obtain a license fee. Matt Knight looked at LoRa, and while Level 2 and 3 of the protocol (LoRaWan) has public documentation, Level 1 (LoRa PHY) is proprietary and the standard is proprietary. So he decided to reverse-engineer LoRa PHY using Microchip RN2903 based LoRa Technology Mote and Ettus B210 USB software defined radio, and software packages and tools such as Python and GNU Radio to successfully deliver GR-LoRa open source “GNU Radio OOT module implementing the LoRa PHY”.  He presented his work …

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Marvin is a Plug and Play, Arduino Compatible, LoRa USB IoT Development Board (Crowdfunding)

LoRa appears to be one of the most popular LPWAN standards so far, with hobbyist development boards such as LoPy or LoRaONE, and we’ll soon have at least one more choice thanks to Marvin, a LoRa development board with a full size USB port. Marvin board specifications: MCU – Atmel/Microchip ATmega32u AVR MCU (same as Arduino Leonardo board) Connectivity – LoRa via Microchip RN2483; Supports both 868 MHz and 433 MHz frequency bands, on-board antenna USB – 1x USB, 1x micro USB port for power and programming Debugging – USB, and ISP header Expansion – 5x Grove connectors Power Supply – 5V via USB port Dimensions – N/A, but similar to USB flash drive The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE, and they mention IBM Bluemix platform, and Node-RED, but overall details about documentation and software are scarce right now. One of the advantage of this form factor is that you can program it directly into your computer, and …

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