Posts Tagged ‘m2m’

Nadhat is an Add-on Board for Raspberry Pi Boards with 2G GSM/GPRS Support

May 26th, 2017 9 comments

Making Raspberry Pi HATs for fun seems to have become a popular hobby, as after checking out Leon Anavi’s Infrared pHAT a little while ago, I’ve just come across Nadhat add-on board with GSM/GPRS and Bluetooth 3.0 made by Frederic Pierson in his spare time.

Click to Enlarge

Nad stands for “Network Access Device”, and the device comes with the following specifications:

  • SIM800C module with 2G GSM/GPRS support, and Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR (but Bluetooth is not mentioned by the developer, so it may not work right now)
  • SIM card slot + connector for GSM antenna
  • CR1225 cell battery slot for RTC
  • 40-pin header provided, but not soldered
  • Dimensions – 65 x30 mm, compatible with Raspberry Pi Zero

He explains that he made the board himself and the  PCBs “are leaded reflow processed and do not follow regulations in Europe”. You’ll also have to provide your own GSM antenna and CR1225 battery. He’s released some files on github, the datasheet for the components, the schematics – but in PDF only, why? – , and the software directory only contains a short script to power up SIM800C.

Raspberry Pi 3 with Nadhat board – Click to Enlarge

The cellular module is attached to the Pi via /dev/ttyAMA0 serial interface, and you’ll have to send AT commands to control it. He also checked out 3G and 4G support as some people asked possible due to 2G sunset, but the modules he found where both expensive, and much bigger than the 2G modules, making it impossible to fit into the RPi Zero form factor.

Since the board is just a hobby project, it will probably never be manufactured in large quantities, but Frederic made a few boards himself, which you can get for 49 Euros + delivery if you are interested, and boards are still available.

u-blox SARA-S200 RPMA Module Supports the Machine Network

May 16th, 2017 3 comments

RPMA is one of the many LPWAN IoT communication standards, but it does not get as much press coverage as SigFox or LoRa because it targets larger scale deployments, and is not really accessible to individuals. It’s still used by companies in many countries, and u-blox has just released SARA-S200 RPMA module that will also work with the Machine Network, also relying on RPMA and managed by Ingenu.

u-blox SARA-S200 module specifications:

  • Connectivity
    • Wireless Frequency –  2.4 GHz ISM
    • Radio Spectrum – 80 MHz
    • Occupied Bandwidth – 1 MHz
    • Modulation – Dynamic – Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (D-DSSS)
    • Multiple Access Scheme – Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA)
    • Transmit Power – +22 dBm
    • Receive Sensitivity – -133 dBm
    • Data Throughput – 100 kB per day
    • Link budget – 176 dB (FCC/IC)
  • Host Interface – 7-wire SPI that includes handshaking for deep sleep modes
  • Power Supply – 3.2 V to 3.4 V (typ. 3.3 V); VCC BAT: 2.2V to 5.5 V
  • Power Consumption – Off: 0.1 μA (typ.); deep sleep mode: 19 μA (typ.); idle mode: 22 mA (typ.); RX: 107 mA (typ.); TX: 370 mA (typ.)
  • Dimensions – 26.0x 16.0 x 2.4 mm
  • Weight – 3 grams
  • Package – 96-pin LGA (Land Grid Array)
  • Operating temperature range – -40 to +85 °C
  • Certifications – FCC, ISED (formerly known as IC), RED (formerly known as R&TTE), and additional countries as deployed (pending)

The module is an update to the first RPMA module (NANO-S100), with cost and size optimization (65% smaller) that makes it suitable for application in the Smart Meter, Smart Building, Gas & Oil, Asset/Personnel Tracking and Agricultural industries. The module supports FOTA (FW updated over the air) with the ability to also update the application firmware. A development kit for SARA-S200 is also available, but I could not find any public information about it.

Pricing and availability have not been disclosed. For more information, you may visit u-blox SARA-S200 product page, or go to nternet of Things World at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA (May 16‑18 2017), where u‑blox and Ingenu will showcase the SARA‑S200 module.

Categories: Hardware Tags: devkit, IoT, lpwan, m2m, rpma, ublox

LX IoT Cores Are Made for IoT and Wearables with Bluetooth LE, ANT+, 2G/3G, Sigfox, LoRa, and More

May 10th, 2016 No comments

LX Group, an Australian company specializing in electronics design and embedded systems, has introduced three wireless modules for IoT and wearables which they call “LX IoT Cores”, and embeds various wireless protocol such as Bluetooth LE/Ant+, 2G/3G connectivity, WiFi, Lora, Sigfox, Taggle, etc…


Let’s go though the main technical specs for the three modules, one of which it itself modular (hence the max and min size) depending on your requirements.

  • LX Cellular Core (Right)
    • MCU – STMicro STM32F217IGH6 ARM Cortex-M3 MCU @ 120 MHz with 1MB flash, 128kB RAM
    • Storage – 1x micro SD card reader
    • Communication Interfaces
      • Radios – 2G/3G,  WiFi,  BLE,  ANT+,  provision for LoRa,  Taggle,  SigFox, optional GPS via daughter board
      • Wired – USB,  RS485, UART, SPI,  I2C, Digital IO, ADC
    • Sensors – Ambient Luminosity, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, temperature, humidity, air pressure, microphone
    • USB – 1x micro USB port
    • Misc – Reset and 2x user buttons, 2x LEDs
    • Power – Fused 5VDC boost converter  |  fused 3VDC SMPS
    • Dimensions – Min: 34.2 x 19.0 x 5.9 mm; Max: 83.6 x 19.0 x 5.9 mm
    • Weight – 6.3 grams (for minimal config?)
  • LX Sensor Core (Center)
    • MCU – STMicro STM32L152RET6 ARM Cortex-M3 MCU @ 32 MHz with 512kB flash, 80kB RAM, 4kB EEPROM
    • Communication Interfaces
      • Radios – WiFi,  BLE,  ANT+,  LoRa,  Taggle,  SigFox, GPS/QZSS + GLONASS
      • Wired – RS485, UART, SPI,  I2C, GPIO
    • Sensors – Ambient Luminosity, accelerometer, high G accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, temperature, humidity, and air pressure
    • Misc – Reset and 1x user buttons, 1x LED
    • Power – Fused 5VDC boost converter  |  fused 3VDC SMPS
    • Dimensions – 62.5 x 16.5 x  4.0 mm
    • Weight – 6.2 grams
  • LX Wearable Core (Left)
    • MCU – Nordic Semi nRF51422 Multi-protocol ANT/BLE ARM Cortex-M0 MCU
    • Communication Interfaces
      • Radios -Bluetooth LE and ANT+
      • Wired – UART, SPI,  I2C, GPIO, 10-bit ADC
    • Sensors – Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, temperature, humidity, and air pressure
    • Misc – Haptic motor and driver support, 1x user/reset button, 3x LED
    • Power – “Bring your own battery” capable of delivering 100mA at 3.3V – 5.5V
    • Dimensions – 30 x 12 x 2 mm
    • Weight – 3.5 grams

IoT Cores can also take breakout and expansion boards.


The cores are apparently pre-loaded with firmware and ready to use, so you can connect to the cloud via customizable LX dashboards to visualize the data and or control the cores. Alternatively you can also design your own solution using LX Cloud API, still in development, but customer can joing the beta list to access devkits and training materials.


The company can also provides enclosures for the module and total solutions, as shown with the solar powered node above.

Pricing and availability are not known yet. You can find more details on LX IoT Core website.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

LoRaONE is a Small LoRa IoT Development Board Based on Atmel SAMD21 MCU, Microchip LoRaWAN Module (Crowdfunding)

April 18th, 2016 6 comments

While there are many long range LPWAN standards, LoRa appears to be one of the most popular with boards such as LoPy, and now SODAQ LoRaONE module hitting crowdfunding campaigns. LoRaONE is powered by an Atmel Cortex M0+ micro-controller, features Microchip RN2483 or RN2903 LoRaWAN module, GPS, and various sensors.


LoRaONE board specifications:

  • MCU- Atmel ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ micro-controller @ 48 MHz with 256 KB flash memory, 32KB SRAM, and up to 16 KB EEPROM (by emulation)
  • Connectivity
    • LoRa via Microchip  RN2483 (433/868 MHz) or RN2903 (915 MHz) module depending on your region
    • GPS via u-blox EVA 7M
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • Expansion headers (unpopulated)
    • 14x digital pin, 12x for analog and 8x for PWM, plus UART, SPI and TWI (I2C)
    • Analog output pin – 10-bit DAC
    • External Interrupts: Available on all pins
    • DC Current per I/O pin: 7 mA
    • Operating Voltage – 3.3V
    • Breadboard compatible
  • Debugging – Serial Wire Interface
  • Sensor – Accelerometer & magnetometer (LSM303D)
  • Misc – RGB LED, push button
  • Power Supply
    • 5V USB power
    • optional 3.7 LiPo battery
    • Solar charge controller, up to 500mA charge current
  • Dimensions –  40 x 25 mm

The board can be programmed via the Arduino IDE. You’ll also need to connect to the LoRa network either through your Telco, The Things Network crowdsourced Internet of Things data network, or roll your own LoRa gateway and server. You’ll also have to select the right module fior your country.: 915 MHz for the mareicas, 433/868 MHz for Europe, Russia, South Africa, and Tunisia. If you country is in a gray area there may not be a clear regulation for the frequency bands used by the LoRa network, or required frequencies may not be supported by the currently available LoRa modules.

Select the right module for your country

Select the right module for your country

If you need even further flexibility, a starter kit is also offered with a 800 mAh LiPo battery, a 500mW solar cell, ONEbase expansion board with multiple Grove connectors, and a micro USB cable.

The company is already using LoRaONE in the field for tracking endangered Rhinoceros, as a remote alarm and tracking device for assets, as a panic button for seniors, to monitor when trashcan are full for local governments, tracking containers in harbors, and so on.

The project has already surpassed its 20,000 Euros funding target on Kickstarter. All early bird rewards are gone, but you can still pledge 89 Euros ($100) to get the board, or 109 Euros ($123) for the starter kit. Shipping add 5 Euros to the Netherlands, and 15 Euros to the rest of the world, with delivery scheduled for July 2016. That’s quite more expensive than the LoPy LoRa development board, but it has a different set of features such as GPS and an accelerometer, but no WiFi and BLE.

Via Atmel Blog

Imagination Releases OpenWrt and LWM2M Stack Source Code for MIPS Creator Ci40 Development Board

March 25th, 2016 No comments

MIPS Creator Ci40 is a development board made by Imagination technology that features the company’s Creator cXT200 “Pistachio” SoC with a dual core MIPS interAptiv processor @ 550MHz and Ensigma C4500 RPU for 802.11ac/ BT 4.1 LE connectivity. The boards are supposed to be shipped to Kickstarter backers in April, but in the meantime, the company has released the source code for OpenWrt distribution as well as LWM2M stack for the board.


OpenWRT source code is available in OpenWrt repo in FlowM2M gitbub account. Building the code for MIPS Creator Ci40 is quite straightforward:


Select IMG MIPS Pistachio in make menuconfig, save the settings, and then run make to build OpenWrt for the board. This will also build the toolchain, so you don’t need to install any before hand.

LWM2M stands for Lightweight Machine to Machine, and is a protocol from the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) for M2M / IoT device management, which defines the application layer communication protocol between a LWM2M Server and a LWM2M Client running on LWM2M Device. Imagination implementation is called Awa LWM2M. It’s a development suite that provides a number of components and tools.  For example a gateway will run both LWM2M daemon and client, but a sensor node would only run the client, Creator Ci40 board would communicate with sensors over 6LoWPAN using MikroElektronica 6LoWPAN Clicker boards.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

You can find the source code and documentation on Awa LWM2M github repo.

M2.COM is a Standard for IoT Sensors Based on M.2 Form Factor

March 25th, 2016 No comments

The IoT ecosystem really feels like a jungle now, not because of a lack of standards, but because everybody thinks about doing their own, so we’ve ended up with a wide range of communication protocols, initiatives, and consortia, and it will take some time until the winners and losers are sorted out. One the of the latest standard is M2.COM platform form factor for sensors that “adopts the standardized M.2 form factor and is defined as an evolutionary module that combines general wireless connectivity with additional built-in computing ability powered by MCU”.

M2.COM_ArchitectureM2.COM architecture diagram above describes both software and hardware requirements, but the specifications themselves only define the form factor, as well as mechanical and electrical characteristics:

  • Consistent with M.2 standard
    • Module size: 22 mm x 30 mm
    • PCB thickness: 0.8 mm ± 10%
    • Pin count: 75 pins
    • Module input voltage: 3.3V DC-in
    • Connector mating force: 30N Maximum
    • Connector current rating: 0.5A / Power contact
    • Connector operation temperature range: -45°C to +85°C
  • Suitable pin definitions for IoT solution
    • USB – A common interface for extending storage
    • SDIO – Another common interface for extending storage through SD/MMC
    • I2C – The most popular interface for sensors. Ex: pressure sensor, temperature sensor, moisture sensor and lightning sensor
    • I2S – Supports audio codec for broadcasting and playing audio through external speakers
    • UART – A commonly used protocol for device control, such as for motor and electric control units
    • GPIO – Basic I/O control, such as indicating lights, alarm and buzzer
    • SPI – Supports LCM to display values collected from the sensor or transmitted by an external device
    • ADC – Common pins of GPIO, the ADC transforms the analog signal from the sensor into a digital signal so that data can be readable and meaningful to the data analyzer


So the idea is basically to be able to exchange one M2.COM compliant module with another one with better features or a lower cost as needed. You can download the specifications 1.0, design guide, and mechanical information on M2.COM website.

Companies behind the initiative include ARM, Advantech, Bosch, Texas Instruments, and Sensirion. Two products compliant with the standard are currently available: Advantech WISE-1520 M2.COM module and the corresponding WISE-DB1500 carrier board / development board using pico-ITX form factor (100 x 72 mm).


Advantech M2.COM Module and Carrier Board

WISE-1520 M2.COM module specifications:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments CC3200MOD Cortex-M4 MCU with 256KB RAM, 1MB flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz up to 16Mbps (UDP)
  • I/O interfaces – 1x 4-wire UART, 1x I2C, 2 GPIOs, 2x PWM, 1x SPI, 2x ADC as per the specs (but no USB)
  • Debug Port – 1x developer and debug port.
  • Power – 3.3V
  • Dimensions – 30 x 22 mm – M.2 type 2230-D3-E form factor
  • Weight – 3 grams

The module runs TI RTOS or ARM mbed OS, and supports multiple IoT communication protocols including LWM2M, OSGI, AllJoyn and MQTT. Software documentation and SDK do not appear to be available publicly.

The development board features a M.2 socket and brings out an SD card slots, expansion headers, a RS-232/422/485 DB9 connector, and a micro USB OTG port, as well as an on-board  humidity & temperature sensor.

You can find out more about Advantech solution on M2.COM product page.


Izitron I-SEN1 Environmental Sensors Board Works with XBee Modules

February 7th, 2016 5 comments

Izitron, a start-up based in the South of France, has designed a board with temperature, pressure, humidity and light sensors and a XBee header to provide a way to monitoring environmental variables for weather monitoring, agriculture, industrial applications, and more.

I-SEN1_Environmental_monitoring_boardI-SEN1 technical specifications:

  • Sensors
    • Temperature – Microchip MCP9700-E/T0; accuracy: ±4°C Accuracy from 0°C to +70°C | -4°C/+6°C Accuracy from -40°C to +150°C; temperature range: -40 to 125 °C
    • Pressure – Infineon KP236N6165; accuracy: 2%; pressure range: 60 kPa to 165 kPa; temperature range: -40 to 125 °C
    • Humidity – Honeywell HIH-5030-001; accuracy: ±3% RH; range: 0 to 100% RH; temperature range: -40 to 85 °C
    • Light – AMS TSL14S-LF; reponsivity: 16 mV/ (uW/cm2); temperature range: 0 to 70 °C
  • Header for XBee RF module
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via micro USB
    • 5 to 12V via Wago terminal block
    • 2x batteries
    • No power management chip
    • Power on/off button
  • Power consumption – Up to 4 years battery life (2x 3.5V/2.4A) when transmitting once per minute
  • Dimensions – 61 x 33 mm


Beside one or more I-SEN1 boards, you’ll also need an XBee RF module for each board, and a XBee USB adapter and an extra XBee RF module to connect to your computer or gateway board. Software setup is using Digi’s XCTU application for Windows, MacOS or Linux, as well as three XML files for configuration: one for the gateway, and either “battery” or  “cable” XML files for the boards since on battery mode the boards will communicate directly with the gateway (star topology), and use mesh networking in case the boards are powered via their terminal block. You’ll also need to create your own app using XBee API, and the Java based an open source sample, demoed in the video below, will be provided to backers.

The company aims to raise at least 24,600 Euros via Kickstarter in order to go ahead with manufacturing. You can pledge 22 Euros ($24.50) for one Izitron I-SEN1 board (Early Bird) rewards, and after 500 boards the price goes up to 31 Euros ($34.60 Euros). They also offer different packs with several boards, up to 10 boards for 285 Euros. As previously mentioned XBee RF boards are not included, so you’d need to purchase them separately. Shipping varies from 5 to 15 Euros, and delivery is scheduled for August 2015.

Via Time4EE

TI SimpleLink CC1310 Wireless MCU Promises 20 Km Range, 20-Year Battery Life on a Coin Cell

December 18th, 2015 8 comments

Some LPWAN standards such as SigFox, LoRa, or nWave allows for transmission of data at low bitrate over several kilometers, and I’ve very recently featured Microchip’s LoRa modules and motes in this blog. So when Texas Instruments sent their December 2015 newsletter entitled Wireless MCU spans 20 km on a coin cell, I decided to have a look, and the company’s CC1310 wireless Cortex-M3+M0 MCU based on a proprietary sub GHz technology also claims to last 20-year on a coin cell for applications such as grid communication infrastructure and heat and water meters.

TI CC1310 MCU Block Diagram

TI CC1310 MCU Block Diagram

SimpleLink CC1310 key features:

  • Microcontroller – ARM Cortex-M3 @ up to 48 MHz with up to 128KB programmable flash, 8KB DRAM for cache/general purpose, 20KB Ultralow Leakage SRAM
  • Sensor Controller – Ultralow power and autonomous; 16-Bit Architecture; 2KB of Ultralow Leakage SRAM for code and data
  • RF core
    • Cortex M0 core with 4KB RAM, and ROM
    • Data rate – 4000 kbps (Max)
    • Receiver Sensitivity – –124 dBm using long-range Mode, –110 dBm at 50 kbps
    • Selectivity: 52 dB; Blocking performance: 90 dB; programmable output power up to +14 dBm
    • Single-ended or differential RF Interface
    • Suitable for systems targeting compliance with ETSI EN 300 220, EN 303 131, EN 303 204 (Europe); FCC CFR47 Part 15 (US); ARIB STD-T108 (Japan)
    • Wireless M-Bus and IEEE 802.15.4g PHY
  • Peripherals
    • All digital peripheral pins can be routed to any GPIO
    • 4x general-purpose timer modules – 8x 16-Bit or 4x 32-Bit Timers, PWM each
    • 12-Bit ADC, 200 ksamples/s, 8-Channel Analog MUX
    • Continuous Time Comparator
    • Ultralow Power Clocked Comparator
    • Programmable Current Source
    • I2S
    • Real-Time Clock (RTC)
    • AES-128 security module, True Random Number Generator (TRNG)
    • Support for eight capacitive sensing buttons
    • Integrated Temperature Sensor
  • External System
    • On-Chip Internal DC-DC Converter
    • Few External Components
    • Integration with SimpleLink CC1190 range extender
  • Power Supply – 1.8 to 3.8V
  • Power Consumption
    • Active mode – Rx: 5.5 mA; Tx (+10 dBm): 12.9 mA; MCU: 48.5 CoreMark/mA; Sensor Controller @ 24 MHz: 0.4 mA + 8.2 µA/MHz
    • Sensor Controller woken up once per second performing one 12-Bit ADC sampling: 0.85 µA
    • Standby: 0.6 µA (RTC running and RAM and CPU retention)
    • Shutdown: 185 nA (Wakeup on external events)
  • Packages – 7-mm × 7-mm RGZ VQFN48 (30 GPIOs); 5-mm × 5-mm RHB VQFN48 (15 GPIOs); 4-mm × 4-mm RSM VQFN48 (10 GPIOs)
Connected Water Meter Block Diagram

Connected Water Meter Block Diagram

Software and development tools include reference designs for Different RF configurations, packet sniffer PC Software, Sensor Controller Studio, SmartRF Studio, SmartRF Flash Programmer 2, IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM, Code Composer Studio as well as development kits such as SimpleLink sub-1 GHz CC1310 development kit bundle comprised of one  CC1310EMK-7XD-7793 evaluation module kit with  two boards with the wireless MCU and RF layout (779 to 930 MHz) with two antennas, and two SMARTRF06EBK  evaluation board that is the  motherboard for the CC1310 evaluation module, and equipped with an on-board XDS100v3 debugger, LCD, buttons, LEDs, debugger and sensors.

SimpleLink CC1310 Evaluation Module Kit

SimpleLink CC1310 Evaluation Module Kit

TI CC1310 MCU is selling for $2.50 to $3.98 per unit for 1K orders, and the development kit is available for $299 + shipping. More details can be found on Texas Instruments SimpleLink CC1310 and CC1310 development kit product pages.