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Posts Tagged ‘sensor’

Build your own Digital Scale with this DIY Kit

December 11th, 2017 6 comments

Electronics DIY kits are easy to find from either Arduino kits, or robotics kits, to oscilloscope kits among others. But I can’t remember ever seeing digital scale kits, maybe because I did not look for it, but that’s exactly what I found on ICstation for $27.99 with a scale that can measure weights up to 10 kilograms with a reported one gram accuracy. The DIY scale can also be pruchased on eBay for $29.99.

Main items in the (Trans–CRS–162DZC) kit and features:

  • MCU – STC MCU Limited STC89C52 8-bit (80C51 compatible) MCU in 40-pin DIP package
  • RTC – DS1302 8-pin DIP chip + CR1220 socket and battery
  • EEPROM – AT24C02 serial EEPROM (DIP chip)
  • Display – LCD1602 16×2 digit display
  • Keypad – 4×4 matrix keypad
  • Sensors – DS18B20 one-wire temperature sensor, “C3 high precision” 10kg strain pressure sensor
  • Boards – HX711 load cell amplifier module, printed circuit board for the MCU, RTC, EEPROM, etc…
  • Misc – Buzzer, transistors, various passive components
  • Enclosure and accessories
  • Power Supply – 5V DC
  • Dimensions – 15.2cm x  14.1cm x 6.5cm (assembled)
  • Weight – 500 grams

Follow the assembly guide to build the scale yourself, and you should be good to good to use your own scale/clock/alarm/thermometer toy.The scale could also be the starting point to make your own design either programming the STC89C52 micro-controller with your own program (AFAIK source code is not available so you’d have to start from scratch), or possibly “IoTize” the scale by replacing the MCU by a Bluetooth or WiFi (ESP8266) module.

Categories: Hardware Tags: diy, electronics, sensor

Anavi Light pHAT Adds RGB Light Strip Support to Raspberry Pi Boards (Crowdfunding)

December 10th, 2017 13 comments

He works as a software engineer for his main job, but Leon ANAVI is apparently enjoying his hobby of designing open source hardware, as after RabbitMax Flex home automation HAT, and ANAVI Infrared pHAT with IR transmitter and receiver, he has come up with as third project: Anavi Light pHat, an add-on board for Raspberry Pi 3/Zero (W) that adds support for RGB light strips.

Light pHAT specifications:

  • Compatible with 40-pin Raspberry Pi header
  • EEPROM with board manufacturer information and a device tree fragment
  • Terminal block for a 12V RGB LED strip
  • 3x 4-pin I2C headers for sensor modules
  • 1x 3-pin header for PIR motion sensor
  • 1x 4-pin UART header for debugging
  • Dimensions – pHAT form factor

You first need to connect the pHAT to your board, and then LED strip, and you can then control the lights using Home Assistant open source home automation platform, with the strip integrated as an MQTT JSON Light component.

Documentation will be provided to use the kit. It’s not available yet, but based on my past experience with his boards, documentation is usually good and easy to follow. Just like the other boards, Light pHAT was design with KiCAD, and you’ll find the hardware design files on Github.

If you want to control the light based on detection of movement, a optional PIR motion sensor is available, as well as three I2C sensor modules: BH1750 light sensor, HTU21D temperature and humidity sensor, and APDS-9960 RGB color and gesture detection sensor.

The project has launched on Crowdsupply with a target of $1 funding since it’s mostly a hobby project, and it will happen whatever the amount raised. A $25 pledge is asked for the Light pHAT only, but you could also consider pledging $35 to get a kit with a 1-meter RGB LED strip, or $59 for the board, LED strip, and all 4 sensors mentioned above. Shipping is free worldwide, and delivery is planned for February/March 2018 depending on selected reward.

Leon also told me he had a spare board he used for testing together with a one meter LED strip, that he’d like to giveaway to one of CNX Software readers. The contest is open worldwide, and Leon offered to pay for shipping, so the only thing you have to do is to leave a comment with #giveittome hashtag. I’ll draw the winner with random.org in about two days on Tuesday 12, 2017 @ 16:00 (GMT+7). Make sure you use a valid email, and can answer within 48 hours.

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.

Hisilicon Hi3559A V100ES is an 8K Camera SoC with a Neural Network Accelerator

November 22nd, 2017 3 comments

Earlier today, I published a review of JeVois-A33 machine vision camera, noting that processing is handled by the four Cortex A7 cores of Allwinner A33 processor, but in the future we can expect such type of camera to support acceleration with OpenCL/Vulkan capable GPUs, or better, Neural network accelerators (NNA) such Imagination Tech PowerVR Series 2NX.

HiSilicon already launched Kirin 970 SoC with such similarIP, except they call it an NPU (Neural-network Processing Unit). However, while looking for camera SoC with NNA, I found a list of deep learning processors, including the ones that go into powerful servers and autonomous vehicles, that also included a 8K Camera SoC with a dual core CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) acceleration engine made by Hisilicon: Hi3559A V100ES.

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Hisilicon Hi3559A V100ES specifications:

  • Processor Cores
    • 2x ARM Cortex A73 @ 2 GHz, 32 KB I cache, 64KB D cache or 512 KB L2 cache
    • 2x ARM Cortex A53 @ 1 GHz, 32 KB I cache, 32KB D cache or 256 KB L2 cache
    • 1x single core ARM Cortex A53 @ 1 GHz, 32 KB I cache, 32KB D cache /128 KB L2 cache
    • Neon acceleration and integrated FPU
  • GPU – Triple core ARM Mali-G71 [email protected] 900 MHz with 256KB cache, support for OpenCL 1.1/1.2/2.0, and OpenGL ES 3.0/3.1/3.2
  • Sensor Hub
    • ARM Cortex M7 @200 MHz
    • PMC, which supports only external reset, internal POR
    • General peripheral IPs (UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, GPIO,and LSADC)
    • 3-channel LSADC, 5x UART interfaces, and 8x PWM interfaces
  • Memory Interface – 32-/64-bit DDR4 up to 8GB
  • Storage Interfaces – SPI NOR flash up to 512MB, NAND flash, eMMC 5.1 up to 2TB, UFS 2.1 up to 512GB
  • Video Encoding – H.264 BP/MP/HP, and H.265 Main Profile/Main 10 Profile up to 7680 x [email protected] [email protected] fps+7680 x [email protected] fps snapshot
  • Video Decoding – H.264 BP/MP/HP, H.265 MP/Main 10/High Tier up to [email protected] fps or H.264/H.265 [email protected] fps
  • Intelligent Video Analysis
    • Integrated intelligent analysis and acceleration engine, allowing customers to develop intelligent applications targeted for mobile camera products
    • Dual-core DSP @ 700 MHz, 32 KB I cache, 32 KB IRAM, or 512 KB DRAM
    • Dual-core CNN @ 700 MHz neural network acceleration engine
  • Video and Graphics Processing
    • 3DNR, image enhancement, and DCI
    • Anti-flicker for output videos and graphics
    • 1/15.5x to 16x video & graphics scaling
    • Horizontal seamless stitching of 2-channel videos, and 360° or 720° panoramic stitching of up to 6-channel videos
    • OSD overlaying of eight regions before encoding
    • Video graphics overlaying of two layers (video layer and graphics layer)
  • 2- channel ISP
    • Adjustable 3A functions (AE, AWB, and AF)
    • FPN removal
    • Highlight suppression, backlight compensation, gamma correction, and color enhancement
    • DPC, NR, and 6-DOF DIS
    • Anti-fog
    • LDC and fisheye correction
    • Picture rotation by 90° or 270°;  Picture mirror and flip
    • HDR10, BT.2020 WCG
    • Sensor built-in WDR, 4F/3F/2F frame-based/line-based
    • WDR and local tone mapping
    • ISP tuning tools for the PC
  • Audio Encoding and Decoding
    • Voice encoding/decoding complying with multiple protocols by using software
    • MP3, AAC, and other audio encoding formats
    • Audio 3A functions (AEC, ANR, and ALC)
  • Security Engine
    • AES, DES, and 3DES encryption and decryption algorithms implemented by using hardware
    • RSA1024/2048/3072/4096 signature verification algorithm implemented by using hardware
    • SHA1/224/256/384/512 of the HASH and HMAC_SHA1/224/256/384/512 tamper proofing algorithms implemented by using hardware
    • Integrated 32-kbit OTP storage space and hardware random number generator
  • Video Interfaces
    • Input
      • Multiple sensor inputs. The maximum resolution is 32 megapixels (7680 x 4320).
      • 8-/10-/12-/14-bit RGB Bayer DC timing VI, up to 150 MHz clock frequency
      • BT.601, BT.656, and BT.1120 VI interfaces
      • Maximum 16-lane MIPI/LVDS/sub-LVDS/HiSPi/SLVS-EC interface for the serial sensor inputs
      • Maximum 6-channel video inputs for the serial sensor inputs, supporting various working modes such as 1×16-lane/2×8-lane/4×4-lane/2×4-lane+4×2-lane
    • Output
      • HDMI 2.0, supporting maximum [email protected] fps output
      • 8-/16-/24-bit RGB digital LCD output, supporting maximum 1920 x [email protected] fps output
      • 4-lane MIPI DSI output, supporting maximum 2.5 Gbit/s per lane frequency
  • Audio Interfaces
    • Integrated audio codec, supporting 16-bit audio inputs and outputs
    • I2S interface for connecting to the external audio codec
    • Dual-channel differential MIC inputs for reducing background noises
  • Peripherals
    • POR, external reset input,
    • Internal RTC
    • Integrated 2-channel LSADC
    • 5x UART interfaces
    • IR interface, I2C interface, SSP main interface, and GPIO interface
    • Integrated GMAC, supporting  RGMII and RMII
    • 2x PWM interfaces
    • 2x SD 3.0/SDIO 3.0 interfaces, supporting SDXC
    • 2x USB 3.0/USB 2.0 host/device ports
    • 2-lane PCIe 2.0 RC/EP mode
  • Operating Voltages – 0.8V core voltage, 1.8V I/O voltage, 1.2V DDR4 voltage
  • Power Consumption – 2.6 Watts
  • Package – 15 x 15 mm with 0.4 mm pitch

Boy, that’s a monster… They should have called it MOACSoC (Mother of All Camera SoCs) 🙂 The main ARM cores are said to run Linux+Huawei LiteOS AMP heterogeneous dual systems, and the company provide a dedicated SDK for the consumer mobile camera, cient for the iOS and Android mobile phones, and a high-
performance H.265 decoding library. The SDK might be in the wild as “Hi3559AV100ES_SDK_V2.0.2.0” but I did not find a download link. I got all information above from Hi3359A V100ES ultra-HD Mobile Camera SoC product brief.

Mobile Camera and Professional Camera Solution Block Diagram

Based on the block diagram above, some mobile camera and professional camera will start taking SSD drives beside the boring SD card and USB 2.0/3.0 storage devices.

Hi3559A V100ES will also be found in drone cameras, 3D/VR cameras, and 4K/8K network-based EDR. I have no idea what the latter stands for, but the photo in the document looks like a car dashboard camera with display. Anyway, this should allows for some interesting use cases with near real-time object recognition.

Hisilicon showcased a dynamic object categorization and identification system at CPSE2017 in Shenzhen earlier this month. The company did not mention Hi3559A V100, but made clear an 8K solution was used.

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If we are to believe one person on Tencent’s ncnn Github repo, performance is really good with a 10ms lag for GoogleNet, and 89ms for VGG-SSD. We’ll have to wait a little to get more details, and Hisilicon did not post any product info on their website about their new 8K SoC, only about the earlier Hi3559 2K/4K SoC.

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)

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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

TECHBASE Moduino X Series Industrial IoT Modules / Endpoints are Based on ESP32 WiSoC

September 27th, 2017 4 comments

We’ve previously covered TECHBASE ModBerry industrial IoT gateways leveraging Raspberry Pi 3, FriendlyELEC NanoPi M1 Plus, or AAEON’s UP Linux boards. The company has now launched Moduino X series modules powered by Espressif ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth SoC to be used as end points together with their ModBerry gateways.

Moduino X1

Two models have been developed so far, namely Moduino X1 and X2, with the following specifications:

  • Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER with ESP32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 processor @ 240 MHz, 4MB pSRAM (512KB as option), 4MB SPI flash;
  • External Storage – X2 only: micro SD card slot
  • Connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 16 Mbps + Bluetooth 4.2 LE with u.FL antenna connector
    • X2 only: 10/100M Ethernet
    • Options: LoRa (Semtech SX1272); Sigfox (TI CC1125); LTE Cat M1/NB1; Zigbee
  • Serial – 2x RS-232/485
  • Display – Optional 0.96″ OLED display with 128×64 resolution
  • Expansion I/Os
    • 4x Digital I/O (0 ~ 3V)
    • 2x Analog Input:
    • A2 Only: 2x analog output (optional)
    • A2 only: support for Techbase ExCard add-on modules for extr RS-232/485 ports, Ethernet ports, PCIe slots, analog input and output, digital I/Os, relays, M-Bus interface, etc…
  • Battery – Optional battery power support (A1 only); optional UPS function with LiPo battery or Supercapacitor
  • Power Supply -5V DC
  • Dimensions
    • A1 – ABS: 90 x 36 x 32 mm (LxWxH); Aluminum: 95 x 35 x 41 mm (LxWxH)
    • A2 – ABS: 90 x 71 x 32 mm (LxWxH); Aluminum: 95 x 71 x 41 mm (LxWxH)

Moduino A1 consumes less than A2, and can be powered by batteries only, but both models can use battery as UPS. The modules support Espressif ESP-IDF SDK, Zephyr Project, Arduino programming, MicroPython, Mongoose OS, and more, and would typically be used as meters & sensor nodes capable of reporting temperature, humidity, pressure, acceleration, & light with attached sensors. More sensors are being developed by the company.

Moduino X2 (right)

Moduino X1 & X2 appear to be available now, but you’d need to contact the company to get price information. Visit Moduino X series product page for more details.

Hologram LTE Software-Defined Global Network for Cellular IoT Projects Starts at $0.40 per Month per Device

July 26th, 2017 15 comments

Cellular connectivity can be rather expensive, and in the IoT realms, new LTE standards are still evolving and you may want to manage your own mini cellular network, so ideally we would need a provider that offers both low cost and flexibility. Hologram LTE network does both as it’s a software-defined network, and pricing starts at $5 for the SIM card and $0.40 per month per device.

Global IoT SIM Card

The company also just announced that their network was available for global deployment with the service available in more than 170 countries via partnerships through over 200 cellular carriers. The SIM card supports automatic roaming and carrier switching, and spacebridge inbound tunnel access allows for secure remote programming and device management.

The SIM card specifications are as follows:

  • 2G/GPRS, 3G HSPDA, 4G LTE
  • Read/Write Cycles: Min. 500,000
  • Operating Temperature: -25°C ~ 85°C
  • Data Retention: Min. 25 years at 25°C
  • Triple-cut for Mini, Micro, and Nano SIM formats
    • Mini: 15 x 25mm
    • Micro: 12 x 15mm
    • Nano: 8.8 x 12.3mm

Pricing is divided into zone 1 (cyan) and zone 2 (purple blue) depending in the country where the SIM card operates, with the latter being more expensive.

Within each zone there are two pricing methods, with pay-as-you-go plans with a fixed platform fee per month plus a charge per megabyte, or monthly  plans with a fixed amount of data. For example, a SIM card in zone 1 would cost a $0.40 platform fee per month plus $0.60 per megabyte (charged per KB), or $3.99 for 10MB of data, while a SIM card operating in zone 2 would be $0.40 platform fee per month plus $0.85 per MB, or $6.99 for a monthly 10MB plan. You can also choose monthly plans with less or more data up to 500MB per month, except in the US where the company offers high bandwidth monthly plans up to 5GB per month. Inbound SMS are free, and outbound SMS cost $0.19 per MB or $0.30 per MB depending on your zone. You’ll find all details on the pricing page.

While the SIM card costs $5, you can try the service for free by “purchasing” a developer SIM card that comes with 1MB data per month. I ordered one with DEVPLANBLASTOFF promo code for free shipping. I’ll see if I ever receive it, and whether I can use it where I live, since in theory all SIM cards must be registered with an ID card or passport to work, and mandatory fingerprinting is coming next year.

Hologram Onboarding Kit – Click to Enlarge

You can certainly use the SIM card on your own hardware, but the company can also provide Hologram Dash board based on Ublox Sara-U260 2G/3G module, and kits such as the one above with components, sensors, cables, and other accessories. The documentation explains how to get started with Dash board, the SIM card, and cloud messaging and APIs.

Hologram is not the only company offering pay-as-you-go and monthly plans for cellular IoT, as Particle (previously Spark) has offered an inexpensive monthly plan for a little while, but it does not relies on an SDN implemtation. You’ll find further information and details on Hologram website.

Renesas S5D9 IoT Fast Prototyping Board Combines Cortex M4F MCU, Sensors, and Ethernet

July 20th, 2017 No comments

Renesas S5D9 IoT Fast Prototyping board is a board designed – as its name implies – for the Internet of Things, with the company’s Synergy S5D9 ARM Cortex-M4F micro-controller, various sensors, various I/Os including protected digital inputs and outputs, and Ethernet for network connectivity instead of a Bluetooth or/and WiFi module.

Renesas S5D9 board specifications:

  • MCU – Renesas Synergy S5D9 ARM Cortex M4F MCU @120MHz with 2MB flash and 640KB SDRAM
  • Storage – 256Mbits (32MB) QSPI NOR flash
  • Connectivity – 1x 10/100Mbps Ethernet (RJ45)
  • USB – 1x micro USB Full Speed port
  • Sensors
    • Bosch BMC150 6-Axis sensor (digital compass)
    • AMS ENS210 environmental sensor for temperature and humidity data
    • TE Connectivity MS5637-02BA03 barometric pressure sensor
    • Knowles SPU0414HR5H-SB amplified SiSonic microphone
  • Expansion
    • 1x PMOD connector (SPI)
    • 2x Grove Connectors (UART, I2C, GPIO)
    • 2x Protected Digital Input (5.1V to 24V) + 2x Buffered Digital Output (up to 1A) via Molex 12 position header
    • 2x RS232 via Molex 8 position header and Intersil driver
  • Debugging – 10-pin JTAG connector
  • Misc – 5V/3V output jumper; 3x LEDs (Red, Yellow, Green)
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; ~300 mA @ 5V max power consumption
  • Dimensions – TBD

Click to Enlarge

The kit is supported by Renesas IoT Sandbox, which helps with the “IoT Fast Prototyping” part, as it allows the user to create IoT applications using “cloud services and real-time workflows by aggregating all event data from any source, whether it’s sensors, mobile apps, or an existing cloud, and performs real-time processing to extract intelligence or implement automation”. The board can also be programmed using the APIs in Renesas Synergy Software Package (SSP), Qualified Software Add-Ons (QSA), and Verified Software Add-Ons (VSA).

Data Monitoring in Renesas IoT Sandbox with pre-installed firmware – Click to Enlarge

You’ll find more technical details, example projects, and hardware design files in Seeed Studio Wiki, as well as IoTCommunity.io.

The board sells for $34.95 in Seeed Studio, but if you are part of IoTCommunity, you can get a $20 coupon bringing the price down to $14.95 + shipping.