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Posts Tagged ‘wifi’

IkaScope WiFi Oscilloscope Probe Works with Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android and iOS

September 13th, 2017 10 comments

Last year, I wrote about Aeroscope, a portable Bluetooth oscilloscope that looks somewhat like a Stabilo Boss highlighter pen, and sends measurements over the air directly to your Android and iOS tablet or smartphone. It was introduced through a crowdfunding campaign which eventually failed, but Aeroscope can now be purchased for $199 on Amazon US or their own website. If you’d prefer WiFi over Bluetooth, and would like something that also works on Windows, Linux, and/or Mac OS X, IKALOGIC has just launched IkaScope WiFi oscilloscope probe compatible with all popular mobile and desktop operating systems.

IkaScope WS200 specifications:

  • Analog Bandwidth  – 30 MHz @ -3dB
  • Sample Rate – 200 MSps
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/e/i WiFi @ 2.4 GHz configurable as access point or station
  • Input Range – +/-40 V range CAT1
  • Offset Range – +/- 20V to +/- 40V offset
  • Input Impedance – 10MΩ || 14pF
  • Input Contact – ProbeClick intelligent probe tip that will only start measurements upon contact
  • Voltage Resolution – 100 mV/division to 10 V/division
  • Sample Resolution – 8-bit
  • Max Refresh Rate – 250 fps
  • Memory Depth – 4K points (4x 1000 points for burst buffers)
  • Protection Input Level – 253 VAC 1min
  • USB – Isolated micro USB port for charging only
  • Misc – Power/Charging and WiFi status LEDs
  • Battery – 420 mAh battery good for about 1 week battery life with daily regular use.
  • Dimensions – 161mm long

IkaScope specifications are slightly better than the ones of Aeroscope when it comes with analog bandwidth and sample rate for example, but the battery capacity is lower. However,  the latter is likely more than compensated by ProbeClick technology that will only measure when a contact is detected, hence saving power during idle times. One advantage of WiFi over Bluetooth is that it allows for a higher refresh rate up to 250 fps.

The probe ships with a ground clip and a USB charging cable. OS support will be brought step by step starting with Windows, but Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android will all be supported by November 9th if the schedule’s deadlines can be met, and all desktop OK will be supported by the end of September before shipping. More details about the software can be found in IkaScope knowledge base.

IKALOGIC has started taking pre-order for IkaScope for 299 Euros excluding VAT and shipping scheduled by the end of the year. “EARLYBIRD” coupon valid until the 20th of September will power the price by 10%.. Some more information, and the purchase link are available on the product page.

Review of Sonoff RF Bridge, Sonoff 4ch Pro, and Sonoff POW with Sonoff-Tasmota Firmware

September 12th, 2017 No comments

Karl here. Today we are going to look at 2 new and one older Sonoff devices.

I spent very little time with the stock firmware on the device. I don’t like the fact that an Internet connection is needed, and I am not in control. As of the time of this writing I found the Ewelink was not configurable enough to meet my needs. There is one feature that is really nice that I could easily see keeping stock firmware. It is the Alexa Skill. It worked. I am also currently reviewing Vobot Smart Alarm Clock with Alexa integration and had no trouble controlling the Sonoff devices with Alexa. But unfortunately I am lazy and want everything automatic so I can’t keep it. With the RF bridge I was unable to trigger a light from a motion sensor. In comes Arendst ‘s Sonoff-Tasmota firmware  to the rescue. It gets better all the time. It is dead simple, and so configurable now. He continues to add features and devices.

RF Bridge

You may have seen my previous article building a 433toMQTTto433 bridge to use cheap 433mhz devices. I never did build a case for it, and it’s a little bit of an eyesore. When I found out about a nicely packaged one, I was excited to check it out. Like I stated previously, it didn’t work as I anticipated and was glad when I found out Arendst got one as well. He has a good wiki with on the github page and all the needed information to flash and configure so I won’t go into it. It flashed uneventfully. I was a little scared by the design that it was only going to be able to receive 16 individual codes and pass onto MQTT but that is not the case. It passes everything it receives. You can only send 16 different codes right now which need to be saved ahead of time. So after monitoring the MQTT server I ran into first hurdle. I was getting this example json value.

And actually I found after much frustration that “Data” is a nested json value. This took a while for me to figure out. After that it was relatively easy to parse in Home Assistant and move my automations over from the previous bridge.

and

From the previous article payload off is a made up value and is only used internally to turn the sensor off after a minute.

Just a couple gripes about the rf bridge which are superficial. There is a noticeable increased delay over the homemade bridge from the time it senses a trigger until the light comes on. It is only about half a second but a noticeable difference. And my wife pointed quickly that the led indicating it is on is very bright. I might remove it or install a varistor to tone it down. The receiver does not appear to be as good or might just be that it is in a case or my positioning. I am still able to cover my house but the trigger on my mailbox across the street doesn’t trigger. It was hit or miss on the old one but never triggers now.

FYI I am still running off the same batteries I initially installed in the 433mhz motion sensors over 6 months ago.

Sonoff 4ch Pro

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I also received the Sonoff 4ch Pro with 433mhz transmitter remote.

I tested it with stock Ewelink software and all tests done before worked. I quickly installed the alternative firmware from above, and again no loss in functionality. I was still able to pair and clear the 433 MHz remotes. It is weird that it does not indicate with a light that it is in pairing mode as of right now but when you press the button the light blinks when it is learned. The inching, self locking and interlock continued to work as well via switches. I can definitely see this being used for lighting, or if you needed to control multiple items in close proximity. Maybe simple access control. Possibilities are endless. On the product page, it shows wiring with motors as well which looks cool. If I find a unique or interesting project I will share.

The 4 button transmitter is very powerful. It transmits further than any of my other 433mhz devices.

Sonoff POW

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A buddy of mine gave me a Sonoff POW to play with. The Sonoff POW is very similar to the Sonoff Basic, but has the ability to measure power usage. I didn’t bother testing the stock software. I went straight to Arendst software. I didn’t have anything to measure power before and this is a welcome addition to my tools arsenal. I don’t need super accurate readings just a good idea what the draw is. I installed a light rated at 75w to test and got the results below. If a more accurate load is available you can calibrate the POW and instructions are in the Wiki.

OTA Firmware

Who wants to drag all their devices back to the PC and flash new firmware? I finally checked it out. It is really simple to do.

First uncomment BE_MINIMAL then export compiled Binary. After a while you will have a bin file in your sketch folder.

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After uploading comment BE_MINIMAL, upload again. The 2 steps procedure is because he is running out of space with all the features. He is trying to reduce the code down, and hopefully make this a single step in the future. If you have a web server there are instructions to automate this.

Conclusion

I would like to thank Itead Studio for sending the Sonoff RF Bridge, 4ch Pro and 4 button 433 MHz transmitter. They keep expanding their Sonoff line and make them hacker friendly. I would also like to thank Arendst for his tireless work on Sonoff-Tasmota firmware. If you are just looking to control your lights via Alexa, and don’t mind requiring the Internet to be available the stock firmware might work for you.

ESPDUINO-32 & Wemos D1 R32 ESP32 Boards Support (Most) Arduino UNO Shields

September 4th, 2017 2 comments

The compact ESP32 NodeMCU like board are great for many project, but in case you plan to leverage your existing Arduino shield, it’s more convenient to have a compatible board. We’ve previously seen Noduino Quantum board sold for 99 RMB on Taobao, and $25.90 on AnalogLamb, but doit.am has designed a cheaper model called ESPDUINO-32 that supports shields compatible with Arduino UNO, and sold for $13.73 on DealExtreme.

ESPDUINO-32 board specifications:

  • Wireless Module – ESP-WROOM-32 based on Espressif ESP32 dual core Tensilica LX6 processor with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE
  • Expansion – Arduino UNO headers with SPI, I2C, digital I/Os, 1x analog input up to 3.2V, 5V, GND
  • USB – 1x USB device port
  • Misc – Button
  • Power Supply – 5 to 12V input via DC jack or Vin pin
  • Dimensions – 66 x 53.3 x 13.5 mm

The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE selecting ESP 32 Dev Module board. You’ll find links to documentation in Smartduino github account. Note that if you have shields using the Analog input they may not work properly since there’s only one input supporting up to 3.2V, as Arduino UNO board support 6 analog inputs up to 5V.

While searching for other sellers for the board, I also came across Wemos “TTGo” D1 R32 going for just over $10 on Banggood, and basically the same specifications as ESPDUINO-32, except it replaces the USB type B receptacle with a micro USB port. Despite the name, the board does not appears to be designed by Wemos, since there’s no mention of it on their Wiki nor Aliexpress store.

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.

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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.

A First Look at ESP32 PICO Core Development Board Powered by ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP

August 30th, 2017 11 comments

Last week, I wrote about ESP32-PICO-D4 system-in-package (SiP) that contains ESP32 WiSoC, 4MP SPI flash, a crystal oscilloscator and some passive components in a single 7×7 mm package in order to allow smaller designs based on ESP32. The company noticed the post, and asked me whether I’d be interested in receiving “some development boards based on ESP32 PICO”, an offer hard to refuse :), and within a couple of days I received the package below.

So I  ended up with 10 identical development kits, the company probably thought it was no worth paying for DHL to only send one or two development boards… The boards may also be part of some contests… We’ll see 😉

So let’s take two, and have a closer look at “ESP32_PICO_Core_Board_V3″… It comes with two rows of 20 pins with access to all I/Os, and features three main chips: ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP, AMS1117 voltage regulator, and Silabs CP2102 USB to UART controller for programming and debugging.

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There’s also an antenna, a EN and BOOT buttons, and a micro USB port. The board measures 52x20mm. On actual product, the USB bridge part would be there, so you could have something around half size or even much smaller…

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… something like the ESP32-PICO-D4 module below whose picture I found on the web.

ESP32-PICO-D4 features are basically the same of ESP32 ones, just more compact, so how does ESP32 PICO Core board compares to other breadboard friendly board based on ESP32? To find out, I compare it to ESP32-T board with ESP32-Bit module, and ESPino32 board with ESP-WROOM-32 module, which I plan to review/play with in about 2 weeks.

ESPino32 vs ESP32 Pico Core vs ESP32-T – Click to Enlarge

ESP32 Pico Core is clearly smaller. Compared to ESP32-T it’s about the same length, but much thinner, and include 2 extra pins, while in terms on functionality it’s more comparable to ESPino32 both with 40-pins, two button, and micro USB port, but the size difference is even greater.

ESP32 Pico Core on Breadboard – Click to Enlarge

If you wonder, the board is breadboard compatible, and since it’s thinner leave two rows of pins free on each side, compared to just one for most boards.

The boards are not for sale right now, and there’s no info on their website about them. You’ll however find some more details in ESP32-PICO-D4 datasheet.

Broadcom Introduces Three 802.11ax “Max WiFi” Chips: BCM43684, BCM43694 & BCM4375

August 26th, 2017 5 comments

We’ve already written about the new 802.11ax WiFi standard that promises up to 10 Gbps data rates, support for 2.4 & 5 GHz bands, up to 4x longer range, and better handling of high density scenarios. It appears 802.11ax we’ll be known as Max WiFi to the masses, and Broadcom has unveiled Max WiFi solutions for home and enterprise routers, as well as a smartphones.

There are currently three Max WiFi solutions from Broadcom:

  • BCM43684 & BCM43694 4×4 802.11ax chips, respectively optimized for residential and enterprise access points, share the same key features:
    • Support for four streams of 802.11ax
    • 4.8 Gbps PHY rate
    • 160 MHz channel bandwidth
    • 1024 QAM modulation
    • Uplink & downlink OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access)
    • MU-MIMO
    • ZeroWait DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection)
    • AirIQ interference identification
    • Full compliance to IEEE and WFA 802.11ax specifications
  • BCM4375 smartphone combo chip:
    • Support for 2-streams of 802.11ax
    • Bluetooth 5 including Low-Energy Long Range (LELR)
    • Real Simultaneous Dual-Band (RSDB)
    • 1.429 Gbps PHY Rate
    • 1024 QAM Modulation
    • OFDMA
    • MU-MIMO

Beside the improvements listed in the introduction, 802.11ax / Max WiFi will also improve power efficiency with claims of up to 7 times better battery life for devices using features like Target Wake Time (TWT), which allows the Wi-Fi radio in battery powered devices to go to sleep when not exchanging data.

Broadcom is sampling Max WiFi solutions to its early access partners, so we should probably expect 802.11ax / Max WiFi devices sometimes in 2018.

ESP32-PICO-D4 System-in-Package Combines ESP32, 4MB SPI Flash, a Crystal Oscillator, and Passive Components

August 22nd, 2017 1 comment

Espressif Systems has revealed another ESP32 variant, but this time it’s not an SoC, but a 7x7mm system-in-package (SIP) that comes ESP32 dual core processor, a 4MB  SPI flash, a crystal oscillator and various passive components, so that you don’t need to include those in your design, and create an ultra-compact PCB for wearables and other space-constrained applications.

ESP32-PICO-D4 Internal Schematics – Click to Enlarge

ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP specifications:

  • SoC – ESP32 with two Tensilica LX6 cores, 448 KB ROM, 520 KB SRAM (inc. 8KB RTC memory), 1kbit eFuse
  • On-module Flash – 4MB SPI flash
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n/e/i (802.11n up to 150 Mbps)
    • Bluetooth – Bluetooth V4.2 BR/EDR and BLE specification; ; class-1, class-2 and class-3 transmitter; Audio: CVSD and SBC
  • SIP Interfaces
    • SD card, UART, SPI, SDIO, LED PWM, Motor PWM, I2S, I2C, IR
    • GPIO, capacitive touch sensor, ADC, DAC, LNA pre-amplifier
  • Sensors –  On-chip Hall sensor & temperature sensor
  • Clock – On-module 40 MHz crystal
  • Power supply – 2.3 ~ 3.6V
  • Operating current – Average: 80 mA
  • Temperature range –  -40°C ~ 85°C
  • Package dimensions –  7.0±0.1 mm x 7.0±0.1 mm x 0.94±0.1 mm

I understand ESP32 supports up to 16MB flash, so future ESP32-PICO-D16 SIP might be possible too. The second schematics in the datasheet shows what a basic board with ESP32-PICO SIP looks like.

ESP32-PICO-D4 Module Peripheral Schematics – Click to Enlarge

The company explains the SiP is particularly suited for any space-limited or battery-operated applications, such as wearable electronics, medical equipment, sensors and other IoT products. Beside the datasheet, there’s currently very little information about ESP32-PICO-D4 on the web, so we’ll have to wait to see what comes out of it.

[Update: Photo of module with ESP32-PICO-D4

]

Via ESP32net Tweet

Khadas VIM2 Amlogic S912 Development Board Sells for $75 and Up

August 21st, 2017 21 comments

Khadas VIM2 is the only low cost development board powered by Amlogic S912 octa-core processor that I know of, but when we first wrote about the board it was not available yet. The three versions of the boards are now being sold on GearBest with the Basic version going for $74.99, the Pro version for $94.99, and the Max version for $109.99. [Update: You can get VIM2 Max for $99.99 by using GBVIM2MAX coupon code for the first 100 boards daily, and the five first boards are sold for $49.99 daily at 9:00 UTC until August 28th. Details on promotion page.]

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Khadas VIM2 Basic/Pro/Max specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S912 octa core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5 GHz with ARM Mali-820MP GPU
  • System Memory
    • Basic – 2 GB DDR4
    • Pro/Max – 3 GB DDR4
  • Storage
    • micro SD card and 2MB SPI flash
    • eMMC Flash – Basic: 16GB; Pro: 32GB; Max: 64GB
  • Video & Audio  Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with CEC support
  • Connectivity
    • Basic – Gigabit Ethernet with WoL support, 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1 via Ampak AP6356S module
    • Pro/Max – Gigabit Ethernet with WoL support, 802.11 b/g/n/ac with RSDB and Bluetooth 4.2 via Ampak AP6359SA module
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports supporting 900mA and 500mA loads, 1x USB 2.0 type C port supporting power and data only
  • Expansion header
    • 40-pin 2.54mm pitch header with USB, UART, I2C, ADC, PWM, I2S, SPDIF, and ISO7816
    • 10-pin FPC connector with I2C and IOs
    • 8 “pin” pogo pads array with USB, I2C, DVB bus, and I/Os
  • Misc – Blue LED, white LED, dual channel IR, power/function/reset buttons, header for RTC battery, fan header
  • Power Supply –  5V to 9V via USB type C, 4-pin VIN 1.25mm pitch header, or pogo pads for VIN (5V recommended for better efficiency); programmable current limit switch up to 4A (Set to 3A by default)
  • Dimensions – 82.0 x 57.5 x 11.5 mm (4x M2 mounting holes)

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SZWesion has a single Wiki for both Khadas VIM (S905X) and VIM2 (S912) boards, so it may be a little confusing, but you’ll find Android Nougat, Ubuntu 16.04.2 and Dual OS (Android + Ubuntu) images in the firmware page, as well as more technical information (e.g. schematics, build instructions…) in the documentation page. The board should work well in Android 7.1 with hardware video decoding and GPU acceleration working since they’ve been so many Amlogic S912 Android devices on the market. For Linux, the board will likely work well for headless applications, or applications that do not require multimedia features, but for example, 4K video decoding may not work that well – at least for now -,  as I was told kszaq work on LibreELEC using 32-bit Android libraries and libhybris would only work up to 1080p60. If you have any specific question, you should be able to get your answer in the support forum.