nRF24L01 Raspberry PI Gateway Hardware

For those who came to my MS Ignite AU Intelligent Cloud booth session

Building Wireless Field Gateways

Connecting wireless sensor nodes to the cloud is not the mission it used to be, because the Azure team (and many OS projects) have developed tooling which can help hobbyist and professional developers build solutions. How could you build a home scale robust, reliable and secure solution with off the shelf kit without blowing the budget?

Sparkfun nRF24L01 module &Adafruit perma proto hat

NRF24L01 Raspberry PI DIY Gateway Hardware

BoM (all prices as at Feb 2016)

You will also need some short lengths of wire and a soldering iron.

For those who want an “off the shelf” solution (still requires a minor modification for interrupt support) I have used the Raspberry Pi to NRF24l01+ Shield USD9.90

2015-09-25t072754-447z-20150925_091942-855x570_q85_pad_rcrop

Instructions for modifications and software to follow.

NetMF MP3 Player Part 3

Building on the file listing code from the previous post in the next class we built a basic multi threaded music player using an enhanced version of the Vs1053B driver based on the softelectrotech.and bluecone code.

The code uses five interrupt ports (I used 5 buttons on the 4 analog ports on the Seeedstudio V2 Base shield and D5 to make it easier to fit the Mp3 shield)

As the Vs1053 driver is now running asynchronously it fires an event when the current track has finished playing

   public class Program
   {
      static string[] MusicFiles;
      static Vs1053B player = new Vs1053B(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D2, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D6, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D7, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D8);
      static byte volume = 200;
      static int trackNumber = 1;
      static public string TrackFilename { get { return MusicFiles[trackNumber - 1]; } }

      public static void Main()
      {
         MusicFiles = Directory.GetFiles(@"\SD");

         foreach( string file in MusicFiles)
         {
            Debug.Print(file);
         }

         InterruptPort playPause = new InterruptPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D5, false, Port.ResistorMode.Disabled, Port.InterruptMode.InterruptEdgeLow);
         playPause.OnInterrupt += playPause_OnInterrupt;

         InterruptPort volumeUp = new InterruptPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_A0, false, Port.ResistorMode.Disabled, Port.InterruptMode.InterruptEdgeLow);
         volumeUp.OnInterrupt += volumeUp_OnInterrupt;

         InterruptPort volumeDown = new InterruptPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_A1, false, Port.ResistorMode.Disabled, Port.InterruptMode.InterruptEdgeLow);
         volumeDown.OnInterrupt += volumeDown_OnInterrupt;

         InterruptPort previousTrack = new InterruptPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_A2, false, Port.ResistorMode.Disabled, Port.InterruptMode.InterruptEdgeLow);
         previousTrack.OnInterrupt += previousTrack_OnInterrupt;

         InterruptPort nextTrack = new InterruptPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_A3, false, Port.ResistorMode.Disabled, Port.InterruptMode.InterruptEdgeLow);
         nextTrack.OnInterrupt += nextTrack_OnInterrupt;

         player.SetVolume(volume);
         player.Filename = TrackFilename;
         player.onMusicFinished += player_onMusicFinished;

         player.Play();

         Thread.Sleep(Timeout.Infinite);
      }

      static void player_onMusicFinished()
      {
         trackNumber += 1;

         if (trackNumber > MusicFiles.Length)
         {
            trackNumber = 1;
         }
         Debug.Print("player_onMusicFinished " + trackNumber + " of " + MusicFiles.Length);

         player.Filename = TrackFilename;
      }

      static void previousTrack_OnInterrupt(uint data1, uint data2, DateTime time)
      {
         trackNumber -= 1;

         if (trackNumber < 1)          {             trackNumber = MusicFiles.Length;          }          Debug.Print("previousTrack_OnInterrupt " + trackNumber + " of " + MusicFiles.Length);          player.CancelPlayback();          player.Filename = TrackFilename;       }       static void nextTrack_OnInterrupt(uint data1, uint data2, DateTime time)       {          trackNumber += 1;          if (trackNumber > MusicFiles.Length)
         {
            trackNumber = 1;
         }
         Debug.Print("nextTrack_OnInterrupt " + trackNumber + " of " + MusicFiles.Length);

         player.CancelPlayback();
         player.Filename = TrackFilename;
      }

      static void playPause_OnInterrupt(uint data1, uint data2, DateTime time)
      {
         Debug.Print("playPause_OnInterrupt ");
         if (player.IsPaused())
         {
            player.Resume();
         }
         else
         {
            player.Pause();
         }
      }

      static void volumeDown_OnInterrupt(uint data1, uint data2, DateTime time)
      {
         Debug.Print("volumeDown_OnInterrupt " + volume);
         if (volume > 0)
         {
            volume -= 1;
         }
         player.SetVolume(volume);
      }

      static void volumeUp_OnInterrupt(uint data1, uint data2, DateTime time)
      {
         Debug.Print("volumeUp_OnInterrupt " + volume);
         if (volume < 255)
         {
            volume += 1;
         }
         player.SetVolume(volume);
      }
   }

Next steps are to ignore contact bounce on the buttons and play MP3 files in a more consistent order
musicplayerv2

Netduino with Mp3 Shield and 5 button UI

Netduino Mp3 player with 5 button UI

NetMF MP3 Player Part 2

Building on the file listing code from the previous post in the next class we wrote the simplest possible NetMF code to play all of MP3 files on an SD Card. The Mp3 player shields I have all use a Vs1053B chip to decode the MP3 byte stream. This sample uses the driver code from softelectrotech.

public static void Main()
{
   Vs1053B player = new Vs1053B(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D2, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D6, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D7, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D8);
   string[] MusicFiles = Directory.GetFiles(@"\SD");
   player.SetVolume(180, 180);

   // Print a list of all the files on the SD card.
   foreach (string file in MusicFiles)
   {
      Debug.Print(file);
   }

   foreach (string file in MusicFiles)
   {
      Debug.Print("Play start " + file);

      player.Play(file, true);

      Debug.Print("Play finish " + file);
   }
}

Some of the students observed the order of the files was not what they were expecting. The order of the files appeared to depend on how they were copied to the memory card.

\SD\05 Sunday Bloody Sunday.mp3
\SD\06 Bad.mp3
\SD\07 Where the Streets Have No Name.mp3
\SD\08 I Will Follow.mp3
\SD\09 The Unforgettable Fire.mp3
\SD\10 Sweetest Thing [The Single Mix].mp3
\SD\11 Desire.mp3
\SD\12 When Love Comes to Town.mp3
\SD\13 Angel of Harlem.mp3
\SD\14 All I Want Is You.mp3
\SD\01 Pride (In the Name of Love).mp3
\SD\02 New Year's Day.mp3
\SD\03 With or Without You.mp3
\SD\04 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.mp3
Playback
Play start \SD\05 Sunday Bloody Sunday.mp3
Play finish \SD\05 Sunday Bloody Sunday.mp3
Play start \SD\06 Bad.mp3

All of the students observed that the tacks were being played synchronously which didn’t allow you to change the volume or interrupt the playback to pause the current track or change the track being played.

The next steps were to ensure the music files were sorted into a consistent order and that playback was not synchronous.

MusicPlayerSyncBasic code

NetMF MP3 Player Part 1

For one of my class projects the students build an NetMF MP3 player using a Netduino, MP3 shield, MicroSD card and some code. The first step is to learn about files, and directories by enumerating the contents of the MicroSD card.

public static void Main()
 {
    string[] musicFiles = Directory.GetFiles(@"\SD");

    foreach (string musicFile in musicFiles)
    {
       Debug.Print(musicFile);
    }
}

The NetMF implementation of GetFiles doesn’t support wildcards (unlike the full .Net Framework) so the list of files has to be manually filtered.

public static void Main()
{
   string[] musicFiles = Directory.GetFiles(@"\SD");

   foreach (string musicFile in musicFiles)
   {
      if (filePath.IndexOf(".mp3") != -1)
      {
         Debug.Print(musicFile);
      }
   }
}

The code above displayed
\SD\01 Pride (In the Name of Love).mp3
\SD\02 New Year’s Day.mp3
\SD\03 With or Without You.mp3
\SD\04 I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.mp3
\SD\05 Sunday Bloody Sunday.mp3
\SD\06 Bad.mp3
\SD\07 Where the Streets Have No Name.mp3
\SD\08 I Will Follow.mp3
\SD\09 The Unforgettable Fire.mp3
\SD\10 Sweetest Thing [The Single Mix].mp3
\SD\11 Desire.mp3
\SD\12 When Love Comes to Town.mp3
\SD\13 Angel of Harlem.mp3
\SD\14 All I Want Is You.mp3

For this project Directory.GetFiles was used (rather than Directory.EnumerateFiles) because the list files on the MicroSD will be used in other parts of the application.

The parsing and processing of file paths is important and can if done wrong can introduce hard to find issues(e.g. directory traversal attacks)

Debug.Print(musicFile .Substring( 0, musicFile.LastIndexOf(".mp3")));

Updating the code to use the built in System.IO.Path functionality

public static void Main()
{
   string[] MusicFiles = Directory.GetFiles(@"\SD");

   foreach (string musicFile in MusicFiles)
   {
      if (Path.GetExtension(musicFile) == ".mp3" )
      {
         Debug.Print(Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(musicFile));
      }
   }
}

The next step is to load and play the MP3 files using a provided library.

Netduino + SeeedStudio Grove LCD RGB Backlight

For the last year I have been teaching introductory programing classes using Netduino devices and Seeedstudio sensors which were sponsored by Microsoft New Zealand. The kits are based on a Grove Starter Kit for Arduino/Genuino 101 which contain a Grove LCD RGB Backlight display.

Seeedstudio have published an Arduino driver for the display and it looks like Sirsnork used this as the basis for his Netduino NetMF Port. In class a few people have commented that they have had difficulty getting the driver to work on a Netduino 2 or Netduino Plus 2 device.

I think the two main issues are the lack of termination resistors on the Grove RGB Backlight. Possibly the missing R9 & R10 in the picture below?

SeeedStudioRGBLCDBack

I have found the easiest way to work around this issue is to have another I2C device (In this case it’s a Grove 3 Axis Accelerometer ±16G)

SeeedStudioNetduinoAndRGBLCD

The other is the need to strobe the Serial Data Line (SDA) of the I2C port on later Netduino devices to get it to work

using System;
using System.Threading;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;
using SecretLabs.NETMF.Hardware.Netduino;

namespace SeeedStudio.Grove.RGBLCD
{
   public class Program
   {
      public static void Main()
      {
         using (OutputPort i2cPort = new OutputPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_SDA, true))
         {
            i2cPort.Write(false);
         }

.....

With the I2C bus terminated and the SDA port strobe I have found the Netduino and display work as expected.

Microsoft Sync Framework timezones

Over the last few months I have been working with the Microsoft Sync Framework and the time zone issues have been a problem.

New Zealand has a 12hr standard time or 13 hr daylight savings time offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and at a glance our customer data could look ok if treated as either local or UTC.

After some experimentation I found that it was due to Windows Communication Foundation(WCF) serialisation issues (The proposed solutions looks like it might have some limitations, especially across daylight savings time transitions).

For the initial synchronisation DateTime values in the database were unchanged, but for any later incremental synchronisations the DateTime values were adjusted to the timezone of the server (Our Azure Cloud Services are UTC timezone, though I don’t understand why Microsoft by default has them set to US locale with MM/DD/YY date formats)

In our scenario having all of the DateTime values in the cloud local looked like a reasonable option and this article provided some useful insights.

In the end I found that setting the DateSetDateTime  for every DateTime column in each DataTable in the synchronisation DataSet to unspecified in the ProcessChangeBatch (our code was based on the samples) method meant that no adjustment was applied to the incremental updates

public override void ProcessChangeBatch(ConflictResolutionPolicy resolutionPolicy, ChangeBatch sourceChanges, object changeDataRetriever, SyncCallbacks syncCallbacks, SyncSessionStatistics sessionStatistics)
{
try
{
DbSyncContext context = changeDataRetriever as DbSyncContext;

if (context != null)
{
foreach (DataTable table in context.DataSet.Tables)
{
foreach (DataColumn column in table.Columns)
{
// Switching from UnspecifiedLocal to Unspecified is allowed even after the DataSet has rows.
if ((column.DataType == typeof(DateTime)) && (column.DateTimeMode == DataSetDateTime.UnspecifiedLocal))
{
column.DateTimeMode = DataSetDateTime.Unspecified;
}
}
}
...

Hope this helps someone else

NetMF Electric Longboard Part 2

In part 1 I got the wireless WiiChuck working with a plug n play setup using a SeeedStudio Grove base shield, Wii Chuck adaptor, modified 5CM cable and FEZ Lemur. The FEZ Lemur is limited to a 5VDC supply which wasn’t going to work so well with the 6VDC output of my HobbyKing HK150 ESC without some extra electronics.

GHI Electronics also sell the FEZ Panda III which has a 6VDC-9VDC voltage range and more processing power which would be useful for my next project a dual motor longboard with traction control and anti lock braking .

I also figured vibration could be a problem for the plug n play setup so I built a custom shield for my wireless Wii Chuck dual motor longboard control using an Arduino protoshield, and a Wii-Nunchuck breakout board. The shield provides a solid mount for the wireless Wii chuck dongle and power for the NetMF board from the output of the ESC.

 

FEZ Panda III Protoshield for longboard with RC Servo for testing

FEZ Panda II Protoshield for longboard RC Servo test

I tested the shield wiring using a Radio Control (RC) Servo so the scope of disaster was greatly reduced. (The red jumper wire is supplying 3v3 to the servo for testing)

using System;
using System.Threading;
using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;
using Toolbox.NETMF.Hardware;

public class Program
{
   private const int NunchukYMinimum = 0;
   private const int NunchukYMaximum = 255;
   private const int PWMPeriodMicroseconds = 20000;
   private const int DurationMinimum = 1250;
   private const int DurationMaximum = 1750;

   public static void Main()
   {
      WiiNunchuk Nunchuk = new WiiNunchuk();
      PWM pwm = new PWM(GHI.Pins.FEZPandaIII.PwmOutput.D6, PWMPeriodMicroseconds, DurationMinimum, PWM.ScaleFactor.Microseconds, false);

      pwm.Start();

      while (true)
      {
         // Reads all values
         Nunchuk.Read();

         Debug.Print(Nunchuk.AnalogStickX.ToString() + " " + Nunchuk.AnalogStickY.ToString());

         uint duration = (uint)map(Nunchuk.AnalogStickY, NunchukYMinimum, NunchukYMaximum, DurationMinimum, DurationMaximum);

         Debug.Print("Duration " + duration.ToString());
         pwm.Duration = duration;

         Thread.Sleep(100);
      }
   }

   private static long map(long x, long inputMinimum, long inputMaximum, long outputMinimum, long outputMaximum)
   {
      return (x - inputMinimum) * (outputMaximum - outputMinimum) / (inputMaximum - inputMinimum) + outputMinimum;
   }
}

I then connected the setup to my longboard ESC and it worked. (need a right angle connection for FEZ Panda III power)

Longboard with FEZ Panda III board based controller

Longboard with FEZ Panda III board based controller

The proof of concept software worked, the next step is to add throttle mapping and failure mode handling e.g. loss of communications with the Wiichuck.