Easy Sensors Wireless field gateway Arduino Nano client

After not much development on my nrf24L01 AdaFruit.IO and Azure IOT Hub field gateways for a while some new nRF24L01 devices arrived in the post last week.

This sample client is an Arduino Nano clone with an Arduino Nano radio shield for NRF24L01+.

I use the shield’s onboard SHA204A crypto and authentication chip, and a Seeedstudio Temperature & Humidity sensor with the data uploaded to adafruit.io.

/*
  Copyright ® 2018 September devMobile Software, All Rights Reserved

  THIS CODE AND INFORMATION IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY
  KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE
  IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND/OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
  PURPOSE.

  You can do what you want with this code, acknowledgment would be nice.

  http://www.devmobile.co.nz

*/
#include
#include
#include 

// RF24 radio( ChipeEnable , ChipSelect )
RF24 radio(9, 10);
const byte FieldGatewayChannel = 15 ;
const byte FieldGatewayAddress[] = {"Base1"};
const rf24_datarate_e RadioDataRate = RF24_250KBPS;
const rf24_pa_dbm_e RadioPALevel = RF24_PA_HIGH;

// Payload configuration
const int PayloadSizeMaximum = 32 ;
char payload[PayloadSizeMaximum] = "";
const byte DeviceIdPlusCsvSensorReadings = 1 ;
const byte SensorReadingSeperator = ',' ;

// ATSHA204 secure authentication, validation with crypto and hashing (only using for unique serial number)
atsha204Class sha204(A3);
const int DeviceSerialNumberLength = 9 ;
uint8_t deviceSerialNumber[DeviceSerialNumberLength] = {""};
const int LoopSleepDelaySeconds = 10 ;

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(9600);
  Serial.println("Setup called");

  // Retrieve the serial number then display it nicely
  sha204.getSerialNumber(deviceSerialNumber);

  Serial.print("SNo:");
  for (int i = 0; i < sizeof( deviceSerialNumber) ; i++)
  {
    // Add a leading zero
    if ( deviceSerialNumber[i] < 16)
    {
      Serial.print("0");
    }
    Serial.print(deviceSerialNumber[i], HEX);
    Serial.print(" ");
  }

  Serial.println();

  // Configure the Seeedstudio TH02 temperature & humidity sensor
  Serial.println("TH02 setup");
  TH02.begin();
  delay(100);

  // Configure the nRF24 module
  Serial.println("nRF24 setup");
  radio.begin();
  radio.setChannel(FieldGatewayChannel);
  radio.openWritingPipe(FieldGatewayAddress);
  radio.setDataRate(RadioDataRate) ;
  radio.setPALevel(RadioPALevel);
  radio.enableDynamicPayloads();

  Serial.println("Setup done");
}

void loop()
{
  int payloadLength = 0 ;
  float temperature ;
  float humidity ;

  Serial.println("Loop called");
  memset( payload, 0, sizeof( payload));

  // prepare the payload header with PayloadMessageType (top nibble) and DeviceID length (bottom nibble)
  payload[0] = (DeviceIdPlusCsvSensorReadings &lt;<span id="mce_SELREST_start" style="overflow:hidden;line-height:0;"></span>&lt; 4) | sizeof(deviceSerialNumber) ;
  payloadLength += 1;

  // Copy the device serial number into the payload
  memcpy( &amp;payload[payloadLength], deviceSerialNumber, sizeof( deviceSerialNumber));
  payloadLength += sizeof( deviceSerialNumber) ;

  // Read the temperature, humidity &amp; battery voltage values then display nicely
  temperature = TH02.ReadTemperature();
  Serial.print(&quot;T:&quot;);
  Serial.print( temperature, 1 ) ;
  Serial.print( &quot;C&quot; ) ;

  humidity = TH02.ReadHumidity();
  Serial.print(&quot; H:&quot;);
  Serial.print( humidity, 0 ) ;
  Serial.println( &quot;%&quot; ) ;

  // Copy the temperature into the payload
  payload[ payloadLength] = &#039;t&#039;;
  payloadLength += 1 ;
  dtostrf(temperature, 6, 1, &amp;payload[payloadLength]);
  payloadLength += 6;

  payload[ payloadLength] = &#039;,&#039;;
  payloadLength += 1 ;

  // Copy the humidity into the payload
  payload[ payloadLength] = &#039;h&#039;;
  payloadLength += 1 ;
  dtostrf(humidity, 4, 0, &amp;payload[payloadLength]);
  payloadLength += 4;

  // Powerup the nRF24 chipset then send the payload to base station
  Serial.print( &quot;Payload length:&quot;);
  Serial.println( payloadLength );

  Serial.println( &quot;nRF24 write&quot; ) ;
  boolean result = radio.write(payload, payloadLength);
  if (result)
    Serial.println(&quot;Write Ok...&quot;);
  else
    Serial.println(&quot;Write failed.&quot;);

  Serial.println(&quot;Loop done&quot;);
  delay(LoopSleepDelaySeconds * 1000l);
}

Arduino monitor output

NanoArduinoNrf24

Prototype hardware

ArduinoNanonRF24

Bill of materials (prices as at Sep 2018)

  • Arduino Nano clone USD4.70
  • Easy Sensors Arduino Nano Radio Shield for nRF24L01 USD13
  • Seeedstudio Temperature and Humidity Sensor Pro USD11.50
  • Seeedstudio 4 pin Male Jumper to Grove 4 pin Conversion Cable USD2.90

Adafruit.IO temperature display when I moved the sensor outside.

NanoNrf24

Dragino LoRaMiniDev Payload Addressing Client

This is a demo Dragino LoRa Mini Dev featuring LoRa® technology client (based on one of the examples from Arduino-LoRa) that uploads telemetry data to my AdaFruit.IO and Azure IoT Hubs Windows 10 IoT Core on Raspberry PI proof of concept (PoC) field gateways.

LoRaMiniDevTH02

Bill of materials (Prices Sep 2018)

  • Draguino LoRa MiniDev USD23
  • Seeedstudio Temperature&Humidity Sensor USD11.50 NZD20
  • 4 pin Male Jumper to Grove 4 pin Conversion Cable USD2.90

The code is pretty basic, it shows how to pack the payload and set the necessary RFM9X/SX127X LoRa module configuration, has no power conservation, advanced wireless configuration etc.

The Grove 4 pin Male Jumper to Grove 4 pin Conversion Cable was a quick & convenient way to get the I2C Grove temperature and humidity sensor connected up.

/*
  Adapted from LoRa Duplex communication with Sync Word

  Sends temperature & humidity data from Seeedstudio 

  https://www.seeedstudio.com/Grove-Temperature-Humidity-Sensor-High-Accuracy-Min-p-1921.html

  To my Windows 10 IoT Core RFM 9X library

  https://blog.devmobile.co.nz/2018/09/03/rfm9x-iotcore-payload-addressing/

*/
#include
#include
#include
const int csPin = 10;          // LoRa radio chip select
const int resetPin = 9;       // LoRa radio reset
const int irqPin = 2;         // change for your board; must be a hardware interrupt pin

// Field gateway configuration
const byte FieldGatewayAddress[] = "LoRaIoT1";
const float FieldGatewayFrequency =  915000000.0;
//const float FieldGatewayFrequency =  433000000.0;
const byte FieldGatewaySyncWord = 0x12 ;

// Payload configuration
const int PayloadSizeMaximum = 64 ;
char payload[PayloadSizeMaximum] = "";
const byte SensorReadingSeperator = ',' ;

// Manual serial number configuration
char DeviceId[] = {"LoRaMiniDev5"};

const int LoopSleepDelaySeconds = 10 ;

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);
  while (!Serial);

  Serial.print("LoRa Setup-");
  Serial.println( DeviceId ) ;

  // override the default CS, reset, and IRQ pins (optional)
  LoRa.setPins(csPin, resetPin, irqPin);// set CS, reset, IRQ pin

  if (!LoRa.begin(FieldGatewayFrequency))
  {
    Serial.println("LoRa init failed. Check your connections.");
    while (true);
  }

  // Need to do this so field gateways pays attention to messsages from this device
  LoRa.enableCrc();
  LoRa.setSyncWord(FieldGatewaySyncWord);  

  //LoRa.dumpRegisters(Serial);
  Serial.println("LoRa Setup done.");

  // Configure the Seeedstudio TH02 temperature & humidity sensor
  Serial.println("TH02 setup");
  TH02.begin();
  delay(100);
  Serial.println("TH02 Setup done");  

  Serial.println("Setup done");
}

void loop()
{
  int payloadLength = 0 ;
  float temperature ;
  float humidity ;

  Serial.println("Loop called");
  memset(payload, 0, sizeof(payload));

  // prepare the payload header with "To" Address length (top nibble) and "From" address length (bottom nibble)
  payload[0] = (strlen(FieldGatewayAddress)<<4) | strlen( DeviceId ) ;
  payloadLength += 1;

  // Copy the "To" address into payload
  memcpy(&payload[payloadLength], FieldGatewayAddress, strlen(FieldGatewayAddress));
  payloadLength += strlen(FieldGatewayAddress) ;

  // Copy the "From" into payload
  memcpy(&payload[payloadLength], DeviceId, strlen(DeviceId));
  payloadLength += strlen(DeviceId) ;

  // Read the temperature and humidity values then display nicely
  temperature = TH02.ReadTemperature();
  humidity = TH02.ReadHumidity();

  Serial.print("T:");
  Serial.print( temperature, 1 ) ;
  Serial.print( "C" ) ;

  Serial.print(" H:");
  Serial.print( humidity, 0 ) ;
  Serial.println( "%" ) ;

  // Copy the temperature into the payload
  payload[ payloadLength] = 't';
  payloadLength += 1 ;
  payload[ payloadLength] = ' ';
  payloadLength += 1 ;
  payloadLength += strlen( dtostrf(temperature, -1, 1, &payload[payloadLength]));
  payload[ payloadLength] = SensorReadingSeperator;
  payloadLength += sizeof(SensorReadingSeperator) ;

  // Copy the humidity into the payload
  payload[ payloadLength] = 'h';
  payloadLength += 1 ;
  payload[ payloadLength] = ' ';
  payloadLength += 1 ;
  payloadLength += strlen( dtostrf(humidity, -1, 0, &payload[payloadLength]));  

  // display info about payload then send it (No ACK) with LoRa unlike nRF24L01
  Serial.print( "RFM9X/SX127X Payload length:");
  Serial.print( payloadLength );
  Serial.println( " bytes" );

  LoRa.beginPacket();
  LoRa.write( payload, payloadLength );
  LoRa.endPacket();      

  Serial.println("Loop done");

  delay(LoopSleepDelaySeconds * 1000l);
}

In the debug output window the messages from the device looked like this

09:53:05-RX From LoRaMiniDev5 PacketSnr 9.3 Packet RSSI -65dBm RSSI -109dBm = 11 byte message "t 16.8,h 98"
 Sensor LoRaMiniDev5t Value 16.8
 Sensor LoRaMiniDev5h Value 98
 AzureIoTHubClient SendEventAsync start
 AzureIoTHubClient SendEventAsync finish
The thread 0xba0 has exited with code 0 (0x0).
The thread 0xb24 has exited with code 0 (0x0).
09:53:15-RX From LoRaMiniDev5 PacketSnr 9.3 Packet RSSI -65dBm RSSI -108dBm = 11 byte message "t 16.7,h 98"
 Sensor LoRaMiniDev5t Value 16.7
 Sensor LoRaMiniDev5h Value 98
 AzureIoTHubClient SendEventAsync start
 AzureIoTHubClient SendEventAsync finish
The thread 0x76c has exited with code 0 (0x0).
The thread 0x91c has exited with code 0 (0x0).

Then in my Azure IoT Hub monitoring software
DraginoLoraMinDevEventHub
The dragino LoRa Mini Dev with an external antenna connector would be a good indoor data acquisition node for student project when powered by a 2nd hand cellphone charger.

Azure IoT Hubs LoRa Windows 10 IoT Core Field Gateway

This project is now live on github.com, sample Arduino with Dragino LoRa Shield for Arduino, MakerFabs Maduino, Dragino LoRa Mini Dev, M2M Low power Node and Netduino with Elecrow LoRa RFM95 Shield clients uploaded in the next couple of days.

AzureIOTHubExplorerScreenGrab20180912

The bare minimum configuration is

{
  "AzureIoTHubDeviceConnectionString": "HostName=qwertyuiop.azure-devices.net;DeviceId=LoRaGateway;SharedAccessKey=1234567890qwertyuiop987654321qwertyuiop1234g=",
  "AzureIoTHubTransportType": "Amqp",
  "SensorIDIsDeviceIDSensorID": true,
  "Address": "LoRaIoT1",
  "Frequency": 915000000.0
}

So far battery life and wireless communications range for the Arduino clients is looking pretty good. CRC presence checking and validation is turned so have a look at one of the sample clients.

ArduinoUnoR3DraginoLoRa
It took a bit longer than expected as upgrading to the latest version (v1.18.0 as at 12 Sep 2018) of Microsoft.Azure.Devices.Client (from 1.6.3) broke my field gateway with timeouts and exceptions.

I’ll be doing some more testing over the next couple of weeks so it is a work in progress.

AdaFruit.IO LoRa Windows 10 IoT Core Field Gateway

This project is now live on github.com, sample Arduino with Dragino LoRa Shield for Arduino, MakerFabs Maduino, Dragino LoRa Mini Dev, M2M Low power Node and Netduino with Elecrow LoRa RFM95 Shield clients uploaded in the next couple of days.

AdaFruit.IO.LoRaScreenShot
While building this AdaFruit.IO LoRa field gateway, and sample clients I revisited my RFM9XLoRa-Net library a couple of times adding functionality and renaming constants to make it more consistent. I made many of the default values public so they could be used in the field gateway config file.
The bare minimum configuration is

{
“AdaFruitIOUserName”: “——“,
“AdaFruitIOApiKey”: “——“,
“AdaFruitIOGroupName”: “——”
“Address”: “——“,
“Frequency”: 915000000.0
}

So far battery life and wireless communications range for the Arduino clients is looking pretty good.

ArduinoUnoR3DraginoLoRa

Windows 10 IoT Core LoRa library

I have a pair of Windows 10 IoT Core nRF24L01 field gateway projects, one for AdaFruit.IO and the other for Azure IoTHub (Including Azure IoT Central). I use these field gateways for small scale indoor and outdoor deployments.

For larger systems e.g a school campus I was looking for something with a bit more range (line of site + in building penetration) and clients with lower power consumption (suitable for long term battery or solar power).

Other makers had had success with RFM69(proprietary) and RFM9X (LoRA) based devices and shields/hats so I had a look at both technologies.

To kick things off I purchased

I then did some searching and downloaded two commonly used libraries

Initially I trialled the emmellsoft Windows 10 IoT Core Dragino.LoRa code on a couple of Raspberry PI devices.

RPIDraginoP2P

After updating the Windows 10 Min/Max versions, plus the NuGet packages and setting the processor type to ARM the code compiled, downloaded and ran which was a pretty good start.

I could see messages being transmitted and received by the two devices

Packet RSSI: -33, RSSI: -91, SNR: 8, Length: 5
Message Received: CRC OK, Rssi=-91, PacketRssi=-33, PacketSnr=8, Buffer:[55, ff, 00, aa, 01], 2018-07-30 09:27:48
Successfully sent in 110 milliseconds.
Packet RSSI: -15, RSSI: -100, SNR: 9.2, Length: 5
Message Received: CRC OK, Rssi=-100, PacketRssi=-15, PacketSnr=9.2, Buffer:[55, ff, 00, aa, 02], 2018-07-30 09:27:53
Successfully sent in 36 milliseconds.
Packet RSSI: -35, RSSI: -101, SNR: 9, Length: 5
Message Received: CRC OK, Rssi=-101, PacketRssi=-35, PacketSnr=9, Buffer:[55, ff, 00, aa, 03], 2018-07-30 09:27:58
Successfully sent in 36 milliseconds.

I added my first attempt at device configuration for New Zealand (based on EU settings) in Dragino.LoRa\Radio\TransceiverSettings.cs

public static readonly TransceiverSettings ANZ915 = new TransceiverSettings(
             RadioModemKind.Lora,
             915000000,
             BandWidth.BandWidth_125_00_kHz,
             SpreadingFactor.SF7,
             CodingRate.FourOfFive,
             8,
             true,
             false,
             LoraSyncWord.Public);

The LoraSyncWord.Public would turn out to be a problem later!

Then I modified the sender and receiver sample application MainPage.xaml.cs files to reference my settings

private static TransceiverSettings GetRadioSettings()
{
   // *********************************************************************************************
   // #1/2. YOUR EDITING IS REQUIRED HERE!
   //
   // Choose transeiver settings:
   // *********************************************************************************************

   return TransceiverSettings.Standard.ANZ915;
}

I modified one of the RadioHead sample Arduino applications (centre frequency) and deployed it to a LoRa MiniDev device. I could see messages getting sent but they were not getting received by the RPI(s).

So I dumped the registers for the SX127X device in the HopeRF RFM95 module on both devices,

DraginoLoraMinDev

From the device on RPI Hat

SX1276/77/78/79 detected, starting.
1-85
2-1A
3-B
4-0
5-52
6-E4
7-C0
8-0
9-85
A-9
B-2B
C-23
D-0
E-80
F-0
10-0
11-0
12-0
13-0
14-0
15-0
16-0
17-0
18-4
19-0
1A-0
1B-42
1C-0
1D-72
1E-74
1F-9F
20-0
21-8
22-1
23-FF
24-0
25-0
26-4
27-0
28-0
29-0
2A-0
2B-0
2C-9
2D-50
2E-14
2F-45
30-55
31-C3
32-5
33-27
34-1C
35-A
36-3
37-A
38-42
39-34
The LoRa transceiver is initiated successfully.

I printed out the Radiohead and emmellsoft registers then manually compared them using the SX1275 datasheet for reference.

I found the 3 registers which contain the MSB, ISB and LSB for the centre frequency weren’t being calculated correctly (checked this by changing the frequency to 434MHz and comparing the register values to the worked example in the datasheet).

I manually “brute forced” the centre frequency registers in LoRaTransceiver.cs Init() and the RPI could then detect a signal but couldn’t decode the messages.

I went back to the Register dumps and found the SyncWord (odd name as it is a byte) were different. After updating the RPI settings the devices could exchange packets..

const double RH_RF95_FXOSC = 32000000.0;
const double RH_RF95_FSTEP = RH_RF95_FXOSC / 524288.0;
long frf = (long)(Settings.Frequency / RH_RF95_FSTEP);

byte[] bytes = BitConverter.GetBytes(frf);

byte[] x6 = { bytes[2] };
RegisterManager.WriteRegister(6, x6);
byte[] x7 = { bytes[1] };
RegisterManager.WriteRegister(7, x7);
byte[] x8 = { bytes[0] };
RegisterManager.WriteRegister(8, x8);

RegisterManager.Write(new LoraRegisterSyncWord(Settings.LoraSyncWord.Value));

This was not a long term solution, lots of code, and register setting changes with limited explanation…

Azure Meetup-Budget tank of 91 IoT

The premise of my Azure Meetup presentation was could you build an interesting project on a rainy weekend afternoon with a constrained budget (tank of 91 octane petrol) and minimal soldering .

Budget

Our family car is a VW Passat V6 4Motion which has a 62 Litre tank. The driver usually doesn’t usually stop to fill up until the fuel light has been on for a bit which helped.

PetrolReceipt

Based on the most recent receipt the budget was NZD132.

Where possible I purchased parts locally (the tech equivalent of food miles) or on special.

My bill of materials (prices as at 2018-06) was on budget.

The devDuino V2.2 and nRF24L01 module were USD26.20 approx. NZD37.50 (including freight) from elecrow.

Tradeoffs

I powered my Raspberry PI with a spare cellphone charger (make sure it can supply enough current to reliably power the device).

The devDuino V2.has an ATSHA204A which provides a guaranteed unique 72-bit serial number (makes it harder to screw up provisioning devices in the field).

I use a 32G MicroSD rather than a 16G MicroSD card as I have had issued with 16G cards getting corrupted by more recent upgrades (possibly running out of space?)

The Raspberry PI shield requires a simple modification to enable interrupt driven operation.

My sample devDuino V2.2 client uses an external temperature and humidity sensor, modifying this code to use the onboard temperature sensor an MCP9700 will be covered in another post.

The devDuino V2 is a little bit cheaper USD15.99 NZD37.31, has the same onboard temperature sensor as the V2.2 but no unique serial number chip.

The devDuino V4.0 has an onboard HTU21D temperature + humidity sensor but no unique serial number and the batteries are expensive.

The code and deployment instructions for the nRF24L01 field gateway applications for AdaFruit.IO and Azure IoT Hub/Azure IoT Central are available on hackster.IO.

RPiWithnRF24Plate

AdaFruit.IO has free and USD10.00/month options which work well for many hobbyist projects.

AdaFruitIO

Azure Meetup Christchurch notes

For the people who came to my Azure meetup session this evening

Sources of sensors and development boards

http://www.adafruit.com
http://www.elecrow.com (watering kits)
http://www.ingenuitymicro.com (NZ based dev boards)
http://www.netduino.com (.NetMF development boards)
http://www.makerfabs.com
http://www.seeedstudio.com
http://www.tindie.com

nRF24Shields for RPI devices
http://www.tindie.com/products/ceech/new-raspberry-pi-to-nrf24l01-shield/

nRF24Shields for *duino devices in AU
embeddedcoolness.com

Raspberry PI Source in CHC
http://www.wavetech.co.nz

RFM69 & LoRa Modules
http://www.wisen.com.au

local sensor and device resellers quick turnaround
http://www.mindkits.co.nz
http://www.nicegear.co.nz

http://www.diyelectricskateboard.com

The watch development platform
http://www.hexiwear.com

http://www.gowifi.co.nz (Antennas & other wireless kit based in Rangiora)

my projects
http://www.hackster.io/KiwiBryn
io.adafruit.com/BrynHLewis/dashboards/home-environment