nanoFramework Seeed LoRa-E5 on Github

The source code of my nanoFramework C# Seeed LoRa-E5 library is live on GitHub. My initial test rig was based on an STM32F691DISCOVERY board which has an Arduino Uno R3 format socket for a Grove Base Shield V2.0. I then connected it to my LoRa-E5 Development Kit with a Grove – Universal 4 Pin 20cm Unbuckled Cable(TX/RX reversed)

STM32F769I test rig with Seeedstudio Grove Base shield V2 and LoRa-E5 Development Kit

So far the demo application has been running for a couple of weeks

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.SeeedE5LoRaWANDeviceClient starting
12:00:01 Join start Timeout:25 Seconds
12:00:07 Join finish
12:00:07 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:00:13 Sleep
12:05:13 Wakeup
12:05:13 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:05:20 Sleep
12:10:20 Wakeup
12:10:20 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:10:27 Sleep
12:15:27 Wakeup
12:15:27 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:15:34 Sleep
...
11:52:40 Wakeup
11:52:40 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
11:52:45 Sleep
11:57:45 Wakeup
11:57:45 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
11:57:52 Sleep
12:02:52 Wakeup
12:02:52 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:02:59 Sleep
12:07:59 Wakeup
12:07:59 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:08:07 Sleep
12:13:07 Wakeup
12:13:07 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:13:14 Sleep

I have tested the Over The Air Activation(OTAA) code and will work on testing the other functionality over the coming week,

public static void Main()
{
   Result result;

   Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.SeeedE5LoRaWANDeviceClient starting");

   try
   {
      using (SeeedE5LoRaWANDevice device = new SeeedE5LoRaWANDevice())
      {
         result = device.Initialise(SerialPortId, 9600, UartParity.None, 8, UartStopBitCount.One);
         if (result != Result.Success)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine($"Initialise failed {result}");
            return;
         }

#if CONFIRMED
         device.OnMessageConfirmation += OnMessageConfirmationHandler;
#endif
         device.OnReceiveMessage += OnReceiveMessageHandler;

#if RESET
         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Reset");
         result = device.Reset();
         if (result != Result.Success)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine($"Reset failed {result}");
            return;
          }
#endif

         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Region {Region}");
         result = device.Region(Region);
         if (result != Result.Success)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine($"Region failed {result}");
            return;
         }

         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ADR On");
         result = device.AdrOn();
         if (result != Result.Success)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine($"ADR on failed {result}");
            return;
         }

               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Port");
               result = device.Port(MessagePort);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Port on failed {result}");
                  return;
               }

#if OTAA
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} OTAA");
               result = device.OtaaInitialise(Config.AppEui, Config.AppKey);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"OTAA Initialise failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
#endif

#if ABP
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ABP");
               result = device.AbpInitialise(DevAddress, NwksKey, AppsKey);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"ABP Initialise failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
#endif

               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join start Timeout:{JoinTimeOut.TotalSeconds} Seconds");
               result = device.Join(true, JoinTimeOut);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Join failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join finish");

               while (true)
               {
#if PAYLOAD_BCD
                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Send Timeout:{SendTimeout.TotalSeconds} Seconds payload BCD:{PayloadBcd}");
#if CONFIRMED
                  result = device.Send(PayloadBcd, true, SendTimeout);
#else
                  result = device.Send(PayloadBcd, false, SendTimeout);
#endif
#endif

#if PAYLOAD_BYTES
                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Send Timeout:{SendTimeout.TotalSeconds} Seconds payload Bytes:{BitConverter.ToString(PayloadBytes)}");
#if CONFIRMED
                  result = device.Send(PayloadBytes, true, SendTimeout);
#else
                  result = device.Send(PayloadBytes, false, SendTimeout);
#endif
#endif
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Send failed {result}");
                  }

                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Sleep");
                  result = device.Sleep();
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Sleep failed {result}");
                     return;
                  }

                  Thread.Sleep(300000);

                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Wakeup");
                  result = device.Wakeup();
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Wakeup failed {result}");
                     return;
                  }
               }
            }
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
         }
      }

The Region, ADR and OtaaInitialise methods only need to be called when the device is first powered up and after a reset.

The library works but should be treated as late beta.

Seeed LoRa-E5 Wakeup

Over the last week I have been working on GHI Electronics TinyCLR-0SV2RC1 and nanoFramework and C# libraries for the LoRa-E5 module from Seeedstudio.

The initial test rigs were based on an Arduino Uno R3 format socket for a Grove Base Shield V2.0 which I then connected to my LoRa-E5 Development Kit with a Grove – Universal 4 Pin 20cm Unbuckled Cable(TX/RX reversed)

Fezduino device with Seeedstudio Grove base shield and LoRa-E5 development Kit

While testing I noticed that every so often that when I restarted the test application application, rebooted or power cycled the nanoFramework or Fezduino device the Seeed LoRa-E5 wouldn’t connect.

After some trial and error manually entering commands in Terraterm I found that if the LoRa-E5 had been put to sleep (AT+LOWPOWER) the response to the first command (usually setting the region with AT+DR=AS923) would be unexpected. The problem was more obvious when I used devices that were configured for “soak testing” because the gap between messages was much longer (5min vs. 30 seconds)

AT+VER
+VER: 4.0.11

AT+UART=TIMEOUT, 30000 
+UART: TIMEOUT, 30000

AT+LOWPOWER
+LOWPOWER: SLEEP

AT+DR=AS923
AT+LOWPOWER: WAKEUP

AT+DR=AS923
+DR: AS923

AT+JOIN FORCE
+JOIN: Start
+JOIN: FORCE
+JOIN: Network joined
+JOIN: NetID 000013 DevAddr 26:08:46:70
+JOIN: Done

AT+CMSGHEX="00 01 02 03 04"
+CMSGHEX: Start
+CMSGHEX: Wait ACK
+CMSGHEX: FPENDING
+CMSGHEX: ACK Received
+CMSGHEX: RXWIN1, RSSI -29, SNR 9.0
+CMSGHEX: Done

After trying several different approaches which weren’t very robust I settled on sending a wakeup command (AT+LOWPOWER: WAKEUP with an expected response of +LOWPOWER: WAKEUP) and ignoring the result.

public Result Initialise(string serialPortId, int baudRate, UartParity serialParity, int dataBits, UartStopBitCount stopBitCount)
{
    if ((serialPortId == null) || (serialPortId == ""))
    {
       throw new ArgumentException("Invalid SerialPortId", "serialPortId");
    }
    if ((baudRate < BaudRateMinimum) || (baudRate > BaudRateMaximum))
    {
       throw new ArgumentException("Invalid BaudRate", "baudRate");
    }

   serialDevice = UartController.FromName(serialPortId);

   // set parameters
   serialDevice.SetActiveSettings(new UartSetting()
   {
      BaudRate = baudRate,
      Parity = serialParity,
      StopBits = stopBitCount,
      Handshaking = UartHandshake.None,
      DataBits = dataBits
   });

   serialDevice.Enable();

   atCommandExpectedResponse = string.Empty;

   serialDevice.DataReceived += SerialDevice_DataReceived;

   // Ignoring the return from this is intentional
   this.SendCommand("+LOWPOWER: WAKEUP", "AT+LOWPOWER: WAKEUP", SendTimeoutMinimum);

   return Result.Success;
}

This modification has been applied to both libraries. I will also check that the RAK811 nanoFramework and TinyCLR libraries don’t have the same issue.

TinyCLR OS V2 Seeed LoRa-E5 on Github

The source code of my GHI Electronics TinyCLR-0SV2RC1 Seeed LoRa-E5 library is live on GitHub. The initial test harness uses a Fezduinoand a LoRa-E5 Development Kit.

Fezduino device with Seeedstudio Grove base shield and LoRa-E5 development Kit

So far the demo application has been running for 24 hours

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.SeeedE5LoRaWANDeviceClient starting
12:00:01 Join start Timeout:25 Seconds
12:00:07 Join finish
12:00:07 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:00:13 Sleep
12:05:13 Wakeup
12:05:13 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:05:20 Sleep
12:10:20 Wakeup
12:10:20 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:10:27 Sleep
12:15:27 Wakeup
12:15:27 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:15:34 Sleep
...
11:52:40 Wakeup
11:52:40 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
11:52:45 Sleep
11:57:45 Wakeup
11:57:45 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
11:57:52 Sleep
12:02:52 Wakeup
12:02:52 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:02:59 Sleep
12:07:59 Wakeup
12:07:59 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:08:07 Sleep
12:13:07 Wakeup
12:13:07 Send Timeout:10 Seconds payload BCD:010203040506070809
12:13:14 Sleep

I have tested the Over The Air Activation(OTAA) code and will work on testing the other functionality over the coming week,

public static void Main()
{
   Result result;

   Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.SeeedE5LoRaWANDeviceClient starting");

   try
   {
      using (SeeedE5LoRaWANDevice device = new SeeedE5LoRaWANDevice())
      {
         result = device.Initialise(SerialPortId, 9600, UartParity.None, 8, UartStopBitCount.One);
         if (result != Result.Success)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine($"Initialise failed {result}");
            return;
         }

#if CONFIRMED
         device.OnMessageConfirmation += OnMessageConfirmationHandler;
#endif
         device.OnReceiveMessage += OnReceiveMessageHandler;

#if RESET
         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Reset");
         result = device.Reset();
         if (result != Result.Success)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine($"Reset failed {result}");
            return;
          }
#endif

         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Region {Region}");
         result = device.Region(Region);
         if (result != Result.Success)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine($"Region failed {result}");
            return;
         }

         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ADR On");
         result = device.AdrOn();
         if (result != Result.Success)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine($"ADR on failed {result}");
            return;
         }

               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Port");
               result = device.Port(MessagePort);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Port on failed {result}");
                  return;
               }

#if OTAA
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} OTAA");
               result = device.OtaaInitialise(Config.AppEui, Config.AppKey);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"OTAA Initialise failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
#endif

#if ABP
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ABP");
               result = device.AbpInitialise(DevAddress, NwksKey, AppsKey);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"ABP Initialise failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
#endif

               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join start Timeout:{JoinTimeOut.TotalSeconds} Seconds");
               result = device.Join(true, JoinTimeOut);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Join failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join finish");

               while (true)
               {
#if PAYLOAD_BCD
                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Send Timeout:{SendTimeout.TotalSeconds} Seconds payload BCD:{PayloadBcd}");
#if CONFIRMED
                  result = device.Send(PayloadBcd, true, SendTimeout);
#else
                  result = device.Send(PayloadBcd, false, SendTimeout);
#endif
#endif

#if PAYLOAD_BYTES
                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Send Timeout:{SendTimeout.TotalSeconds} Seconds payload Bytes:{BitConverter.ToString(PayloadBytes)}");
#if CONFIRMED
                  result = device.Send(PayloadBytes, true, SendTimeout);
#else
                  result = device.Send(PayloadBytes, false, SendTimeout);
#endif
#endif
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Send failed {result}");
                  }

                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Sleep");
                  result = device.Sleep();
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Sleep failed {result}");
                     return;
                  }

                  Thread.Sleep(300000);

                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Wakeup");
                  result = device.Wakeup();
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Wakeup failed {result}");
                     return;
                  }
               }
            }
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
         }
      }

The Region, ADR and OtaaInitialise methods only need to be called when the device is first powered up and after a reset.

The library works but should be treated as late beta.

RAK811/RAK4200 AS923 Join Channels

When running an application which used my TinyCLR V2 RAK811 Module library on a FezDuino with a modified RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation Board(EVB) most join attempts on my Things Industries(TTI) instance would fail. This was a bit odd as connecting to The Things Network(TTN) was pretty reliable.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.Rak811LoRaWanDeviceClient starting
12:00:12 Region AS923
12:00:12 ADR On
12:00:12 Unconfirmed
12:00:12 OTAA
12:00:13 Join start Timeout:30Sec
Join failed 26
The thread '<No Name>' (0x1) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Done.

In TTI end device live data tab I could see the the joins attempts were failing with “Uplink channel Not found”

The Things Industries device live data tab “uplink channel not found” failures
The Things Industries device live data tab “uplink channel not found” detail

Initially I assumed this was an issue with my configuration of the RAKwireless RAK7258 gateway in my office that I was using for testing. After some discussions with a helpful TTI support person they suggested that I try disabling all bar the first two channels the RAK811 module was configured to use then see if worked.

I modified the intialise method of my TinyCLR V2 RAK811 Module library to disable all bar the first two channels

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:2:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:2:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:3:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:3:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:4:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:4:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:5:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
    Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:5:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:6:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:6:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:7:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:7:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

After modifying the code my Fezduino joined reliably.

The thread ” (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.Rak811LoRaWanDeviceClient starting
12:00:12 Region AS923
12:00:12 ADR On
12:00:12 Unconfirmed
12:00:12 OTAA
12:00:13 Join start Timeout:30Sec
12:00:18 Join finish
Temperature : 19.9 °C
Pressure : 1014.0 HPa
Altitude : 143 meters
12:00:19 port:5 payload BCD:0073279C016700C8
12:00:44 Sleep
12:01:44 Wakeup
Temperature : 20.1 °C
Pressure : 1014.0 HPa
Altitude : 143 meters
12:01:44 port:5 payload BCD:0073279C016700C9
12:02:09 Sleep

The Things Industries device live data tab successful join.

After some further discussion with TTI support it looks like the RAK811 module doesn’t send join requests on the frequencies specified for the AS923 region in the LoRaWAN™1.1Regional Parameters.

LoRaWAN Regional Parameters AS923 Join-request frequencies

After confirming the join-request channel issue I went back to the RAKwireless forums with some new terms to search for and found that others were having a similar issue but with RAK4200 modules. My “best guess” is that the TTI implementation is more strict about join-request frequencies than the TTN

Cayenne Low Power Payload (LPP) Encoder

I originally started building my own Cayenne Low Power Protocol(LPP) encoder because I could only find one other Github repository with a C# implementation. There hadn’t been any updates for a while and I wasn’t confident that I could make the code work on my nanoFramework and TinyCLR devices.

I started with the sample Mbed C code and did a largely mechanical conversion to C#. I then revisited some of the mathematics where floating point values were converted to an integer.

The original C++ code (understandably) had some language specific approaches which didn’t map well into C#

uint8_t CayenneLPP::addTemperature(uint8_t channel, float celsius) {
    if ((cursor + LPP_TEMPERATURE_SIZE) > maxsize) {
        return 0;
    }
    int16_t val = celsius * 10;
    buffer[cursor++] = channel; 
    buffer[cursor++] = LPP_TEMPERATURE; 
    buffer[cursor++] = val >> 8; 
    buffer[cursor++] = val; 

    return cursor;
}

I then translated this code to C#

public void TemperatureAdd(byte channel, float celsius)
{
   if ((index + TemperatureSize) > buffer.Length)
   {
      throw new ApplicationException("TemperatureAdd insufficent buffer capacity");
   }

   short val = (short)(celsius * 10);

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)DataType.Temperature;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(val >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)val;
}

One of my sensors was sending values with more decimal places than LPP supported and I noticed the value was not getting rounded e.g. 2.99 ->2.9 not 3.0 etc. So I revised my implementation to use Math.Round (which is supported by the nanoFramework and TinyCLR).

public void DigitalInputAdd(byte channel, bool value)
{
   #region Guard conditions
   if ((channel < Constants.ChannelMinimum) || (channel > Constants.ChannelMaximum))
   {
      throw new ArgumentException($"channel must be between {Constants.ChannelMinimum} and {Constants.ChannelMaximum}", "channel");
   }

   if ((index + Constants.DigitalInputSize) > buffer.Length)
   {
      throw new ApplicationException($"Datatype DigitalInput insufficent buffer capacity, {buffer.Length - index} bytes available");
   }
   #endregion

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)Enumerations.DataType.DigitalInput;

   // I know this is fugly but it works on all platforms
   if (value)
   {
      buffer[index++] = 1;
   }
   else
   {
     buffer[index++] = 0;
   }
 }

I then extracted out the channel and buffer size validation but I’m not certain this makes the code anymore readable/understandable

public void DigitalInputAdd(byte channel, bool value)
{
   IsChannelNumberValid(channel);
   IsBufferSizeSufficient(Enumerations.DataType.DigitalInput);

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)Enumerations.DataType.DigitalInput;

   // I know this is fugly but it works on all platforms
   if (value)
   {
      buffer[index++] = 1;
   }
   else
   {
      buffer[index++] = 0;
   }
}

The code runs on netCore, nanoFramework, and TinyCLRV2 just needs a few more unit tests and it will be ready for production. I started with an LPP encoder which I needed for one of my applications. I’m also working an approach for a decoder which will run on all my target platforms with minimal modification or compile time directives.

Cayenne Low Power Payload (LPP) Encoder

Reducing the size of message payloads is important for LoRa/LoRaWAN communications, as it reduces power consumption and bandwidth usage. One of the more common formats is myDevices Cayenne Low Power Payload(LPP) which is based on the IPSO Alliance Smart Objects Guidelines and is natively supported by The Things Network(TTN).

 private enum DataType : byte
{
   DigitalInput = 0, // 1 byte
   DigitialOutput = 1, // 1 byte
   AnalogInput = 2, // 2 bytes, 0.01 signed
   AnalogOutput = 3, // 2 bytes, 0.01 signed
   Luminosity = 101, // 2 bytes, 1 lux unsigned
   Presence = 102, // 1 byte, 1
   Temperature = 103, // 2 bytes, 0.1°C signed
   RelativeHumidity = 104, // 1 byte, 0.5% unsigned
   Accelerometer = 113, // 2 bytes per axis, 0.001G
   BarometricPressure = 115, // 2 bytes 0.1 hPa Unsigned
   Gyrometer = 134, // 2 bytes per axis, 0.01 °/s
   Gps = 136, // 3 byte lon/lat 0.0001 °, 3 bytes alt 0.01m
}

My implementation was “inspired” by the myDevices C/C++ sample code. The first step was to allocate a buffer to store the byte encoded values. I pre allocated the buffer to try and reduce the impacts of garbage collection. The code uses a manually incremented index into the buffer for performance reasons, plus the inconsistent support of System.Collections.Generic and Language Integrated Query(LINQ) on my three embedded platforms. The maximum length message that can be sent is limited by coding rate, duty cycle and bandwidth of the LoRa channel.

public Encoder(byte bufferSize)
{
   if ((bufferSize < BufferSizeMinimum) || ( bufferSize > BufferSizeMaximum))
   {
      throw new ArgumentException($"BufferSize must be between {BufferSizeMinimum} and {BufferSizeMaximum}", "bufferSize");
   }

   buffer = new byte[bufferSize];
}

For a simple data types like a digital input a single byte (True or False ) is used. The channel parameter is included so that multiple values of the same data type can be included in a message.

public void DigitalInputAdd(byte channel, bool value)
{
   if ((index + DigitalInputSize) > buffer.Length)
   {
     throw new ApplicationException("DigitalInputAdd insufficent buffer capacity");
   }

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)DataType.DigitalInput;
   // I know this is fugly but it works on all platforms
   if (value)
   {
      buffer[index++] = 1;
   }
   else
   {
      buffer[index++] = 0;
   }
}

For more complex data types like a Global Positioning System(GPS) location (Latitude, Longitude and Altitude) the values are converted to 32bit signed integers and only 3 of the 4 bytes are used.

public void GpsAdd(byte channel, float latitude, float longitude, float meters)
{
   if ((index + GpsSize) > buffer.Length)
   {
     throw new ApplicationException("GpsAdd insufficent buffer capacity");
   }

   int lat = (int)(latitude * 10000);
   int lon = (int)(longitude * 10000);
   int alt = (int)(meters * 100);

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)DataType.Gps;

   buffer[index++] = (byte)(lat >> 16);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(lat >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)lat;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(lon >> 16);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(lon >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)lon;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(alt >> 16);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(alt >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)alt;
}
Azure IoT Central map position granularity

Before the message can be sent it needs to be converted to its Binary Coded Decimal(BCD) representation and all formatting characters removed.

public string Bcd()
{
   StringBuilder payloadBcd = new StringBuilder(BitConverter.ToString(buffer, 0, index));

   payloadBcd = payloadBcd.Replace("-", "");

   return payloadBcd.ToString();
}

TTN Device Data Display
Visual Studio 2019 Debug output

The implementation had to be revised a couple of times so It would work with desktop and GHI Electronics TinyCLRV2 powered devices. There maybe some modifications required as I port it to nanoFramework and Wilderness Labs Meadow devices.

RFM9X.TinyCLR V2 RC2 on Github

The source code of RC2 of my GHI Electronics TinyCLR-0SV2RC1 RFM9X/SX127X library is live on GitHub. The sample application now supports Fezduino(dragino_LoRa shield for Arduino + others), Fezportal and the SC2010 Dev board (with CascoLogix LoRa Click) . I will add FezFeather and Fezstick support soon.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) March/April 2020, devMobile Software
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
//
// Need one of TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1/TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2/TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO/TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL defined
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x.LoRaDeviceClient
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.Text;
	using System.Threading;

	using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Pins;

	using devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x;

	class Program
   {
      static void Main()
      {
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1 || TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2
			const string DeviceName = "SC20100DEVLoRa";
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
			const string DeviceName = "FezduinoLoRa";
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL
			const string DeviceName = "FezportalLoRa";
#endif
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
			const string HostName = "LoRaIoT1";
#endif
			const double Frequency = 915000000.0;
			byte MessageCount = System.Byte.MaxValue;
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1
         Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD4, SC20100.GpioPin.PC5);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2
			Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD14, SC20100.GpioPin.PD15, SC20100.GpioPin.PA8);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
			Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi6, SC20100.GpioPin.PB1, SC20100.GpioPin.PA15, SC20100.GpioPin.PA1);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL
         Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PC13, SC20100.GpioPin.PD4,SC20100.GpioPin.PC2);
#endif

			rfm9XDevice.Initialise(Frequency, paBoost: true, rxPayloadCrcOn: true);
#if DEBUG
			rfm9XDevice.RegisterDump();
#endif

			rfm9XDevice.OnReceive += Rfm9XDevice_OnReceive;
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
			rfm9XDevice.Receive(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(DeviceName));
#else
			rfm9XDevice.Receive();
#endif
			rfm9XDevice.OnTransmit += Rfm9XDevice_OnTransmit;

			Thread.Sleep(10000);

			while (true)
			{
				string messageText = string.Format("Hello from {0} ! {1}", DeviceName, MessageCount);
				MessageCount -= 1;

				byte[] messageBytes = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(messageText);
				Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-TX {messageBytes.Length} byte message {messageText}");
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
				rfm9XDevice.Send(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(HostName), messageBytes);
#else
				rfm9XDevice.Send(messageBytes);
#endif
				Thread.Sleep(10000);
			}
		}

		private static void Rfm9XDevice_OnReceive(object sender, Rfm9XDevice.OnDataReceivedEventArgs e)
		{
			try
			{
				string messageText = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Data);

#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
				string addressText = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Address);

				Debug.WriteLine($@"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-RX From {addressText} PacketSnr {e.PacketSnr} Packet RSSI {e.PacketRssi}dBm RSSI {e.Rssi}dBm = {e.Data.Length} byte message ""{messageText}""");
#else
				Debug.WriteLine($@"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-RX PacketSnr {e.PacketSnr} Packet RSSI {e.PacketRssi}dBm RSSI {e.Rssi}dBm = {e.Data.Length} byte message ""{messageText}""");
#endif
			}
			catch (Exception ex)
			{
				Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
			}
		}

		private static void Rfm9XDevice_OnTransmit(object sender, Rfm9XDevice.OnDataTransmitedEventArgs e)
		{
			Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-TX Done");
		}
	}
}

The library works but should be treated as late beta.

TinyCLR OS V2 RC1 LoRa library Part4

Interrupts Revisited

In my last post I had two approaches for fixing the issue with transmit interrupts. As I was sorting out the configuration for my Fezportal device and SS20100 Dev board(both sockets) with a Cascologix MikroBus LoRa click I had similar issues with both receive and transmit.

SC20100 Dev Rev A with Cascologix Click in socket1
Fezportal with Cascologix click

I noticed the extra RegIrqFlags 0X58, Receive-Message in the debugging output.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 1!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 2!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
RegIrqFlags 0X58
Receive-Message
Received 23 byte message  �LoRaIoT1N3WT 20.5,H 86
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 3!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done

This was with the modified device write methods so I tried changing the Serial Peripheral Interface(SPI) configuration.

public RegisterManager(string spiPortName,  int chipSelectPin, int clockFrequency = 500000)
{
	GpioPin chipSelectGpio = GpioController.GetDefault().OpenPin(chipSelectPin);

	var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings()
	{
		ChipSelectType = SpiChipSelectType.Gpio,
		ChipSelectLine = chipSelectGpio,
		Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,
		ClockFrequency = clockFrequency,
		ChipSelectActiveState = false,
		ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(1),
	};

	SpiController spiController = SpiController.FromName(spiPortName);

	rfm9XLoraModem = spiController.GetDevice(settings);
}

When I added the ChipSelectHoldTime (even the smallest possible one) the code worked as expected.

The thread '' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 1!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 2!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
RegIrqFlags 0X50
Receive-Message
Received 23 byte message �LoRaIoT1N3WT 20.5,H 87
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 3!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 4!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done

At this point I have run out of ideas so I will release the code this fix.

RFM9X.TinyCLR V2 RC1 on Github

The source code of my GHI Electronics TinyCLR-0SV2RC1 RFM9X/SX127X library is live on GitHub. The test harness uses a Fezduino and a dragino technology LoRa shield for Arduino. I will add FezPortal, FezFeather and Fezstick support soon.

Fezduino with Dragino shield

A sample application which shows how to send/receive address/un-addresses payloads

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) March/April 2020, devMobile Software
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
//
// Need one of TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV/TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO defined
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x.LoRaDeviceClient
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.Text;
	using System.Threading;

	using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Pins;

	using devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x;

	class Program
   {
      static void Main()
      {
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV
			const string DeviceName = "SC20100DEVLoRa";
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
			const string DeviceName = "FezduinoLoRa";
#endif
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
			const string HostName = "LoRaIoT1";
#endif
			const double Frequency = 915000000.0;
			byte MessageCount = System.Byte.MaxValue;
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV
         Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PA13, SC20100.GpioPin.PA14, SC20100.GpioPin.PE4);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
         Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi6, SC20100.GpioPin.PB1, SC20100.GpioPin.PA15, SC20100.GpioPin.PA1);
#endif
			
			rfm9XDevice.Initialise(Frequency, paBoost: true, rxPayloadCrcOn: true);
#if DEBUG
			rfm9XDevice.RegisterDump();
#endif

			rfm9XDevice.OnReceive += Rfm9XDevice_OnReceive;
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
			rfm9XDevice.Receive(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(DeviceName));
#else
			rfm9XDevice.Receive();
#endif
			rfm9XDevice.OnTransmit += Rfm9XDevice_OnTransmit;

			Thread.Sleep(10000);

			while (true)
			{
				string messageText = string.Format("Hello from {0} ! {1}", DeviceName, MessageCount);
				MessageCount -= 1;

				byte[] messageBytes = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(messageText);
				Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-TX {messageBytes.Length} byte message {messageText}");
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
				rfm9XDevice.Send(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(HostName), messageBytes);
#else
				rfm9XDevice.Send(messageBytes);
#endif
				Thread.Sleep(10000);
			}
		}

		private static void Rfm9XDevice_OnReceive(object sender, Rfm9XDevice.OnDataReceivedEventArgs e)
		{
			try
			{
				string messageText = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Data);

#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
				string addressText = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Address);

				Debug.WriteLine($@"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-RX From {addressText} PacketSnr {e.PacketSnr} Packet RSSI {e.PacketRssi}dBm RSSI {e.Rssi}dBm = {e.Data.Length} byte message ""{messageText}""");
#else
				Debug.WriteLine($@"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-RX PacketSnr {e.PacketSnr} Packet RSSI {e.PacketRssi}dBm RSSI {e.Rssi}dBm = {e.Data.Length} byte message ""{messageText}""");
#endif
			}
			catch (Exception ex)
			{
				Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
			}
		}

		private static void Rfm9XDevice_OnTransmit(object sender, Rfm9XDevice.OnDataTransmitedEventArgs e)
		{
			Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-TX Done");
		}
	}
}

The addressing support is pretty basic as my goal was a library that I could extend with optional functionality like tamper detection via signing and privacy via payload encryption, mesh network support etc.

The library works but should be treated as late beta.

TinyCLR OS V2 RC1 LoRa library Part3

Why are Transmit Interrupts broken?

The receive using interrupts appeared to be working but transmit with interrupts I could only send a couple of messages before confirmations stopped.

I had read about restrictions for interrupts pins e.g. PA1 & PB1 can’t be used at the same time, but PA1 and PB2 can, which got me thinking…

In my dragino shield based setup Arduino D2(PA1) is the interrupt(IRQ) line and Arduino D10(PB1) is chip select (CS) so I changed the pins with jumper wires just incase.

Fezduino connected to Dragino LoRa shield with jumpers

I tried several different configurations of CS and IRQ pins and none worked.

On other embedded .net platforms I have written Serial Peripheral Interface(SPI) based drivers for (e.g. Wilderness Labs Meadow and the nanoFramework) there had been issues with the use of device.Write vs. device. TransferFullDuplex (or its equivalent).

The RegisterWriteByte method in the event handler appeared to be the problem so I tried modifying it.

public void RegisterWriteByte(byte address, byte value)
{
   byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { address |= RegisterAddressWriteMask, value };
   Debug.Assert(rfm9XLoraModem != null);

   rfm9XLoraModem.Write(writeBuffer);
}

Became

public void RegisterWriteByte(byte address, byte value)
{
   byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { address |= RegisterAddressWriteMask, value };
   byte[] readBuffer = new byte[2];
   Debug.Assert(rfm9XLoraModem != null);

   rfm9XLoraModem.TransferFullDuplex(writeBuffer, readBuffer);
}

In the diagnostic output I could see confirmations arriving

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 1!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 2!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 3!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 4!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 5!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 6!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done

This was clue it might be a timing problem, so I took a closer look at how the SPI port was configured. After some experimentation I found that by adding a small ChipSelectHoldTime the .Write statements worked.

When I went back and checked there had also been some timing “tweaks” required to get my .Net Microframework LoRa library to work reliably.

public Rfm9XDevice(string spiPortName, int chipSelectPin, int resetPin, int interruptPin)
{
   GpioController gpioController = GpioController.GetDefault();

   GpioPin chipSelectGpio = gpioController.OpenPin(chipSelectPin);

   var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings()
   {
      ChipSelectType = SpiChipSelectType.Gpio,
      ChipSelectLine = chipSelectGpio,
      Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,
      ClockFrequency = 500000,
      ChipSelectActiveState = false,
      //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(50),
      //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(25),
      //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(10),
      ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(5),
      //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(1),
   };

   SpiController spiController = SpiController.FromName(spiPortName);

   rfm9XLoraModem = spiController.GetDevice(settings);

   // Factory reset pin configuration
   GpioPin resetGpioPin = gpioController.OpenPin(resetPin);
   resetGpioPin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.Output);
   resetGpioPin.Write(GpioPinValue.Low);
   Thread.Sleep(10);
   resetGpioPin.Write(GpioPinValue.High);
   Thread.Sleep(10);

   // Interrupt pin for RX message & TX done notification 
   InterruptGpioPin = gpioController.OpenPin(interruptPin);
   InterruptGpioPin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.Input);

   InterruptGpioPin.ValueChanged += InterruptGpioPin_ValueChanged;
}

In the diagnostic output I could see confirmations arriving

...
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1115!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1116!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1117!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1118!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1119!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1120!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1121!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1122!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
The program '[13] TinyCLR application: Managed' has exited with code 0 (0x0).

After some soak testing it looks like the ChipSelectHoldTime modification works pretty reliably but I will need watch for issues.

EDIT: After a long walk I have updated the code to use TransferFullDuplex rather than add a ChipSelectHoldTime.