Electronic Tricks Lora/LoraWan shield for Raspberry Pi Zero and PI3

For the example code so far I had been using the Dragino LoRa GPS HAT for Raspberry PI which, after looking at the schematic (to figure out how the chip select line was connected) worked pretty well.

I had also purchased a Lora/LoRaWAN shield for Raspberry PI Zero and PI3 from Tindie (plus some unpopulated printed circuit boards so I can try building a RFM69HCW based shield).

The board didn’t fit on my Raspberry PI 2 & 3 devices so I used a Dexter industries Grove PI0 Shield as a temporary spacer to lift the antenna connector above the USB sockets.

The RFM95 chip select line is connected to pin 24 (GPIO8), the reset line to pin 29(GPIO5) and the interrupt line (RFM95 DIO0) to pin 22(GPIO25).

ElectronicTricksRFM95

My board doesn’t have any Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) so it was straight into reading register values

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namespace devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x.ElectronicTricksSPI
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.Threading;
	using Windows.ApplicationModel.Background;
	using Windows.Devices.Spi;

	public sealed class StartupTask : IBackgroundTask
	{
		public void Run(IBackgroundTaskInstance taskInstance)
		{
			SpiController spiController = SpiController.GetDefaultAsync().AsTask().GetAwaiter().GetResult();
			var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings(0) // GPIO8 Electronic Tricks
			{
				ClockFrequency = 500000,
				Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,   // From SemTech docs pg 80 CPOL=0, CPHA=0
			};

			SpiDevice Device = spiController.GetDevice(settings);

			while (true)
			{
				byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { 0x42 }; // RegVersion
				byte[] readBuffer = new byte[1];

				Device.TransferSequential(writeBuffer, readBuffer);

				byte registerValue = readBuffer[0];
				Debug.WriteLine("Register 0x{0:x2} - Value 0X{1:x2} - Bits {2}", 0x42, registerValue, Convert.ToString(registerValue, 2).PadLeft(8, '0'));

				Thread.Sleep(10000);
			}
		}
	}
}

The debug output confirmed I was reading the right value from the RegVer register

Register 0x42 - Value 0X12 - Bits 00010010
Register 0x42 - Value 0X12 - Bits 00010010
Register 0x42 - Value 0X12 - Bits 00010010
Register 0x42 - Value 0X12 - Bits 00010010
Register 0x42 - Value 0X12 - Bits 00010010
Register 0x42 - Value 0X12 - Bits 00010010
Register 0x42 - Value 0X12 - Bits 00010010
Register 0x42 - Value 0X12 - Bits 00010010

The antenna connector not clearing the USB socket is an issue which I’ll solve with a socket like the one on the GrovePI which has longer leads and acts as a spacer.
ElectronicTricksLoraShield

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.