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

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Instructions for modifications and software to follow.

My first AzureSBLite program

Extending on the theme for my previous post I decided to take a look at Azure ServiceBus Lite by Paolo Patierno. Same objective as last time, a minimalist application running on my Netduino 3 Wifi which connects to my home wifi, waits for an IP address then uploads an event to an Azure EventHub.

public class Program
{
   private const string connectionString = "Endpoint=sb://[YourNamespace].servicebus.windows.net/;SharedAccessKeyName=[YourKeyName];SharedAccessKey=[YourSaSKey]";
   private const string eventHub = "[YourEventHub]";

...

// Wait for Network address if DHCP
NetworkInterface networkInterface = NetworkInterface.GetAllNetworkInterfaces()[0];
if (networkInterface.IsDhcpEnabled)
{
   Debug.Print(" Waiting for IP address ");

   while (NetworkInterface.GetAllNetworkInterfaces()[0].IPAddress == IPAddress.Any.ToString())
   {
      Debug.Print(".");
   }
}

// Display network config for debugging
Debug.Print("Network configuration");
Debug.Print(" Network interface type: " + networkInterface.NetworkInterfaceType.ToString());
Debug.Print(" MAC Address: " + BytesToHexString(networkInterface.PhysicalAddress));
Debug.Print(" DHCP enabled: " + networkInterface.IsDhcpEnabled.ToString());
Debug.Print(" Dynamic DNS enabled: " + networkInterface.IsDynamicDnsEnabled.ToString());
Debug.Print(" IP Address: " + networkInterface.IPAddress.ToString());
Debug.Print(" Subnet Mask: " + networkInterface.SubnetMask.ToString());
Debug.Print(" Gateway: " + networkInterface.GatewayAddress.ToString());

foreach (string dnsAddress in networkInterface.DnsAddresses)
{
   Debug.Print(" DNS Server: " + dnsAddress.ToString());
}

string deviceId = BytesToHexString(networkInterface.PhysicalAddress);
Debug.Print("DeviceId " + deviceId.ToString());

A bit less code is required to send an event using AzureSBLite

try
{
   MessagingFactory factory = MessagingFactory.CreateFromConnectionString(connectionString);

   EventHubClient client = factory.CreateEventHubClient(eventHub);

   string messageBody = @"{""DeviceId"":""" + deviceId + @""",""Time"":""" + DateTime.Now.ToString("yy-MM-dd hh:mm:ss") + @"""}";
   EventData data = new EventData(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(messageBody));

   //EventData data = new EventData();
   //data.Properties.Add("Time", DateTime.Now);
   //data.Properties.Add("DeviceId", deviceId);

   client.Send(data);
   client.Close();

   factory.Close();
}
catch (Exception ex)
{
   Debug.Print("ERROR: Send failed with error: " + ex.Message);
}

Over all, a very similar experience to “MyFirst AMQPNetLite” program, after a couple of typos, and fixing a copy ‘n’ paste issue with the connection string my application worked, with the bonus of less code. Both AMQPNetLite and AzureSBLite look suitable for my application so I’ll need to evaluate them in more detail.