Wireless field gateway Netduino client V1

This client is a Netduino V2Plus/V3 Ethernet/V3 Wifi device with a Silicon Labs SI7005 temperature & humidity sensor. These devices when used as sensor nodes can be battery powered and I use the Mac Address as the unique device identifier.

Reducing the power consumption, improving reliability etc. will be covered in future posts

// Copyright (c) 2017, 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,
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
using System;
using System.Net;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading;
using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Net.NetworkInformation;
using devMobile.NetMF.Sensor;
using Gralin.NETMF.Nordic;
using SecretLabs.NETMF.Hardware.Netduino;

namespace devMobile.IoT.FIeldGateway.Netduino.Client
   class Client
      private const byte nRF24Channel = 10;
      private const NRFDataRate nRF24DataRate = NRFDataRate.DR250kbps;
      private readonly byte[] nRF24ClientAddress = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("TandH");
      private readonly byte[] nRF24BaseStationAddress = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("Base1");
      private static byte[] deviceIdentifier;
      private readonly OutputPort led = new OutputPort(Pins.ONBOARD_LED, false);
      private readonly NRF24L01Plus radio;
      private readonly SiliconLabsSI7005 sensor = new SiliconLabsSI7005();

      public Client()
         radio = new NRF24L01Plus();

      public void Run()
         // Configure the nRF24 hardware
         radio.OnDataReceived += OnReceive;
         radio.OnTransmitFailed += OnSendFailure;
         radio.OnTransmitSuccess += OnSendSuccess;

         radio.Initialize(SPI.SPI_module.SPI1, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D7, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D3, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D2);
         radio.Configure(nRF24ClientAddress, nRF24Channel, nRF24DataRate);

         // Setup the device unique identifer, in this case the hardware MacAddress
         deviceIdentifier = NetworkInterface.GetAllNetworkInterfaces()[0].PhysicalAddress;
         Debug.Print(" Device Identifier : " + BytesToHexString(deviceIdentifier));

         Timer humidityAndtemperatureUpdates = new Timer(HumidityAndTemperatureTimerProc, null, 15000, 15000);


      private void HumidityAndTemperatureTimerProc(object state)

         double humidity = sensor.Humidity();
         double temperature = sensor.Temperature();

         Debug.Print("H:" + humidity.ToString("F1") + " T:" + temperature.ToString("F1"));
         string values = "T " + temperature.ToString("F1") + ",H " + humidity.ToString("F0");

         // Stuff the 2 byte header ( payload type & deviceIdentifierLength ) + deviceIdentifier into payload
         byte[] payload = new byte[1 + 1 + deviceIdentifier.Length + values.Length];
         payload[0] = 1;
         payload[1] = (byte)deviceIdentifier.Length;
         Array.Copy(deviceIdentifier, 0, payload, 2, deviceIdentifier.Length);

         Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes( values, 0, values.Length, payload, 8 ) ;

         radio.SendTo(nRF24BaseStationAddress, payload );

      private void OnSendSuccess()

         Debug.Print("Send Success!");

      private void OnSendFailure()
         Debug.Print("Send failed!");

      private void OnReceive(byte[] data)

         string message = new String(Encoding.UTF8.GetChars(data));

         Debug.Print("Receive " + message); ;

      private static string BytesToHexString(byte[] bytes)
         string hexString = string.Empty;

         // Create a character array for hexidecimal conversion.
         const string hexChars = "0123456789ABCDEF";

         // Loop through the bytes.
         for (byte b = 0; b < bytes.Length; b++)          {             if (b > 0)
               hexString += "-";

            // Grab the top 4 bits and append the hex equivalent to the return string.
            hexString += hexChars[bytes[b] >> 4];

            // Mask off the upper 4 bits to get the rest of it.
            hexString += hexChars[bytes[b] & 0x0F];

         return hexString;

.Net Micro framework Deployment Tool output


Raspberry PI UWP application output

Interrupt Triggered: FallingEdge
11:40:46 Address 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D Length 6 Payload T 25.2,H 90 Length 11
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-T Value 25.2
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-H Value 90
Interrupt Triggered: RisingEdge
Interrupt Triggered: FallingEdge
11:41:01 Address 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D Length 6 Payload T 25.3,H 91 Length 11
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-T Value 25.3
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-H Value 91
Interrupt Triggered: RisingEdge
Interrupt Triggered: FallingEdge
11:41:16 Address 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D Length 6 Payload T 25.3,H 90 Length 11
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-T Value 25.3
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-H Value 90
Interrupt Triggered: RisingEdge
Interrupt Triggered: FallingEdge
11:41:31 Address 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D Length 6 Payload T 25.3,H 90 Length 11
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-T Value 25.3
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-H Value 90
Interrupt Triggered: RisingEdge
Interrupt Triggered: FallingEdge
11:41:46 Address 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D Length 6 Payload T 25.3,H 90 Length 11
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-T Value 25.3
 Sensor 5C-86-4A-00-E4-1D-H Value 90
Interrupt Triggered: RisingEdge

Bill of materials (prices as at Jan 2018)

nRF24 Windows 10 IoT Core reboot

My first live deployment of the nRF24L01 Windows 10 IoT Core field gateway is now scheduled for mid Q1 2018 so time for a reboot. After digging out my Raspbery PI 2/3 devices and the nRF24L01+ shield (with modifications detailed here) I have a basic plan with some milestones.

My aim is to be able to wirelessly acquire data from several dozen Arduino, devduino, seeeduino, and Netduino devices, Then, using a field gateway on a Raspberry PI running Windows 10 IoT Core upload it to Microsoft IoT Central

First bit of code – Bleepy a simple background application to test the piezo beeper on the RPI NRF24 Shield

namespace devmobile.IoTCore.Bleepy
   public sealed class StartupTask : IBackgroundTask
      private BackgroundTaskDeferral deferral;
      private const int ledPinNumber = 4;
      private GpioPin ledGpioPin;
      private ThreadPoolTimer timer;

      public void Run(IBackgroundTaskInstance taskInstance)
         var gpioController = GpioController.GetDefault();
         if (gpioController == null)
            Debug.WriteLine("GpioController.GetDefault failed");

         ledGpioPin = gpioController.OpenPin(ledPinNumber);
         if (ledGpioPin == null)
            Debug.WriteLine("gpioController.OpenPin failed");


         this.timer = ThreadPoolTimer.CreatePeriodicTimer(Timer_Tick, TimeSpan.FromMilliseconds(500));

         deferral = taskInstance.GetDeferral();

         Debug.WriteLine("Rum completed");

      private void Timer_Tick(ThreadPoolTimer timer)
         GpioPinValue currentPinValue = ledGpioPin.Read();

         if (currentPinValue == GpioPinValue.High)

Note the blob of blu tack over the piezo beeper to mute noise

Netduino 3 Wifi xively nRF24L01 Gateway

The first version of this code acquired data from a number of *duino devices and uploaded it to xively for a week without any problems(bar my ADSL modem dropping out every so often which it recovered from without human intervention). The data streams are the temperature and humidity for the three bedrooms in my house (the most reliable stream is Bedroom 1). Next version will use the new Netduino.IP stack and run on a Netduino 2 Plus

Netduino 3 Wifi with nRF24L01 shield

Netduino 3 Wifi + nRF24L01 shield

To make the software easy to setup all the gateway configuration is stored on a MicroSD and can be modified with a text editor. When the application starts it looks for a file in the root directory of the MicroSD card called app.config. If the file does not exist an empty template is created.


The first byte of each (upto 32 byte) nRF24L01 message is used to determine the Xively channel.

For testing I used a simple *duino program which uploads temperature and humidity readings every 5 seconds. It’s not terribly efficient or elegant and is just to illustrate how to package up the data.

#include <RF24_config>
#include <nRF24L01.h>
#include <SPI.h>
#include <RF24.h>
#include "Wire.h"
#include <TH02_dev.h>

//UNO R3 with embedded coolness board
//RF24 radio(3, 7);
//devDuino  with onboard
RF24 radio(8, 7);

char payload[32] = "";
const uint64_t pipe = 0x3165736142LL; // Base1 pay attention to byte ordering and address length

void setup()



  /* Power up,delay 150ms,until voltage is stable */



void loop()
  float temperature = TH02.ReadTemperature();
  float humidity = TH02.ReadHumidity();


  payload[0] = 'A';
  dtostrf(temperature, 5, 1, &payload[1]);
  boolean result = radio.write(payload, strlen(payload));
  if (result)
    Serial.println("T Ok...");
    Serial.println("T failed.");

  payload[0] = 'B';
  dtostrf(humidity, 5, 1, &payload[1]);
  result = radio.write(payload, strlen(payload));
  if (result)
    Serial.println("H Ok...");
    Serial.println("H failed.");



The gateway code creates a thread for each call to the Xively REST API. (In future the code may need to limit the number of concurrent requests)

private void OnReceive(byte[] data)

   // Ensure that we have a valid payload
   if ( data.Length == 0 )
      Debug.Print( "ERROR - Message has no payload" ) ;
      return ;

   // Extract the device id
   string deviceId = xivelyApiChannleIDPrefix + data[0].ToString();
   string message = new String(Encoding.UTF8.GetChars(data, 1, data.Length - 1));

   string xivelyApiChannel = appSettings.GetString( deviceId, string.Empty ) ;
   if ( xivelyApiChannel.Length == 0 )
      Debug.Print("ERROR - Inbound message has unknown channel " + deviceId);
      return ;
   Debug.Print(DateTime.Now.ToString("HH:mm:ss") + " " + xivelyApiChannel + " " + message); ;

   Thread thread = new Thread(() =&gt; xivelyFeedUpdate(xivelyApiChannel, message ));

private void xivelyFeedUpdate( string channel, string value)
   #region Assertions
   Debug.Assert(channel != null);
   Debug.Assert(channel != string.Empty );
   Debug.Assert(value != null);

      WebProxy webProxy = null;

      if (webProxyAddress.Length &gt; 1)
         webProxy = new WebProxy(webProxyAddress, webProxyPort);

      using (HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create(xivelyApiBaseUrl + xivelyApiFeedID + xivelyApiEndpoint))
         byte[] buffer = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(channel + "," + value);

         DateTime httpRequestedStartedAtUtc = DateTime.UtcNow;

         if (webProxy != null)
            request.Proxy = webProxy;
         request.Method = "PUT";
         request.ContentLength = buffer.Length;
         request.ContentType = xivelyApiContentType;
         request.Headers.Add("X-ApiKey", xivelyApiKey);
         request.KeepAlive = false;
         request.Timeout = httpRequestTimeoutmSec;
         request.ReadWriteTimeout = httpRequestReadWriteTimeoutmSec;

         // request body
         Debug.Print("HTTP request");
         using (Stream stream = request.GetRequestStream())
            stream.Write(buffer, 0, buffer.Length);

         using (var response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse())
            Debug.Print(" Status: " + response.StatusCode + " : " + response.StatusDescription);

         TimeSpan duration = DateTime.UtcNow - httpRequestedStartedAtUtc;
         Debug.Print(" Duration: " + duration.ToString());
   catch (Exception ex)

To use this code download the Nordic nRF24L01 library from Codeplex then include that plus my Netduino NRF24L01 Xively Gateway in a new solution and it should just work.

Deploy the application to a Netduino 2 Plus or Netduino 3 Wifi device and run it to create the app.config file, then use a text editor to update the file with your Xively & device settings.

I’ll upload this and a couple of other projects to GitHub shortly.

Bill of materials (prices as at July 2015)

Netduino 3 Wifi xively nRF24L01 Gateway introduction

Around home I have a number of Arduino, devDuino and Netduino devices collecting power consumption, temperature & humidity measurements. Previously I had built an Azure event hub gateway which runs on Windows 7(or later) which acts as a gateway forwarding local http requests to an Microsoft Azure event hub.

Not all my embedded devices are capable of making an http request but an nRF24l01 based approach is supported.

For this application I wanted something a bit simpler than an Azure Event hub which could plot basic graphs and as I didn’t require massive scale Xively looked ideal.

Netduino 3 Wifi xively gateway + duino clients

Netduino 3 Wifi xively gateway and *duino clients

Over the next few blog postings I will show how I built the Netduino 3 wifi application and the Arduino based clients.

Bill of materials for the Xively gateway (prices at June 2015)

First step is to configure the network

NetworkInterface networkInterface = NetworkInterface.GetAllNetworkInterfaces()[0];

if (networkInterface.IsDhcpEnabled)
   Debug.Print(" Waiting for IP address ");

   while (NetworkInterface.GetAllNetworkInterfaces()[0].IPAddress == IPAddress.Any.ToString()) 

// 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());

_module = new NRF24L01Plus();

Then setup the nRF24l01 driver

_module.OnDataReceived += OnReceive;
_module.OnTransmitFailed += OnSendFailure;
_module.OnTransmitSuccess += OnSendSuccess;

_module.Initialize(SPI.SPI_module.SPI1, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D7, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D3, Pins.GPIO_PIN_D2);
_module.Configure(myAddress, channel, NRFDataRate.DR1Mbps);

The setup required for the Xively API and mapping the devices highlighted the need for a means of storing configuration which could be modified using a simple text editor.

Netduino 3 Wifi with nRF24L01 shield

Netduino 3 Wifi + nRF24L01 shield

This software was built using tooling created and shared by others.

Big thanks to

Jakub Bartkowiak – Gralin.NETMF.Nordic.NRF24L01Plus

CodeClub Internet of Things Boxes sponsored by Microsoft NZ

A few months ago Microsoft NZ donated NZ6K to CodeClub NZ for the purchase of kits for our basic electronics and programming classes.

Over the last couple of months I have been assembling these so we now have 15 kits ready to go. Each one has enough gear for 2-6 students, fits into a 7L Sistema plastic box and contains the following items

2 x Netduino 2 Plus devices
2 x Seeedstudio Grove Starter kits for Arduino which contain

  • 1xBase Shield
  • 1xGrove – LCD RGB Backlight
  • 1xGrove – Smart Relay
  • 1xGrove – Buzzer
  • 1xGrove – Sound Sensor
  • 1xGrove – Touch Sensor
  • 1xGrove – Rotary Angle Sensor
  • 1xGrove – Temperature Sensor
  • 1xGrove – Light Sensor
  • 1xGrove – Button
  • 1xGrove LED Blue-Blue
  • 1xGrove LED Green-Green
  • 1xGrove  LED Red-Red
  • 1xMini Servo
  • 10xGrove Cables
  • 1x9V to Barrel Jack Adapter
  • 1xGrove starter kit Manual
  • 1xGreen Plastic Box
  • 1 x ultrasonic ranger

In addition to the Netduino devices and the Grove starter kits, we also include

Thanks to Embedded coolness, Secret Labs, and Seeedstudio which discounted their products so our funding went further.

CodeClub Programming and electronics kits

CodeClub Programming and electronics kits

Netduino Crazyflie Wii Nunchuk Remote Control V1.0

After flying the Crazyflie for a couple of days with the Joystick shield based remote control I figured an alternate user interface based on a Wii Nunchuk could be interesting. (It might also make the Crazyflie easier to operate for novice pilots). After a couple of hours coding I have a proof of concept Netduino based Crazyflie Nanocopter Wii Nunchck remote control unit.

Initially the nanocopter was difficult to fly, bouncing up and down (thrust control issues) and swaying side to side (roll & pitch control issues). After some digging I found that every so often the Wii nunchuk (my cheap clone) would return a buffer full of 0xFF or 0x00 bytes.  The 0xFF case had been handled but not the 0x00 one. I added a second test into the GetData  method (around line 335) to catch the 0x00 scenario and this appeared to fix the problem.

cnt = 0;
for (int i = 0; i &lt; inputBuffer.Length; i++)
   if (inputBuffer[i] == 0x0) cnt++;
if (cnt == inputBuffer.Length)
   return false;
CrazyFlie Netduino Wiichuck based Remote

CrazyFlie Netduino Wiichuck based Remote

Bill on Materials (Prices as at Jan 2014)

This software was built using tooling created and shared by others.

Big thanks to

Jakub Bartkowiak – Gralin.NETMF.Nordic.NRF24L01Plus

Szymon Kobalczyk – Wiichuck I2C driver

Antao Almada – HydraMF.BitConverter

The nunchuck accelerometer provides roll and pitch, the joystick is for thrust and yaw. The first version of the CrazyFlieWiiChuckV1.0 is pretty basic and I have intentionally reduced the maximum roll, pitch, thrust and yaw values to make it easier to fly. (Need to set the Grove Base Shield to 3V3 for my code to work)

Currently I only calculate offset values for thrust & yaw. After a couple of test flights some visual indication of the pitch and roll values from the nunchuk would be helpfull.

Netduino Crazyflie Joystick Shield Remote Control V1.0

Sometimes you start with a goal in mind then a couple of days later you have built something interesting but totally unrelated to what you originally intended to do….

I have several devices (both Netduino & Arduino) which I want to use to collect and upload data to the cloud so I can monitor the resource usage of my house.

I had read Clemens Vaster post on Service Assisted Communication and I was planning to use a Windows Server Essentials 2012 box I have running 24/7 in the hallway to forward updates to the cloud.

I wanted to connect the remote data acquisition nodes directly to the server using their baked in nRF24L01+ support. On the server end the Crazyradio 2.4 Hhz nRF24LU1 USB dongle looked ideal. After some initial positive results I found that the CrazyRadio firmware had been implemented in a way that made it not suitable for my application. (I even considered downloading the BitCraze development VM and building my own custom firmware)

After spending a few hours trying to get the CrazyRadio dongle working I looked at my Crazyflie Nano QuadCopter sitting on the bookshelf.

Then I realised what I really needed is a more portable Crazyflie remote control unit so I didn’t have to unpack my laptop. So two nights later I have a proof of concept Netduino based Crazyflie Nanocopter remote control unit.

CrazyFlie nano copter and Netduino Based Remote

CrazyFlie Netduino based Remote

Bill on Materials (Prices as at Jan 2014)

This software was built using tooling created and shared by others.

Big thanks to

Jakub Bartkowiak – Gralin.NETMF.Nordic.NRF24L01Plus

Antao Almada – HydraMF.BitConverter

Mike McCauley – NRF24 library for Arduino.

I used the NRF24 CrazyFlie emulator to debug my project. No doubt stopping me crashing my Crazyflie many times while debugging.

The Joystick shield has to be modified to work with the common Netduino nRF24L01 libraries which use interrupts rather than polling.

The joystick on the shield is for roll and pitch, the external joystick is for thrust and yaw. The first version of the JoystickShieldnRF24l01V1.0 is pretty basic but I’ll try and enhance it over the next couple of posts.