RAK811 LPWAN EVB Part2

How can I use this…

Just over a week ago I purchased a RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation Board -AS923 and now I want to trial it with selection of devices and configurations.

Initially I didn’t want to modify the shield by removing resistors as I only have one, and I’m not certain what device(s) it will be used with. The initial hardware configuration required jumpers for the serial port, ground and 5V power.

Arduino Uno R3 and RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation board 5V config

After looking at the schematic it should be possible to use the shield with a 3v3 device.

RAK 811 EVB schematic pg1
RAK 811 EVB schematic pg2

I confirmed this with a Seeeduino V4.2 devices set to 3v3, by putting a jumper on J1 and shifting the jumper wire from the 5V to the 3V3 pin.

Seeeduino V4 and RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation board 3V3 config

The next step was to see how I could get the RAK shield working on other devices without jumpers. On Arduino Uno R3 devices D0&D1 are the hardware(HW) serial port which are used for uploading sketches, and diagnostic logging.

The shield also connects the module serial port to D0&D1 to D10&D11, so by removing R17&R19 the shield should work on a device This would also allow the use of the Serial Peripheral Interface(SPI) port for other applications.

Using the HW Serial port but without any logging.

Unplugging the jumpers to upload was painful but the lack of logging made it really hard to debug my code.

To get around this I configured a SoftwareSerial port on D2&D3 for logging.

/********************************************************
 * This demo is only supported after RUI firmware version 3.0.0.13.X on RAK811
 * Master Board Uart Receive buffer size at least 128 bytes. 
 ********************************************************/
//#define SERIAL_BUFFER_SIZE 128
//#define SERIAL_TX_BUFFER_SIZE 64
//#define SERIAL_RX_BUFFER_SIZE 128
//#define _SS_MAX_RX_BUFF 128
#include "RAK811.h"
#include "SoftwareSerial.h"
#define WORK_MODE LoRaWAN   //  LoRaWAN or LoRaP2P
#define JOIN_MODE OTAA    //  OTAA or ABP
#if JOIN_MODE == OTAA
String DevEui = "..."; // From TTN
String AppEui = "...";
String AppKey = "...";
#else JOIN_MODE == ABP
String NwkSKey = "...";
String AppSKey = "...";
String DevAddr = "...";
#endif

#define TXpin 3   // Set the virtual serial port pins
#define RXpin 2

SoftwareSerial DebugSerial(RXpin,TXpin); // Declare a virtual serial port for debugging
#define ATSerial Serial

char buffer[]= "48656C6C6F20776F726C6435";

bool InitLoRaWAN(void);
RAK811 RAKLoRa(ATSerial,DebugSerial);

void setup() {
  DebugSerial.begin(19200);
  DebugSerial.println(F("Starting"));
  while(DebugSerial.available())
  {
    DebugSerial.read(); 
  }
  
  ATSerial.begin(9600); //set ATSerial baudrate:This baud rate has to be consistent with  the baud rate of the WisNode device.
  while(ATSerial.available())
  {
    ATSerial.read(); 
  }

  if(!RAKLoRa.rk_setWorkingMode(0))  //set WisNode work_mode to LoRaWAN.
  {
    DebugSerial.println(F("set work_mode failed, please reset module."));
    while(1);
  }
  
  RAKLoRa.rk_getVersion();  //get RAK811 firmware version
  DebugSerial.println(RAKLoRa.rk_recvData());  //print version number

  DebugSerial.println(F("Start init RAK811 parameters..."));
 
  if (!InitLoRaWAN())  //init LoRaWAN
  {
    DebugSerial.println(F("Init error,please reset module.")); 
    while(1);
  }

  DebugSerial.println(F("Start to join LoRaWAN..."));
  while(!RAKLoRa.rk_joinLoRaNetwork(60))  //Joining LoRaNetwork timeout 60s
  {
    DebugSerial.println();
    DebugSerial.println(F("Rejoin again after 5s..."));
    delay(5000);
  }
  DebugSerial.println(F("Join LoRaWAN success"));

  if(!RAKLoRa.rk_isConfirm(0))  //set LoRa data send package type:0->unconfirm, 1->confirm
  {
    DebugSerial.println(F("LoRa data send package set error,please reset module.")); 
    while(1);    
  }
}

bool InitLoRaWAN(void)
{
  if(RAKLoRa.rk_setJoinMode(JOIN_MODE))  //set join_mode:OTAA
  {
    if(RAKLoRa.rk_setRegion(0))  //set region EU868
    {
      if (RAKLoRa.rk_initOTAA(DevEui, AppEui, AppKey))
      {
        DebugSerial.println(F("RAK811 init OK!"));  
        return true;    
      }
    }
  }
  return false;
}

void loop() 
{
  DebugSerial.println(F("Start send data..."));
  if (RAKLoRa.rk_sendData(1, buffer))
  {    
    //for (unsigned long start = millis(); millis() - start < 300000L;)
    for (unsigned long start = millis(); millis() - start < 10000L;)
    {
      String ret = RAKLoRa.rk_recvData();
      if(ret != NULL)
      { 
        DebugSerial.println("ret != NULL");
        DebugSerial.println(ret);
      }
      if((ret.indexOf("OK")>0)||(ret.indexOf("ERROR")>0))
      {
        DebugSerial.println(F("Go to Sleep."));
        RAKLoRa.rk_sleep(1);  //Set RAK811 enter sleep mode
        delay(10000);  //delay 10s
        RAKLoRa.rk_sleep(0);  //Wakeup RAK811 from sleep mode
        break;
      }
    }
  }
}

I used an FTDI module I had lying around to connect the diagnostic logging serial port on the test rig to my development box.

Using the HW Serial port but with logging.

Now I only had to unplug the jumpers for D0&D1 and change ports in the Arduino IDE. One port for debugging the other for downloading.

Depending on the application I may remove R8 so I can manually reset the shield.

RAK811 LPWAN EVB Part1

I followed the instructions…

Just over a week ago I purchased some gear from RAK Wireless, the shipping was reasonable, it arrived promptly, and was well packaged. I had ordered

I figured a good first project would be to get the evaluation board going with one of my older Arduino Uno R3 devices following the Interfacing your RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation Board with Arduino Boards instructions.

The evaluation board was in its own box along with a USB cable, some spare PCB jumpers, some jumper leads and an antenna labeled with the frequency band which was thoughtful.

Arduino Uno R3 and RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation board 5V config

I downloaded the specified library from the RAK Wireless Github repository extracted the contents and copied the V1.3 directory into the libraries folder of my Arduino IDE install.

I updated the module software to the latest using the tools provided in the github download and checked this with the RAK Serial Port tool over the Universal Serial Bus(USB) connection (make sure the jumpers next to the antenna connection are set correctly)

Version number check with RAK Serial Port tool

I created a new project based on JoinNetworkOTAA (Over the Air Activation) example.

/********************************************************
 * This demo is only supported after RUI firmware version 3.0.0.13.X on RAK811
 * Master Board Uart Receive buffer size at least 128 bytes. 
 ********************************************************/

#include "RAK811.h"
#include "SoftwareSerial.h"
#define WORK_MODE LoRaWAN   //  LoRaWAN or LoRaP2P
#define JOIN_MODE OTAA    //  OTAA or ABP
#if JOIN_MODE == OTAA
String DevEui = "8680000000000001";
String AppEui = "70B3D57ED00285A7";
String AppKey = "DDDFB1023885FBFF74D3A55202EDF2B1";
#else JOIN_MODE == ABP
String NwkSKey = "69AF20AEA26C01B243945A28C9172B42";
String AppSKey = "841986913ACD00BBC2BE2479D70F3228";
String DevAddr = "260125D7";
#endif
#define TXpin 11   // Set the virtual serial port pins
#define RXpin 10
#define DebugSerial Serial
SoftwareSerial ATSerial(RXpin,TXpin);    // Declare a virtual serial port
char buffer[]= "72616B776972656C657373";

bool InitLoRaWAN(void);
RAK811 RAKLoRa(ATSerial,DebugSerial);


void setup() {
  DebugSerial.begin(115200);
  while(DebugSerial.available())
  {
    DebugSerial.read(); 
  }
  
  ATSerial.begin(9600); //set ATSerial baudrate:This baud rate has to be consistent with  the baud rate of the WisNode device.
  while(ATSerial.available())
  {
    ATSerial.read(); 
  }

  if(!RAKLoRa.rk_setWorkingMode(0))  //set WisNode work_mode to LoRaWAN.
  {
    DebugSerial.println(F("set work_mode failed, please reset module."));
    while(1);
  }
  
  RAKLoRa.rk_getVersion();  //get RAK811 firmware version
  DebugSerial.println(RAKLoRa.rk_recvData());  //print version number

  DebugSerial.println(F("Start init RAK811 parameters..."));
 
  if (!InitLoRaWAN())  //init LoRaWAN
  {
    DebugSerial.println(F("Init error,please reset module.")); 
    while(1);
  }

  DebugSerial.println(F("Start to join LoRaWAN..."));
  while(!RAKLoRa.rk_joinLoRaNetwork(60))  //Joining LoRaNetwork timeout 60s
  {
    DebugSerial.println();
    DebugSerial.println(F("Rejoin again after 5s..."));
    delay(5000);
  }
  DebugSerial.println(F("Join LoRaWAN success"));

  if(!RAKLoRa.rk_isConfirm(0))  //set LoRa data send package type:0->unconfirm, 1->confirm
  {
    DebugSerial.println(F("LoRa data send package set error,please reset module.")); 
    while(1);    
  }
}

bool InitLoRaWAN(void)
{
  if(RAKLoRa.rk_setJoinMode(JOIN_MODE))  //set join_mode:OTAA
  {
    if(RAKLoRa.rk_setRegion(0))  //set region EU868
    {
      if (RAKLoRa.rk_initOTAA(DevEui, AppEui, AppKey))
      {
        DebugSerial.println(F("RAK811 init OK!"));  
        return true;    
      }
    }
  }
  return false;
}

void loop() {
  DebugSerial.println(F("Start send data..."));
  if (RAKLoRa.rk_sendData(1, buffer))
  {    
    for (unsigned long start = millis(); millis() - start < 90000L;)
    {
      String ret = RAKLoRa.rk_recvData();
      if(ret != NULL)
      { 
        DebugSerial.println(ret);
      }
      if((ret.indexOf("OK")>0)||(ret.indexOf("ERROR")>0))
      {
        DebugSerial.println(F("Go to Sleep."));
        RAKLoRa.rk_sleep(1);  //Set RAK811 enter sleep mode
        delay(10000);  //delay 10s
        RAKLoRa.rk_sleep(0);  //Wakeup RAK811 from sleep mode
        break;
      }
    }
  }
}

I had to look at the library code to work out the value the rk_setRegion call needed for the AS932 band used in my region

bool RAK811::rk_setRegion(int region)
{
  if (region > 9)
  {
    _serial1.println(F("Parameter error"));
    return false;
  }
  String REGION;
  switch (region)
  {
    case 0:REGION="AS923";
      break;
    case 1:REGION="AU915";
      break;
    case 2:REGION="CN470";
      break;
    case 3:REGION="CN779";
      break;
    case 4:REGION="EU433";
      break;
    case 5:REGION="EU868";
      break;
    case 6:REGION="KR920";
      break;
    case 7:REGION="IN865";
      break;
    case 8:REGION="US915";
      break;
    case 9:REGION="US915_Hybrid";
      break;
  }
  _serial1.println("Current work region: "+REGION);
  sendRawCommand("at+set_config=lora:region:" + REGION);
  ret = rk_recvData();
#if defined DEBUG_MODE
  _serial1.println(ret);
#endif
  if (ret.indexOf("OK") >= 0)
  {
    return true;
  }
  else
  {
    return false;
  }
}

I compiled the code, uploaded it to my device and it didn’t work…

Arduino monitor output showing rk_setWorkingMode failing

I then had a look at the Arduino library code and enabled some of the commented out diagnostic println statements. At the time it did seem odd there were no responses from the module.

Arduino monitor output showing rk_setWorkingMode failing with debugging

I had noticed some odd characters in the RAK Serial Port Tool while checking version numbers etc.

Setting work Mode with RAK Serial Port Tool

It looked like maybe the serial port was having some issues, so I double checked my modification of the HardwareSerial.h file and began to wonder (as the binary size wasn’t changing) if I had the right file. After some research I found there are several copies of that file and I wasn’t modifying the correct one.

Multiple locations of HardwareSerial.h

Then I realised that the port sending AT Commands to the module was actually a SoftwareSerial port not a hardware one. I then tried changing the size of the software serial buffers but still was having problems.

Arduino tool with default buffer sizes (833 bytes)
Arduino tool with non-default buffer sizes (961 bytes)

I then tried recompiling with different settings to see if the serial port issues would stop. The global variables size changed which showed I had the right files/settings but the code still didn’t work.

Going back over my settings I tried the command used in the rk_setWorkingMode call in the RAK Serial Port Tool and it worked.

I then then went for a walk and when I came back I realised the module speed was set to 115200 baud by default (which it is). I then used at+set_config=device:uart:1:9600 (don’t forget to press <enter> at end of the line) to set baud rate to match the code.

Setting device to 9600 baud

I then changed the jumpers and ran the software again…

So, it looks like the RAK811 module was set to 115200 baud (web based setup instructions), but the later library versions were 9600 baud, but the instructions didn’t mention the need to change the speed with the RAK Serial port tool.

Image of code and setup from RAK instructions

Now that my device is trying to connect to a network I need to configure the LoRaWAN network settings. I’m going to use the RAK7246G LPWAN Developer Gateway and the nationwide LoRaWAN network operated by Spark in New Zealand.

TinyCLR OS V2 nRF24L01 library Part2

After sorting out Serial Peripheral Interface(SPI) connectivity the next step porting the techfooninja nRF24L01P library to GHI Electronics TinyCLR was rewriting the initialisation code. Overall changes were minimal as the TinyCLR V2 SPI library has similar methods to the Windows 10 IoT Core ones.

SC20100 and MikroE nRF24 C Click

I need to refactor the initialise method so that failure exceptions are not caught and add the interrupt trigger edge so I can remove test from the handler.

      public void Initialize(string spiPortName, byte chipEnablePin, byte chipSelectPin, byte interruptPin, int clockFrequency = 2000000)
      {
         var gpio = GpioController.GetDefault();

         if (gpio == null)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine("GPIO Initialization failed.");
         }
         else
         {
            _cePin = gpio.OpenPin(chipEnablePin);
            _cePin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.Output);
            _cePin.Write(GpioPinValue.Low);

            _irqPin = gpio.OpenPin((byte)interruptPin);
            _irqPin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.InputPullUp);
            _irqPin.Write(GpioPinValue.High);
            _irqPin.ValueChanged += _irqPin_ValueChanged;
         }

         try
         {
            var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings()
            {
               ChipSelectType = SpiChipSelectType.Gpio,
               ChipSelectLine = gpio.OpenPin(chipSelectPin),
               Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,
               ClockFrequency = clockFrequency,
               ChipSelectActiveState = false,
            };

            SpiController controller = SpiController.FromName(spiPortName);
            _spiPort = controller.GetDevice(settings);
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine("SPI Initialization failed. Exception: " + ex.Message);
            return;
         }

         // Module reset time
         Thread.Sleep(100);

         IsInitialized = true;

         // Set reasonable default values
         Address = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("NRF1");
         DataRate = DataRate.DR2Mbps;
         IsDynamicPayload = true;
         IsAutoAcknowledge = true;

         FlushReceiveBuffer();
         FlushTransferBuffer();
         ClearIrqMasks();
         SetRetries(5, 60);

         // Setup, CRC enabled, Power Up, PRX
         SetReceiveMode();
      }

The Initialise method gained parameters for the SPI port name and SPI clock frequency.

      static void Main()
      {
         RF24 Radio = new RF24();

         try
         {
            Radio.OnDataReceived += Radio_OnDataReceived;
            Radio.OnTransmitFailed += Radio_OnTransmitFailed;
            Radio.OnTransmitSuccess += Radio_OnTransmitSuccess;

            // SC20100.GpioPin.PD3
            Radio.Initialize(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD4, SC20100.GpioPin.PD3, SC20100.GpioPin.PC5);
            Radio.Address = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(DeviceAddress);

            Radio.Channel = 15;
            //Radio.PowerLevel = PowerLevel.Max;
            //Radio.PowerLevel = PowerLevel.High;
            //Radio.PowerLevel = PowerLevel.Low;
            //Radio.PowerLevel = PowerLevel.Minimum
            Radio.DataRate = DataRate.DR250Kbps;
            //Radio.DataRate = DataRate.DR1Mbps;
            Radio.IsEnabled = true;

            Radio.IsAutoAcknowledge = true;
            Radio.IsDyanmicAcknowledge = false;
            Radio.IsDynamicPayload = true;

            Debug.WriteLine($"Address: {Encoding.UTF8.GetString(Radio.Address)}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"PowerLevel: {Radio.PowerLevel}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"IsAutoAcknowledge: {Radio.IsAutoAcknowledge}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"Channel: {Radio.Channel}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"DataRate: {Radio.DataRate}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"IsDynamicAcknowledge: {Radio.IsDyanmicAcknowledge}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"IsDynamicPayload: {Radio.IsDynamicPayload}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"IsEnabled: {Radio.IsEnabled}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"Frequency: {Radio.Frequency}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"IsInitialized: {Radio.IsInitialized}");
            Debug.WriteLine($"IsPowered: {Radio.IsPowered}");

            while (true)
            {
               string payload = "hello " + DateTime.Now.Second;
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-TX {payload.Length} byte message {payload}");
               Radio.SendTo(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(BaseStationAddress), Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(payload));

               Thread.Sleep(30000);
            }
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);

            return;
         }
      }

I can send and receive messages but the PowerLevel doesn’t look right so I need to apply fix from the Meadow version.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Address: Dev01
PowerLevel: 15
IsAutoAcknowledge: True
Channel: 15
DataRate: 2
IsDynamicAcknowledge: False
IsDynamicPayload: True
IsEnabled: False
Frequency: 2415
IsInitialized: True
IsPowered: True
00:00:01-TX 7 byte message hello 1
Data Sent!
00:00:01-TX Succeeded!
00:00:31-TX 8 byte message hello 31
Data Sent!
00:00:31-TX Succeeded!

TinyCLR OS V2 nRF24L01 library Part1

After debugging Windows 10 IoT Core, .NetMF and Wilderness Labs Meadow nRF24L01P libraries I figured yet another port, this time to a GHI Electronics Tiny CLR V2 powered device shouldn’t be “rocket science”.

This test rig uses SC20100S Dev and MikroE nRF C Click boards.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) May 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.
//
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.nRf24L01.ModuleSPI
{
   using System;
   using System.Diagnostics;
   using System.Reflection;
   using System.Text;
   using System.Threading;

   using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Devices.Gpio;
   using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Devices.Spi;
   using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Pins;

   class Program
   {
      const byte SETUP_AW = 0x03;
      const byte RF_CH = 0x05;
      const byte RX_ADDR_P0 = 0x0A;
      const byte R_REGISTER = 0b00000000;
      const byte W_REGISTER = 0b00100000;
      const string P0_Address = "ZYXWV";
      static SpiDevice nrf24L01Device;

      static void Main()
      {
         try
         {
            GpioController gpioController = GpioController.GetDefault();

            var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings()
            {
               ChipSelectType = SpiChipSelectType.Gpio,
               //ChipSelectLine = FEZ.GpioPin.D10,
               ChipSelectLine = gpioController.OpenPin(SC20100.GpioPin.PD3),
               Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,
               //Mode = SpiMode.Mode1,
               //Mode = SpiMode.Mode2,
               //Mode = SpiMode.Mode3,
               ClockFrequency = 500000,
               //ChipSelectActiveState = true
               ChipSelectActiveState = false,
               //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 0, 0, 500),
               //ChipSelectSetupTime = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 0, 0, 500),
            };

            var spiController = SpiController.FromName(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3);

            Debug.WriteLine("nrf24L01Device Device...");
            nrf24L01Device = spiController.GetDevice(settings);
            if (nrf24L01Device == null)
            {
               Debug.WriteLine("nrf24L01Device == null");
            }

            Thread.Sleep(100);

            Debug.WriteLine("ConfigureSpiPort Done...");
            Debug.WriteLine("");

            Thread.Sleep(500);
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine("Configure SpiPort " + ex.Message);
         }

         try
         {
            // Read the Address width
            Debug.WriteLine("Read address width");
            byte[] txBuffer1 = new byte[] { SETUP_AW | R_REGISTER, 0x0 };
            byte[] rxBuffer1 = new byte[txBuffer1.Length];

            Debug.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex...SETUP_AW");
            Debug.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer1));
            nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex(txBuffer1, rxBuffer1);
            Debug.WriteLine(" rxBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(rxBuffer1));

            // Extract then adjust the address width
            byte addressWidthValue = rxBuffer1[1];
            addressWidthValue &= 0b00000011;
            addressWidthValue += 2;
            Debug.WriteLine($"Address width 0x{SETUP_AW:x2} - Value 0X{rxBuffer1[1]:x2} Value adjusted {addressWidthValue}");
            Debug.WriteLine("");

            // Write Pipe0 Receive address
            Debug.WriteLine($"Write Pipe0 Receive Address {P0_Address}");
            byte[] txBuffer2 = new byte[addressWidthValue + 1];
            txBuffer2[0] = RX_ADDR_P0 | W_REGISTER;
            Array.Copy(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(P0_Address), 0, txBuffer2, 1, addressWidthValue);

            Debug.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.Write...RX_ADDR_P0");
            Debug.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer2));
            nrf24L01Device.Write(txBuffer2);
            Debug.WriteLine("");

            // Read Pipe0 Receive address
            Debug.WriteLine("Read Pipe0 Receive address");
            byte[] txBuffer3 = new byte[addressWidthValue + 1];
            txBuffer3[0] = RX_ADDR_P0 | R_REGISTER;
            byte[] rxBuffer3 = new byte[txBuffer3.Length];

            Debug.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex...RX_ADDR_P0");
            Debug.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer3));
            nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex(txBuffer3, rxBuffer3);
            Debug.WriteLine(" rxBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(rxBuffer3));
            Debug.WriteLine($"Address 0x{RX_ADDR_P0:x2} Address {UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(rxBuffer3, 1, addressWidthValue)}");
            Debug.WriteLine("");

            // Read the RF Channel
            Debug.WriteLine("RF Channel read 1");
            byte[] txBuffer4 = new byte[] { RF_CH | R_REGISTER, 0x0 };
            byte[] rxBuffer4 = new byte[txBuffer4.Length];

            Debug.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex...RF_CH");
            Debug.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer4));
            nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex(txBuffer4, rxBuffer4);
            Debug.WriteLine(" rxBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(rxBuffer4));

            ushort rfChannel1 = rxBuffer4[1];
            rfChannel1 += 2400;
            Debug.WriteLine($"RF Channel 1 0x{RF_CH:x2} - Value 0X{rxBuffer4[1]:x2} - Value adjusted {rfChannel1}");
            Debug.WriteLine("");

            // Write the RF Channel
            Debug.WriteLine("RF Channel write");
            byte[] txBuffer5 = new byte[] { RF_CH | W_REGISTER, rxBuffer4[1]+=1};

            Debug.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.Write...RF_CH");
            Debug.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer5));
            nrf24L01Device.Write(txBuffer5);
            Debug.WriteLine("");

            // Read the RF Channel
            Debug.WriteLine("RF Channel read 2");
            byte[] txBuffer6 = new byte[] { RF_CH | R_REGISTER, 0x0 };
            byte[] rxBuffer6 = new byte[txBuffer6.Length];

            Debug.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex...RF_CH");
            Debug.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer6));
            nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex(txBuffer6, rxBuffer6);
            Debug.WriteLine(" rxBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(rxBuffer6));

            ushort rfChannel2 = rxBuffer6[1];
            rfChannel2 += 2400;
            Debug.WriteLine($"RF Channel 2 0x{RF_CH:x2} - Value 0X{rxBuffer6[1]:x2} - Value adjusted {rfChannel2}");
            Debug.WriteLine("");
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine("Configure Port0 " + ex.Message);
         }
      }
   }
}

After lots of tinkering with SPI configuration options I can read and write my nRF24L01 device receive port address

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
nrf24L01Device Device...
ConfigureSpiPort Done...

Read address width
 nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex...SETUP_AW
 txBuffer:03-00
 rxBuffer:0E-03
Address width 0x03 - Value 0X03 Value adjusted 5

Write Pipe0 Receive Address ZYXWV
 nrf24L01Device.Write...RX_ADDR_P0
 txBuffer:2A-5A-59-58-57-56

Read Pipe0 Receive address
 nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex...RX_ADDR_P0
 txBuffer:0A-00-00-00-00-00
 rxBuffer:0E-5A-59-58-57-56
Address 0x0a Address ZYXWV

RF Channel read 1
 nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex...RF_CH
 txBuffer:05-00
 rxBuffer:0E-15
RF Channel 1 0x05 - Value 0X15 - Value adjusted 2421

RF Channel write
 nrf24L01Device.Write...RF_CH
 txBuffer:25-16

RF Channel read 2
 nrf24L01Device.TransferFullDuplex...RF_CH
 txBuffer:05-00
 rxBuffer:0E-16
RF Channel 2 0x05 - Value 0X16 - Value adjusted 2422

.Net Meadow nRF24L01 library Part3

While testing my initial port of the the techfooninja nRF24L01P library to a Wilderness Labs Meadow I noticed that the power level value was a bit odd.

nRF24L01P Test Harness
The program '[16720] App.exe' has exited with code 0 (0x0).
 IsPowered: True
 Address: Dev01
 PA: 15
 IsAutoAcknowledge: True
 Channel: 15
 DataRate: DR250Kbps
 Power: 15
 IsDynamicAcknowledge: False
 IsDynamicPayload: True
 IsEnabled: False
 Frequency: 2415
 IsInitialized: True
 IsPowered: True
 00:00:18-TX 8 byte message hello 17
 Data Sent!
00:00:18-TX Succeeded!
 00:00:48-TX 8 byte message hello 48
 Data Sent!

Looking at nRF24L01P datasheet and how this has been translated into code

/// <summary>
///   The power level for the radio.
/// </summary>
public PowerLevel PowerLevel
{
  get
   {
      var regValue = Execute(Commands.R_REGISTER, Registers.RF_SETUP, new byte[1])[1] & 0xF8;
      var newValue = (regValue - 1) >> 1;
      return (PowerLevel)newValue;
   }
  set
   {
      var regValue = Execute(Commands.R_REGISTER, Registers.RF_SETUP, new byte[1])[1] & 0xF8;

      byte newValue = (byte)((byte)value << 1 + 1);

      Execute(Commands.W_REGISTER, Registers.RF_SETUP,
              new[]
                  {
                     (byte) (newValue | regValue)
                  });
   }
}

The power level enumeration is declared in PowerLevel.cs

namespace Radios.RF24
{
    /// <summary>
    ///   Power levels the radio can operate with
    /// </summary>
    public enum PowerLevel : byte
    {
        /// <summary>
        ///   Minimum power setting for the radio
        /// </summary>
        Minimum = 0,

        /// <summary>
        ///   Low power setting for the radio
        /// </summary>
        Low,

        /// <summary>
        ///   High power setting for the radio
        /// </summary>
        High,

        /// <summary>
        ///   Max power setting for the radio
        /// </summary>
        Max,

        /// <summary>
        ///   Error with the power setting
        /// </summary>
        Error
    }
}

No debugging support or Debug.WriteLine in beta 3.7 (March 2020) so first step was to insert a Console.Writeline so I could see what the RF_SETUP register value was.

The program '[11212] App.exe' has exited with code 0 (0x0).
 Address: Dev01
 PowerLevel regValue 00100101
 PowerLevel: 15
 IsAutoAcknowledge: True
 Channel: 15
 DataRate: DR250Kbps
 IsDynamicAcknowledge: False
 IsDynamicPayload: True
 IsEnabled: False
 Frequency: 2415
 IsInitialized: True
 IsPowered: True
 00:00:18-TX 8 byte message hello 17
 Data Sent!
00:00:18-TX Succeeded!

The PowerLevel setting appeared to make no difference and the bits 5, 2 & 0 were set which meant 250Kbps & high power which I was expecting.

The RF_SETUP register in the datasheet, contains the following settings (WARNING – some nRF24L01 registers differ from nRF24L01P)

After looking at the code my initial “quick n dirty” fix was to mask out the existing power level bits and then mask in the new setting.

public PowerLevel PowerLevel
      {
         get
         {
            byte regValue = Execute(Commands.R_REGISTER, Registers.RF_SETUP, new byte[1])[1];;
            Console.WriteLine($"PowerLevel regValue {Convert.ToString(regValue, 2).PadLeft(8, '0')}");
            var newValue = (regValue & 0x06) >> 1;
            
            return (PowerLevel)newValue;
         }
         set
         {
            byte regValue = Execute(Commands.R_REGISTER, Registers.RF_SETUP, new byte[1])[1];
            regValue &= 0b11111000;
            regValue |= (byte)((byte)value << 1);

            Execute(Commands.W_REGISTER, Registers.RF_SETUP,
                    new[]
                        {
                            (byte)regValue
                        });
         }
      }

I wonder if the code mighty be simpler if I used a similar approach to my Windows 10 IoT RFM9X LoRa library

// RegModemConfig1
public enum RegModemConfigBandwidth : byte
{
	_7_8KHz = 0b00000000,
	_10_4KHz = 0b00010000,
	_15_6KHz = 0b00100000,
	_20_8KHz = 0b00110000,
	_31_25KHz = 0b01000000,
	_41_7KHz = 0b01010000,
	_62_5KHz = 0b01100000,
	_125KHz = 0b01110000,
	_250KHz = 0b10000000,
	_500KHz = 0b10010000
}
public const RegModemConfigBandwidth RegModemConfigBandwidthDefault = RegModemConfigBandwidth._125KHz;

...

[Flags]
enum RegIrqFlagsMask : byte
{
	RxTimeoutMask = 0b10000000,
	RxDoneMask = 0b01000000,
	PayLoadCrcErrorMask = 0b00100000,
	ValidHeadrerMask = 0b00010000,
	TxDoneMask = 0b00001000,
	CadDoneMask = 0b00000100,
	FhssChangeChannelMask = 0b00000010,
	CadDetectedMask = 0b00000001,
}

[Flags]
enum RegIrqFlags : byte
{
	RxTimeout = 0b10000000,
	RxDone = 0b01000000,
	PayLoadCrcError = 0b00100000,
	ValidHeadrer = 0b00010000,
	TxDone = 0b00001000,
	CadDone = 0b00000100,
	FhssChangeChannel = 0b00000010,
	CadDetected = 0b00000001,
	ClearAll = 0b11111111,
}

This would require some significant modifications to the Techfooninja library. e.g. the PowerLevel enumeration

namespace Radios.RF24
{
    /// <summary>
    ///   Power levels the radio can operate with
    /// </summary>
    public enum PowerLevel : byte
    {
        /// <summary>
        ///   Minimum power setting for the radio
        /// </summary>
        Minimum = 0b00000000,

        /// <summary>
        ///   Low power setting for the radio
        /// </summary>
        Low = 0b00000010,

        /// <summary>
        ///   High power setting for the radio
        /// </summary>
        High = 0b00000100,

        /// <summary>
        ///   Max power setting for the radio
        /// </summary>
        Max = 0b00000110,
    }
}

I need to do some more testing of the of library to see if the pattern is repeated.

Wilderness Labs nRF24L01 Wireless field gateway Meadow client

After a longish pause in development work on my nrf24L01 AdaFruit.IO and Azure IOT Hub field gateways I figured a client based on my port of the techfooninja nRF24 library to Wilderness Labs Meadow would be a good test.

This sample client is an Wilderness Labs Meadow with a Sensiron SHT31 Temperature & humidity sensor (supported by meadow foundation), and a generic nRF24L01 device connected with jumper cables.

Bill of materials (prices as at March 2020)

  • Wilderness Labs Meadow 7F Micro device USD50
  • Seeedstudio Temperature and Humidity Sensor(SHT31) USD11.90
  • Seeedstudio 4 pin Male Jumper to Grove 4 pin Conversion Cable USD2.90
  • 2.4G Wireless Module nRF24L01+PA USD9.90

The initial version of the code was pretty basic with limited error handling and no power conservation support.

namespace devMobile.IoT.FieldGateway.Client
{
   using System;
   using System.Text;
   using System.Threading;

   using Radios.RF24;

   using Meadow;
   using Meadow.Devices;
   using Meadow.Foundation.Leds;
   using Meadow.Foundation.Sensors.Atmospheric;
   using Meadow.Hardware;
   using Meadow.Peripherals.Leds;

   public class MeadowClient : App<F7Micro, MeadowClient>
   {
      private const string BaseStationAddress = "Base1";
      private const string DeviceAddress = "WLAB1";
      private const byte nRF24Channel = 15;
      private RF24 Radio = new RF24();
      private readonly TimeSpan periodTime = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 60);
      private readonly Sht31D sensor;
      private readonly ILed Led;

      public MeadowClient()
      {
         Led = new Led(Device, Device.Pins.OnboardLedGreen);

         try
         {
            sensor = new Sht31D(Device.CreateI2cBus());

            var config = new Meadow.Hardware.SpiClockConfiguration(
                           2000,
                           SpiClockConfiguration.Mode.Mode0);

            ISpiBus spiBus = Device.CreateSpiBus(
               Device.Pins.SCK,
               Device.Pins.MOSI,
               Device.Pins.MISO, config);

            Radio.OnDataReceived += Radio_OnDataReceived;
            Radio.OnTransmitFailed += Radio_OnTransmitFailed;
            Radio.OnTransmitSuccess += Radio_OnTransmitSuccess;

            Radio.Initialize(Device, spiBus, Device.Pins.D09, Device.Pins.D10, Device.Pins.D11);
            //Radio.Address = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(Environment.MachineName);
            Radio.Address = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(DeviceAddress);

            Radio.Channel = nRF24Channel;
            Radio.PowerLevel = PowerLevel.Low;
            Radio.DataRate = DataRate.DR250Kbps;
            Radio.IsEnabled = true;

            Radio.IsAutoAcknowledge = true;
            Radio.IsDyanmicAcknowledge = false;
            Radio.IsDynamicPayload = true;

            Console.WriteLine($"Address: {Encoding.UTF8.GetString(Radio.Address)}");
            Console.WriteLine($"PowerLevel: {Radio.PowerLevel}");
            Console.WriteLine($"IsAutoAcknowledge: {Radio.IsAutoAcknowledge}");
            Console.WriteLine($"Channel: {Radio.Channel}");
            Console.WriteLine($"DataRate: {Radio.DataRate}");
            Console.WriteLine($"IsDynamicAcknowledge: {Radio.IsDyanmicAcknowledge}");
            Console.WriteLine($"IsDynamicPayload: {Radio.IsDynamicPayload}");
            Console.WriteLine($"IsEnabled: {Radio.IsEnabled}");
            Console.WriteLine($"Frequency: {Radio.Frequency}");
            Console.WriteLine($"IsInitialized: {Radio.IsInitialized}");
            Console.WriteLine($"IsPowered: {Radio.IsPowered}");
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Console.WriteLine(ex.Message);
         }

         while (true)
         {
            sensor.Update();

            Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-TX T:{sensor.Temperature:0.0}C H:{sensor.Humidity:0}%");

            Led.IsOn = true;

            string values = "T " + sensor.Temperature.ToString("F1") + ",H " + sensor.Humidity.ToString("F0");

            // Stuff the 2 byte header ( payload type & deviceIdentifierLength ) + deviceIdentifier into payload
            byte[] payload = new byte[1 + Radio.Address.Length + values.Length];
            payload[0] = (byte)((1 << 4) | Radio.Address.Length);
            Array.Copy(Radio.Address, 0, payload, 1, Radio.Address.Length);
            Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(values, 0, values.Length, payload, Radio.Address.Length + 1);

            Radio.SendTo(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(BaseStationAddress), payload);

            Thread.Sleep(periodTime);
         }
      }

      private void Radio_OnDataReceived(byte[] data)
      {
         // Display as Unicode
         string unicodeText = Encoding.UTF8.GetString(data);
         Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-RX Unicode Length {0} Unicode Length {1} Unicode text {2}", data.Length, unicodeText.Length, unicodeText);

         // display as hex
         Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-RX Hex Length {data.Length} Payload {BitConverter.ToString(data)}");
      }

      private void Radio_OnTransmitSuccess()
      {
         Led.IsOn = false;

         Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-TX Succeeded!");
      }

      private void Radio_OnTransmitFailed()
      {
         Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-TX failed!");
      }
   }
}

After sorting out power to the SHT31 (I had to push the jumper cable further into the back of the jumper cable plug). I could see temperature and humidity values getting uploaded to Adafruit.IO.

Visual Studio 2019 debug output

Adafruit.IO “automagically” provisions new feeds which is helpful when building a proof of concept (PoC)

Adafruit.IO feed with default feed IDs

I then modified the feed configuration to give it a user friendly name.

Feed Configuration

All up configuration took about 10 minutes.

Meadow device temperature and humidity

.Net Meadow nRF24L01 library Part2

After getting SPI connectivity going my next step porting the techfooninja nRF24L01P library to a Wilderness Labs Meadow was rewriting the SPI port initialisation, plus GetStatus and Execute methods.

nRF24L01P Test Harness

I added a digital output port for the Chip Select and because I can specify the interrupt trigger edge I removed the test from the interrupt handler.

 public void Initialize(IIODevice device, ISpiBus spiBus, IPin chipEnablePin, IPin chipSelectLine, IPin interruptPin)
{
   _SpiBus = spiBus;

   _cePin = device.CreateDigitalOutputPort(chipEnablePin, false);

   _csPin = device.CreateDigitalOutputPort(chipSelectLine, false);

   _irqPin = device.CreateDigitalInputPort(interruptPin, InterruptMode.EdgeFalling, resistorMode: ResistorMode.PullUp);
   _irqPin.Changed += InterruptGpioPin_ValueChanged;

   // Module reset time
   Task.Delay(100).GetAwaiter().GetResult();

   IsInitialized = true;

   // Set reasonable default values
   Address = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("NRF1");
   DataRate = DataRate.DR2Mbps;
   IsDynamicPayload = true;
   IsAutoAcknowledge = true;

   FlushReceiveBuffer();
   FlushTransferBuffer();
   ClearIrqMasks();
   SetRetries(5, 60);

   // Setup, CRC enabled, Power Up, PRX
   SetReceiveMode();
}

The core of the Initialise method was moved to the Meadow application startup.

public MeadowApp()
{
   try
   {
		var config = new Meadow.Hardware.SpiClockConfiguration(
			2000,
			SpiClockConfiguration.Mode.Mode0);

		ISpiBus spiBus = Device.CreateSpiBus(
			Device.Pins.SCK,
			Device.Pins.MOSI,
			Device.Pins.MISO,config);

		Radio.OnDataReceived += Radio_OnDataReceived;
		Radio.OnTransmitFailed += Radio_OnTransmitFailed;
		Radio.OnTransmitSuccess += Radio_OnTransmitSuccess;

		Radio.Initialize(Device, spiBus, Device.Pins.D09, Device.Pins.D10, Device.Pins.D11);
		Radio.Address = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(DeviceAddress);

		Radio.Channel = nRF24Channel;
		Radio.PowerLevel = PowerLevel.High;
		Radio.DataRate = DataRate.DR250Kbps;
		Radio.IsEnabled = true;

		Radio.IsAutoAcknowledge = true;
		Radio.IsDyanmicAcknowledge = false;
		Radio.IsDynamicPayload = true;

		Console.WriteLine($"Address: {Encoding.UTF8.GetString(Radio.Address)}");
		Console.WriteLine($"PA: {Radio.PowerLevel}");
		Console.WriteLine($"IsAutoAcknowledge: {Radio.IsAutoAcknowledge}");
		Console.WriteLine($"Channel: {Radio.Channel}");
		Console.WriteLine($"DataRate: {Radio.DataRate}");
		Console.WriteLine($"Power: {Radio.PowerLevel}");
		Console.WriteLine($"IsDynamicAcknowledge: {Radio.IsDyanmicAcknowledge}");
		Console.WriteLine($"IsDynamicPayload: {Radio.IsDynamicPayload}");
		Console.WriteLine($"IsEnabled: {Radio.IsEnabled}");
		Console.WriteLine($"Frequency: {Radio.Frequency}");
		Console.WriteLine($"IsInitialized: {Radio.IsInitialized}");
		Console.WriteLine($"IsPowered: {Radio.IsPowered}");
	}
	catch (Exception ex)
	{
		Console.WriteLine(ex.Message);

		return;
	}

I modified the GetStatus and ExecuteMethods to use the ExchangeData method

   /// <summary>
      ///   Executes a command in NRF24L01+ (for details see module datasheet)
      /// </summary>
      /// <param name = "command">Command</param>
      /// <param name = "addres">Register to write to or read from</param>
      /// <param name = "data">Data to write or buffer to read to</param>
      /// <returns>Response byte array. First byte is the status register</returns>
      public byte[] Execute(byte command, byte addres, byte[] data)
      {
         CheckIsInitialized();

         // This command requires module to be in power down or standby mode
         if (command == Commands.W_REGISTER)
            IsEnabled = false;

         // Create SPI Buffers with Size of Data + 1 (For Command)
         var writeBuffer = new byte[data.Length + 1];
         var readBuffer = new byte[data.Length + 1];

         // Add command and address to SPI buffer
         writeBuffer[0] = (byte)(command | addres);

         // Add data to SPI buffer
         Array.Copy(data, 0, writeBuffer, 1, data.Length);

         // Do SPI Read/Write
         _SpiBus.ExchangeData(_csPin, ChipSelectMode.ActiveLow, writeBuffer, readBuffer);

         // Enable module back if it was disabled
         if (command == Commands.W_REGISTER && _enabled)
            IsEnabled = true;

         // Return ReadBuffer
         return readBuffer;
      }

      /// <summary>
      ///   Gets module basic status information
      /// </summary>
      /// <returns>Status object representing the current status of the radio</returns>
      public Status GetStatus()
      {
         CheckIsInitialized();

         var readBuffer = new byte[1];
         _SpiBus.ExchangeData(_csPin, ChipSelectMode.ActiveLow, new[] { Commands.NOP }, readBuffer);

         return new Status(readBuffer[0]);
      }

After these modifications I can send and receive messages but the PowerLevel doesn’t look right.

The program '[16720] App.exe' has exited with code 0 (0x0).
 IsPowered: True
 Address: Dev01
 PA: 15
 IsAutoAcknowledge: True
 Channel: 15
 DataRate: DR250Kbps
 Power: 15
 IsDynamicAcknowledge: False
 IsDynamicPayload: True
 IsEnabled: False
 Frequency: 2415
 IsInitialized: True
 IsPowered: True
 00:00:18-TX 8 byte message hello 17
 Data Sent!
00:00:18-TX Succeeded!
 00:00:48-TX 8 byte message hello 48
 Data Sent!

Time to dig into the nRF24L01P datasheet.

.Net Meadow nRF24L01 library Part1

After debugging Windows 10 IoT Core & .NetMF nRF24L01P libraries I figured a port to a Wilderness Labs Meadow device shouldn’t be “rocket science”.

I couldn’t source an nRF24L01 feather wing so built a test rig with jumpers

nRF24L01P Test Harness
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) Feb 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.
//
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.nRf24L01
{
   using System;
   using System.Text;
   using System.Threading;
   using Meadow;
   using Meadow.Devices;
   using Meadow.Hardware;

   public class MeadowApp : App<F7Micro, MeadowApp>
   {
      const byte SETUP_AW = 0x03;
      const byte RX_ADDR_P0 = 0x0A;
      const byte R_REGISTER = 0b00000000;
      const byte W_REGISTER = 0b00100000;
      ISpiBus spiBus;
      SpiPeripheral nrf24L01Device;
      IDigitalOutputPort spiPeriphChipSelect;
      IDigitalOutputPort ChipEnable;


      public MeadowApp()
      {
         ConfigureSpiPort();
         SetPipe0RxAddress("ZYXWV");
      }

      public void ConfigureSpiPort()
      {
         try
         {
            ChipEnable = Device.CreateDigitalOutputPort(Device.Pins.D09, initialState: false);
            if (ChipEnable == null)
            {
               Console.WriteLine("chipEnable == null");
            }

            var spiClockConfiguration = new SpiClockConfiguration(2000, SpiClockConfiguration.Mode.Mode0);
            spiBus = Device.CreateSpiBus(Device.Pins.SCK,
                                         Device.Pins.MOSI,
                                         Device.Pins.MISO,
                                         spiClockConfiguration);
            if (spiBus == null)
            {
               Console.WriteLine("spiBus == null");
            }

            Console.WriteLine("Creating SPI NSS Port...");
            spiPeriphChipSelect = Device.CreateDigitalOutputPort(Device.Pins.D10, initialState: true);
            if (spiPeriphChipSelect == null)
            {
               Console.WriteLine("spiPeriphChipSelect == null");
            }

            Console.WriteLine("nrf24L01Device Device...");
            nrf24L01Device = new SpiPeripheral(spiBus, spiPeriphChipSelect);
            if (nrf24L01Device == null)
            {
               Console.WriteLine("nrf24L01Device == null");
            }

            Thread.Sleep(100);

            Console.WriteLine("ConfigureSpiPort Done...");
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Console.WriteLine("ConfigureSpiPort " + ex.Message);
         }
      }

      public void SetPipe0RxAddress(string address)
      {
         try
         {
            // Read the Address width
            byte[] txBuffer1 = new byte[] { SETUP_AW | R_REGISTER, 0x0 };
            Console.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer1));

            /*
            // Appears to work but not certain it does
            Console.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.WriteRead...SETUP_AW");
            byte[] rxBuffer1 = nrf24L01Device.WriteRead(txBuffer1, (ushort)txBuffer1.Length);
            Console.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.WriteRead...SETUP_AW");
            */

            byte[] rxBuffer1 = new byte[txBuffer1.Length];
            Console.WriteLine(" spiBus.ExchangeData...RX_ADDR_P0");
            spiBus.ExchangeData(spiPeriphChipSelect, ChipSelectMode.ActiveLow, txBuffer1, rxBuffer1);

            Console.WriteLine(" rxBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(rxBuffer1));

            // Extract then adjust the address width
            byte addressWidthValue = rxBuffer1[1];
            addressWidthValue &= 0b00000011;
            addressWidthValue += 2;
            Console.WriteLine("Address width 0x{0:x2} - Value 0X{1:x2} - Bits {2} Value adjusted {3}", SETUP_AW, rxBuffer1[1], Convert.ToString(rxBuffer1[1], 2).PadLeft(8, '0'), addressWidthValue);
            Console.WriteLine();

            // Write Pipe0 Receive address
            Console.WriteLine("Address write 1");
            byte[] txBuffer2 = new byte[addressWidthValue + 1];
            txBuffer2[0] = RX_ADDR_P0 | W_REGISTER;
            Array.Copy(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(address), 0, txBuffer2, 1, addressWidthValue);
            Console.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer2));

            Console.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.Write...RX_ADDR_P0");
            nrf24L01Device.WriteBytes(txBuffer2);
            Console.WriteLine();

            // Read Pipe0 Receive address
            Console.WriteLine("Address read 1");
            byte[] txBuffer3 = new byte[addressWidthValue + 1];
            txBuffer3[0] = RX_ADDR_P0 | R_REGISTER;
            Console.WriteLine(" txBuffer:" + BitConverter.ToString(txBuffer3));

            /*
            // Broken returns  Address 0x0a - RX Buffer 5A-5A-5A-5A-59-58 RX Address 5A-5A-5A-59-58 Address ZZZYX
            Console.WriteLine(" nrf24L01Device.WriteRead...RX_ADDR_P0");
            byte[] rxBuffer3 = nrf24L01Device.WriteRead(txBuffer3, (ushort)txBuffer3.Length);
            */

            byte[] rxBuffer3 = new byte[addressWidthValue + 1];
            Console.WriteLine(" spiBus.ExchangeData...RX_ADDR_P0");
            spiBus.ExchangeData(spiPeriphChipSelect, ChipSelectMode.ActiveLow, txBuffer3, rxBuffer3);

            Console.WriteLine("Address 0x{0:x2} - RX Buffer {1} RX Address {2} Address {3}", RX_ADDR_P0, BitConverter.ToString(rxBuffer3, 0), BitConverter.ToString(rxBuffer3, 1), UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(rxBuffer3, 1, addressWidthValue));
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Console.WriteLine("ReadDeviceIDDiy " + ex.Message);
         }
      }
   }
}

After lots of tinkering with SPI configuration options and trialing different methods (spiBus vs.SpiPeripheral) I can read and write my nRF24L01 device receive port address

 Creating SPI NSS Port...
 nrf24L01Device Device...
 ConfigureSpiPort Done...
  txBuffer:03-00
  spiBus.ExchangeData...RX_ADDR_P0
  rxBuffer:0E-03
 Address width 0x03 - Value 0X03 - Bits 00000011 Value adjusted 5
 
 Address write 1
  txBuffer:2A-5A-59-58-57-56
  nrf24L01Device.Write...RX_ADDR_P0
 
 Address read 1
  txBuffer:0A-00-00-00-00-00
  spiBus.ExchangeData...RX_ADDR_P0
 Address 0x0a - RX Buffer 0E-5A-59-58-57-56 RX Address 5A-59-58-57-56 Address ZYXWV

I need to investigate why the first byte of the buffer returned by nrf24L01Device.ReadBytes and nrf24L01Device.WriteRead is wrong.

AllThingsTalk with MQTTnet

As I’m testing my Message Queue Telemetry Transport(MQTT) LoRa gateway I’m building a proof of concept(PoC) .Net core console application for each IoT platform I would like to support.

This PoC was to confirm that I could connect to the AllThingsTalk MQTT API then format topics and payloads correctly.

MQTTNet Console Client

The AllThingsTalk MQTT broker, username, and device ID are required command line parameters.

namespace devmobile.Mqtt.TestClient.AllThingsTalk
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.Threading;
	using System.Threading.Tasks;

	using MQTTnet;
	using MQTTnet.Client;
	using MQTTnet.Client.Disconnecting;
	using MQTTnet.Client.Options;
	using MQTTnet.Client.Receiving;

	using Newtonsoft.Json;
	using Newtonsoft.Json.Linq;

	class Program
	{
		private static IMqttClient mqttClient = null;
		private static IMqttClientOptions mqttOptions = null;
		private static string server;
		private static string username;
		private static string deviceID;

		static void Main(string[] args)
		{
			MqttFactory factory = new MqttFactory();
			mqttClient = factory.CreateMqttClient();

			if ((args.Length != 3))
			{
				Console.WriteLine("[MQTT Server] [UserName] [ClientID]");
				Console.WriteLine("Press <enter> to exit");
				Console.ReadLine();
				return;
			}

			server = args[0];
			username = args[1];
			deviceID = args[2];

			Console.WriteLine($"MQTT Server:{server} DeviceID:{deviceID}");

			// AllThingsTalk formatted device state update topic
			string topicD2C = $"device/{deviceID}/state";

			mqttOptions = new MqttClientOptionsBuilder()
				.WithTcpServer(server)
				.WithCredentials(username, "HighlySecurePassword")
				.WithClientId(deviceID)
				.WithTls()
				.Build();

			mqttClient.UseDisconnectedHandler(new MqttClientDisconnectedHandlerDelegate(e => MqttClient_Disconnected(e)));
			mqttClient.UseApplicationMessageReceivedHandler(new MqttApplicationMessageReceivedHandlerDelegate(e => MqttClient_ApplicationMessageReceived(e)));
			mqttClient.ConnectAsync(mqttOptions).Wait();

			// AllThingsTalk formatted device command with wildcard topic
			string topicC2D = $"device/{deviceID}/asset/+/command";

			mqttClient.SubscribeAsync(topicC2D, MQTTnet.Protocol.MqttQualityOfServiceLevel.AtLeastOnce).GetAwaiter().GetResult();

			while (true)
			{
				JObject payloadJObject = new JObject();

				double temperature = 22.0 + (DateTime.UtcNow.Millisecond / 1000.0);
				temperature = Math.Round( temperature, 1 );
				double humidity = 50 + (DateTime.UtcNow.Millisecond / 100.0);
				humidity = Math.Round(humidity, 1);

				JObject temperatureJObject = new JObject
				{
					{ "value", temperature }
				};
				payloadJObject.Add("Temperature", temperatureJObject);

				JObject humidityJObject = new JObject
				{
					{ "value", humidity }
				};
				payloadJObject.Add("Humidity", humidityJObject);

				string payload = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(payloadJObject);
				Console.WriteLine($"Topic:{topicD2C} Payload:{payload}");

				var message = new MqttApplicationMessageBuilder()
					.WithTopic(topicD2C)
					.WithPayload(payload)
					.WithAtMostOnceQoS()
//					.WithAtLeastOnceQoS()
					.Build();

				Console.WriteLine("PublishAsync start");
				mqttClient.PublishAsync(message).Wait();
				Console.WriteLine("PublishAsync finish");

				Thread.Sleep(15100);
			}
		}

		private static void MqttClient_ApplicationMessageReceived(MqttApplicationMessageReceivedEventArgs e)
		{
			Console.WriteLine($"ClientId:{e.ClientId} Topic:{e.ApplicationMessage.Topic} Payload:{e.ApplicationMessage.ConvertPayloadToString()}");
		}

		private static async void MqttClient_Disconnected(MqttClientDisconnectedEventArgs e)
		{
			Debug.WriteLine("Disconnected");
			await Task.Delay(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(5));

			try
			{
				await mqttClient.ConnectAsync(mqttOptions);
			}
			catch (Exception ex)
			{
				Debug.WriteLine("Reconnect failed {0}", ex.Message);
			}
		}
	}

The AllThingsTalk device configuration was relatively easy but I need to investigate “Gateway” functionality and configuration further.

Configuring an Asset
Configuration a watchdog to check for sensor data
Sending a command to an actuator
Processing a command on the client

The ability to look at message payloads in the Debug tab would be very helpful when working out why a payload was not being processed as expected.

Asset debug information

Overall the AllThingsTalk configuration went fairly smoothly, though I need to investigate the “Gateway” configuration and functionality further. The way that assets are name by the system could make support in my MQTT Gateway more complex.

Azure IoT Hub, Event Grid to Application Insights

For a second Proof of Concept (PoC) I wanted to upload sensor data from my MQTT LoRa Telemetry Field Gateway to an Azure IoT Hub, then using Azure EventGrid subscribe to the stream of telemetry data events, logging the payloads in Azure Application Insights (the aim was minimal code so no database etc.).

The first step was to create and deploy a simple Azure Function for unpacking the telemetry event payload.

Azure IoT Hub Azure Function Handler

Then wire the Azure function to the Microsoft.Devices.Device.Telemetry Event Type

Azure IoT Hub Event Metrics

On the Windows 10 IoT Core device in the Event Tracing Window(ETW) logging on the device I could see LoRa messages arriving and being unpacked.

Windows 10 Device ETW showing message payload

Then in Application Insights after some mucking around with code I could see in a series of Trace statements the event payload as it was unpacked.

{"id":"29108ebf-e5d5-7b95-e739-7d9048209d53","topic":"/SUBSCRIPTIONS/12345678-9012-3456-7890-123456789012/RESOURCEGROUPS/AZUREIOTHUBEVENTGRIDAZUREFUNCTION/PROVIDERS/MICROSOFT.DEVICES/IOTHUBS/FIELDGATEWAYHUB",
"subject":"devices/MQTTNetClient",
"eventType":"Microsoft.Devices.DeviceTelemetry",
"eventTime":"2020-02-01T04:30:51.427Z",
"data":
{
 "properties":{},
"systemProperties":{"iothub-connection-device-id":"MQTTNetClient","iothub-connection-auth-method":"{\"scope\":\"device\",\"type\":\"sas\",\"issuer\":\"iothub\",\"acceptingIpFilterRule\":null}",
"iothub-connection-auth-generation-id":"637149890997219611",
"iothub-enqueuedtime":"2020-02-01T04:30:51.427Z",
"iothub-message-source":"Telemetry"
},
"body":"eyJPZmZpY2VUZW1wZXJhdHVyZSI6IjIyLjUiLCJPZmZpY2VIdW1pZGl0eSI6IjkyIn0="
},
"dataVersion":"",
"metadataVersion":"1"
}
Application Insights logging with message unpacking
Application Insights logging message payload

Then in the last log entry the decoded message payload

/*
    Copyright ® 2020 Feb devMobile Software, All Rights Reserved
 
    MIT License

    Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
    of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
    in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights
    to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
    copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
    furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all
    copies or substantial portions of the Software.

    THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
    IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
    FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
    AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
    LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
    OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE
    SOFTWARE

    Default URL for triggering event grid function in the local environment.
    http://localhost:7071/runtime/webhooks/EventGrid?functionName=functionname
 */
namespace EventGridProcessorAzureIotHub
{
   using System;
   using System.IO;
   using System.Reflection;

   using Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs;
   using Microsoft.Azure.EventGrid.Models;
   using Microsoft.Azure.WebJobs.Extensions.EventGrid;

   using log4net;
   using log4net.Config;
   using Newtonsoft.Json;

   public static class Telemetry
    {
        [FunctionName("Telemetry")]
        public static void Run([EventGridTrigger]Microsoft.Azure.EventGrid.Models.EventGridEvent eventGridEvent, ExecutionContext executionContext )//, TelemetryClient telemetryClient)
        {
			ILog log = log4net.LogManager.GetLogger(System.Reflection.MethodBase.GetCurrentMethod().DeclaringType);

		   var logRepository = LogManager.GetRepository(Assembly.GetEntryAssembly());
			XmlConfigurator.Configure(logRepository, new FileInfo(Path.Combine(executionContext.FunctionAppDirectory, "log4net.config")));

         log.Info($"eventGridEvent.Data-{eventGridEvent}");

         log.Info($"eventGridEvent.Data.ToString()-{eventGridEvent.Data.ToString()}");

        IotHubDeviceTelemetryEventData iOThubDeviceTelemetryEventData = (IotHubDeviceTelemetryEventData)JsonConvert.DeserializeObject(eventGridEvent.Data.ToString(), typeof(IotHubDeviceTelemetryEventData));

         log.Info($"iOThubDeviceTelemetryEventData.Body.ToString()-{iOThubDeviceTelemetryEventData.Body.ToString()}");

         byte[] base64EncodedBytes = System.Convert.FromBase64String(iOThubDeviceTelemetryEventData.Body.ToString());

         log.Info($"System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetString(-{System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetString(base64EncodedBytes)}");
      }
	}
}

Overall it took roughly half a page of code (mainly generated by a tool) to unpack and log the contents of an Azure IoT Hub EventGrid payload to Application Insights.