.Net MicroFramework LoRa library Part1

After getting my Windows 10 IoT Core RFM9X library well under way I figured that writing a library for .NetMF devices (like Netduino and Ingenuity Micro ones) shouldn’t be “rocket science”.

To get started I used a Dragino LoRa shield for Arduino which looked compatible with my Netduino devices. I was initially worried that the shield might not work with a 3v3 device but I tested it with a Seeeduino Lite (which has a switch to select 3v3 or 5v operation) and it worked fine.

The shield uses D10 for chip select, D2 for RFM9X DI0 interrupt and D9 for Reset.
Lora_sheild_sch
The shield ships with the SPI lines configured for ICSP so the three jumpers diagonally across the shield from the antenna connector need to be swapped to the side closest to the edge of the shield.
NetduinoDraginoShield
First step was to confirm I could (using the Netduino SPI interface and .NetMF library)read a couple of the Semtech SX1276 registers. I implemented both “automagic” and manual chip select operation in my test harness.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) August 2018, 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.NetMF.Rfm9X.DraginoShield
{
   using System;
   using System.Threading;
   using Microsoft.SPOT;
   using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;
   using SecretLabs.NETMF.Hardware;
   using SecretLabs.NETMF.Hardware.Netduino;

   public class Program
   {

      public static void Main()
      {
         //OutputPort reset = new OutputPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D9, true);
         OutputPort chipSelect = null;
         //chipSelect = new OutputPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D10, true);
         //SPI spiPort = new SPI(new SPI.Configuration(Pins.GPIO_NONE, false, 0, 0, true, true, 500, SPI.SPI_module.SPI1));
         SPI spiPort = new SPI(new SPI.Configuration(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D10, false, 0, 0, false, true, 500, SPI.SPI_module.SPI1));

         Thread.Sleep(100);

         while (true)
         {
            //byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { 0x42 }; // RegVersion exptecing 0x12
            byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { 0x06 }; // RegFreqMsb expecting 0x6C
            //byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { 0x07 }; // RegFreqMid expecting 0x80
            //byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { 0x08 }; // RegFreqLsb expecting 0x00
            byte[] readBuffer = new byte[1];

            if (chipSelect != null)
            {
               chipSelect.Write(false);
            }
            spiPort.WriteRead(writeBuffer, readBuffer,1);
            if (chipSelect != null)
            {
               chipSelect.Write(true);
            }

            Debug.Print("Value = 0x" + BytesToHexString(readBuffer));

            Thread.Sleep(1000);
         }
      }

      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  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;
      }
   }
}

I could successfully read the RegVersion and default frequency values

'Microsoft.SPOT.Debugger.CorDebug.dll' (Managed): Loaded 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Secret Labs\Netduino SDK\Assemblies\v4.3\le\SecretLabs.NETMF.Hardware.dll', Symbols loaded.
The thread '' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Value = 0x6C
Value = 0x6C
Value = 0x6C
The program '[43] Micro Framework application: Managed' has exited with code 0 (0x0).

 

Wireless field gateway protocol V2

I have now built a couple of nRF2L01P field gateways (for AdaFriut.IO & Azure IoT Hubs) which run as a background tasks on Windows 10 IoT Core on RaspberyPI). I have also written several clients which run on Arduino, devDuino, Netduino, and Seeeduino devices.

I have tried to keep the protocol simple (telemetry only) to deploy and it will be used in high school student projects in the next couple of weeks.

To make the payload smaller the first byte of the message now specifies the message type in the top nibble and the length of the device unique identifier in the bottom nibble.

0 = Echo

The message is displayed by the field gateway as text & hexadecimal.

1 = Device identifier + Comma separated values (CSV) payload

[0] – Set to 0001, XXXX   Device identifier length

[1]..[1+Device identifier length] – Unique device identifier bytes e.g. Mac address

[1+Device identifier length+1 ]..[31] – CSV payload e.g.  SensorID value, SensorID value

 

Wireless field gateway protocol V1

I’m going to build a number of nRF2L01P field gateways (Netduino Ethernet & Wifi running .NetMF, Raspberry PI running Windows 10 IoT Core, RedBearLab 3200  etc.), clients which run on a variety of hardware (Arduino, devDuino, Netduino, Seeeduino etc.) which, then upload data to a selection of IoT Cloud services (AdaFruit.IO, ThingSpeak, Microsoft IoT Central etc.)

The nRF24L01P is widely supported with messages up to 32 bytes long, low power consumption and 250kbps, 1Mbps and 2Mbps data rates.

The aim is to keep the protocol simple (telemetry only initially) to implement and debug as the client side code will be utilised by high school student projects.

The first byte of the message specifies the message type

0 = Echo

The message is displayed by the field gateway as text & hexadecimal.

1 = Device identifier + Comma separated values (CSV) payload

[0] – Set to 1

[1] – Device identifier length

[2]..[2+Device identifier length] – Unique device identifier bytes e.g. Mac address

[2+Device identifier length+1 ]..[31] – CSV payload e.g.  SensorID value, SensorID value

Overtime I will support more message types and wireless protocols.