.NET nanoFramework RAK4200 LoRaWAN library ABP Join

After getting my RAKwireless RAK4200 module to reliably connect to The Things Network(TTN) using Over The Air Activation(OTAA) the next step was to built an Activation By Personalisation(ABP) sample application.

I modified the NetworkJoinOTAA sample(based on the asynchronous version of BreakOutSerial) to send the required sequence of AT commands and display the responses.

namespace devMobile.IoT.LoRaWAN.nanoFramework.RAK4200
{
   using System;
   using System.Diagnostics;
   using System.IO.Ports;
   using System.Text;
   using System.Threading;
#if ESP32_WROOM
   using global::nanoFramework.Hardware.Esp32; ///need NuGet nanoFramework.Hardware.Esp32
#endif

   public class Program
   {
#if ST_STM32F769I_DISCOVERY
      private const string SerialPortId = "COM6";
#endif
#if ESP32_WROOM
      private const string SerialPortId = "COM2";
#endif
      private const string DevEui = "...";
      private const string AppEui = "...";
      private const string AppKey = "...";
      private const byte MessagePort = 1;
      private const string Payload = "01020304"; // Is AQIDBA==

      public static void Main()
      {
         string response;

         Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.Rak4200.NetworkJoinOTAA starting");

         try
         {
#if ESP32_WROOM
            Configuration.SetPinFunction(Gpio.IO16, DeviceFunction.COM2_TX);
            Configuration.SetPinFunction(Gpio.IO17, DeviceFunction.COM2_RX);
#endif

            Debug.Write("Ports:");
            foreach (string port in SerialPort.GetPortNames())
            {
               Debug.Write($" {port}");
            }
            Debug.WriteLine("");

            using (SerialPort serialDevice = new SerialPort(SerialPortId))
            {
               // set parameters
               serialDevice.BaudRate = 9600;
               //_SerialPort.BaudRate = 115200;
               serialDevice.Parity = Parity.None;
               serialDevice.StopBits = StopBits.One;
               serialDevice.Handshake = Handshake.None;
               serialDevice.DataBits = 8;

               serialDevice.ReadTimeout = 10000;
               //serialDevice.ReadBufferSize = 128; 
               //serialDevice.ReadBufferSize = 256; 
               serialDevice.ReadBufferSize = 512;
               //serialDevice.ReadBufferSize = 1024;

               serialDevice.NewLine = "\r\n";

               serialDevice.DataReceived += SerialDevice_DataReceived;

               serialDevice.Open();

               serialDevice.WatchChar = '\n';

               // clear out the RX buffer
               serialDevice.ReadExisting();
               response = serialDevice.ReadExisting();
               Debug.WriteLine($"Response :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the Working mode to LoRaWAN
               Debug.WriteLine("lora:work_mode:0");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:work_mode:0");
               Thread.Sleep(1500);

               // Set the JoinMode
               Debug.WriteLine("lora:join_mode");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:join_mode:0");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the Class
               Debug.WriteLine("lora:class");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:class:0");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the Region to AS923
               Debug.WriteLine("lora:region");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:region:AS923");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the devEUI
               Debug.WriteLine("lora:dev_eui");
               serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+set_config=lora:dev_eui:{DevEui}");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the appEUI
               Debug.WriteLine("lora:app_eui");
               serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+set_config=lora:app_eui:{AppEui}");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the appKey
               Debug.WriteLine("lora:app_key");
               serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+set_config=lora:app_key:{AppKey}");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the Confirm flag
               Debug.WriteLine("lora:confirm");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:confirm:0");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               Debug.WriteLine("lora:adr");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:adr:1");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Join the network
               Debug.WriteLine("at+join");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+join");
               Thread.Sleep(10000);

               byte counter = 1;
               while (true)
               {
                  // Send the BCD messages
                  string payload = $"{Payload}{counter:X2}";
                  Debug.WriteLine($"at+send=lora:{MessagePort}:{payload}");
                  serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+send=lora:{MessagePort}:{payload}");

                  counter += 1;

                  Thread.Sleep(300000);
               }
            }
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
         }
      }

      private static void SerialDevice_DataReceived(object sender, SerialDataReceivedEventArgs e)
      {
         SerialPort serialPort = (SerialPort)sender;
         string response;

         switch (e.EventType)
         {
            case SerialData.Chars:
               break;

            case SerialData.WatchChar:
               response = serialPort.ReadExisting();
               Debug.Write(response);
               break;
            default:
               Debug.Assert(false, $"e.EventType {e.EventType} unknown");
               break;
         }
      }
   }
}

The NetworkJoinABP application assumes that all of the AT commands succeed.

TTN Console live data tab connection process
Visual Studio Output windows displaying connection process and a D2C message

I have been using at+set_config=lora:default_parameters set the WisDuo RAK4200 back to factory settings so I can figure out what settings are persisted by a “at+set_config=device:restart” and which ones need to be set every time the application is run.

.NET nanoFramework RAK4200 LoRaWAN library OTAA Join

When I first tried Over The Air Activation(OTAA) to connect to The Things Network(TTN) with my RAKwireless RAK4200 module it didn’t work. I built another test harness with an FTDI module so I could send AT commands with the RAK Serial Port Tool to my RAK4200 module.

RAK4200 -> FTDI -? PC test harness

The default baud rate is 115200 but I sent “at+set_config=device:uart:1:9600” to the RAK4200 module.

RAK Serial Port Tool initiating at+join command

With the RAK Serial Port Tool I could get the RAK4200 connected to TTN and send unconfirmed messages. The sequence of commands I used was

at+set_config=lora:join_mode:0
at+set_config=lora:class:0
at+set_config=lora:region:AS923
at+set_config=lora:dev_eui:XXXX
at+set_config=lora:app_eui:XXXX
at+set_config=lora:app_key:XXXX
at+set_config=device:restart
at+join
at+send=lora:2:48656c6c6f204c6f526157414e

I then returned to my STM32F769I Discovery, RAK4200 Breakoutboard, Seeedstudio Grove Base Shield for Arduino and a Seeedstudio Grove-4 pin Female Jumper to Grove 4 pin Conversion Cable based test harness.

RAK4200, STM32F769I Discovery test harness

I modified the NetworkJoinOTAA sample(based on the asynchronous version of BreakOutSerial) to send the same sequence of AT commands and display the responses.

namespace devMobile.IoT.LoRaWAN.nanoFramework.RAK4200
{
   using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
   using System.IO.Ports;
   using System.Threading;

   public class Program
	{
      private const string SerialPortId = "COM6";
      private const string DevEui = "...";
      private const string AppEui = "...";
      private const string AppKey = "...";
      private const byte MessagePort = 1;
      private const string Payload = "48656c6c6f204c6f526157414e"; // Hello LoRaWAN

      public static void Main()
      {
         string response;

         Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.Rak4200.NetworkJoinOTAA starting");

         Debug.Write("Ports:");
         foreach (string port in SerialPort.GetPortNames())
         {
            Debug.Write($" {port}");
         }
         Debug.WriteLine("");

         try
         {
            using (SerialPort serialDevice = new SerialPort(SerialPortId))
            {
               // set parameters
               serialDevice.BaudRate = 9600;
               //_SerialPort.BaudRate = 115200;
               serialDevice.Parity = Parity.None;
               serialDevice.StopBits = StopBits.One;
               serialDevice.Handshake = Handshake.None;
               serialDevice.DataBits = 8;

               serialDevice.ReadTimeout = 10000;

               serialDevice.NewLine = "\r\n";

               serialDevice.DataReceived += SerialDevice_DataReceived;

               serialDevice.Open();

               serialDevice.WatchChar = '\n';

               // clear out the RX buffer
               serialDevice.ReadExisting();
               response = serialDevice.ReadExisting();
               Debug.WriteLine($"Response :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the Working mode to LoRaWAN
               Console.WriteLine("lora:work_mode:0");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:work_mode:0");

               // Set the JoinMode
               Console.WriteLine("lora:join_mode");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:join_mode:0");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the Class
               Console.WriteLine("lora:class");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:class:0");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the Region to AS923
               Console.WriteLine("lora:region:AS923");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:region:AS923");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the devEUI
               Console.WriteLine("lora:dev_eui:{DevEui}");
               serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+set_config=lora:dev_eui:{DevEui}");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the appEUI
               Console.WriteLine("lora:app_eui:{AppEui}");
               serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+set_config=lora:app_eui:{AppEui}");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the appKey
               Console.WriteLine("lora:app_key:{AppKey}");
               serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+set_config=lora:app_key:{AppKey}");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Set the Confirm flag
               Console.WriteLine("lora:confirm:0");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:confirm:0");
               Thread.Sleep(500);

               // Reset the device
               Console.WriteLine("device:restart");
               serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+set_config=device:restart");
               Thread.Sleep(10000);

               // Join the network
               Console.WriteLine("at+join");
               serialDevice.WriteLine("at+join");
               Thread.Sleep(10000);

               while (true)
               {
                  // Send the BCD messages
                  Console.WriteLine("lora:{MessagePort}:{Payload}");
                  serialDevice.WriteLine($"at+send=lora:{MessagePort}:{Payload}");

                  Thread.Sleep(20000);
               }
            }
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
         }
      }

      private static void SerialDevice_DataReceived(object sender, SerialDataReceivedEventArgs e)
      {
         SerialPort serialPort = (SerialPort)sender;
         string response;

         switch (e.EventType)
         {
            case SerialData.Chars:
               break;

            case SerialData.WatchChar:
               response = serialPort.ReadExisting();
               Debug.Write(response);
               break;
            default:
               Debug.Assert(false, $"e.EventType {e.EventType} unknown");
               break;
         }
      }
   }
}

The NetworkJoinOTAA application assumes that all of the AT commands succeed

Visual Studio Output windows displaying connection process and a D2C message
TTN Console live data tab connection process
TTN Console live messaging tab C2D message

I need to find a way to set the RAK4200 back to factory settings so I can figure out what settings are persisted by the “at+set_config=device:restart” and which ones need to be set every time the application is run.

.NET nanoFramework RAK4200 LoRaWAN library basic connectivity

Over the last couple of evenings I have been working on a .NET nanoFramework library for the RAKwireless RAK4200 module using a STM32F769I Discovery, RAK4200 Breakoutboard, Seeedstudio Grove Base Shield for Arduino and a Seeedstudio Grove-4 pin Female Jumper to Grove 4 pin Conversion Cable.

RAK 4200 STM32F769I Discovery testrig

My sample code has compile time options for synchronous and asynchronous operation.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) May 2022, 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.
//
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
//#define SERIAL_SYNC_READ
#define SERIAL_ASYNC_READ
//#define SERIAL_THREADED_READ
#define ST_STM32F769I_DISCOVERY      // nanoff --target ST_STM32F769I_DISCOVERY --update 
...

namespace devMobile.IoT.LoRaWAN.nanoFramework.RAK4200
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.IO.Ports;
	using System.Threading;

	public class Program
	{
		private static SerialPort _SerialPort;
#if SERIAL_THREADED_READ
		private static Boolean _Continue = true;
#endif
...
#if ST_STM32F769I_DISCOVERY
		private const string SerialPortId = "COM6";
#endif

		public static void Main()
		{
#if SERIAL_THREADED_READ
			Thread readThread = new Thread(SerialPortProcessor);
#endif

			Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.LoRaWAN.nanoFramework.RAK4200 BreakoutSerial starting");

			Debug.Write("Ports:");
			foreach (string port in SerialPort.GetPortNames())
			{
				Debug.Write($" {port}");
			}
			Debug.WriteLine("");

			try
			{
				// set GPIO functions for COM2 (this is UART1 on ESP32)
#if ESP32_WROOM
				Configuration.SetPinFunction(Gpio.IO04, DeviceFunction.COM2_TX);
            Configuration.SetPinFunction(Gpio.IO05, DeviceFunction.COM2_RX);
#endif

				_SerialPort = new SerialPort(SerialPortId);

				// set parameters
				_SerialPort.BaudRate = 115200;
				_SerialPort.Parity = Parity.None;
				_SerialPort.DataBits = 8;
				_SerialPort.StopBits = StopBits.One;
				_SerialPort.Handshake = Handshake.None;

				_SerialPort.ReadTimeout = 1000;
				_SerialPort.NewLine = "\r\n";

				//_SerialPort.WatchChar = '\n'; // May 2022 WatchChar event didn't fire github issue https://github.com/nanoframework/Home/issues/1035

				_SerialPort.Open();

				_SerialPort.WatchChar = '\n';

#if SERIAL_THREADED_READ
				readThread.Start();
#endif

#if SERIAL_ASYNC_READ
				_SerialPort.DataReceived += SerialDevice_DataReceived;
#endif

				while (true)
				{
					string atCommand = "at+version";
					Debug.WriteLine($"TX:{atCommand} bytes:{atCommand.Length}");
					_SerialPort.WriteLine(atCommand);

#if SERIAL_SYNC_READ
					// Read the response
					string response = _SerialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX:{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");
#endif
					Thread.Sleep(15000);
				}
			}
			catch (Exception ex)
			{
				Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
			}
		}

#if SERIAL_ASYNC_READ
		private static void SerialDevice_DataReceived(object sender, SerialDataReceivedEventArgs e)
		{
			SerialPort serialPort = (SerialPort)sender;
			string response;

			switch (e.EventType)
			{
				case SerialData.Chars:
					/*
					response = serialPort.ReadExisting();

					if ( response.Length>0)
					{ 
						Debug.WriteLine($"RX Char:{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");
					}
					*/
					break;
				case SerialData.WatchChar:
					response = serialPort.ReadExisting();

					if (response.Length > 0)
					{
						Debug.WriteLine($"RX WatchChar :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");
					}
					break;
				default:
					Debug.Assert(false, $"e.EventType {e.EventType} unknown");
					break;
			}
		}
#endif

#if SERIAL_THREADED_READ
		public static void SerialPortProcessor()
		{
			string response;

			while (_Continue)
			{
				try
				{
					response = _SerialPort.ReadLine();
					//response = _SerialPort.ReadExisting();
					Console.WriteLine($"RX:{response} bytes:{response.Length}");
				}
				catch (TimeoutException ex) 
				{
					Console.WriteLine($"Timeout:{ex.Message}");
				}
			}
		}
#endif
	}
}

When I requested the RAK4200 Module version information with “at+version” the response was a single line (unlike the RAK3172 version where the response is three lines). The asynchronous version of the application displays character(s) as they arrive so a response could be split across multiple SerialDataReceived events.

Asynchronous approach with multiple SerialData.Chars events

With the initial version of SerialDevice_DataReceived event handler the firmware version response was available in the first SerialData.Chars event, then a SerialData.Chars event fired for each character

Asynchronous approach with SerialData.Chars events with an empty buffer removed

I also noticed that the “SerialData.WatchChar” event was not firing. After some experimentation I found that if I set the SerialPort.WatchChar before opening the serial port there were no events, but if I set SerialPort.WatchChar after opening the serial port events were fired as expected(See note re github issue in code)

Asynchronous approach with SerialPort.WatchChar work as expected

I also implemented a threaded approach for reading characters from the serial port. Normally using Exceptions for flow control is not a good idea but in this case I can’t see an alternative approach.

Thread approach SerialPort.ReadLine() timeouts

The RAK4200 Module defaults 115200 baud which seems overkill considering the throughput of a LoRaWAN link.