.NET Core RAK811 LoRaWAN library Part3

The massive refactor

After refactoring my RAK3172 device library I have applied a similar approach to code on my RAK811 device library. My test-rig is a RaspberryPI 3B with a PI Supply RAK811 pHat and external antenna.

PI Supply RAK811 LoRaWAN pHat

In the new code a Thread reads lines of text from the SerialPort and processes them, checking for command responses, failures and downlink messages.

Unlike most of the devices I have worked with the RAK811 Join and Send commands are synchronous so return once the process has completed. The RAK811 responses also have quite a few empty, null prefixed or null suffixed lines which is a bit odd.

public void SerialPortProcessor()
{
	string line;

	while (CommandProcessResponses)
	{
		try
		{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
			Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ReadLine before");
#endif
			line = SerialDevice.ReadLine().Trim('\0').Trim();
#if DIAGNOSTICS
			Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ReadLine after:{line}");
#endif
			// consume empty lines
			if (String.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(line))
			{
				continue;
			}

			// Consume the response from set work mode
			if (line.StartsWith("?LoRa (R)") || line.StartsWith("RAK811 ") || line.StartsWith("UART1 ") || line.StartsWith("UART3 ") || line.StartsWith("LoRa work mode"))
			{
				continue;
			}

			// See if device successfully joined network
			if (line.StartsWith("OK Join Success"))
			{
				OnJoinCompletion?.Invoke(true);

				CommandResponseExpectedEvent.Set();

				continue;
			}

			if (line.StartsWith("at+recv="))
			{
				string[] payloadFields = line.Split("=,:".ToCharArray());

				byte port = byte.Parse(payloadFields[1]);
				int rssi = int.Parse(payloadFields[2]);
				int snr = int.Parse(payloadFields[3]);
				int length = int.Parse(payloadFields[4]);

				if (this.OnMessageConfirmation != null)
				{
					OnMessageConfirmation?.Invoke(rssi, snr);
				}
				if (length > 0)
				{
					string payload = payloadFields[5];

					if (this.OnReceiveMessage != null)
					{
						OnReceiveMessage.Invoke(port, rssi, snr, payload);
					}
				}
				continue;
			}

			switch (line)
			{
				case "OK":
				case "Initialization OK":
				case "OK Wake Up":
				case "OK Sleep":
					CommandResult = Result.Success;
					break;

				case "ERROR: 1":
					CommandResult = Result.ATCommandUnsuported;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 2":
					CommandResult = Result.ATCommandInvalidParameter;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 3": //There is an error when reading or writing flash.
				case "ERROR: 4": //There is an error when reading or writing through IIC.
					CommandResult = Result.ErrorReadingOrWritingFlash;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 5": //There is an error when sending through UART
					CommandResult = Result.ATCommandInvalidParameter;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 41": //The BLE works in an invalid state, so that it can’t be operated.
					CommandResult = Result.ResponseInvalid;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 80":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaBusy;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 81":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaServiceIsUnknown;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 82":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaParameterInvalid;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 83":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaFrequencyInvalid;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 84":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaDataRateInvalid;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 85":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaFrequencyAndDataRateInvalid;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 86":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaDeviceNotJoinedNetwork;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 87":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaPacketToLong;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 88":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaServiceIsClosedByServer;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 89":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaRegionUnsupported;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 90":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaDutyCycleRestricted;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 91":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaNoValidChannelFound;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 92":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaNoFreeChannelFound;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 93":
					CommandResult = Result.StatusIsError;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 94":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaTransmitTimeout;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 95":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaRX1Timeout;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 96":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaRX2Timeout;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 97":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaRX1ReceiveError;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 98":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaRX2ReceiveError;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 99":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaJoinFailed;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 100":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaDownlinkRepeated;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 101":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaPayloadSizeNotValidForDataRate;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 102":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaTooManyDownlinkFramesLost;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 103":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaAddressFail;
					break;
				case "ERROR: 104":
					CommandResult = Result.LoRaMicVerifyError;
					break;
				default:
					CommandResult = Result.ResponseInvalid;
					break;
			}
		}
		catch (TimeoutException)
		{
			// Intentionally ignored, not certain this is a good idea
		}

		CommandResponseExpectedEvent.Set();
	}
}

After a lot of testing I think my thread based approach works reliably. Initially, I was having some signal strength issues because I had forgotten to configure the external antenna. I need to add some validation to the metrics and payload field unpacking (though I’m not certain what todo if they are the wrong format).

RAK811LoRaWAN-NetCore on Github

The source code of my .Net Core C# library for RAKWireless RAK811 modules used in products like the PiSupply IoT LoRa Node pHat for Raspberry PI is now available on GitHub.

A sample application which shows how to connect using Over the Air Activation(OTAA) or Activation By Personalisation(ABP) then send and receive byte array/Binary Coded Decimal(BCD) messages .

 //---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) Setpember 2021, 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.
//
//  PAYLOAD_BCD vs. PAYLOAD_BCD
//  OTAA vs. ABP
//  CONFIRMED
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.NetCore.Rak811.LoRaWanDeviceClient
{
   using System;
   using System.IO.Ports;
   using System.Threading;
   using System.Diagnostics;

	using devMobile.IoT.NetCore.Rak811.LoRaWan;

	public class Program
   {
      private const string SerialPortId = "/dev/ttyS0";
      private const string Region = "AS923";
      private static readonly TimeSpan JoinTimeOut = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 10);
      private static readonly TimeSpan SendTimeout = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 20);
      private const byte MessagePort = 1;
#if PAYLOAD_BCD
      private const string PayloadBcd = "48656c6c6f204c6f526157414e"; // Hello LoRaWAN in BCD
#endif
#if PAYLOAD_BYTES
      private static readonly byte[] PayloadBytes = { 0x48, 0x65, 0x6c, 0x6c, 0x6f, 0x20, 0x4c, 0x6f, 0x52, 0x61, 0x57, 0x41, 0x4e}; // Hello LoRaWAN in bytes
#endif

      public static void Main()
      {
         Result result;

         Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.NetCore.Rak811.Rak811LoRaWanDeviceClient starting");

         Debug.WriteLine($"Ports :{String.Join(",", SerialPort.GetPortNames())}");

         try
         {
            using (Rak811LoRaWanDevice device = new Rak811LoRaWanDevice())
            {
               result = device.Initialise(SerialPortId, 9600, Parity.None, 8, StopBits.One);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Initialise failed {result}");
                  return;
               }

#if CONFIRMED
               device.OnMessageConfirmation += OnMessageConfirmationHandler;
#endif
               device.OnReceiveMessage += OnReceiveMessageHandler;

               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Region {Region}");
               result = device.Region(Region);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Region failed {result}");
                  return;
               }

               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ADR On");
               result = device.AdrOn();
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"ADR on failed {result}");
                  return;
               }

#if CONFIRMED
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Confirmed");
               result = device.Confirm(LoRaConfirmType.Confirmed);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Confirm on failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
#else
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Unconfirmed");
               result = device.Confirm(LoRaConfirmType.Unconfirmed);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Confirm off failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
#endif

#if OTAA
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} OTAA");
               result = device.OtaaInitialise(Config.AppEui, Config.AppKey);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"OTAA Initialise failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
#endif

#if ABP
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ABP");
               result = device.AbpInitialise(DevAddress, NwksKey, AppsKey);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"ABP Initialise failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
#endif

               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join start Timeout:{JoinTimeOut.TotalMilliseconds}mSec");
               result = device.Join(JoinTimeOut);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Join failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join finish");

               while (true)
               {
#if PAYLOAD_BCD
                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Send Timeout:{JoinTimeOut.Seconds}s port:{MessagePort} payload BCD:{PayloadBcd}");
                  result = device.Send(MessagePort, PayloadBcd, SendTimeout);
#endif
#if PAYLOAD_BYTES
                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Send Timeout:{JoinTimeOut.Seconds}s port:{MessagePort} payload Bytes:{BitConverter.ToString(PayloadBytes)}");
                  result = device.Send(MessagePort, PayloadBytes, SendTimeout);
#endif
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Send failed {result}");
                  }

                  // if we sleep module too soon response is missed
                  Thread.Sleep(new TimeSpan(0, 0, 5));

                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Sleep");
                  result = device.Sleep();
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Sleep failed {result}");
                     return;
                  }

                  Thread.Sleep(new TimeSpan(0, 5, 0));

                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Wakeup");
                  result = device.Wakeup();
                  if (result != Result.Success)
                  {
                     Debug.WriteLine($"Wakeup failed {result}");
                     return;
                  }

                  // if we send too soon after wakeup failure
                  Thread.Sleep(new TimeSpan(0, 0, 5));
               }
            }
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
         {
            Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
         }
      }

#if CONFIRMED
      static void OnMessageConfirmationHandler(int rssi, int snr)
      {
         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Send Confirm RSSI:{rssi} SNR:{snr}");
      }
#endif

      static void OnReceiveMessageHandler(int port, int rssi, int snr, string payloadBcd)
      {
         byte[] payloadBytes = Rak811LoRaWanDevice.BcdToByes(payloadBcd);

         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Receive Message RSSI:{rssi} SNR:{snr} Port:{port} Payload:{payloadBcd} PayLoadBytes:{BitConverter.ToString(payloadBytes)}");
      }
   }
}

If you are using this library in an AS923 Region you will need to use AS923_HACK

.NET Core RAK811 LoRaWAN library Part2

Nasty OTAA connect

After getting basic connectivity for my IoT LoRa Node pHAT for Raspberry Pi test rig sorted I wanted to see if I could get the device connected to The Things Network(TTN) via the RAK7246G LPWAN Developer Gateway on my bookcase.

IoT LoRa Node pHAT for Raspberry Pi mounted on a Raspberry PI3

My Over the Air Activation (OTAA) implementation is very “nasty” I have assumed that there would be no timeouts or failures and I only send one BCD message “48656c6c6f204c6f526157414e” which is “hello LoRaWAN”.

The code just sequentially steps through the necessary configuration to join the TTN network with a suitable delay after each command is sent. I had some problems with re-opening the serial port if my application had previously failed with an uncaught exception. After some experimentation I added some code to ensure the port was closed when an exception occurred.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) September 2021, 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.NetCore.Rak811.NetworkJoinOTAA
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.IO.Ports;
	using System.Threading;

	public class Program
	{
		private const string SerialPortId = "/dev/ttyS0";
		private const string AppEui = "...";
		private const string AppKey = "...";
		private const byte MessagePort = 1;
		private const string Payload = "A0EEE456D02AFF4AB8BAFD58101D2A2A"; // Hello LoRaWAN

		public static void Main()
		{
			string response;

			Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.NetCore.Rak811.NetworkJoinOTAA starting");

			Debug.WriteLine(String.Join(",", SerialPort.GetPortNames()));

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

					serialPort.ReadTimeout = 5000;

					serialPort.NewLine = "\r\n";

					serialPort.Open();

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

					// Set the Working mode to LoRaWAN
					Console.WriteLine("Set Work mode");
					serialPort.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:work_mode:0");
					Thread.Sleep(5000);
					response = serialPort.ReadExisting();
					response = response.Trim('\0');
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the Region to AS923
					Console.WriteLine("Set Region");
					serialPort.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:region:AS923");
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the JoinMode
					Console.WriteLine("Set Join mode");
					serialPort.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:join_mode:0");
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the appEUI
					Console.WriteLine("Set App Eui");
					serialPort.WriteLine($"at+set_config=lora:app_eui:{AppEui}");
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the appKey
					Console.WriteLine("Set App Key");
					serialPort.WriteLine($"at+set_config=lora:app_key:{AppKey}");
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the Confirm flag
					Console.WriteLine("Set Confirm off");
					serialPort.WriteLine("at+set_config=lora:confirm:0");
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");
					
					// Join the network
					Console.WriteLine("Start Join");
					serialPort.WriteLine("at+join");
					Thread.Sleep(10000);
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					while (true)
					{
						Console.WriteLine("Sending");
						serialPort.WriteLine($"at+send=lora:{MessagePort}:{Payload}");
						Thread.Sleep(1000);

						// The OK
						Console.WriteLine("Send result");
						response = serialPort.ReadLine();
						Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

						// The Signal strength information etc.
						Console.WriteLine("Network confirmation");
						response = serialPort.ReadLine();
						Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

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

The code is not suitable for production but it confirmed my software and hardware configuration worked.

In the Visual Studio 2019 debug output I could see messages getting sent and then after a short delay they were visible in the TTN console.

The Things Industries Live Data Tab showing my device connecting and sending messages

The RAK811 doesn’t fully implement the AS923 specification but I have a work around detailed in another post.

.NET Core RAK811 LoRaWAN library Part1

Basic connectivity

In my spare time over the last couple of days I have been working on a .Net Core C# library for a RAKWireless RAK811 based PiSupply IoT LoRa Node pHat for Raspberry PI.

Raspberry Pi3 with PI Supply RAK811 based IoT node LoRaWAN pHat

The RaspberryPI OS is a bit more strict than the other devices I use about port access. To allow my .Net Core application to access a serial port I connected to the device with ExtraPutty, then ran the RaspberyPI configuration tool, from the command prompt with “sudo raspi-config”

RaspberyPI OS Software Configuration tool mains screen
RaspberryPI OS IO Serial Port configuration
Raspberry PI OS disabling remote serial login shell
RaspberryPI OS enabling serial port access

Once serial port access was enabled I could enumerate them with SerialPort.GetPortNames() which is in the System.IO.Ports NuGet package. The code has compile time options for synchronous and asynchronous operation.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) September 2021, 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.NetCore.Rak811.pHatSerial
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;

	using System.IO.Ports;
	using System.Threading;

	public class Program
	{
		private const string SerialPortId = "/dev/ttyS0";

		public static void Main()
		{
			SerialPort serialPort;

			Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.NetCore.Rak811.pHatSerial starting");

			Debug.WriteLine(String.Join(",", SerialPort.GetPortNames()));

			try
			{
				serialPort = new SerialPort(SerialPortId);

				// set parameters
#if DEFAULT_BAUDRATE
				serialDevice.BaudRate = 115200;
#else
            serialPort.BaudRate = 9600;
#endif
				serialPort.Parity = Parity.None;
				serialPort.DataBits = 8;
				serialPort.StopBits = StopBits.One;
				serialPort.Handshake = Handshake.None;

				serialPort.ReadTimeout = 1000;

				serialPort.NewLine = "\r\n";

				serialPort.Open();

#if DEFAULT_BAUDRATE
				Debug.WriteLine("RAK811 baud rate set to 9600");
				serialDevice.Write("at+set_config=device:uart:1:9600");
#endif

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

				while (true)
				{
					serialPort.WriteLine("at+version");

#if SERIAL_SYNC_READ
					string response = serialPort.ReadLine();

					Debug.WriteLine($"RX:{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");
#endif

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

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

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

					Debug.WriteLine($"RX:{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");
					break;

				case SerialData.Eof:
					Debug.WriteLine("RX :EoF");
					break;
				default:
					Debug.Assert(false, $"e.EventType {e.EventType} unknown");
					break;
			}
		}
#endif
	}
}

The first step was to change the RAK811 serial port speed from 115200 to 9600 baud.

Changing RAK811 serial port from 115200 to 9600 baud

Then I requested the RAK811 version information with the at+version command.

Synchronously reading characters from the RAK811 partial response

I had to add a short delay between sending the command and reading the response.

Synchronously reading characters from the RAK811 complete command responses

The asynchronous version of the application displays character(s) as they arrive so a response could be split across multiple SerialDataReceived events

Asynchronous versions displaying partial responses

I use the excellent RaspberryDebugger to download the application and debug it on my Raspberry PI 3.

RAK811/RAK4200 AS923 Join Channels

When running an application which used my TinyCLR V2 RAK811 Module library on a FezDuino with a modified RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation Board(EVB) most join attempts on my Things Industries(TTI) instance would fail. This was a bit odd as connecting to The Things Network(TTN) was pretty reliable.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.Rak811LoRaWanDeviceClient starting
12:00:12 Region AS923
12:00:12 ADR On
12:00:12 Unconfirmed
12:00:12 OTAA
12:00:13 Join start Timeout:30Sec
Join failed 26
The thread '<No Name>' (0x1) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Done.

In TTI end device live data tab I could see the the joins attempts were failing with “Uplink channel Not found”

The Things Industries device live data tab “uplink channel not found” failures
The Things Industries device live data tab “uplink channel not found” detail

Initially I assumed this was an issue with my configuration of the RAKwireless RAK7258 gateway in my office that I was using for testing. After some discussions with a helpful TTI support person they suggested that I try disabling all bar the first two channels the RAK811 module was configured to use then see if worked.

I modified the intialise method of my TinyCLR V2 RAK811 Module library to disable all bar the first two channels

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:2:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:2:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:3:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:3:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:4:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:4:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:5:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
    Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:5:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:6:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:6:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

result = SendCommand("OK", "at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:7:0", CommandTimeoutDefault);
if (result != Result.Success)
{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
   Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} at+set_config=lora:ch_mask:7:0 {result}");
#endif
   return result;
}

After modifying the code my Fezduino joined reliably.

The thread ” (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.Rak811LoRaWanDeviceClient starting
12:00:12 Region AS923
12:00:12 ADR On
12:00:12 Unconfirmed
12:00:12 OTAA
12:00:13 Join start Timeout:30Sec
12:00:18 Join finish
Temperature : 19.9 °C
Pressure : 1014.0 HPa
Altitude : 143 meters
12:00:19 port:5 payload BCD:0073279C016700C8
12:00:44 Sleep
12:01:44 Wakeup
Temperature : 20.1 °C
Pressure : 1014.0 HPa
Altitude : 143 meters
12:01:44 port:5 payload BCD:0073279C016700C9
12:02:09 Sleep

The Things Industries device live data tab successful join.

After some further discussion with TTI support it looks like the RAK811 module doesn’t send join requests on the frequencies specified for the AS923 region in the LoRaWAN™1.1Regional Parameters.

LoRaWAN Regional Parameters AS923 Join-request frequencies

After confirming the join-request channel issue I went back to the RAKwireless forums with some new terms to search for and found that others were having a similar issue but with RAK4200 modules. My “best guess” is that the TTI implementation is more strict about join-request frequencies than the TTN

floor, ceil, trunc and casting

I left a Wisnode Track Lite RAK7200 outside on the deck for a day and the way the positions “snapped” to a grid caught my attention. Based on the size of my property the grid looked to be roughly 10 x 10 meters

The sample Cayenne Low Power Payload Mbed C code uses a cast which is I think is the same as a floor.

uint8_t CayenneLPP::addGPS(uint8_t channel, float latitude, float longitude, float meters) {
    if ((cursor + LPP_GPS_SIZE) > maxsize) {
        return 0;
    }
    int32_t lat = latitude * 10000;
    int32_t lon = longitude * 10000;
    int32_t alt = meters * 100;
    
    buffer[cursor++] = channel; 
    buffer[cursor++] = LPP_GPS; 
 
    buffer[cursor++] = lat >> 16; 
    buffer[cursor++] = lat >> 8; 
    buffer[cursor++] = lat; 
    buffer[cursor++] = lon >> 16; 
    buffer[cursor++] = lon >> 8; 
    buffer[cursor++] = lon; 
    buffer[cursor++] = alt >> 16; 
    buffer[cursor++] = alt >> 8;
    buffer[cursor++] = alt;
 
    return cursor;
}

“These functions round x downwards to the nearest integer, returning that value as a double. Thus, floor (1.5) is 1.0 and floor (-1.5) is -2.0.”

In the C code the latitude and longitude values are truncated to four decimal places and the altitude to two decimal places. In my C# code I used Math.Round and I wondered what impact that could have…

public void GpsLocationAdd(byte channel, float latitude, float longitude, float altitude)
{
   IsChannelNumberValid(channel);
   IsBfferSizeSufficient(Enumerations.DataType.Gps);

   if ((latitude < Constants.LatitudeMinimum ) || (latitude > Constants.LatitudeMaximum))
   {
      throw new ArgumentException($"Latitude must be between {Constants.LatitudeMinimum} and {Constants.LatitudeMaximum}", "latitude");
   }

   if ((latitude < Constants.LongitudeMinimum) || (latitude > Constants.LongitudeMaximum))
   {
      throw new ArgumentException($"Longitude must be between {Constants.LongitudeMinimum} and {Constants.LongitudeMaximum}", "latitude");
   }

   if ((altitude < Constants.AltitudeMinimum) || (altitude > Constants.AltitudeMaximum))
   {
      throw new ArgumentException($"Altitude must be between {Constants.AltitudeMinimum} and {Constants.AltitudeMaximum}", "altitude");
   }

   int lat = (int)Math.Round(latitude * 10000.0f);
   int lon = (int)Math.Round(longitude * 10000.0f);
   int alt = (int)Math.Round(altitude * 100.0f);

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)Enumerations.DataType.Gps;

   buffer[index++] = (byte)(lat >> 16);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(lat >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)lat;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(lon >> 16);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(lon >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)lon;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(alt >> 16);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(alt >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)alt;
}

Using the WGS84 World Geodetic System Distance Calculator to calculate the distance where the Greenwich Meridian and the Equator cross off the coast of Ghana the theoretical maximum error is 15.69m.

I live in Christchurch New Zealand and the theoretical maximum distance is 13.6 m. So, in summary the LPP latitude and longitude values are most probably fine for tracking applications.

MATH131 Numerical methods was useful

Back in 1986 in my second first year at the University of Canterbury I did “MATH131 Numerical Methods” which was a year of looking at why mathematics in FORTRAN, C, and Pascal sometimes didn’t return the result you were expecting…

While testing my GHI Electronics TinyCLR2 RAK Wireless RAK811 LoRaWAN client I noticed the temperature numbers didn’t quite match…

Visual Studio 2019 Debug output window
The Things Network Device Application Data tab

I have implemented my own Cayenne Low Power Payload encoder in C# based on the sample Mbed C code

uint8_t CayenneLPP::addTemperature(uint8_t channel, float celsius) {
    if ((cursor + LPP_TEMPERATURE_SIZE) > maxsize) {
        return 0;
    }
    int16_t val = celsius * 10;
    buffer[cursor++] = channel; 
    buffer[cursor++] = LPP_TEMPERATURE; 
    buffer[cursor++] = val >> 8; 
    buffer[cursor++] = val; 

    return cursor;
}

My translation of that code to C#

public void TemperatureAdd(byte channel, float celsius)
{
   if ((index + TemperatureSize) > buffer.Length)
   {
      throw new ApplicationException("TemperatureAdd insufficent buffer capacity");
   }

   short val = (short)(celsius * 10);

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)DataType.Temperature;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(val >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)val;
}

After looking at the code I think the issues was most probably due to the representation of the constant 10(int32), 10.0(double), and 10.0f(single) . To confirm my theory I modified the client to send the temperature with the calculation done with three different constants.

Visual Studio 2019 Debug output window
The Things Network(TTN) Message Queue Telemetry Transport(MQTT) client

After some trial and error I settled on this C# code for my decoder

public void TemperatureAdd(byte channel, float celsius)
{
   if ((index + TemperatureSize) > buffer.Length)
   {
      throw new ApplicationException("TemperatureAdd insufficent buffer capacity");
   }

   short val = (short)(celsius * 10.0f);

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)DataType.Temperature;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)(val >> 8);
   buffer[index++] = (byte)val;
}

I don’t think this is specifically an issue with the TinyCLR V2 just with number type used for the constant.

The Things Network V2 MQTT Client

Another option for I had been looking at for connecting an Azure IoT Hub and The Things Network(TTN) was a Message Queue Telemetry Transport(MQTT) integration.

To trial this approach I build a .Net Core console application which sent message to and received messages from an application running on a GHI Electronics TinyCLRV2 Fezduino with RakWireless Wisduino Evaluation Board(EVB).

The console application uses MQTTNet to connect to TTN. It subscribes to to the TTN application device uplink topic (did try subscribing to the uplink messages for all the devices in the application but this was to noisy), and the downlink message scheduled, sent and acknowledged topics. To send messages to the device I published them on the device downlink topic.

//string uplinktopic = $"{applicationId}/devices/+/up";
string uplinktopic = $"{applicationId}/devices/{deviceId}/up";
await mqttClient.SubscribeAsync(uplinktopic, MQTTnet.Protocol.MqttQualityOfServiceLevel.AtLeastOnce);

string downlinkAcktopic = $"{applicationId}/devices/{deviceId}/events/down/acks";
await mqttClient.SubscribeAsync(downlinkAcktopic, MQTTnet.Protocol.MqttQualityOfServiceLevel.AtLeastOnce);

string downlinkScheduledtopic = $"{applicationId}/devices/{deviceId}/events/down/scheduled";
await mqttClient.SubscribeAsync(downlinkScheduledtopic, MQTTnet.Protocol.MqttQualityOfServiceLevel.AtLeastOnce);

string downlinkSenttopic = $"{applicationId}/devices/{deviceId}/events/down/sent";
await mqttClient.SubscribeAsync(downlinkSenttopic, MQTTnet.Protocol.MqttQualityOfServiceLevel.AtLeastOnce);

string downlinktopic = $"{applicationId}/devices/{deviceId}/down";

I used the classes from one of my earlier blog posts to deserialise the uplink message payload so I could display a subset of the fields.

MQTTNet based .Net Core console client
Things Network Device Data view

In the TTN Device data tab I could see messages being sent, to and received from from the device.

Visual Studio 2019 Tiny CLR debugger Output

In the Visual Studio 2019 debugger output window I could see messages being sent and received by the Fezduino.

Malformed TTN downlink payload

I had some problems with the downlink messages silently failing as the TTN sample payload JSON was malformed and I had copied it without noticing.

I have a working TTN HTTP Integration (uplink messages only) but have been exploring alternatives using TTN MQTT and Azure IoT Hub AMQP clients.

The next step is to build an Azure IoT Hub client (using native AMQP) then join them together.

TinyCLR OS V2 RC1 RAK811 LoRaWAN library Part2

Nasty OTAA connect

After getting basic connectivity for my RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation Board(EVB) and Fezduino test rig working. I wanted to see if I could get the device connected to The Things Network(TTN) via the RAK7246G LPWAN Developer Gateway on my desk. I had got the EVB configuration sorted with a nanoFramework device so I was confident it should work.

EVB plugged into Fezduino

My Over the Air Activation (OTAA) implementation is very “nasty” I assumed that there would be no timeouts or failures and I only send one BCD message “48656c6c6f204c6f526157414e” which is “hello LoRaWAN”

I configured the RAK811 module for LoRaWAN

// Set the Working mode to LoRaWAN
txByteCount = serialDevice.Write(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("at+set_config=lora:work_mode:0\r\n"));
Debug.WriteLine($"TX: work mode {txByteCount} bytes");
Thread.Sleep(500);

// Read the response
rxByteCount = serialDevice.BytesToRead;
if (rxByteCount > 0)
{
   byte[] rxBuffer = new byte[rxByteCount];
   serialDevice.Read(rxBuffer);
   Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(rxBuffer)}");
}
...

Then just sequentially step through the necessary configuration to join the TTN network with a suitable delay after each command is sent.

// Set the Region to AS923
txByteCount = serialDevice.Write(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("at+set_config=lora:region:AS923\r\n"));
Debug.WriteLine($"TX: region {txByteCount} bytes");
Thread.Sleep(500);

// Read the response
rxByteCount = serialDevice.BytesToRead;
if (rxByteCount > 0)
{
   byte[] rxBuffer = new byte[rxByteCount];
   serialDevice.Read(rxBuffer);
   Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(rxBuffer)}");
}

// Set the JoinMode
txByteCount = serialDevice.Write(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes("at+set_config=lora:join_mode:0\r\n"));
Debug.WriteLine($"TX: join_mode {txByteCount} bytes");
Thread.Sleep(500);

// Read the response
rxByteCount = serialDevice.BytesToRead;
if (rxByteCount > 0)
{
   byte[] rxBuffer = new byte[rxByteCount];
   serialDevice.Read(rxBuffer);
   Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(rxBuffer)}");
}

// OTAA set the devEUI
txByteCount = serialDevice.Write(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes($"at+set_config=lora:dev_eui:{DevEui}\r\n"));
Debug.WriteLine($"TX: dev_eui: {txByteCount} bytes");
Thread.Sleep(500);

// Read the response
rxByteCount = serialDevice.BytesToRead;
if (rxByteCount > 0)
{
   byte[] rxBuffer = new byte[rxByteCount];
   serialDevice.Read(rxBuffer);
   Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(rxBuffer)}");
}
...

The code is not suitable for production but it confirmed my software and hardware configuration worked.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.Rak811.NetworkJoinOTAA starting
TX: work mode 32 bytes
RX :UART1 work mode: RUI_UART_NORAMAL
Current work_mode:LoRaWAN, join_mode:OTAA, Class: A
Initialization OK 

TX: region 33 bytes
RX :OK 

TX: join_mode 32 bytes
RX :OK 

TX: dev_eui: 45 bytes
RX :OK 

TX: app_eui 45 bytes
RX :OK 

TX: app_key 61 bytes
RX :OK 

TX: confirm 30 bytes
RX :OK 

TX: join 9 bytes
RX :OK Join Success

TX: send 43 bytes
RX :OK 

TX: send 43 bytes
RX :OK 

In the Visual Studio 2019 debug output I could see messages getting sent and then after a short delay they were visible in the TTN console.

Successful OTAA Connect TTN logging

I had some issues with TimeSpan.ToString(…) throwing a CLR_E_UNSUPPORTED_INSTRUCTION exception which has been mentioned on the GHI Forums.

I had to modify my code to fix this issue

Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join start Timeout:{JoinTimeOut:hh:mm:ss}");

// Became

Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join Start Timeout {timeout.TotalSeconds} seconds");

I won’t bother with confirming any other functionality as I’m reasonably confident the nanoFramework library (which this code is based on) is working as expected.

TinyCLR OS V2 RC1 RAK811 LoRaWAN library Part1

Basic connectivity

Over the weekend I have been working on a GHI Electronics TinyCLR V2  C# library for my modified RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation Board(EVB) from RAK Wireless. My initial test rig is based on an Fezduino board which has Arduino Uno R3 format socket for the EVB.

Fezduino with RAK Wisnode shield

The code has compile time options for synchronous and asynchronous operation.

   public class Program
   {
      private static UartController serialDevice;
      private const string ATCommand = "at+version\r\n";
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
      private static string SerialPortId = SC20100.UartPort.Uart5;
#endif

      public static void Main()
      {
         Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.Rak811.ShieldSerial starting");

         try
         {
            serialDevice = UartController.FromName(SerialPortId);

            serialDevice.SetActiveSettings(new UartSetting()
            {
               BaudRate = 9600,
               Parity = UartParity.None,
               StopBits = UartStopBitCount.One,
               Handshaking = UartHandshake.None,
               DataBits = 8
            });

            serialDevice.Enable();

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

            while (true)
            {
               byte[] txBuffer = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(ATCommand);

               int txByteCount = serialDevice.Write(txBuffer);
               Debug.WriteLine($"TX: {txByteCount} bytes");

#if SERIAL_SYNC_READ
               while( serialDevice.BytesToWrite>0)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($" BytesToWrite {serialDevice.BytesToWrite}");
                  Thread.Sleep(100);
               }

               int rxByteCount = serialDevice.BytesToRead;
               if (rxByteCount>0)
               {
                  byte[] rxBuffer = new byte[rxByteCount];

                  serialDevice.Read(rxBuffer);

                  Debug.WriteLine($"RX sync:{rxByteCount} bytes read");
                  String response = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(rxBuffer);
                  Debug.WriteLine($"RX sync:{response}");
               }
#endif

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


#if SERIAL_ASYNC_READ
      private static void SerialDevice_DataReceived(UartController sender, DataReceivedEventArgs e)
      {
         byte[] rxBuffer = new byte[e.Count];

         serialDevice.Read(rxBuffer, 0, e.Count);

         Debug.WriteLine($"RX Async:{e.Count} bytes read");
         String response = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(rxBuffer);
         Debug.WriteLine($"RX Async:{response}");
      }
#endif
   }

When I first ran the code I noticed the serialDevice.Read timed out before any characters were received.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.Rak811.ShieldSerial starting
TX: 12 bytes
TX: 12 bytes
RX sync:19 bytes read
RX sync:OK V3.0.0.13.H.T3

TX: 12 bytes
RX sync:19 bytes read
RX sync:OK V3.0.0.13.H.T3

TX: 12 bytes
RX sync:19 bytes read
RX sync:OK V3.0.0.13.H.T3

I then added code to check the message had been sent and the code worked as expected. I now think, that rather than checking that the characters had been sent the short 100mSec delay was more important.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.Rak811.ShieldSerial starting
TX: 12 bytes
 BytesToWrite 10
RX sync:19 bytes read
RX sync:OK V3.0.0.13.H.T3

TX: 12 bytes
 BytesToWrite 10
RX sync:19 bytes read
RX sync:OK V3.0.0.13.H.T3

TX: 12 bytes
 BytesToWrite 10
RX sync:19 bytes read
RX sync:OK V3.0.0.13.H.T3

I then added code to receive data asynchronously and the response to the version request was received as expected.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
devMobile.IoT.Rak811.ShieldSerial starting
TX: 12 bytes
RX Async:1 bytes read
RX Async:O
RX Async:8 bytes read
RX Async:K V3.0.0
RX Async:10 bytes read
RX Async:.13.H.T3

TX: 12 bytes
RX Async:1 bytes read
RX Async:O
RX Async:5 bytes read
RX Async:K V3.
RX Async:9 bytes read
RX Async:0.0.13.H.
RX Async:4 bytes read
RX Async:T3