libcamera on Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye

This is a “note to self” post about using libcamera(replacement for raspistill) on my Raspberry PI 4 Model B to capture an image from my Raspberry Pi Camera Module 2 with an application built with .NET Core.

I wanted one of my ML.Net demos to use the Raspberry PI Camera rather than a security camera (so it was more portable) but it took a bit more work than I expected.

Version 1 used Process.Start to launch the libcamera-jpeg application with a command line to store an image to the local file system.

libcamera-jpeg -o latest.jpg
libcamera-jpeg with diagnostic information displayed

There was a lot of diagnostic information which I didn’t want displayed so after reading many stackoverflow posts (lots of different approaches none of which worked in my scenario), then some trial and error I found that I only had to enable RedirectStandardError.

libcamera-jpeg without diagnostic information displayed

At this point there was a lot less noise but the image was upside down.

Inverted picture of my 30th anniversary Mini Cooper in the backyard

I then added a vertical flip to the command line parameters

libcamera-jpeg -o latest.jpg --vflip
My 30th anniversary Mini Cooper in the backyard

The image was backwards so I added a horizontal flip to the commandline parameters

libcamera-jpeg -o latest.jpg --vflip --hflip

or

libcamera-jpeg -o latest.jpg --rotation 180
My 30th anniversary Mini Cooper in the backyard with the correct orientation

The libcamera code is in a Timer callback so I added the _cameraBusy boolean flag to stop reentrancy problems.

private static void ImageUpdateTimerCallback(object state)
{
	try
	{
		Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:yy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss} Image update start");

		// Just incase - stop code being called while photo already in progress
		if (_cameraBusy)
		{
			return;
		}

		Console.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:yy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss} Image capture start");

		using (Process process = new Process())
		{
			process.StartInfo.FileName = @"libcamera-jpeg";
			// V1 it works
			//process.StartInfo.Arguments = $"-o {_applicationSettings.ImageFilenameLocal}";
			// V3 Image right way up
			//process.StartInfo.Arguments = $"-o {_applicationSettings.ImageFilenameLocal} --vflip";
			// V3 Image right way round
			process.StartInfo.Arguments = $"-o {_applicationSettings.ImageFilenameLocal} --vflip --hflip";
			//process.StartInfo.RedirectStandardOutput = true;
			// V2 No diagnostics
			process.StartInfo.RedirectStandardError = true;
			//process.StartInfo.UseShellExecute = false;
			//process.StartInfo.CreateNoWindow = true; 

			process.Start();

			if (!process.WaitForExit(10000) || (process.ExitCode != 0))
			{
				Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:yy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss} Image update failure {process.ExitCode}");
			}
		}

		Console.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:yy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss} Image capture done");
	}
	catch (Exception ex)
	{
		Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:yy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss} Image update error {ex.Message}");
	}
	finally
	{
		_cameraBusy = false;
	}
}

This was the simplest way I could get an image onto the local file system without lots of dependencies on third party libraries. The image capture process takes about 5 seconds which a bit longer than I was expecting.

ML.Net YoloV5 Object Detection on ARM64 Raspberry PI

For the last month I have been using preview releases of ML.Net with a focus on Open Neural Network Exchange(ONNX) support. A company I work with has a YoloV5 based solution for tracking the cattle in stockyards so I figured I would try getting YoloV5 working with .Net Core and ML.Net on ARM64.

After some searching I found a repository created by Github user Mentalstack for an ONNX based YoloV5 implementation which I cloned and started hacking. I stared by updating the NuGet packages for the scorer and sample application and fixing what broke.

Yolo V5 Scorer NuGet packages

I didn’t update the System.Drawing.Common Nuget as my Raspberry PI V4 has got .Net Core V5 installed.

Yolo V5 Sample application NuGet Packages

The sample application only had one dependency Microsoft.ML.OnnxRuntime which I was able to drop as it was referenced by the YoloV5Net.Scorer.

I then modified the sample application to process all the images in an “input” folder and save the processed images with Minimum Bounding Boxes(MBRs) to the output folder.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Drawing;
using System.IO;
using Yolov5Net.Scorer;
using Yolov5Net.Scorer.Models;

namespace Yolov5Net.App
{
	class Program
	{
		static void Main(string[] args)
		{
			var scorer = new YoloScorer<YoloCocoP5Model>("Assets/Weights/yolov5s.onnx");

			DateTime startedAtUtc = DateTime.UtcNow;

			Console.WriteLine($"{startedAtUtc:yyyy:MM:dd HH:mm:ss} Start");

			string[] imageFilesPaths = Directory.GetFiles("Assets/inputs");

			foreach (string imageFilePath in imageFilesPaths)
			{
				using (Image image = Image.FromFile(imageFilePath))
				using (Graphics graphics = Graphics.FromImage(image))
				{
					List<YoloPrediction> predictions = scorer.Predict(image);

					foreach (var prediction in predictions) // iterate predictions to draw results
					{
						double score = Math.Round(prediction.Score, 2);

						graphics.DrawRectangles(new Pen(prediction.Label.Color, 1), new[] { prediction.Rectangle });

						var (x, y) = (prediction.Rectangle.X - 3, prediction.Rectangle.Y - 23);

						graphics.DrawString($"{prediction.Label.Name} ({score})", new Font("Consolas", 16, GraphicsUnit.Pixel), new SolidBrush(prediction.Label.Color), new PointF(x, y));
					}

					image.Save($"Assets/outputs/{Path.GetFileName(imageFilePath)}");
				}
			}

			DateTime finishedAtUtc = DateTime.UtcNow;
			TimeSpan duration = finishedAtUtc - startedAtUtc;

			Console.WriteLine($"{finishedAtUtc:yyyy:MM:dd HH:mm:ss} Finish Duration:{duration.TotalMilliseconds}mSec");
		}
	}
}

The sample images are from wikimedia commons site. Go to Wikimediacommon.md to refer to the image urls and their licenses.

YoloV5Net Solution with sample images

The next step of my Proof of Concept(PoC) was to get the YoloV5 Object Detection sample application working on my Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8700T CPU @ 2.40GHz 2.40 GHz desktop development system. After debugging the software with Visual Studio I “published” the application to a folder.

Visual Studio 2019 Publish to folder
Desktop YoloV5 Sample application output

The application took roughly 0.9 seconds to process each of my 5 sample images. The next task was to get the YoloV5 sample application working on a Raspberry Pi 4 running Bullseye.

Copying application to RPI4 with Winscp

To deploy applications I often copy the contents of the “publish” directory to the device with WinSCP. Getting the Object sample application running on my Raspberry Pi4 took a couple of attempts…

Input image folder path invalid

I had forgotten then Unix paths are case sensitive inputs vs. Inputs

ONNX Runtime native binary missing exception
pi@raspberrypi4a:~/vsdbg/Yolov5Net.App $ dotnet Yolov5Net.App.dll
Unhandled exception. System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'Microsoft.ML.OnnxRuntime.NativeMethods' threw an exception.
 ---> System.DllNotFoundException: Unable to load shared library 'onnxruntime' or one of its dependencies. In order to help diagnose loading problems, consider setting the LD_DEBUG environment variable: libonnxruntime: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
   at Microsoft.ML.OnnxRuntime.NativeMethods.OrtGetApiBase()
   at Microsoft.ML.OnnxRuntime.NativeMethods..cctor()
   --- End of inner exception stack trace ---
   at Microsoft.ML.OnnxRuntime.SessionOptions..ctor()
   at Yolov5Net.Scorer.YoloScorer`1..ctor(String weights, SessionOptions opts) in C:\Users\BrynLewis\source\repos\yolov5-net\src\Yolov5Net.Scorer\YoloScorer.cs:line 326
   at Yolov5Net.App.Program.Main(String[] args) in C:\Users\BrynLewis\source\repos\yolov5-net\src\Yolov5Net.App\Program.cs:line 14
Aborted
pi@raspberrypi4a:~/vsdbg/Yolov5Net.App $
\

The ONNX runtime was missing so I confirmed the processor architecture with uname then copied the platform specific file to the application folder with Winscp.

Copying platform specific runtime to application folder with WInscp

I then checked Yolo V4 Sample application was generating output images with WinSCP.

Image output folder with marked up images
Sample image with YoloV5 generated MBRs

On the Raspberry PI4B the application took roughly 8.3 seconds to process each of my 5 sample images.

RPI4 Device YoloV5 Sample application output

I was “standing on the shoulders of giants” the Mentalstack code just worked, my changes were minimal and largely so I could collect some basic performance metrics. I need to spend some more time figuring out how the implementation works.

ML.Net ONNX Object Detection on ARM64 Raspberry PI

For the last month I have been working with preview releases of ML.Net with a focus on the Open Neural Network Exchange(ONNX) support. As part of my “day job” we have been running Object Detection models on X64 based industrial computers, but we are looking at moving to ARM64 as devices which support -20° to +60° operation appear to be easier to source.

The first step of my Proof of Concept(PoC) was to get the ONNX Object Detection sample working on a Raspberry Pi 4 running the 64bit version of Bullseye. I created a new solution which contained only the ONNX Object detection console application which would run on my desktop.

Initial Desktop Object Detection solution

To deploy applications I sometimes copy the contents of the “publish” directory to the device with WinSCP.

Object Detection application “publish to a folder configuration”

I also use Visual Studio Code with some scripts, or a modified version of Raspberry Debugger which supports deployment and debugging of applications to device running a 64 bit OS.

Object Detection console application release NuGet configuration

After updating my NuGet packages to the “release” versions the Object Detection console application would run on my desktop and process the sample images.

Object Detection console application running on my desktop

Getting the Object Detection console application running on my Raspberry Pi4 took a couple of attempts…

Debugging the Object Detection console application on my device

The first issue was the location of the sample images (changed assetsRelativePath)

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Drawing.Drawing2D;
using System.Linq;
using Microsoft.ML;
using ObjectDetection.YoloParser;
using ObjectDetection.DataStructures;

namespace ObjectDetection
{
    class Program
    {
      public static void Main()
      {
            var assetsRelativePath = @"assets";
            DateTime startedAtUtc = DateTime.UtcNow;

            Console.WriteLine($"{startedAtUtc:yyyy:MM:dd HH:mm:ss} Start");

            string assetsPath = GetAbsolutePath(assetsRelativePath);
            var modelFilePath = Path.Combine(assetsPath, "Model", "TinyYolo2_model.onnx");
            var imagesFolder = Path.Combine(assetsPath, "images");
            var outputFolder = Path.Combine(assetsPath, "images", "output");

            // Initialize MLContext
            MLContext mlContext = new MLContext();

            try
            {
                // Load Data
                IEnumerable<ImageNetData> images = ImageNetData.ReadFromFile(imagesFolder);
                IDataView imageDataView = mlContext.Data.LoadFromEnumerable(images);

                // Create instance of model scorer
                var modelScorer = new OnnxModelScorer(imagesFolder, modelFilePath, mlContext);

                // Use model to score data
                IEnumerable<float[]> probabilities = modelScorer.Score(imageDataView);

                // Post-process model output
                YoloOutputParser parser = new YoloOutputParser();

                var boundingBoxes =
                    probabilities
                    .Select(probability => parser.ParseOutputs(probability))
                    .Select(boxes => parser.FilterBoundingBoxes(boxes, 5, .5F));

                // Draw bounding boxes for detected objects in each of the images
                for (var i = 0; i < images.Count(); i++)
                {
                    string imageFileName = images.ElementAt(i).Label;
                    IList<YoloBoundingBox> detectedObjects = boundingBoxes.ElementAt(i);

                    DrawBoundingBox(imagesFolder, outputFolder, imageFileName, detectedObjects);

                    LogDetectedObjects(imageFileName, detectedObjects);
                }

            DateTime finishedAtUtc = DateTime.UtcNow;
            TimeSpan duration = finishedAtUtc - startedAtUtc;

            Console.WriteLine($"{finishedAtUtc:yyyy:MM:dd HH:mm:ss} Finish Duration:{duration.TotalMilliseconds}mSec");
         }
         catch (Exception ex)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(ex.ToString());
            }

            Console.WriteLine("========= End of Process..Hit any Key ========");
            Console.ReadLine();
        }

        public static string GetAbsolutePath(string relativePath)
        {
            FileInfo _dataRoot = new FileInfo(typeof(Program).Assembly.Location);
            string assemblyFolderPath = _dataRoot.Directory.FullName;

            string fullPath = Path.Combine(assemblyFolderPath, relativePath);

            return fullPath;
        }

        private static void DrawBoundingBox(string inputImageLocation, string outputImageLocation, string imageName, IList<YoloBoundingBox> filteredBoundingBoxes)
        {
            Image image = Image.FromFile(Path.Combine(inputImageLocation, imageName));

            var originalImageHeight = image.Height;
            var originalImageWidth = image.Width;

            foreach (var box in filteredBoundingBoxes)
            {
                // Get Bounding Box Dimensions
                var x = (uint)Math.Max(box.Dimensions.X, 0);
                var y = (uint)Math.Max(box.Dimensions.Y, 0);
                var width = (uint)Math.Min(originalImageWidth - x, box.Dimensions.Width);
                var height = (uint)Math.Min(originalImageHeight - y, box.Dimensions.Height);

                // Resize To Image
                x = (uint)originalImageWidth * x / OnnxModelScorer.ImageNetSettings.imageWidth;
                y = (uint)originalImageHeight * y / OnnxModelScorer.ImageNetSettings.imageHeight;
                width = (uint)originalImageWidth * width / OnnxModelScorer.ImageNetSettings.imageWidth;
                height = (uint)originalImageHeight * height / OnnxModelScorer.ImageNetSettings.imageHeight;

                // Bounding Box Text
                string text = $"{box.Label} ({(box.Confidence * 100).ToString("0")}%)";

                using (Graphics thumbnailGraphic = Graphics.FromImage(image))
                {
                    thumbnailGraphic.CompositingQuality = CompositingQuality.HighQuality;
                    thumbnailGraphic.SmoothingMode = SmoothingMode.HighQuality;
                    thumbnailGraphic.InterpolationMode = InterpolationMode.HighQualityBicubic;

                    // Define Text Options
                    Font drawFont = new Font("Arial", 12, FontStyle.Bold);
                    SizeF size = thumbnailGraphic.MeasureString(text, drawFont);
                    SolidBrush fontBrush = new SolidBrush(Color.Black);
                    Point atPoint = new Point((int)x, (int)y - (int)size.Height - 1);

                    // Define BoundingBox options
                    Pen pen = new Pen(box.BoxColor, 3.2f);
                    SolidBrush colorBrush = new SolidBrush(box.BoxColor);

                    // Draw text on image 
                    thumbnailGraphic.FillRectangle(colorBrush, (int)x, (int)(y - size.Height - 1), (int)size.Width, (int)size.Height);
                    thumbnailGraphic.DrawString(text, drawFont, fontBrush, atPoint);

                    // Draw bounding box on image
                    thumbnailGraphic.DrawRectangle(pen, x, y, width, height);
                }
            }

            if (!Directory.Exists(outputImageLocation))
            {
                Directory.CreateDirectory(outputImageLocation);
            }

            image.Save(Path.Combine(outputImageLocation, imageName));
        }

        private static void LogDetectedObjects(string imageName, IList<YoloBoundingBox> boundingBoxes)
        {
            Console.WriteLine($".....The objects in the image {imageName} are detected as below....");

            foreach (var box in boundingBoxes)
            {
                Console.WriteLine($"{box.Label} and its Confidence score: {box.Confidence}");
            }

            Console.WriteLine("");
        }
    }
}

The next issue was the location of the ONNX model on the device. I modified the properties of the TinyYolo2_model.onnx file so it was copied to the publish folder if it had been modified.

Visual Studio configured to copy TinyYolo2_model.onnx to the device

I then checked this was working as expected with WinSCP.

Confirming location of TinyYolo2_model.onnx on the device.

The platform specific runtime was missing so I confirmed the processor architecture with uname.

Using uname to get the processor architecture
Using WinSCP to copy the platform specified runtime to the application directory
Object Detection console application running on my Raspberry Pi4

I noticed that the Object Detection console application took significantly longer to run on the Raspberry PI4 so I added some code to display the duration.

Object Detection console application on my desktop
Object Detection application on the Raspberry PI

For my application I’m only interested in the Minimum Bounding Boxes(MBRs) so I disabled the code for drawing MBRs on the images.

Object Detection console application with no MBR drawing on my desktop
Object Detection console application with no MBR drawing on my Raspberry PI 4 device

Removing the code for drawing the MBRs on the images improved performance less than I was expecting.

Sensirion SHT 20 library for .NET Core 5.0

As part of project I needed to connect a Sensirion SHT20 driver to a.NET Core 5 application running on a Raspberry Pi so I wrote this library. For initial testing I used a DF Robot Waterproof SHT20 temperature and humidity sensor, Seeedstudio Gove Base Hat, Grove Screw Terminal, and a Grove – Universal 4 Pin Buckled 5cm Cable.

Sensirion SHT20 connected to Raspberry PI3

I have included sample application in the Github repository to show how to use the library

namespace devMobile.IoT.NetCore.Sensirion
{
	using System;
	using System.Device.I2c;
	using System.Threading;

	class Program
	{
		static void Main(string[] args)
		{
			// bus id on the raspberry pi 3
			const int busId = 1;

			I2cConnectionSettings i2cConnectionSettings = new(busId, Sht20.DefaultI2cAddress);

			using I2cDevice i2cDevice = I2cDevice.Create(i2cConnectionSettings);

			using (Sht20 sht20 = new Sht20(i2cDevice))
			{
				sht20.Reset();

				while (true)
				{
					double temperature = sht20.Temperature();
					double humidity = sht20.Humidity();

#if HEATER_ON_OFF
					sht20.HeaterOn();
					Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss} HeaterOn:{sht20.IsHeaterOn()}");
#endif
					Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss} Temperature:{temperature:F1}°C Humidity:{humidity:F0}% HeaterOn:{sht20.IsHeaterOn()}");
#if HEATER_ON_OFF
					sht20.HeaterOff();
					Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss} HeaterOn:{sht20.IsHeaterOn()}");
#endif

					Thread.Sleep(1000);
				}
			}
		}
	}
}

The Sensiron SHT20 has a heater which is intended to be used for functionality diagnosis – relative humidity drops upon rising temperature. The heater consumes about 5.5mW and provides a temperature increase of about 0.5 – 1.5°C.

Beware when the device is soft reset the heater bit is not cleared.

Grove Base Hat for Raspberry PI with .NET Core 5.0

Over the weekend I ported my Windows 10 IoT Core library for Seeedstudio Grove Base Hat for RPI Zero and Grove Base Hat for Raspberry Pi to .NET Core 5.

RaspberryP and RaspberryPI Zero testrig

I have included sample application to show how to use the library

namespace devMobile.IoT.NetCore.GroveBaseHat
{
	using System;
	using System.Device.I2c;
	using System.Threading;

	class Program
	{
		static void Main(string[] args)
		{
			// bus id on the raspberry pi 3
			const int busId = 1;

			I2cConnectionSettings i2cConnectionSettings = new(busId, AnalogPorts.DefaultI2cAddress);

			using (I2cDevice i2cDevice = I2cDevice.Create(i2cConnectionSettings))
			using (AnalogPorts AnalogPorts = new AnalogPorts(i2cDevice))
			{
				Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:SS} Version:{AnalogPorts.Version()}");
				Console.WriteLine();

				double powerSupplyVoltage = AnalogPorts.PowerSupplyVoltage();
				Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:SS} Power Supply Voltage:{powerSupplyVoltage:F2}v");

				while (true)
				{
					double value = AnalogPorts.Read(AnalogPorts.AnalogPort.A0);
					double rawValue = AnalogPorts.ReadRaw(AnalogPorts.AnalogPort.A0);
					double voltageValue = AnalogPorts.ReadVoltage(AnalogPorts.AnalogPort.A0);

					Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:SS} Value:{value:F2} Raw:{rawValue:F2} Voltage:{voltageValue:F2}v");
					Console.WriteLine();

					Thread.Sleep(1000);
				}
			}
		}
	}
}

The GROVE_BASE_HAT_RPI and GROVE_BASE_HAT_RPI_ZERO are used to specify the number of available analog ports.

.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).

.NET Core RAK3172 LoRaWAN library Part5

The massive refactor

After getting Activation By Personalisation(ABP) and Over The Air Activation(OTAA) working on my RAK3172 test rig I was looking at the code and SerialDataReceivedEventHandler was really ugly.

Raspberry Pi3 with Grove Base Hat and RAK3172 Breakout (using UART2)

After some experimentation in the BreakOutSerial project I decided to reimplement the RAK3172 command processing. In the new code a Thread reads lines of text from the SerialPort and processes them. I have replaced the Join and Send(Confirmed) methods with ones that block only while the command are sent to the RAK3172. Then, when completed the OnJoinCompletion or OnMessagesConfirmation event handlers are called.

private Result SendCommand(string command)
{
	if (command == null)
	{
		throw new ArgumentNullException(nameof(command));
	}

	if (command == string.Empty)
	{
		throw new ArgumentException($"command cannot be empty", nameof(command));
	}

	serialDevice.WriteLine(command);

	this.CommandResponseExpectedEvent.Reset();

	if (!this.CommandResponseExpectedEvent.WaitOne(CommandTimeoutDefaultmSec, false))
	{
		return Result.Timeout;
	}

	return CommandResult;
}

private void SerialPortProcessor()
{
	string line;

	while (CommandProcessResponses)
	{
		try
		{
#if DIAGNOSTICS
			Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ReadLine before");
#endif
			line = serialDevice.ReadLine();
#if DIAGNOSTICS
			Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ReadLine after:{line}");
#endif

			// See if device successfully joined network
			if (line.StartsWith("+EVT:JOINED"))
			{
				OnJoinCompletion?.Invoke(true);

				continue;
			}

			// See if device failed ot join network
			if (line.StartsWith("+EVT:JOIN FAILED"))
			{
				OnJoinCompletion?.Invoke(false);

				continue;
			}

			// Applicable only if confirmed messages enabled 
			if (line.StartsWith("+EVT:SEND CONFIRMED OK"))
			{
				OnMessageConfirmation?.Invoke();

				continue;
			}

			// Check for A/B/C downlink message
			if (line.StartsWith("+EVT:RX_1") || line.StartsWith("+EVT:RX_2") || line.StartsWith("+EVT:RX_3") || line.StartsWith("+EVT:RX_C"))
			{
				// TODO beef up validation, nto certain what todo if borked
				string[] metricsFields= line.Split(' ', ',');

				int rssi = int.Parse(metricsFields[3]);
				int snr = int.Parse(metricsFields[6]);

				line = serialDevice.ReadLine();

#if DIAGNOSTICS
				Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss} UNICAST :{line}");
#endif
				line = serialDevice.ReadLine();
#if DIAGNOSTICS
				Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss} Payload:{line}");
#endif
				// TODO beef up validation, nto certain what todo if borked
				string[] payloadFields = line.Split(':');

				byte port = byte.Parse(payloadFields[1]);
				string payload = payloadFields[2];

				OnReceiveMessage?.Invoke(port, rssi, snr, payload);

				continue;
			}

#if DIAGNOSTICS
           Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ReadLine Result");
#endif
			line = serialDevice.ReadLine();
#if DIAGNOSTICS
             Debug.WriteLine($" {DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} ReadLine Result:{line}");
#endif
			switch (line)
			{
				case "OK":
					CommandResult = Result.Success;
					break;
				case "AT_ERROR":
					CommandResult = Result.AtError;
					break;
				case "AT_PARAM_ERROR":
					CommandResult = Result.ParameterError;
					break;
				case "AT_BUSY_ERROR":
					CommandResult = Result.BusyError;
					break;
				case "AT_TEST_PARAM_OVERFLOW":
					CommandResult = Result.ParameterOverflow;
					break;
				case "AT_NO_NETWORK_JOINED":
					CommandResult = Result.NotJoined;
					break;
				case "AT_RX_ERROR":
					CommandResult = Result.ReceiveError;
					break;
				case "AT_DUTYCYLE_RESTRICTED":
					CommandResult = Result.DutyCycleRestricted;
					break;
				default:
					CommandResult = Result.Undefined;
					break;
			}

			CommandResponseExpectedEvent.Set();
		}
		catch (TimeoutException)
		{
			// Intentionally ignored, not certain this is a good idea
		}
	}
}

After a lot of testing I think my thread based approach works reliably. I also had to modify the code to shutdown the command processor thread and free any non managed resources.

/// <summary>
/// Ensures unmanaged serial port and thread resources are released in a "responsible" manner.
/// </summary>
public void Dispose()
{
	CommandProcessResponses = false;

	if (CommandResponsesProcessorThread != null)
	{
		CommandResponsesProcessorThread.Join();
		CommandResponsesProcessorThread = null;
	}

	if (serialDevice != null)
	{
		serialDevice.Dispose();
		serialDevice = null;
	}
}

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) and review the handling of multi-line event messages.

.NET Core RAK3172 LoRaWAN library Part4

Starting again with Threads

After getting Activation By Personalisation(ABP) and Over The Air Activation(OTAA) working on my RAK3172 test rig I was looking at the code and SerialDataReceivedEventHandler was really ugly.

Raspberry Pi3 with Grove Base Hat and RAK3172 Breakout (using UART2)

After some experimentation in the BreakOutSerial project I decided to reimplement the RAK3172 command processing. In the new code a Thread reads lines of text from the SerialPort and processes them. I have replaced the Join and Send(Confirmed) methods with ones that block only while the command are sent to the RAK3172. Then, when completed the OnJoinCompletion or OnMessagesConfirmation event handlers are called.

private Result SendCommand(string command)
{
   if (command == null)
   {
      throw new ArgumentNullException(nameof(command));
   }

   if (command == string.Empty)
   {
      throw new ArgumentException($"command invalid length cannot be empty", nameof(command));
    }

   serialDevice.ReadTimeout = (int)CommandTimeoutDefault.TotalMilliseconds;
   serialDevice.WriteLine(command);

   this.atExpectedEvent.Reset();

   if (!this.atExpectedEvent.WaitOne((int)CommandTimeoutDefault.TotalMilliseconds, false))
      return Result.Timeout;

   return result;
}

public void SerialPortProcessor()
{
   string line;

   while (true)
   {
      this.serialDevice.ReadTimeout = -1;

      Debug.WriteLine("ReadLine before");
      line = serialDevice.ReadLine();
      Debug.WriteLine($"ReadLine after:{line}");

            // check for +EVT:JOINED
      if (line.StartsWith("+EVT:JOINED"))
      {
            OnJoinCompletion?.Invoke(true);

            continue;
      }

      if (line.StartsWith("+EVT:JOIN FAILED"))
      {
	     OnJoinCompletion?.Invoke(false);

         continue;
      }

      if (line.StartsWith("+EVT:SEND CONFIRMED OK"))
      {
         OnMessageConfirmation?.Invoke();

         continue;
      }

      // Check for A/B/C downlink message
      if (line.StartsWith("+EVT:RX_1") || line.StartsWith("+EVT:RX_2") || line.StartsWith("+EVT:RX_3") || line.StartsWith("+EVT:RX_C"))
      {
         string[] fields1 = line.Split(' ', ',');

         int rssi = int.Parse(fields1[3]);
         int snr = int.Parse(fields1[6]);
 
         line = serialDevice.ReadLine();
         Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss} UNICAST :{line}");

         line = serialDevice.ReadLine();
         Console.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss} Payload:{line}");

         string[] fields2 = line.Split(':');

         int port = int.Parse(fields2[1]);
         string payload = fields2[2];

         OnReceiveMessage?.Invoke(port, rssi, snr, payload);

         continue;
      }

      try
      {
         this.serialDevice.ReadTimeout = 3000;

         Debug.WriteLine("ReadLine Result");
         line = serialDevice.ReadLine();
         Debug.WriteLine($"ReadLine Result after:{line}");

         switch (line)
         {
            case "OK":
               result = Result.Success;
               break;
         case "AT_ERROR":
               result = Result.Error;
               break;
         case "AT_PARAM_ERROR":
               result = Result.ParameterError;
               break;
         case "AT_BUSY_ERROR":
               result = Result.BusyError;
               break;
         case "AT_TEST_PARAM_OVERFLOW":
               result = Result.ParameterOverflow;
               break;
         case "AT_NO_NETWORK_JOINED":
               result = Result.NotJoined;
               break;
         case "AT_RX_ERROR":
               result = Result.ReceiveError;
               break;
         case "AT_DUTYCYLE_RESTRICTED":
               result = Result.DutyCycleRestricted;
               break;
         default:
               result = Result.Undefined;
               break;
         }
      }
      catch (TimeoutException) 
      {
         result = Result.Timeout;
      }
   atExpectedEvent.Set();
}

The code is not suitable for production but it confirmed my thread based approach works. I need to add code to shutdown the message processing thread in a controlled way, support for Class B & C devices, replace the OnJoinCompletionHandler timer magic numbers and soak test for 5-7 days.

Visual Studio Displaying RAK3172 device joining network then sending messages

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.

TTN Displaying RAK3172 device joining network then sending messages

.NET Core RAK3172 LoRaWAN library Part3

Nasty ABP connect

After getting basic connectivity for my RAK3172 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.

Raspberry Pi3 with Grove Base Hat and RAK3172 Breakout (using UART2)

My Activation By Personalisation (ABP) implementation is very “nasty” (just like the OTAA one) 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.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// 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.RAK3172.NetworkJoinABP
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.IO.Ports;
	using System.Threading;

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

		public static void Main()
		{
			string response;

			Debug.WriteLine("devMobile.IoT.NetCore.Rak3172.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+NWM=1");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the Region to AS923
					Console.WriteLine("Set Region");
					serialPort.WriteLine("AT+BAND=8-1");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the JoinMode
					Console.WriteLine("Set Join mode");
					serialPort.WriteLine("AT+NJM=0");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the device address
					Console.WriteLine("Set Device Address");
					serialPort.WriteLine($"AT+DEVADDR={DevAddress}");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the network session key
					Console.WriteLine("Set Network Session Key");
					serialPort.WriteLine($"AT+NWKSKEY={NwksKey}");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the application session key
					Console.WriteLine("Set application Session Key");
					serialPort.WriteLine($"AT+APPSKEY={AppsKey}");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the Confirm flag
					Console.WriteLine("Set Confirm off");
					serialPort.WriteLine("AT+CFM=0");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Join the network
					Console.WriteLine("Start Join");
					serialPort.WriteLine("AT+JOIN=1:0:10:2");

					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();

					// Read the Result
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					Thread.Sleep(10000);

					// Read the +EVT:JOINED
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					while (true)
					{
						Console.WriteLine("Sending");
						serialPort.WriteLine($"AT+SEND={MessagePort}:{Payload}");

						// Read the blank line
						response = serialPort.ReadLine();

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

						Thread.Sleep(300000);
					}
				}
			}
			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 RAK3172 command format is quite different from other modules I have used e.g. Requesting the firmware version information

  • TX- AT+VER=?
  • RX- Blank Line
  • RX- V1.0.2
  • RX- OK

Requesting the APPEUI

  • TX- AT+DEVADDR=?
  • RX- 11223344
  • RX- Blank line
  • RX- OK

I think the RAK3172 module ships with a default DEVEUI so in this code and my library I have assumed it will be configured as part of a “provisioning” process.

.NET Core RAK3172 LoRaWAN library Part2

Nasty OTAA connect

After getting basic connectivity for my RAK3172 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.

Raspberry Pi3 with Grove Base Hat and RAK3172 Breakout (using UART2)

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.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// 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.RAK3172.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.Rak3172.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+NWM=1");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the Region to AS923
					Console.WriteLine("Set Region");
					serialPort.WriteLine("AT+BAND=8-1");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the JoinMode
					Console.WriteLine("Set Join mode");
					serialPort.WriteLine("AT+NJM=1");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the appEUI
					Console.WriteLine("Set App Eui");
					serialPort.WriteLine($"AT+APPEUI={AppEui}");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the appKey
					Console.WriteLine("Set App Key");
					serialPort.WriteLine($"AT+APPKEY={AppKey}");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Set the Confirm flag
					Console.WriteLine("Set Confirm off");
					serialPort.WriteLine("AT+CFM=0");
					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					// Read the response
					response = serialPort.ReadLine(); 
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					// Join the network
					Console.WriteLine("Start Join");
					serialPort.WriteLine("AT+JOIN=1:0:10:2");

					// Read the blank line
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();

					// Read the Result
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					Thread.Sleep(10000);

					// Read the +EVT:JOINED
					response = serialPort.ReadLine();
					Debug.WriteLine($"RX :{response.Trim()} bytes:{response.Length}");

					while (true)
					{
						Console.WriteLine("Sending");
						serialPort.WriteLine($"AT+SEND={MessagePort}:{Payload}");

						// Read the blank line
						response = serialPort.ReadLine();

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

						Thread.Sleep(300000);
					}
				}
			}
			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 RAK3172 command format is quite different from other modules I have used e.g. Requesting the firmware version information

  • TX- AT+VER=?
  • RX- Blank Line
  • RX- V1.0.2
  • RX- OK

Requesting the APPEUI

  • TX- AT+APPEUI=?
  • RX- 1122334455667788
  • RX- Blank line
  • RX- OK

I think the RAK3172 module ships with a default DEVEUI so in this code and my library I have assumed it will be configured as part of a “provisioning” process.