The Things Network 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.

Cayenne Low Power Payload (LPP) Encoder

Reducing the size of message payloads is important for LoRa/LoRaWAN communications, as it reduces power consumption and bandwidth usage. One of the more common formats is myDevices Cayenne Low Power Payload(LPP) which is based on the IPSO Alliance Smart Objects Guidelines and is natively supported by The Things Network(TTN).

 private enum DataType : byte
{
   DigitalInput = 0, // 1 byte
   DigitialOutput = 1, // 1 byte
   AnalogInput = 2, // 2 bytes, 0.01 signed
   AnalogOutput = 3, // 2 bytes, 0.01 signed
   Luminosity = 101, // 2 bytes, 1 lux unsigned
   Presence = 102, // 1 byte, 1
   Temperature = 103, // 2 bytes, 0.1°C signed
   RelativeHumidity = 104, // 1 byte, 0.5% unsigned
   Accelerometer = 113, // 2 bytes per axis, 0.001G
   BarometricPressure = 115, // 2 bytes 0.1 hPa Unsigned
   Gyrometer = 134, // 2 bytes per axis, 0.01 °/s
   Gps = 136, // 3 byte lon/lat 0.0001 °, 3 bytes alt 0.01m
}

My implementation was “inspired” by the myDevices C/C++ sample code. The first step was to allocate a buffer to store the byte encoded values. I pre allocated the buffer to try and reduce the impacts of garbage collection. The code uses a manually incremented index into the buffer for performance reasons, plus the inconsistent support of System.Collections.Generic and Language Integrated Query(LINQ) on my three embedded platforms. The maximum length message that can be sent is limited by coding rate, duty cycle and bandwidth of the LoRa channel.

public Encoder(byte bufferSize)
{
   if ((bufferSize < BufferSizeMinimum) || ( bufferSize > BufferSizeMaximum))
   {
      throw new ArgumentException($"BufferSize must be between {BufferSizeMinimum} and {BufferSizeMaximum}", "bufferSize");
   }

   buffer = new byte[bufferSize];
}

For a simple data types like a digital input a single byte (True or False ) is used. The channel parameter is included so that multiple values of the same data type can be included in a message.

public void DigitalInputAdd(byte channel, bool value)
{
   if ((index + DigitalInputSize) > buffer.Length)
   {
     throw new ApplicationException("DigitalInputAdd insufficent buffer capacity");
   }

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)DataType.DigitalInput;
   // I know this is fugly but it works on all platforms
   if (value)
   {
      buffer[index++] = 1;
   }
   else
   {
      buffer[index++] = 0;
   }
}

For more complex data types like a Global Positioning System(GPS) location (Latitude, Longitude and Altitude) the values are converted to 32bit signed integers and only 3 of the 4 bytes are used.

public void GpsAdd(byte channel, float latitude, float longitude, float meters)
{
   if ((index + GpsSize) > buffer.Length)
   {
     throw new ApplicationException("GpsAdd insufficent buffer capacity");
   }

   int lat = (int)(latitude * 10000);
   int lon = (int)(longitude * 10000);
   int alt = (int)(meters * 100);

   buffer[index++] = channel;
   buffer[index++] = (byte)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;
}
Azure IoT Central map position granularity

Before the message can be sent it needs to be converted to its Binary Coded Decimal(BCD) representation and all formatting characters removed.

public string Bcd()
{
   StringBuilder payloadBcd = new StringBuilder(BitConverter.ToString(buffer, 0, index));

   payloadBcd = payloadBcd.Replace("-", "");

   return payloadBcd.ToString();
}

TTN Device Data Display
Visual Studio 2019 Debug output

The implementation had to be revised a couple of times so It would work with desktop and GHI Electronics TinyCLRV2 powered devices. There maybe some modifications required as I port it to nanoFramework and Wilderness Labs Meadow devices.

nRF24L01-TinyCLR V2 RC2 on Github

The source code of RC2 of my port GHI Electronics TinyCLR-0SV2RC1 nRF24L01 library is live on GitHub. The sample application now supports Fezduino (with embeddedcoolness.com or other Arduino shield), Fezportal and the SC2010 Dev board (with mikroe nrf24C Click, mikroe nRF24S Click or mikroenRF24T Click) .

Fezduino with Embedded Coolness shield
Fezportal with Mikroe nRF24 C Click
SC20100 Dev board

The application has gained four compile time configuration options

  • TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1
  • TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2
  • TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
  • TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL

These options configure the chip enable, chip selected and interrupt pins.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) May 2020, devMobile Software
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
//
// Need one of TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1/TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2/TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO/TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL defined
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.FieldGateway.TinyCLRV2nRF24Client
{
   using System;
   using System.Diagnostics;
   using System.Text;
   using System.Threading;

   using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Pins;

   using Radios.RF24;

   class Program
   {
      private const string BaseStationAddress = "Base1";
      private const string DeviceAddress = "Dev01";

      static void Main()
      {
         RF24 radio = new RF24();
         byte messageCount = System.Byte.MaxValue;

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

#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1
            radio.Initialize(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD4, SC20100.GpioPin.PD3, SC20100.GpioPin.PC5);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2
            radio.Initialize(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD15, SC20100.GpioPin.PD14, SC20100.GpioPin.PA8);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
            radio.Initialize(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi6, SC20100.GpioPin.PE11, SC20100.GpioPin.PC4, SC20100.GpioPin.PA1);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL
            radio.Initialize(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD4, SC20100.GpioPin.PC13, SC20100.GpioPin.PC2);
#endif
            radio.Address = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(DeviceAddress);

            radio.Channel = 15;
            radio.PowerLevel = PowerLevel.Minimum;
            radio.DataRate = DataRate.DR250Kbps;
            radio.IsEnabled = true;

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

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

            while (true)
            {
               string payload = $"hello {messageCount}";
               messageCount -= 1;

               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-TX {payload.Length} byte message {payload}");
               radio.SendTo(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(BaseStationAddress), Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(payload));

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

      private static void Radio_OnDataReceived(byte[] data)
      {
         // display as hex
         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-RX Hex Length {data.Length} Payload {BitConverter.ToString(data)}");

         // Display as Unicode
         string unicodeText = Encoding.UTF8.GetString(data);
         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-RX Unicode Length {unicodeText.Length} Unicode text {unicodeText}");
      }

      private static void Radio_OnTransmitSuccess()
      {
         Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:HH:mm:ss}-TX Succeeded!");
      }

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

RFM9X.TinyCLR V2 RC2 on Github

The source code of RC2 of my GHI Electronics TinyCLR-0SV2RC1 RFM9X/SX127X library is live on GitHub. The sample application now supports Fezduino(dragino_LoRa shield for Arduino + others), Fezportal and the SC2010 Dev board (with CascoLogix LoRa Click) . I will add FezFeather and Fezstick support soon.

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) March/April 2020, devMobile Software
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
//
// Need one of TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1/TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2/TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO/TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL defined
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x.LoRaDeviceClient
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.Text;
	using System.Threading;

	using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Pins;

	using devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x;

	class Program
   {
      static void Main()
      {
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1 || TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2
			const string DeviceName = "SC20100DEVLoRa";
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
			const string DeviceName = "FezduinoLoRa";
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL
			const string DeviceName = "FezportalLoRa";
#endif
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
			const string HostName = "LoRaIoT1";
#endif
			const double Frequency = 915000000.0;
			byte MessageCount = System.Byte.MaxValue;
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_1
         Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD4, SC20100.GpioPin.PC5);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV_MIKROBUS_2
			Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PD14, SC20100.GpioPin.PD15, SC20100.GpioPin.PA8);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
			Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi6, SC20100.GpioPin.PB1, SC20100.GpioPin.PA15, SC20100.GpioPin.PA1);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZPORTAL
         Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PC13, SC20100.GpioPin.PD4,SC20100.GpioPin.PC2);
#endif

			rfm9XDevice.Initialise(Frequency, paBoost: true, rxPayloadCrcOn: true);
#if DEBUG
			rfm9XDevice.RegisterDump();
#endif

			rfm9XDevice.OnReceive += Rfm9XDevice_OnReceive;
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
			rfm9XDevice.Receive(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(DeviceName));
#else
			rfm9XDevice.Receive();
#endif
			rfm9XDevice.OnTransmit += Rfm9XDevice_OnTransmit;

			Thread.Sleep(10000);

			while (true)
			{
				string messageText = string.Format("Hello from {0} ! {1}", DeviceName, MessageCount);
				MessageCount -= 1;

				byte[] messageBytes = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(messageText);
				Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-TX {messageBytes.Length} byte message {messageText}");
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
				rfm9XDevice.Send(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(HostName), messageBytes);
#else
				rfm9XDevice.Send(messageBytes);
#endif
				Thread.Sleep(10000);
			}
		}

		private static void Rfm9XDevice_OnReceive(object sender, Rfm9XDevice.OnDataReceivedEventArgs e)
		{
			try
			{
				string messageText = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Data);

#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
				string addressText = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Address);

				Debug.WriteLine($@"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-RX From {addressText} PacketSnr {e.PacketSnr} Packet RSSI {e.PacketRssi}dBm RSSI {e.Rssi}dBm = {e.Data.Length} byte message ""{messageText}""");
#else
				Debug.WriteLine($@"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-RX PacketSnr {e.PacketSnr} Packet RSSI {e.PacketRssi}dBm RSSI {e.Rssi}dBm = {e.Data.Length} byte message ""{messageText}""");
#endif
			}
			catch (Exception ex)
			{
				Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
			}
		}

		private static void Rfm9XDevice_OnTransmit(object sender, Rfm9XDevice.OnDataTransmitedEventArgs e)
		{
			Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-TX Done");
		}
	}
}

The library works but should be treated as late beta.

TinyCLR OS V2 RC1 LoRa library Part4

Interrupts Revisited

In my last post I had two approaches for fixing the issue with transmit interrupts. As I was sorting out the configuration for my Fezportal device and SS20100 Dev board(both sockets) with a Cascologix MikroBus LoRa click I had similar issues with both receive and transmit.

SC20100 Dev Rev A with Cascologix Click in socket1
Fezportal with Cascologix click

I noticed the extra RegIrqFlags 0X58, Receive-Message in the debugging output.

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 1!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 2!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
RegIrqFlags 0X58
Receive-Message
Received 23 byte message  �LoRaIoT1N3WT 20.5,H 86
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 3!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done

This was with the modified device write methods so I tried changing the Serial Peripheral Interface(SPI) configuration.

public RegisterManager(string spiPortName,  int chipSelectPin, int clockFrequency = 500000)
{
	GpioPin chipSelectGpio = GpioController.GetDefault().OpenPin(chipSelectPin);

	var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings()
	{
		ChipSelectType = SpiChipSelectType.Gpio,
		ChipSelectLine = chipSelectGpio,
		Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,
		ClockFrequency = clockFrequency,
		ChipSelectActiveState = false,
		ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(1),
	};

	SpiController spiController = SpiController.FromName(spiPortName);

	rfm9XLoraModem = spiController.GetDevice(settings);
}

When I added the ChipSelectHoldTime (even the smallest possible one) the code worked as expected.

The thread '' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 1!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 2!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
RegIrqFlags 0X50
Receive-Message
Received 23 byte message �LoRaIoT1N3WT 20.5,H 87
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 3!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 4!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done

At this point I have run out of ideas so I will release the code this fix.

RAK811LoRaWAN.TinyCLR on Github

The source code of my TinyCLR V2 RAK811 Module library is now available on GitHub. My demonstration application uses a FezDuino and a modified RAK811 LPWAN Evaluation Board(EVB).

FezDuino with EVB plugged into Arduino headers

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) July 2020, devMobile Software
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
//
// must have one of 
//    TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO or
//    PAYLOAD_BCD or PAYLOAD_BYTES defined
//    OTAA or ABP
//
// For confirmed messages define CONFIRMED
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.Rak811LoRaWanDeviceClient
{
   using System;
   using System.Threading;
   using System.Diagnostics;

   using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Pins;
   using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Devices.Uart;

   using devMobile.IoT.LoRaWan;

   public class Program
   {
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
      private const string SerialPortId = SC20100.UartPort.Uart5;
#endif
#if OTAA
      private const string DevEui = "...";
      private const string AppEui = "...";
      private const string AppKey = "...";
#endif
#if ABP
      private const string DevAddress = "...";
      private const string NwksKey = "...";
      private const string AppsKey = "...";
#endif
      private const string Region = "AS923";
      private static readonly TimeSpan JoinTimeOut = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 10);
      private static readonly TimeSpan SendTimeout = new TimeSpan(0, 0, 10);
      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.Rak811LoRaWanDeviceClient starting");

         try
         {
            using (Rak811LoRaWanDevice device = new Rak811LoRaWanDevice())
            {
               result = device.Initialise(SerialPortId, 9600, UartParity.None, 8, UartStopBitCount.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($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} OTAA");
               result = device.OtaaInitialise(DevEui, AppEui, AppKey);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"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($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join start Timeout:{JoinTimeOut:hh:mm:ss}");
               result = device.Join(JoinTimeOut);
               if (result != Result.Success)
               {
                  Debug.WriteLine($"Join failed {result}");
                  return;
               }
               Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Join finish");

               while (true)
               {
#if PAYLOAD_BCD
                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} port:{MessagePort} payload BCD:{PayloadBcd}");
                  result = device.Send(MessagePort, PayloadBcd, SendTimeout);
#endif
#if PAYLOAD_BYTES
                  Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.UtcNow:hh:mm:ss} Send Timeout:{SendTimeout:hh:mm:ss} 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(5000);

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

                  Thread.Sleep(30000);

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

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

      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)}");
      }
   }
}

I noticed (mid July 2020) that when changing from from ABP to OTAA and vice versa I needed to reset the the device “frame counters” in the Things Network console.

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

RFM9X.TinyCLR V2 RC1 on Github

The source code of my GHI Electronics TinyCLR-0SV2RC1 RFM9X/SX127X library is live on GitHub. The test harness uses a Fezduino and a dragino technology LoRa shield for Arduino. I will add FezPortal, FezFeather and Fezstick support soon.

Fezduino with Dragino shield

A sample application which shows how to send/receive address/un-addresses payloads

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) March/April 2020, devMobile Software
//
// Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
// you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
// You may obtain a copy of the License at
//
//     http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
//
// Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
// distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
// WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
// See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
// limitations under the License.
//
// Need one of TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV/TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO defined
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
namespace devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x.LoRaDeviceClient
{
	using System;
	using System.Diagnostics;
	using System.Text;
	using System.Threading;

	using GHIElectronics.TinyCLR.Pins;

	using devMobile.IoT.Rfm9x;

	class Program
   {
      static void Main()
      {
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV
			const string DeviceName = "SC20100DEVLoRa";
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
			const string DeviceName = "FezduinoLoRa";
#endif
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
			const string HostName = "LoRaIoT1";
#endif
			const double Frequency = 915000000.0;
			byte MessageCount = System.Byte.MaxValue;
#if TINYCLR_V2_SC20100DEV
         Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi3, SC20100.GpioPin.PA13, SC20100.GpioPin.PA14, SC20100.GpioPin.PE4);
#endif
#if TINYCLR_V2_FEZDUINO
         Rfm9XDevice rfm9XDevice = new Rfm9XDevice(SC20100.SpiBus.Spi6, SC20100.GpioPin.PB1, SC20100.GpioPin.PA15, SC20100.GpioPin.PA1);
#endif
			
			rfm9XDevice.Initialise(Frequency, paBoost: true, rxPayloadCrcOn: true);
#if DEBUG
			rfm9XDevice.RegisterDump();
#endif

			rfm9XDevice.OnReceive += Rfm9XDevice_OnReceive;
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
			rfm9XDevice.Receive(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(DeviceName));
#else
			rfm9XDevice.Receive();
#endif
			rfm9XDevice.OnTransmit += Rfm9XDevice_OnTransmit;

			Thread.Sleep(10000);

			while (true)
			{
				string messageText = string.Format("Hello from {0} ! {1}", DeviceName, MessageCount);
				MessageCount -= 1;

				byte[] messageBytes = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(messageText);
				Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-TX {messageBytes.Length} byte message {messageText}");
#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
				rfm9XDevice.Send(UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(HostName), messageBytes);
#else
				rfm9XDevice.Send(messageBytes);
#endif
				Thread.Sleep(10000);
			}
		}

		private static void Rfm9XDevice_OnReceive(object sender, Rfm9XDevice.OnDataReceivedEventArgs e)
		{
			try
			{
				string messageText = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Data);

#if ADDRESSED_MESSAGES_PAYLOAD
				string addressText = UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetString(e.Address);

				Debug.WriteLine($@"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-RX From {addressText} PacketSnr {e.PacketSnr} Packet RSSI {e.PacketRssi}dBm RSSI {e.Rssi}dBm = {e.Data.Length} byte message ""{messageText}""");
#else
				Debug.WriteLine($@"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-RX PacketSnr {e.PacketSnr} Packet RSSI {e.PacketRssi}dBm RSSI {e.Rssi}dBm = {e.Data.Length} byte message ""{messageText}""");
#endif
			}
			catch (Exception ex)
			{
				Debug.WriteLine(ex.Message);
			}
		}

		private static void Rfm9XDevice_OnTransmit(object sender, Rfm9XDevice.OnDataTransmitedEventArgs e)
		{
			Debug.WriteLine($"{DateTime.Now:HH:mm:ss}-TX Done");
		}
	}
}

The addressing support is pretty basic as my goal was a library that I could extend with optional functionality like tamper detection via signing and privacy via payload encryption, mesh network support etc.

The library works but should be treated as late beta.

TinyCLR OS V2 RC1 LoRa library Part3

Why are Transmit Interrupts broken?

The receive using interrupts appeared to be working but transmit with interrupts I could only send a couple of messages before confirmations stopped.

I had read about restrictions for interrupts pins e.g. PA1 & PB1 can’t be used at the same time, but PA1 and PB2 can, which got me thinking…

In my dragino shield based setup Arduino D2(PA1) is the interrupt(IRQ) line and Arduino D10(PB1) is chip select (CS) so I changed the pins with jumper wires just incase.

Fezduino connected to Dragino LoRa shield with jumpers

I tried several different configurations of CS and IRQ pins and none worked.

On other embedded .net platforms I have written Serial Peripheral Interface(SPI) based drivers for (e.g. Wilderness Labs Meadow and the nanoFramework) there had been issues with the use of device.Write vs. device. TransferFullDuplex (or its equivalent).

The RegisterWriteByte method in the event handler appeared to be the problem so I tried modifying it.

public void RegisterWriteByte(byte address, byte value)
{
   byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { address |= RegisterAddressWriteMask, value };
   Debug.Assert(rfm9XLoraModem != null);

   rfm9XLoraModem.Write(writeBuffer);
}

Became

public void RegisterWriteByte(byte address, byte value)
{
   byte[] writeBuffer = new byte[] { address |= RegisterAddressWriteMask, value };
   byte[] readBuffer = new byte[2];
   Debug.Assert(rfm9XLoraModem != null);

   rfm9XLoraModem.TransferFullDuplex(writeBuffer, readBuffer);
}

In the diagnostic output I could see confirmations arriving

The thread '<No Name>' (0x2) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 1!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 2!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 3!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 4!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 5!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 13 bytes message Hello LoRa 6!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done

This was clue it might be a timing problem, so I took a closer look at how the SPI port was configured. After some experimentation I found that by adding a small ChipSelectHoldTime the .Write statements worked.

When I went back and checked there had also been some timing “tweaks” required to get my .Net Microframework LoRa library to work reliably.

public Rfm9XDevice(string spiPortName, int chipSelectPin, int resetPin, int interruptPin)
{
   GpioController gpioController = GpioController.GetDefault();

   GpioPin chipSelectGpio = gpioController.OpenPin(chipSelectPin);

   var settings = new SpiConnectionSettings()
   {
      ChipSelectType = SpiChipSelectType.Gpio,
      ChipSelectLine = chipSelectGpio,
      Mode = SpiMode.Mode0,
      ClockFrequency = 500000,
      ChipSelectActiveState = false,
      //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(50),
      //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(25),
      //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(10),
      ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(5),
      //ChipSelectHoldTime = new TimeSpan(1),
   };

   SpiController spiController = SpiController.FromName(spiPortName);

   rfm9XLoraModem = spiController.GetDevice(settings);

   // Factory reset pin configuration
   GpioPin resetGpioPin = gpioController.OpenPin(resetPin);
   resetGpioPin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.Output);
   resetGpioPin.Write(GpioPinValue.Low);
   Thread.Sleep(10);
   resetGpioPin.Write(GpioPinValue.High);
   Thread.Sleep(10);

   // Interrupt pin for RX message & TX done notification 
   InterruptGpioPin = gpioController.OpenPin(interruptPin);
   InterruptGpioPin.SetDriveMode(GpioPinDriveMode.Input);

   InterruptGpioPin.ValueChanged += InterruptGpioPin_ValueChanged;
}

In the diagnostic output I could see confirmations arriving

...
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1115!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1116!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1117!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1118!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1119!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1120!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1121!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
Transmit-Done
Sending 16 bytes message Hello LoRa 1122!
RegIrqFlags 0X08
The program '[13] TinyCLR application: Managed' has exited with code 0 (0x0).

After some soak testing it looks like the ChipSelectHoldTime modification works pretty reliably but I will need watch for issues.

EDIT: After a long walk I have updated the code to use TransferFullDuplex rather than add a ChipSelectHoldTime.