Posts with «lora» label

Why Have Only One Radio, When You Can Have Two?

There are a multitude of radio shields for the Arduino and similar platforms, but they so often only support one protocol, manufacturer, or frequency band. [Jan Gromeš] was vexed by this in a project he saw, so decided to create a shield capable of supporting multiple different types. And because more is so often better, he also gave it space for not one, but two different radio modules. He calls the resulting Swiss Army Knife of Arduino radio shields the Kite, and he’s shared everything needed for one on a page and a GitHub repository.

Supported so far are ESP8266 modules, HC-05 Bluetooth modules, RFM69 FSK/OOK modules, SX127x series LoRa modules including SX1272, SX1276 and SX1278, XBee modules (S2B), and he claims that more are in development. Since some of those operate in very similar frequency bands it would be interesting to note whether any adverse effects come from their use in close proximity. We suspect there won’t be because the protocols involved are designed to be resilient, but there is nothing like a real-world example to prove it.

This project is unique, so we’re struggling to find previous Hackaday features of analogous ones. We have however looked at an overview of choosing the right wireless tech.

Hack a Day 28 Jul 09:00

Introducing the Arduino MKR WAN 1300 and MKR GSM 1400!

First unveiled over the weekend at World Maker Faire New York, Arduino has introduced a pair of new IoT boards with embedded LoRa and GSM capabilities.

The Arduino MKR WAN 1300 and MKR GSM 1400 are designed to offer a practical and cost-effective solution for developers, makers and enterprises, enabling them to quickly add connectivity to their projects and ease the development of battery-powered IoT edge applications.

Both of the highly compact boards measure just 67.64 x 25mm, together with low power consumption, making them an ideal choice for emerging battery-powered IoT edge devices in the MKR form factor for applications such as environmental monitoring, tracking, agriculture, energy monitoring and home automation.

Offering 32-bit computational power similar to the Arduino MKR ZERO board, the MKR WAN 1300 is based around the Murata LoRa low-power connectivity module and the Microchip SAM D21 microcontroller, which integrates an ARM Cortex-M0+ processor, 256KB Flash memory and 32KB SRAM. The board’s design includes the ability to be powered by either two 1.5V AA or AAA batteries or an external 5V input via the USB interface – with automatic switching between the two power sources.

In addition, the MKR WAN 1300 offers the usual rich set of I/O interfaces expected with an Arduino board, and ease of use via the Arduino IDE software environment for code development and programming. Other features  include an operating voltage of 3.3V; eight digital I/Os; 12 PWM outputs; and UART, SPI and I2C interfaces.

Like the MKR WAN 1300, the Arduino MKR GSM 1400 is based on the SAM D21, but integrates a u-blox module for global 3G communications. The board features automatic power switching, however, it uses either a 3.7V LiPo battery or an external Vin power source delivering 5V to 12V. While the USB port can also be used to supply 5V to the board, the MKR GSM 1400 is able to run with or without the battery connected.

The MKR GSM 1400 provides a rich set of I/O interfaces including: eight digital I/Os; 12 PWM outputs; UART, SPI and I2C interfaces; analog I/O including seven inputs and one output; and eight external interrupt pins.

Both boards are now available for pre-order on the Arduino Store.

Arduino device helps keep dogs safe from overheating

Pets bring an untold amount of joy into our lives, but unfortunately they aren’t allowed to go everywhere that humans are. Of course this makes sense in many situations, but if you’d like to take your dog with you wherever you go, this means occasionally leaving poochie in the car. Along with leaving the sunroof and windows open, this project’s author also came up with a transmitter and receiver to monitor the temperature inside of the car with a series of LED pulses.

The car unit consists of an Arduino Mega, along with a temperature sensor and LoRa transciever. The receiver takes this wireless information, which can be reliably read at a range of 250 meters (820 feet) in an urban environment, and gives the user a series of blinks to assure Max’s (the dog) human that he’s not overheating!

You can find the entire build’s write-up here, or check out its code on GitHub.

CES17: Arduino Unveils LoRa Modules For The Internet Of Things

WiFi and Bluetooth were never meant to be the radios used by a billion Internet of Things hats, umbrellas, irrigation systems, or any other device that makes a worldwide network of things interesting. The best radio for IoT is something lightweight which operates in the sub-Gigahertz range, doesn’t need a lot of bandwidth, and doesn’t suck down the power like WiFi. For the last few years, a new low-power wireless communication standard has been coming on the scene, and now this protocol — LoRa — will soon be available in an Arduino form factor.

The Primo, and NRF

It’s not LoRa, but the Arduino Primo line is based on the ESP8266 WiFi chip and a Nordic nRF52832 for Bluetooth. The Primo comes in the ever-familiar Arduino form factor, but it isn’t meant to be an ‘Internet of Things’ device. Instead, it’s a microcontroller for devices that need to be on the Internet.

Also on display at CES this year is the Primo Core which we first saw at BAMF back in May. It’s a board barely larger than a US quarter that has a few tricks up its sleeve. The Primo Core is built around the nRF52832, and adds humidity, temperature, 3-axis magnetometer and a 3-axis accelerometer to a square inch of fiberglass.

The Primo Core has a few mechanical tricks up its sleeve. Those castellated pins around the circumference can be soldered to the Alice Pad, a breakout board that adds a USB port and LiPo battery charger.


Also on deck at the Arduino suite were two LoRa shields. In collobration with Semtech, Arduino will be releasing the pair of LoRa shields later this year. The first, the Node Shield, is about as simple as it can get — it’s simply a shield with a LoRa radio and a few connectors. The second, the Gateway Shield, does what it says on the tin: it’s designed to be a gateway from other Arduino devices (Ethernet or WiFi, for example) to a Node shield. The boards weren’t completely populated, but from what I could see, the Gateway shield is significantly more capable with support for a GPS chipset and antenna.

A partnership with Cayenne and MyDevices

Of course, the Internet of Things is worthless if you can’t manage it easily. Arduino has struck up a partnership with MyDevices to turn a bunch of low-bandwidth radio and serial connections into something easy to use. Already, we’ve seen a few builds and projects using MyDevices, but the demos I was shown were extremely easy to understand, even if there were far too many devices in the room.

All of this is great news if you’re working on the next great Internet of Things thing. The Primo Core is one of the smallest wireless microcontroller devices I’ve seen, and the addition of LoRa Arduino shields means we may actually see useful low-bandwidth networks in the very near future.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, news