Posts with «system» label

Add long-distance connectivity to your Arduino with the CATkit System

Introduction

Have you ever wanted to connect your Arduino to sensors or other devices but over a long distance? And we don’t mean a few metres – instead, distances of up to 100 metres? Doing so is possible with the CATkit system from SMART greenhouse.

This system is a combination of small boards that are connected between your Arduino and external devices using CAT5 networking cable, giving a very simple method of connecting devices over distances you previously thought may not have been possible – or have used costly wireless modules in the past.

The maximum distances possible depend on the signal type, for example:

  • analogue signals up to 100 metres (with a 0.125 V drop)
  • 1-wire signals (ideal for DS18B20 temperature sensors) up to 75 metres
  • SPI bus up to 50 metres
  • I2C bus up to 35 metres
  • Serial data at 9600 bps varies between 50 and 100 metres

In principle you could also use this with other development boards that utilise the Arduino Uno shield form-factor and work with 5V – so not for the Arduino Due, etc. For more information check out the .pdf documentation at the bottom of this page.

How it works

For each system you need one CATkit Arduino shield:

… and one or more Kitten boards. These are both inline – in that they can “tap in” to a run:

or have one RJ45 socket for installation at the end of a cable run:

Note that the inline Kitten has male pins for the breakout, and the end unit has females. These units are available in kit form or assembled. You then use the network cables between the shield and each Kitten, for example:

Each Kitten can distribute six signals, and up to three can be connected to one CATkit shield. These three distribute analogue pins 0~5, digital pins 0~5 and 6~11 respectively. You can also introduce external power to the CATkit shield and the onboard regulator will offer 5V at up to 950 mA for the power bus which can be accessed from the inline or end Kitten boards. This saves having to provide separate 5V power to devices away from the Arduino, and very convenient for sensors or remote I2C-interface displays.  

Using the CATkit system

If you have the units in kit form, assembly is very simple. For example – the main CATkit shield:

The shield is in the latest Arduino R3 format, and all the required parts are included. The PCB is neatly solder-masked and silk-screened so soldering is easy. The power regulator is in D-PAK form, however with a little help it’s easy to solder it in:

Otherwise the shield assembly is straight forward, and in around ten minutes you have the finished product (somehow we lost the DC socket, however one is included):

The cut-out in the PCB gives a neat clearance for the USB socket.  The inline unit was also easily assembled, and again the kit includes all the necessary parts:

… and after a few minutes of soldering the board is ready:

A benefit of using the kit version is that you can directly solder any wires from sensors straight to the PCB for more permanent installations. 

Using the CATkit system

Any Arduino user with a basic understanding of I/O will be ready for the CATkit system. You can think of it as a seamless extension to the required I/O pins, taking into account the maximum distances possible as noted on the CATkit website or earlier in this review.

For a quick test we connected an I2C-interface LCD using an inline Kitten module via 5M of network cable, as shown in this video.

Conclusion

With a little planning and the CATkit system you can create neat plug-and-play sensor or actuator networks with reusable lengths of common networking cable. To do so is simple – and it works, so for more information and distributors please visit the product website.

And if you enjoyed this article, or want to introduce someone else to the interesting world of Arduino – check out my book (now in a third printing!) “Arduino Workshop”.

Have fun and keep checking into tronixstuff.com. Why not follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column, or join our forum – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.

[Note – CATkit system parts are a promotional consideration from SMART green house]

The post Add long-distance connectivity to your Arduino with the CATkit System appeared first on tronixstuff.

Tronixstuff 12 Apr 23:33

Arduino Tutorials – Chapter 15 – RFID

Learn how to use RFID readers with your Arduino. In this instalment we use an RDM630 or RDM6300 RFID reader. If you have an Innovations ID-12 or ID-20 RFID reader, we have a different tutorial for you.

This is chapter fifteen of our huge Arduino tutorial seriesUpdated 19/11/2013

Introduction

RFID – radio frequency identification. Some of us have already used these things, and they have become part of everyday life. For example, with electronic vehicle tolling, door access control, public transport fare systems and so on. It sounds complex – but isn’t.

To explain RFID for the layperson, we can use a key and lock analogy. Instead of the key having a unique pattern, RFID keys hold a series of unique numbers which are read by the lock. It is up to our Arduino sketch to determine what happens when the number is read by the lock.  The key is the tag, card or other small device we carry around or have in our vehicles. We will be using a passive key, which is an integrated circuit and a small aerial. This uses power from a magnetic field associated with the lock. Here are some key or tag examples:

In this tutorial we’ll be using 125 kHz tags – for example. To continue with the analogy our lock is a small circuit board and a loop aerial. This has the capability to read the data on the IC of our key, and some locks can even write data to keys. Here is our reader (lock) example:

These readers are quite small and inexpensive – however the catch is that the loop aerial is somewhat fragile. If you need something much sturdier, consider the ID20 tags used in the other RFID tutorial.

Setting up the RFID reader

This is a short exercise to check the reader works and communicates with the Arduino. You will need:

Simply insert the RFID reader main board into a solderless breadboard as shown below. Then use jumper wires to connect the second and third pins at the top-left of the RFID board to Arduino 5V and GND respectively. The RFID coil connects to the two pins on the top-right (they can go either way). Finally, connect a jumper wire from the bottom-left pin of the RFID board to Arduino digital pin 2:

Next, upload the following sketch to your Arduino and open the serial monitor window in the IDE:

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial RFID(2, 3); // RX and TX

int i;

void setup()
{
  RFID.begin(9600);    // start serial to RFID reader
  Serial.begin(9600);  // start serial to PC 
}

void loop()
{
  if (RFID.available() > 0) 
  {
     i = RFID.read();
     Serial.print(i, DEC);
     Serial.print(" ");
  }
}

If you’re wondering why we used SoftwareSerial – if you connect the data line from the RFID board to the Arduino’s RX pin – you need to remove it when updating sketches, so this is more convenient.

Now start waving RFID cards or tags over the coil. You will find that they need to be parallel over the coil, and not too far away. You can experiment with covering the coil to simulate it being installed behind protective surfaces and so on. Watch this short video which shows the resulting RFID card or tag data being displayed in the Arduino IDE serial monitor.

As you can see from the example video, the reader returns the card’s unique ID number which starts with a 2 and ends with a 3. While you have the sketch operating, read the numbers from your RFID tags and note them down, you will need them for future sketches.

To do anything with the card data, we need to create some functions to retrieve the card number when it is read and place in an array for comparison against existing card data (e.g. a list of accepted cards) so your systems will know who to accept and who to deny. Using those functions, you can then make your own access system, time-logging device and so on.

Let’s demonstrate an example of this. It will check if a card presented to the reader is on an “accepted” list, and if so light a green LED, otherwise light a red LED. Use the hardware from the previous sketch, but add a typical green and red LED with 560 ohm resistor to digital pins 13 and 12 respectively. Then upload the following sketch:

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial RFID(2, 3); // RX and TX

int data1 = 0;
int ok = -1;
int yes = 13;
int no = 12;

// use first sketch in http://wp.me/p3LK05-3Gk to get your tag numbers
int tag1[14] = {2,52,48,48,48,56,54,66,49,52,70,51,56,3};
int tag2[14] = {2,52,48,48,48,56,54,67,54,54,66,54,66,3};
int newtag[14] = { 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0}; // used for read comparisons

void setup()
{
  RFID.begin(9600);    // start serial to RFID reader
  Serial.begin(9600);  // start serial to PC 
  pinMode(yes, OUTPUT); // for status LEDs
  pinMode(no, OUTPUT);
}

boolean comparetag(int aa[14], int bb[14])
{
  boolean ff = false;
  int fg = 0;
  for (int cc = 0 ; cc < 14 ; cc++)
  {
    if (aa[cc] == bb[cc])
    {
      fg++;
    }
  }
  if (fg == 14)
  {
    ff = true;
  }
  return ff;
}

void checkmytags() // compares each tag against the tag just read
{
  ok = 0; // this variable helps decision-making,
  // if it is 1 we have a match, zero is a read but no match,
  // -1 is no read attempt made
  if (comparetag(newtag, tag1) == true)
  {
    ok++;
  }
  if (comparetag(newtag, tag2) == true)
  {
    ok++;
  }
}

void readTags()
{
  ok = -1;

  if (RFID.available() > 0) 
  {
    // read tag numbers
    delay(100); // needed to allow time for the data to come in from the serial buffer.

    for (int z = 0 ; z < 14 ; z++) // read the rest of the tag
    {
      data1 = RFID.read();
      newtag[z] = data1;
    }
    RFID.flush(); // stops multiple reads

    // do the tags match up?
    checkmytags();
  }

  // now do something based on tag type
  if (ok > 0) // if we had a match
  {
    Serial.println("Accepted");
    digitalWrite(yes, HIGH);
    delay(1000);
    digitalWrite(yes, LOW);

    ok = -1;
  }
  else if (ok == 0) // if we didn't have a match
  {
    Serial.println("Rejected");
    digitalWrite(no, HIGH);
    delay(1000);
    digitalWrite(no, LOW);

    ok = -1;
  }
}

void loop()
{
  readTags();
}

In the sketch we have a few functions that take care of reading and comparing RFID tags. Notice that the allowed tag numbers are listed at the top of the sketch, you can always add your own and more – as long as you add them to the list in the function checkmytags() which determines if the card being read is allowed or to be denied.

The function readTags() takes care of the actual reading of the tags/cards, by placing the currently-read tag number into an array which is them used in the comparison function checkmytags(). Then the LEDs are illuminated depending on the status of the tag at the reader. You can watch a quick demonstration of this example in this short video.

Conclusion

After working through this chapter you should now have a good foundation of knowledge on using the inexpensive RFID readers and how to call functions when a card is successfully read. For example, use some extra hardware (such as an N-MOSFET) to control a door strike, buzzer, etc. Now it’s up to you to use them as a form of input with various access systems, tracking the movement of people or things and much more.

And if you enjoyed the tutorial, or want to introduce someone else to the interesting world of Arduino – check out my book (now in a third printing!) “Arduino Workshop” from No Starch Press.

In the meanwhile have fun and keep checking into tronixstuff.com. Why not follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column? And join our friendly Google Group – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.

The post Arduino Tutorials – Chapter 15 – RFID appeared first on tronixstuff.

Arduino Tutorials – Chapter 15 – RFID

Learn how to use RFID readers with your Arduino. In this instalment we use an RDM630 or RDM6300 RFID reader. This is chapter fifteen of our huge Arduino tutorial seriesUpdated 19/11/2013

Introduction

RFID – radio frequency identification. Some of us have already used these things, and they have become part of everyday life. For example, with electronic vehicle tolling, door access control, public transport fare systems and so on. It sounds complex – but isn’t.

To explain RFID for the layperson, we can use a key and lock analogy. Instead of the key having a unique pattern, RFID keys hold a series of unique numbers which are read by the lock. It is up to our Arduino sketch to determine what happens when the number is read by the lock.  The key is the tag, card or other small device we carry around or have in our vehicles. We will be using a passive key, which is an integrated circuit and a small aerial. This uses power from a magnetic field associated with the lock. Here are some key or tag examples:

In this tutorial we’ll be using 125 kHz tags – for example. To continue with the analogy our lock is a small circuit board and a loop aerial. This has the capability to read the data on the IC of our key, and some locks can even write data to keys. Here is our reader (lock) example:

These readers are quite small and inexpensive – however the catch is that the loop aerial is somewhat fragile. If you need something much sturdier, consider the ID20 tags used in the other RFID tutorial.

Setting up the RFID reader

This is a short exercise to check the reader works and communicates with the Arduino. You will need:

Simply insert the RFID reader main board into a solderless breadboard as shown below. Then use jumper wires to connect the second and third pins at the top-left of the RFID board to Arduino 5V and GND respectively. The RFID coil connects to the two pins on the top-right (they can go either way). Finally, connect a jumper wire from the bottom-left pin of the RFID board to Arduino digital pin 2:

Next, upload the following sketch to your Arduino and open the serial monitor window in the IDE:

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial RFID(2, 3); // RX and TX

int i;

void setup()
{
  RFID.begin(9600);    // start serial to RFID reader
  Serial.begin(9600);  // start serial to PC 
}

void loop()
{
  if (RFID.available() > 0) 
  {
     i = RFID.read();
     Serial.print(i, DEC);
     Serial.print(" ");
  }
}

If you’re wondering why we used SoftwareSerial – if you connect the data line from the RFID board to the Arduino’s RX pin – you need to remove it when updating sketches, so this is more convenient.

Now start waving RFID cards or tags over the coil. You will find that they need to be parallel over the coil, and not too far away. You can experiment with covering the coil to simulate it being installed behind protective surfaces and so on. Watch this short video which shows the resulting RFID card or tag data being displayed in the Arduino IDE serial monitor.

As you can see from the example video, the reader returns the card’s unique ID number which starts with a 2 and ends with a 3. While you have the sketch operating, read the numbers from your RFID tags and note them down, you will need them for future sketches.

To do anything with the card data, we need to create some functions to retrieve the card number when it is read and place in an array for comparison against existing card data (e.g. a list of accepted cards) so your systems will know who to accept and who to deny. Using those functions, you can then make your own access system, time-logging device and so on.

Let’s demonstrate an example of this. It will check if a card presented to the reader is on an “accepted” list, and if so light a green LED, otherwise light a red LED. Use the hardware from the previous sketch, but add a typical green and red LED with 560 ohm resistor to digital pins 13 and 12 respectively. Then upload the following sketch:

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial RFID(2, 3); // RX and TX

int data1 = 0;
int ok = -1;
int yes = 13;
int no = 12;

// use first sketch in http://wp.me/p3LK05-3Gk to get your tag numbers
int tag1[14] = {2,52,48,48,48,56,54,66,49,52,70,51,56,3};
int tag2[14] = {2,52,48,48,48,56,54,67,54,54,66,54,66,3};
int newtag[14] = { 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0}; // used for read comparisons

void setup()
{
  RFID.begin(9600);    // start serial to RFID reader
  Serial.begin(9600);  // start serial to PC 
  pinMode(yes, OUTPUT); // for status LEDs
  pinMode(no, OUTPUT);
}

boolean comparetag(int aa[14], int bb[14])
{
  boolean ff = false;
  int fg = 0;
  for (int cc = 0 ; cc < 14 ; cc++)
  {
    if (aa[cc] == bb[cc])
    {
      fg++;
    }
  }
  if (fg == 14)
  {
    ff = true;
  }
  return ff;
}

void checkmytags() // compares each tag against the tag just read
{
  ok = 0; // this variable helps decision-making,
  // if it is 1 we have a match, zero is a read but no match,
  // -1 is no read attempt made
  if (comparetag(newtag, tag1) == true)
  {
    ok++;
  }
  if (comparetag(newtag, tag2) == true)
  {
    ok++;
  }
}

void readTags()
{
  ok = -1;

  if (RFID.available() > 0) 
  {
    // read tag numbers
    delay(100); // needed to allow time for the data to come in from the serial buffer.

    for (int z = 0 ; z < 14 ; z++) // read the rest of the tag
    {
      data1 = RFID.read();
      newtag[z] = data1;
    }
    RFID.flush(); // stops multiple reads

    // do the tags match up?
    checkmytags();
  }

  // now do something based on tag type
  if (ok > 0) // if we had a match
  {
    Serial.println("Accepted");
    digitalWrite(yes, HIGH);
    delay(1000);
    digitalWrite(yes, LOW);

    ok = -1;
  }
  else if (ok == 0) // if we didn't have a match
  {
    Serial.println("Rejected");
    digitalWrite(no, HIGH);
    delay(1000);
    digitalWrite(no, LOW);

    ok = -1;
  }
}

void loop()
{
  readTags();
}

In the sketch we have a few functions that take care of reading and comparing RFID tags. Notice that the allowed tag numbers are listed at the top of the sketch, you can always add your own and more – as long as you add them to the list in the function checkmytags() which determines if the card being read is allowed or to be denied.

The function readTags() takes care of the actual reading of the tags/cards, by placing the currently-read tag number into an array which is them used in the comparison function checkmytags(). Then the LEDs are illuminated depending on the status of the tag at the reader. You can watch a quick demonstration of this example in this short video.

Conclusion

After working through this chapter you should now have a good foundation of knowledge on using the inexpensive RFID readers and how to call functions when a card is successfully read. For example, use some extra hardware (such as an N-MOSFET) to control a door strike, buzzer, etc. Now it’s up to you to use them as a form of input with various access systems, tracking the movement of people or things and much more.

And if you enjoyed the tutorial, or want to introduce someone else to the interesting world of Arduino – check out my book (now in a third printing!) “Arduino Workshop” from No Starch Press.

In the meanwhile have fun and keep checking into tronixstuff.com. Why not follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column? And join our friendly Google Group – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.