New year, new edition of TheThingsConference, the main LPWan event now.
As this event is a big community event including industries, silicon providers, service providers, operator, integrator… It’s a big opportunity for all these people to meet altogether. 2021 due to covid-19 pandemic is online as most of the IoT events currently. Question were, how will be the quality, how will be the interaction within the community ?
TheThingsConference already had a virtual event in 2020 some month after the yearly physical conference and basically it has been a success. It also has been a good training or this 2021 event. As a consequence the event quality (platform, keynote video, talk video) have a really good quality. They basically taken benefit of the new capabilities of the recorded video like to play with a 3D device in the middle of the scene. So that really cool.
They have also taken into account the different time-shift and replaying all the conferences on different slots to allows people to follow it on normal hour. That’s great a better than the previous edition (a 24h non stop event… fun but difficult). The conference is taking place on a whole week
Interaction between the community, at least over the chat is really good and this is also a success… I’ll complete that post all along the conference but we can start seing what has been announced during the keynote.
Short post to share the slide-deck presented at IoT Barcelona meetup tonight. You can download the following pdf with all of them.
RAK is one of the most famous LoRaWan gateway manufacturer in the hacker space as they have made HAT for raspberry Pi since a while.
I’m not a big fan of RPI based gateways as I do not want to manage RaspiOS and Rpi hardware and really prefer to have an all in one product well integrated when deploying Gateways. So the Wisgate solution is a better choice in my point of view and it has taken time before I decided to buy one of them.
I’ve bought this one for my next project of LoRaWan solar gateway as I want this one to be fully autonomous, including a 4G connectivity. I have multiple candidate gateways for this like the Kerlink iFemToCell evolution and this Wisgate Edge. The Wisgate price is lower at $249 compared to 325€ for the Kerlink. For this reason, and the fact I already tested the iFemToCell some years ago, my first choice has been on the RAK gateway.
So let’s review this Rak Wisgate gateway !
Helium is a crowdsourced / blockchain IoT network running on hardware like raspberryPi. You can more details on this blog post describing Helium network. Sometime you can have to move you miner from one hardware to another and this task needs to be executed shortly because you stop the IoT communication during this step. Here how I did proceed for my miner.
RAK is a company specialized in IoT hardware, particularly in the LoRaWan domain. They are well known for their LoRaWan concentrators working with raspberryPi.
Since a couple of month they have launched a new family of device, the Wisblock. This is a kind of Arduino solution with a MCU part (running a NRF chip with a LoRa transceiver) and different sensors you can connect to it to make an IoT device. That’s a really simplified way to see the solution as in fact the architecture is really different.
At first, the solution is based on a motherboard where you can plug different type of modules. You can have multiple additional sensors both side of the motherboard. We are also going to see that the way all of this is connected is industrial and can be use for prototypes, medium scale field deployment and finished product. That’s the main difference with a classical Arduino board.
The unit price of a solution with a GPS, MCU, Accelerometer is about $50, nothing really expensive for prototyping, a bit too high for a field experimentation, really high for an end product but apparently you can negotiate that price when you have a certain volume.
I’m a big fan of PiHole for my children but also for my IoT devices [not the one I build but the one I’m purchasing 🙂 ]. That said, there are two things missing in it:
- The first one is that Pi-Hole is operating on DNS request so any malicious solution using its own DNS or direct IP will bypass Pi-Hole protection.
- The second one is the lake of functionalities like stopping Internet for a certain group of user during certain period of time.
So, when a friend of me contacted me to share its work on a different solution using a proxy, I’ve been happy to let him make a blog post here to introduce his solution. And this solution can be used in complement of PiHole. So, let’s make some place here to Manu PILLANT
Recurrent step when making an IoT device, the antenna matching is a key activity to get the right radio performance for your device. You radio strip and antenna must be tuned to match a 50 Ohm impedance. For doing this I’m using a miniVNA Tiny Vector Network Analyzer (until a switch to my Rigol Spectrum Analyzer) as described on the previously linked post.
The impact of a correct antenna matching has been addressed in an old post on this blog also.
Currently, to tune my antennas, I’m also using the Atyune tool. This tool is free and really good to make the tuning but also to get a better understanding of what you are doing. Let’s see how to proceed.
Sigfox Connect is usually one of the MAIN EVENT for the LPWAN community as the technical solutions provided by Sigfox were, in the last 5 years, the one presenting disruptive innovations around low power radio communications suporting the IoT revolution. I was usually rushing on my blog to communicate and explain how these innovations could transform our markets…
This year in 2020, I’ve made 5 days before starting to write something because, I see nothing really interesting to tell about this event, at least on the technical side. I could fill many pages on the quality of the event, starting by the backgrounds, the phone ringing in background, even on recorded conferences and the number of conferences about the same topic (supply chain). Christophe Fourtet had a great talk… for Sigfox beginner… and my preferred event’s backgrounds. But what about the yellow texts scrolling ?!? WTF !
So, I could write tons of line on this topic, but let’s try to go to the only and main announcement of this year, nothing technical, something like a company business pivot. Basically, after watching Ludovic conference, I had to refer to the only one online press post to understand what it was about. The morning keynote had some of the elements related to it but honestly I give the same to my IoT students on the first 30 minutes, so for the vision I’ve been a bit disappointed. You can check my IoT slidedeck.