Category Archives: Technology

Tips and test on technological product and components. Operating system, networks, hardware, security…
Astuces et tests autour de produits et composants technologiques, systèmes, réseaux, hardware, sécurité …

The impact of putting an antenna in a box

IoT design a usually a matter of antenna as already seen in different previous blog post. Antenna performance is the assurance of your capacity to deploy your object in larger zone and a way to save energy by reducing transmission power.

As we will see, if you get a hardware component and simply put it in a box its radio behavior will be totally different as the box is impacting the transmission.

This post will practically show you the impact of a box on a device radio quality.

Continue reading

Posted in Hardware, IoT | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

miniVNA Tiny Plus review

I’ve got my miniVNA Tiny+ this summer and start making test with it. A VNA is a Vector Network Analyzer. Behind this dark name, this is a tool able to analyze the radio response of your circuit and ensure your circuit is tuned to the right frequency. From the data measured by this tool you can find the right adaptation circuit to match your central frequency.

For more information about RF circuit matching, you can read this other post.

The miniVNA Tiny+ is a low cost VNA solution less than 300€ covering frequencies from 1MHz to 3Ghz. These frequencies are good for most of IoT need : LPWAN around 868MHz and Bluetooth at 2,4GHz. The steps are 10Hz for a large precision. With two ports you can measure S11 – power transmitted and received over the same port – and S21 – power transmitted from port 1 and received over port 2.

The miniVNA Tiny+ is an usb solution working with a computer connected to and a software running on the computer. The software is based on Java and may support different Operating Systems.

Continue reading

Posted in Hardware | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

I-Extruder – solder paste dispenser

Ordered from Kickstarter and received quickly, this solder paste dispenser really changed my life !! Now since about 3-4 month I’m using it regularly and it still mking me really happy.

It has start from a Kickstarter project I back on but failed the first time. This was disappointing as the classical tool I’m using for dispensing solder paste are really noisy. So when they did a second KS and make it I was really happy. More over they are neighbor of me (about 200km on the Est) and seeing a such good idea made from France is as a good news as a surprise.

Continue reading

Posted in Hardware | Tagged , | Leave a comment

SMD pickup tool review

Sometime when you want to place a SMD component on a PCB you can use a handy vacuum pump. I’ve tried different low cost model from AliExpress this summer and this post will tell you what is looking best to me for my use.

First of all, I’m not using this tool for components like small resistor, I prefer tweezers for such components. I’m using a handy vacuum pump for larger components like QPF, TSSOP, SOP, QFN…

I’ve tried 3 different tools from AliExpress from 1$ to 9$

Continue reading

Posted in Hardware | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Meet the Sigfox founders

This last monday I had the chance to meet the two Sigfox founders Ludovic Le-Moan and Christophe Fourtet during a really nice day at Labege (SigFox headquarter) with other Sigfox ambassadors.

From the meeting we had with the founders I retained some of the Sigfox strategical guide line:

 

 

  • Scalability –  this is the major point raised during our discussions : the network must be able to scale and all what has been designed in the radio protocol & technology, as in the cloud architecture was for scalability.

Thanks to this initial design no big change are expected in the radio solution in the coming years. It has already been designed for future.

In regard to this scalability strategy we have also meet the team operating the network. I’ve seen a really nice Network Operation Center, well equiped and with about 40 people involved. It has been fun for me as in my daily job I’m managing internal inter-application communication of a large company. The volume of data we are proceeding every day is quite similar as of now but Sigfox is well more equiped than I am and better prepared for scaling 😉

 

  • Reliability – The ISM band will continue to have more and more noise on it coming from all the coming radio device using it. Sigfox design has been made to ensure a long term capacity to support this evolution. Ultra narrow band is actually the best and secure way to continue to communicate over noisy environment also protecting this common good by limiting the spectral usage.

 

  • Simplicity –  Sigfox has been made to be simple to use with no parameters to tune the radio or the protocol. Everything is defined to ensure a good quality in the communications. This spirit will be kept in the future but potentially we will have the capability to tweak some of the parameters. We could imagine to limit the repetition time for frame with lower criticality. This will save power or send more frame per hour. We could imagine to get higher speed. Why not having more downlink ? Larger payload ?

Continue reading

Posted in sigfox, Technologies | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Wisol WSSFM20R1 module

New comer in the Sigfox ecosystem : the Wisol FM20R1.

Wisol have already changed the Sigfox module world by providing a solution based on the OnSemi design for transmitting on Sigfox network for about 2$. Now they are back with a full SoC solution for a really competitive price estimated under 15$. This solution is providing SigFox, GPS, Wifi, NFC, RF and includes an accelerometer.

 

Continue reading

Posted in sigfox | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sigfox on the move !

sigfox
sigfox

In many occasion some of my Sigfox prototypes has been in movement with difficulties to emit ; many source can cause this but basically from discussions with specialists speed is not a close friend of Sigfox technology.

As a quick test is always better than a long theorical discussion, tonight, I took my car and made some tests.

This post details the test of Sigfox running in a car at different speed.

Continue reading

Posted in sigfox | Tagged | 1 Comment

Sigfox technical basics

Sigfox has just published a documentation on the technical basis of the network. This pdf document is a good summary of all what you need to know to get start on the technology.

The document is attached here Sigfox technical overview

To complete this overview you can also take a look to my different post & video

Posted in sigfox, Technologies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment