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 …

Getting started with Arduino MKRWAN1300 & LoRaWan TTN

After making some post on Arduino MKRFOX1200, here I come with the first steps to use MKRWAN1300 board to send your first frame on TTN and also how to use them for discovering the TTN coverage around.

MKRWAN1300 board is a LoRaWan Arduino board based on the Murata CMWX1ZZABZ module. This module is capable for LoRaWan in Europe (868Mhz), NA (915MHz) Asia (923MHz) …. It is also capable for Sigfox in both zone (but actually not with this board as much as I know). Producing 14dB emission and capable for 20dB emission for FCC zone. The price of the Arduino board is about 40€ and it is largely available on Internet.

In this post we are going to see how to make the first steps with this board and create a device to map the TTN network coverage with and without a GPS.

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How to get some Sigfox Subscriptions ?

This is a Frequent question I received from many hackers or companies: How can I get a Sigfox subscription for my IoT device?

We need to start saying a Sigfox subscription is a right to have its device data to be proceeded for a year. In the LPWA technology there is no SIM cards or any physical things attached to the subscription. You buy a device from a semiconductor company, when this device is compatible with Sigfox you have an ID attached to this device. This ID is uniq and used to identify the device on the Sigfox network. So once you have a subscription, you attach this subscription to this device ID then you will be able to access your device data from the Sigfox backend.

That’s clarified we can address the question of this post: what are the way to access a subscription?

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Enhanced Sigfox API services

Since I’m using Sigfox backend there are a lot of operations I’m regularly manually doing. Thanks to the Sigfox API, it is possible to automate these manual operations to gain in productivity and save time.

The most consuming operation were for me to manage the device type because each of them have multiple callback and every callback uses many parameters. The callback replication is for me a recurrent operation when adding a new contract, when creating a new version of application, when instancing for dev, prod… It’s also a complex operation when you have to ask a third party ( like a client ) to configure a device-type for connecting to your service. As a consequence these operations are the first one I’ve automated thanks to the Sigfox Api.

I’ve decided to publish this usefull code to let you saves time on these operation with a new set of API accessible on IngeniousThings Sigfox Api portal and available on GitHub as OpenSource.

In this set of API (actually 3, will grow) you will find operation to export/import a full deviceType configuration and to duplicate a DeviceType.

Have fun !

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(try to) Understand the Sigfox backend Rights

Since a long time I’m trying to understand how the Sigfox right (ACL) works and stop affecting all the rights to my API access every time I’m creating a new one. More than that, when I’m working with clients or other LPWAn passionates I do not like requesting full access to the Sigfox backend to help them or integrate them in my backend.

So, it was a nice opportunity to tale a look to the ACL and document them with an overall overview instead of the detailed information you can get from the User Creation screen. (You may note that this documentation can’t be accessed from the API access creation screen but the groups are the same as for users).

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IoT, the tracking use-case

I want to start a new category of posts about IoT, not focus on the technology itself but on the use-cases. That said, for sure my words will be on the technological aspects of this use-case. The objective is to let you understand what are the solution but also what are the challenges behind that use-case. To start I’ve selected the Tracking use-case, reviewing all the GPS, WiFi and operator technics.

Regarding my experience in IoT from the past 5 years, one of the biggest market for LPWAn is actually assets tracking. In number I assume alarm backup is a little bit behind but thanks to one uniq actor. Tracking is far away first regarding the number of actors already having implemented a solution in production. This is also where we find the largest number of objects on the market for a single use-case.

That’s why I decided to start with this use case. I also know it really well for being the founder of one of these solution : Foxtrackr and I’ve already implemented all the technics described below.

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Do I need to implement a private LPWan network ?

Recurrent question where I usually see the wrong option taken by industrials: do I need to implement my own private network for m LPWA network ? In many case the wrong choice has been made due to a lack of understanding of network total cost of ownership. For sure I heard element about MY DATA privacy, but honestly, all the companies are putting added value data into the Cloud, so don’t tell me you unknown machine temperature is a sensitive data ?!? That said, let’s back to the true question : when does it make sense to create your own private network ?

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Offer a better developer experience to Sigfox API

As a backend developer, the Sigfox API is not a really good experience. This for multiple reasons and it is a good example on how a really good product can get a developer push-back just because of the interaction layer.

I can’t change the API itself (and its not y role) but as I was bored to use POSTMAN tool  and the Sigfox backend documentation (who already used it will understand) I decided to spend some hours this week to rewrite most of the API endpoint into a clean open-api format into a Spring application to get benefit of the SpringFox swagger front.

This project is not fully terminated but already in place with the most used API endpoint. The next will arrive soon. Read mode to get access.

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Introduction to Arduino MKRFox1200 – Part 2

Following the previous post where we saw how to transmit data on Sigfox with an Arduino MKRFox1200, in the second part we will learn how to consume these data in a backend site. To make this simple we are going to implement a solution using Adafruit.io service. This service allows to create graphics from data received from an API. We will configure Sigfox backend to push device data to this API.

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