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 …

Battery selection for IoT design

When making an IoT project the battery choice is something really important. Batteries stands for autonomy, sizing, price and usage conditions.

There is no universal solution to power your device, the right battery really depends on your requirements. To find the right powering solution you need to consider a certain number of parameters. We will try in this post to list most of them. This post is not exhaustive: I’m not a battery expert. This post is based on my own experience and you may consider it as a starting point, not a solution.

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Battery technologies usually used for IoT compared

As it is a recurrent question to find the right battery for an IoT design, I decided to write a post about this topic. I’m not claiming to be an expert of this and I’ll not give insight on this. The purpose is to list the different technology existing with the main characteristics to be able to use the best fitting technologies quickly.

This post is presenting a table of the different battery’s technologies available with the main characteristics. These characteristics are global one regarding the technology. Each of the battery vendor can have specific specifications a bit different. You will need to take a look on datasheets details.

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First steps with LoRa Radio Node (Arduino)

The LoRa Radio Node is an AVR Arduino board with a RFM95 LoRa module. This all-in-one LoRa module allows to have a LoRaWan device for a reasonable price around 15€. You need to add a battery (like a LS14500 3,7V battery) on the battery holder for a 4€ extra cost to make it mobile. LiPo option are also available using the power connector. Even if the connectors are looking like grove, they are not compatible so you will have to make your own wiring to connect extensions.

This post is reviewing how to getting started with this board to fire your first LoRaWan frame over The Things Network.

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Yadom Murata CMWX1ZZABZ-091 breakout board under review

Murata CMWX1ZZABZ chip is actually famous for being a powerful LoRaWan multi zone module also able to communicate over Sigfox.

I’ve already published a technical post on Murata CMWX1ZZAB chip in a previous post. You will also find an implementation based on my IoT SDK. Yadom has just released a breakout board ( BRKABZ01) for this chip making it accessible for hackers and for easier prototyping.

This post is going to review this board and demo how to access it really quickly. Are you ready ?

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Fongwah S9 NFC Reader

I’m actually working on a device using a NFC chip from ST. Unfortunately, this chip is not using the ISO-14443 norms but the less usual ISO-15693 one. As a consequence the NFC reader I had were not compatible with this norms. I found a solution (there are not a lot) in Amazon to covert this need. The Fongwah S9 NFC Reader. I made this post to share my test experience of this device.

Precision: this is not a post made for Fongwah, I really have to crash my head on this device and the purpose of this post is to save your time. The fondwah S9 is a nice tool with a multi-language (on top of C library) SDK but it is delivered with no easy documentations, broken links and no reference on ISO-15693 support… I was a bit disappointed once the box opened.

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Getting started with ST Murata LoRaWan board

ST Micro-Electronics is providing a development board with a Murata CMWX1ZZABZ-091 chip. This device is a module containing a STM32L0 chip (192Kb of Flash / 20Kb of RAM) associated with a Semtech SX1276 radio chip. This module can be used as a SoC for developing LoRaWan IoT devices. The Semtech chip is also capable of Sigfox. This module is a bit expensive but it is actually the one allowing LoRaWan and Sigfox communication in any of the RCZ zones.

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Alarm your TheThingsNetwork gateway

There is actually no solution to get an alarm when a TTN gateway is shutting down. That said, all the information are accessible thanks to the different API. 

To monitor my deployed gateways, I’ve made a little script in python working with IFTTT. It connects to the The Things Network api, get the gateway status and call the IFTTT webhook in case of last gateway update too old. 

On IFTTT i’ve created an applet to generate a Push notification on phone to get the alarm.

The script is accessible in the post detail.

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Make a Laird Sentrius an outdoor gateway

The Laird Sentrius LoRaWan gateway is a low cost, stable and easy to configure on The Things Network gateway. They are indoor gateway. I want to install it outdoor to offer a better coverage.

In certain situation the easiest way to install it outdoor is to use an external antenna and a long antenna cable. In some other situation this approach is complex to implement and the easiest way is to install the gateway outdoor with its antenna and network connection.

The best is to use an outdoor LoRaWan gateway. The price is usually > 600€. Even if in general the outdoor gateways includes GPS and Cellphone connectivity. In this post I’ll explain how I make one of Laird Sentrius outdoor because it costs less than 250€ for the gateway itself.

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