Category Archives: Sigfox

All my sigfox research, hack, experimentation and feedback

Make your own $1 Sigfox IoT device

Previously in my blog post “I held the first $1 Sigfox device“, I’ve explained how the Sigfox network will soon accept some really low cost Radio MCU chip on its network. One of them is the cmostek CMT2189C MCU. It has a cost around $0.25 and has it own integrated radio compatible to Sigfox. This device has initially been made to support garage door remote and it has a lot of limitation. However, you can imagine many application. This post details the first steps to get a development environment ready. And this should save some of your time by going directly to the right way.

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UnaMKR, Ardunio Sigfox devkit

We previously discovered the UnaMKR devkit. This devkit has two boards. The module board with the radio module and the sensors. It is the one I talked about in my previous post. The Arduino board is the second one. By programming this Arduino MKR Zero you can create custom program to use sensors and radio module to experiment Sigfox. The big advantage is a single board where ever you are located as it supports all the Sigfox zones.

During this second step, we are going to see how we can use the devkit to make a simple sensor measuring and reporting.

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UnaMKR, the Sigfox Monarch experience

Unabiz has recently released the first Sigfox Monarch certified devkit. It is based on a LiteOn WSG309S module. The LiteOn module contains a St-Microelectronics based solution including a BlueNRG / S2LP in it.

In addition, the module board also have different sensors: temperature, humidity, pressure, air quality, accelerometer, magnetometer, light sensor, magnetic switch (reed switch).

You are able to use the module board as a standalone circuit. You directly program the LiteOn module. Or you can use the standard AT interface of the module and connect an Arduino MKR Zero board to use it.

In this post, we are going to see how to use the kit to test Sigfox Monarch solution.

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Sigfox monarch

Sigfox Monarch service is a free global service allowing to determine the zone where a device is located.

By zone location I mean RC (Radio Configuration zone). It basically defines the European Zone (RC1) or the North American Zone (RC2)…

Thank to this technology a world-wide device, having no GPS to get its location, is able to determine its radio configuration and the associated frequencies to use for transmissions.

This service is covering most of the airports and ports around the world to support the existing customer use-cases like Louis-Vuiton tracker and Safecube container tracking.

It would be great if this service could, in the future, be also used to broadcast/multicast information to devices. It could be used to get time from the network and later be also used to transport custom data to the group of devices. But currently it does not transport any data.

In this post I propose to detail the Monarch technology and then, in a second post to see how to use it with the first released devkit from Unabiz supporting Sigfox Monarch.

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No ! Sigfox is not removing duplicates

From 9-12 months ago, all the backend Sigfox user have this notice printed in the callback page:

Since, I hear many people saying the duplicates and signal related metadata will be removed from Sigfox.

This a WRONG ! Let see exactly why and what is replacing this feature ; how it impacts the way you build you integration with Sigfox backend.

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The Sigfox Micro Base Station test

The Sigfox Micro basestation has been announced during the last Sigfox Connect event in Berlin. The base-station allow to extend the Sigfox public network, at low price, for your private location.

This post is detailing my experience with the micro base-station and the field test I’ve made on an industrial site.

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Stop telling me Sigfox is clear payload, for real you’re just lazy ;)

The usual attack on Sigfox network is related to the “security”. Behind this large concept, for real, the only point is related to the use of clear payload over the air. As a consequence some are extending this to the possible replay after 2048 frames so regarding a standard use of Sigfox is will be about 6 month later…

That said, for real, all of this is just ignorance from these pseudo “security” experts and developer laziness. Don’t beat me for saying that, I’m part of the lazy developer, the only difference is I’m not complaining and I’m aware the solution is in my own hands.

Because, for real, the payload encryption exists as documented in the post I’ve published on May 2017 and detailed on the Feb 2017 technical security paper published by Sigfox or like in this document.

So saying the Sigfox is not proposing payload encryption is wrong and this option is also fixing any 6 months later message replay. It’s like saying WiFi is  not secured because you can create an open-network.

So now, let’s see why encryption is not the default option, why a network encryption standard is not the best option and then see how to stop to be a lazy developer and make encryption working.

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