Todays work was to make a simple GPS tracker communicating over LoRaWAN to check the coverage of my LoRaWan gateway in the city. Basically this tracker reports a position per minute to the network. If coverage is good, position will be recorded in the backend. That’s all !
This post details how to do it easily with the low cost and common components : Arduino for the master, Microchip RN2483 for LoRaWan communication and L80 for GPS positioning.
After spending some time reading and writing about LoRa it was a good time to make some real test of this technology.
As actually there is no network for LoRa, as much as I know, in my town, I expected to start a simple LoRa test (point to point and not as part of a WAN). I just bought some RN2483 LoRa module from Microchip online and also get some from Avnet (thank you Guillaume)
The module is easy to solder on a prototype board and get its command over a serial port. I choose to make two modules :
The first one is connected to a FTDI cable and will stay at home as a basestation
The second one is connected to an Arduino and will be a mobile device for my test
This weekend it was my first StartupWeekendI had kind of event past year having two bootcamps with my usual company for internal startup contest. By-the-way, the startup weekend is a little bit different.
That was a really nice experience I recommend. Basically, we came with some friend with a idea about providing a gaming environment for children where boy & girls can craft their own world and animate it thanks to the brick we are providing, using a programming language composed by domino they can manipulate. They won’t use any screen, only wood & plastic stuff that interacts with their crafted world.
After pitching this, we created a team by “hiring” people found in the crowd of participants. Some was from non selected ideas, some has came by curiosity and we got a nice mix of skills to start hacking the idea. Hacking the business model, hacking the technical solution…
After 2 days of intense work we had a final pitch where the top 3 of ideas has been selected by a jury and got some prizes. Even if our team has not been selected, we had a really great days seen all these nice ideas transformed in a weekend ; starting from quite nothing to become a credible business to develop.
We went to kickstart an idea, hack it, confirm hypothesis, meet people, meet future clients… and get fun ! for all of this it was a great success I’m happy to have done and to share this spirit ; here is a video we made during the event !
In a previous post I explained why the IoT is appearing in this period thanks to the network technology evolution. It would not be a complete analysis if I would not care about the social evolution. In parallel of IoT and technologies there are other rising trends : Makers, Fablabs, embedded systems,3d printing and crowd-founding.
Take a look at personal computing some decades ago when guys like Jobs or Gates make the first line of code and solder the first micro-processors in their garage ; they just used the technological elements available that time and were able to make them doing much more than what they have been made for. They did it because they were able to do it. The same story appends in the late 90’s with Internet : anyone was able to code some PHP stuff and create a service in his garage thanks to this students have created Facebook and many more.
At the opposite, when smart phone appeared in the middle of the 90’s it was a technology that requires strong industrial assets and this technology has been limited to major companies. The smart-phone revolution had been the same opening door to programmer to an new area with applications (apps). In fact all previous hardware evolutions since the Personal Computer beginning was requiring huge technological assets to be part of it.
IoT disruption is breaking these last 40 years where only software were hackable by getting hardware accessible.
The ESP8266 is a simple standalone addon for any board that works fine with Arduino and only cost less than 4€ on ebay.
It can operate as a device or an AP can gives wireless network connectivity to your application. It is interfaced with Arduino based on a serial line. The only problem of a such thing ( as for most of wifi chip ) is the power consumption. It requires about 150mA to run ; a lot for batteries.
My Friend @couac made a really good post on how to make it working with a Yabas, basically any Arduino board, I recommand the reading of his post : william post on ESP8266
The purpose of this post was to create an alarm clock form my 2 year old son. I’m lucky he is sleeping well but is waking up before I do and generally call me and mum to go out of the bed, then play in his room … So the problem is that he never know if can wake up and play or if it is too early and have to stay in the bed. For this reason I created this alarm clock to easily indicate him if it is sleep or play time.
The system is quite simple : you program the number of hour you want him to sleep. During sleep time a led display a pink color. After this configured duration, the color change for green. When green, my son is allowed to wake up and play in his room
The post describe how to do it based on an arduino nano.
After having update my Mac Os X, the java 6 have been removed and unfortunately Arduino request to use it. Personally I’m not really happy to install this not even more supported version of Java on my machine.
I was looking for the 1.5.8 Beta made for Java 7. I was not able to download it as the download stops in the middle even if I have a really good transfer rate at the beginning.
It seems that there is no mirror for Arduino (waouhou !! what that sh*t ?!?) and it seems this download problem is not really new. Here is the solution obtained from here. Use command line curl program: