Tag Archives: Wifi

Decoding and Encoding JSON with Arduino or ESP8266

In this blog post you’re going to learn how to decode (parse a JSON string) and encode (generate a JSON string) with the ArduinoJson library using the Arduino with the Ethernet shield. This guide also works with the ESP8266 and ESP32 Wi-Fi modules with small changes.

Decoding and Encoding JSON with Arduino or ESP8266 – [Link]

IoT cloud development kit is Wi-Fi and BT/BLE-ready

Together with partners Cypress Semiconductor and Murata, distributor Future Electronics has launched the Nebula IoT Development Kit, an IoT cloud ready board that allows developers to quickly prototype and deploy their IoT ecosystems. by Julien Happich :

Wireless connectivity is supported by the Murata 1DX module, which is powered by the Cypress CYW4343W Wi-Fi and BT/BLE combo SoC.

The SoC includes a 2.4 GHz WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n baseband/radio and Bluetooth 4.2 support. In addition, it integrates a high-performance power amplifier (PA), a low-noise amplifier (LNA) for best-in-class receiver sensitivity, and an internal transmit/receive (iTR) RF switch, further reducing the overall system cost and 1DX module size

IoT cloud development kit is Wi-Fi and BT/BLE-ready – [Link]

Chromatron – Wifi Pixel Controller

Chromatron is an open source Wifi pixel controller designed to make LED pixel projects easy and fun.

Hi, I’m Jeremy! I’ve designed a toolkit for making art with LED pixel strips, and I’d like to share it with you! Chromatron takes custom designed hardware and feature-packed firmware, sprinkles it with some Python, and serves up a delicious new platform to help you transform your world into a psychedelic dreamscape.

GPS vs. Beacons vs. Wi-Fi: Three Location Identifier Technologies

In IoT and digital age, location-based services applications are widespread: starting from Google maps to anti-loss devices and not ending with location-based marketing. The most common technologies used for user location identification are: GPS, WiFi and Beacons (a custom BLE profile).

Location-based (geofencing) marketing is a new way to enhance the personal experience while shopping. For example if you were near the shampoo section you will get on your mobile exclusive offers about that section.

Choosing the right location detection technology needs to take into consideration that GPS works optimally in the open sky environments and WiFi and Beacons can work probably indoors (and outdoors but within inhabited areas with hotspots). Now let’s get a brief look at each technology:

GPS

Thanks to on-the-shelf GPS modules/receivers from vendors like: Neoway and u-blox it’s easy to embed a GPS receiver into your project. What you need is a module sending its messages via UART to the MCU and a ready-made antenna attached to the module. There is a standard format for these modules messages called NEMEA. These messages contain information about the location that includes longitude, latitude, direction, speed … etc. These receivers need to see at least 4 satellites to compute a position.

There are many navigation systems like the Russian GLONASS, the European Union’s Galileo and the American GPS.

gps system how it works
Image courtesy of: Geneko

GPS is mainly designed to be an outdoor location detection system. Therefore, its performance decreases in enclosed places and across crowded areas with buildings.

WiFi

WiFi can be used in location detection (AKA Wi-Fi positioning system) when your phone or WiFi transceiver module like ESP32 or ESP8266 is near hotspots. You can consider WiFi like a coexisting system with GPS for indoor areas. Moreover, WiFi can be used to detect the location inside the enclosed/underground area; you can see the SubPos project on Hackaday to know how.

Image Courtesy of Blecky

Location detection systems using WiFi use techniques based on received signal strength indication (RSSI), angle of arrival (AoA) and time of flight (ToF). You can read more about these techniques from the Wikipedia article.

Bluetooth Beacons

Beacon technology is enabled by Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and it’s one of the BLE custom profiles. Beacons are used for proximity-aware applications like positioning indoors, and for location based advertisements. The idea behind this technology is to calculate the distance between the receiver and the transmitter by calculating the difference between the power of the sent and received signal (comparing the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) to a transmit (Tx) power). Knowing that, the power information is available in Apple iBeacon advertising packet (for example).

 

To know more about Bluetooth beacons please refer to our previous post about Beacons.

Read more about these three technologies in the DZone’s article.

ERASynth, An Arduino-Compatible RF Signal Generator

A young startup based in Istanbul has launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring its RF Signal Generator “ERASynth” into mass production. ERA Instruments is specializing in creating solutions in the areas of analysis, modelling, design and development of Communcation, RADAR and SIGINT systems.

ERASynth is a portable analog signal generator that generates RF frequencies from 250 kHz to 15 GHz. The output signal is produced using an advanced multiloop PLL architecture to minimize the phase noise and spurious. This clean signal can be used as a stimulus source for RF testing, an LO source for down-conversion or up-conversion, a clock source for data converters, and as a test signal source for software defined radio (SDR).

ERASynth Features & Specifications

  • Architecture: Multiloop Integer-N PLL driven by a tunable reference. No fractional-N or integer boundary spurs
  • Frequency Range:
    • ERASynth: 10 MHz to 6 GHz
    • ERASynth+: 250 kHz to 15 GHz
  • Amplitude Range: -60 to +15 dBm
  • Phase Noise: typical phase noise @ 1 GHz output and 10 kHz offset. -120 dBc/Hz for the standard version and -125 dBc/Hz the plus version.
  • Frequency Switching Time: 100 µs
  • Reference: Ultra-low noise 100 MHz VCXO locked to a ±0.5 ppm TCXO for standard version and ±25 ppb OCXO for the plus one.
  • MCU: Arduino Due board with BGA package Atmel Microcontroller (ATSAM3X8EA-CU)
  • Interfaces:
    • Wi-Fi interface for web-based GUI access
    • Serial-USB (mini USB) for serial access
    • Micro USB for power input
    • Trigger Input (SMA) for triggered sweep
    • REF In (SMA) for external reference input
    • REF Out (SMA) for 10 MHz reference output
    • RF Out
  • Dimensions: 10 cm x 14.5 cm x 2 cm
  • Weight: < 350 g (12.5 oz)
  • Power Input: 5 to 12 V
  • Power Consumption:
    • < 6 W for ERASynth
    • < 7 W for ERASynth+
  • Enclosure: Precision-milled, nickel-plated aluminum case
  • Open Source: Schematics, embedded Arduino code, Web GUI source code, and RS-232 command set

ERASynth is only 10 x 14.5 x 2 cm sized and it is consuming less than 7 Watts. It can be powered by a cell phone power-bank. Inclusion of an on-board Wi-Fi module and an open source web GUI makes ERASynth ideal for portable applications. Also its price make it affordable by everyone including makers, students, universities, research labs, and startups.

Compared with other low cost USB signal generators, ERASynth provides better features in many factors. It also delivers similar functionality of the professional RF signal generator with lower price. The tables below demonstrate the comparison.

The crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply will be closed by tomorrow, they raised about $35,000 of $25,000 goal. You can order your ERASynth for $500 and ERASynth+ for $750. More technical details are available on the campaign page.

Pi Desktop Case – include peripherals too

The ‘Pi Desktop’ kit from element14 offers some great features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a real-time clock, an interface for an mSATA-SSD hard drive, an optional camera, heat sink, a neat power switch and of course the sleek black case. [via]

The Raspberry Pi is a well designed, powerful and inexpensive board, but not a complete computer. Some distributors know you need more than just a plastic case and a mains-adapter power supply (or USB cable). The ‘Pi Desktop’ kit from element14 contains everything you need and more, turning your RPi into a fully fledged computer.

Pi Desktop Case – include peripherals too – [Link]

SubPos – Wifi enabled Positioning System

A “dataless” Wi-Fi positioning system that can be used anywhere GPS can’t. Blecky @ hackaday.io writes:

The SubPos Wi-Fi Positioning System is an indoor positioning system that can be used in various environments such as metro lines, shopping malls, carparks, art galleries or even conference centers; essentially anywhere GPS doesn’t penetrate. It could also be integrated into an array of IoT enabled devices, from access points to Wi-Fi enabled light-bulbs.

SubPos – Wifi enabled Positioning System – [Link]

Wooden Digital Clock is controlled over WiFi

androkavo @ instructables.com build a nice looking wooden clock that is able to show time, temperature, humidity and also it has alarm. The clock is controlled through your web browser using wifi connectivity and it also has a vibration sensor to stop the alarm.

Wooden Digital Clock is controlled over WiFi – [Link]

A 32-BIT FISHINO board with WiFi, SD card, RTC, audio codec, LiPo and more

Boris Landoni @ open-electronics.org presents his 32bit Arduino Compatible board which has some nice features on board. He wrties:

Our prototyping board acquires a 32-bit processor and sets the bar high, towards demanding applications that may take full advantage of the WiFi support, of the RTC and of the SD-Card, that make Fishino stand out from the common Arduino UNO. Second installment.

A 32-BIT FISHINO board with WiFi, SD card, RTC, audio codec, LiPo and more – [Link]

Add WiFi & Bluetooth Easily With Koala® Connect Modules

Clarinox Technologies Pty Ltd was formed with the aim of providing cost effective and innovative wireless embedded systems solutions to business. Due to the experience of the Clarinox team, more embedded systems are designed to develop leading edge solutions. In addition to delivering flexible and robust wireless protocol software for embedded systems developments.

Clarinox hottest products are Koala® Connect Modules! A compact option for adding Wi-Fi® and / or Bluetooth® to new and existing projects.

These modules will give you a stable environment while used with Koala® EVM, the first and only development board to support development for all major wireless technologies. It enables embedded systems developers to create both low and high power wireless systems communicating over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy. It provides a fast and cost effective way to commence embedded wireless development with all major wireless technologies.

Each module features a single onboard processor to drive the user application in addition to multiple wireless protocols. The modules available are:

Koala® Connect Modules
KM-141201 (20 x 30mm BT/BLE)
KM-153101 (20 x 34mm Wi-Fi+BT/BLE)

Carrier Board for Koala® Connect
KC-018102

Sensor Modules
KM-990501 Sensor Board

The Koala EVM and wireless module family will help shorten development time, reduce development costs, and open the door to new possibilities for wireless device features.

And these are the specifications

Hardware Specifications

MCU: STM32F411 (Bluetooth/BLE), STM32F412 (Wi-Fi + Bluetooth/BLE)

Wi-Fi Radio: TI WL1831MOD / WL1837MOD

  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz
  • -96.3dBm RX Sensitivity
  • STA, AP & Wi-Fi Direct Modes

Bluetooth / Bluetooth LE Radio: TI WL1831MOD / WL1837MOD

  • Dual-mode Bluetooth & Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Bluetooth v4.1 Compliance and CSA2 Support
  • Host Controller Interface (HCI) Transport for Bluetooth Over UART

I/O Signals: ADC, GPIO, I2C, I2S, SPI, UART, USB

Industrial Temperature Grade: -40°C to +85°C

Software Specifications

Supported Technologies: Wi-Fi WLAN, Wi-Fi Direct Concurrent Operation (Multichannel, Multirole), Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE

You can get your own products from Clarinox by filling this inquiry. More details about Koala Connect Modules are available here, also a start manual for KoalaEVM is available here.