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FlexiNode

(one more) IoT-Node

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I want to create my own IoT-Node from scratch to learn more about electronics. This will will be my third bigger project in electronics. The others will be documented later.

There are many Nodes available, both ready to buy parts and concepts as schematics. I found no project which has the same ideas and goals so I started to design FlexiNode.

FlexiNode is designed to operate with different sensors and with different power supply conditions. An ATMega328P is the main component to hold everything together.

Power Supply

FlexiNode can be operated by USB-cable (5V) and/or by battery (CR2032 (maybe), 1*AA(A) and 2*AA(A)). So it has to cope with voltages from about 0.9V up to 5V. Additionly it has to be a low power design.

Possible scenarios regarding the power supply are:

  • USB-supply only (USB_ONLY)
  • USB + battery backup (USB+BAT)
  • battery only (BAT_ONLY)

The design is modular, so only parts regarding to the selected scenario have to be soldered (example: USB_ONLY scenario don't need a boost regulator)

The voltage has to be always sufficient for the ATMega (low clocking), the sensors and the RFM69. So the 'normal' operating voltage for the ATMega is 2.0V, when needed it can be risen up to 3.3V.

Sensors

Many sensors can be used (max. 3.3V only), but regarding this topic, I'm in an very early stage. An important sensor for me is BMP280.

RFM69 

There are many possible wireless solutions transfering the data from the nodes to the server (maybe openHAB with MQTT). I chose the RFM69 module because of its size, power consumption and its range.

In general: I'm posting this project to discuss details, improve my english skills and to share my ideas. So any constructive comments are highly appreciated.

  • ...more details

    AndreasVS06/08/2018 at 15:00 0 comments

    This diagram shows more details than before, how everything should fit together. The focus - as before - is on the power supply.

    The voltage of 5V from the USB socket will be decreased by the LDO (NCP1117), to be compatible with the rest of the circuit. The second kind of power supply (batteries) has only a reverse voltage protection (no LDO). 

    Both voltages come to the next component (XOR function), where only one power supply is let through. The USB power supply is prioritized and only if there is no 5V comming from the USB socket, then the battery voltage is used (like a battery backup). So, every other component in the circuit will either get a stable 3.3V supply or the unstable 0.9V to 3.xV power supply comming from one of the batteries.

    The main idea for the next parts is to deliver a minimum voltage of 2V independent of the kind of supply. Only when needed, the booster will produce 3.3V. So the boost regulator is normaly disabled (bypass mode: Vin = Vout) . Only when the voltage from the battery supply is lower than 2V, the voltage supervisor will force the boost regulator to boost the voltage to 2V. When needed, the ATMega changes the voltage divider for the boost regulator so that it boosts the voltage to 3.3V. 

    Most parts (sensors, radio, voltage reference) can be switched off by the ATMega328.

  • Main Concept

    AndreasVS05/24/2018 at 09:48 0 comments

    The concept visualised from the birds view: 

    Power supply can be a USB-cable and/or one of the named battery solutions or maybe LiPos (all batteries = XOR). The CR2032-option has later to be tested if the internal resistance of the battery prevents the use of ATMega and RFM69. When battery powered, a reverse polarity protection protects the circuit. Using USB-power and battery at the same time is possible. In this case battery is used as a backup solution. An electronic circuit guarantees a minimum voltage of 2V.

    The ATMega can control the power supply circuit so if it needs 3.3V for the additional components, it will be there.

    With solder bridges it will be possible to influence the behaviour of the circuit (for example: FORCE_3V3).

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