9 hours ago •
After about a year from introducing M10CUBE idea a lot have been happening.
First we have hands on first version of PCB for M10INPUT, M10OUTPUT, M10SENSOR, M10PROTOTYPE, M10PSU
Unfortunately because of the heavy work done on the M10SENSOR module, work on testing the other modules left behind.
Fortunately these months with testing left us experience for the overall design too.
New hardware ideas found on the table as well.
So looking forward in overhauling the M10CUBE some things to consider are some thoughts.
M10CUBE in general
The initial goal for M10CUBE idea with what is in mind after 1 year remains almost the same:
To design development ecosystem, capable to accommodate known platforms like Arduino and Raspberry.
Not as separate products but as a unit and be able to interact each other. As far as we know there is no similar product in the market.
M10CUBE must not only to able to be used as a testing, developing or production ready hardware but all its parts can be reusable for other projects (or come from other projects).
M10CUBE can become for the microelectronics DIY community as the tool known as “swish army knife “
Not as good as it is each tool separately, but does the job. And does it well.
Many Hat or no Hat hardware exists to plug on the Raspberry Platform and many excellent ad-dons (shields or whatever word various Arduino incarnations use) exist for the Arduino Platform .
Many excellent PLC products exists for both Platforms.
All these excellent products (Arduino PLC and Raspberry PLC products, M5stack, the list is endless) have one thing in common.
Their ego. Not a bad thing because to build an excellent product you need to be specific in the design board. Then is the market. You design something to make money. That drives the hole Industry. And that is a good thing.
M10CUBE tries to overcome that attempting to make a concept, a platform, a "glue", a development platform, a production ready hardware or all the above. M10CUBE is a dream to help the community to use the tow platforms like a LOGO
Not an easy thing or if I may say, very very hard to achieve.
That is why needs M10CUBE needs a lot of inspiration a lot of discussion, a lot of courage and a little bit of luck.
That been said concluding what M10CUBE must be.
That is M10CUBE hardware specs are still for discussion before we are going back to drowning board.
So far we have:
1 - A hardware platform that will accommodate The Raspberry PI 4.
Plans for future. Compute module or other modules is easy to design.
2 - A 40 long pin connector for interconnecting the various stacked PCBs. The connector has the same footprint as the Raspberry Pi.
Plans for future. A high speed duplex differential bus can be used instead. Same idea used in modern PLCs today. All other hardware on board can remain the same. That is easy for PCB designers to make something completely different as the inter-board communication as concern.
3 - A proposition for PCB dimensions 90x90mm
- A proposition for outer dimensions of the box 100x100mm. A possible construction of 100x100x100 mm cube can be constructed accommodating various modules.
4 - Directions and template hardware will help others to design various boards using STM32, Analog, CAN BUS, Encoders etc. Only imagination stops someone to design something useful and benefit from others work on M10CUBE.
5 - Project always will be OSHW certified. So you can copy and make money if you like. In fact we like to see you doing it.
So many years in industry one thing we learn for sure. The only way for a product to be a success story (and probably designers make money) must be open source and best to be OSHW certified.
One thing we learn from our testing on m10sensor was, that plug in modules saved our time . So on redesigning we will consider all components to have a snap in capability.
For instance hardware debugging the LoRa subsystem lot of m10sensor PCBs destroyed . The same for GPS.
So there is an urgent need for all subsystems to be plug in and play. A small breakout PCB is needed. That is to be able not only to remove the broken sub-module, but also to unplug it and reuse it in another project.
That must be applied for all sensors used, LoRa and GPS subsystem.
Which bring us to one million dollar question.
What is the correct footprint (pin-out) for the breakout PCB that will accommodate all the above?
OK still looking. We are sure we will find it.
Why? Because it is common scene to exist and then we will find it.
Is M10CUBE for dreamers? Yes it is.
M10CUBE as we dream it is not static but dynamic. Nobody knows how it can be in an other incarnation after some years.
Do not forget Apple, Arduino, Raspberry came to light because dreamers are real.
In the end only dreamers will drive us to Mars
So we are keep dreaming and keep working hard to find solutions that will make M10CUBE a product useful to the community.
Only imagination will stop someone to design useful things on the M10CUBE ecosystem and others to benefit from his work.
2 days ago •
It looks that 91X91 PCB dimension is a bit strange. 90X90 seems more appropriate and does not reduce really the real estate of the board. PCB Calculations are easier that way.
A small reposition on the 40 pin Raspberry connector made so the center of the connector to be aligned with the center of the mounting holes. The same way things done on the Raspberry Pi .
It is very crucial on this redesign to fix PCB outlet, mounting holes and Raspberry PI 40 long pin connector that connects various boards together.
PCB is still open for suggestions.
We are talking now with a very old and established company in electronic design.
Hopping that discussion will produce an even better M10CUBE design for the community.
A PDF and a step file will help you to see the actual proposition
We are open to discussions and criticism.
01/14/2021 at 13:05 •
LoRa ping pong test using the on board buzzer for ping pong notification. Modified for m10sensor
01/11/2021 at 10:47 •
m10sensor is undergoing LoRa first tests. A problem fount on some tracks connecting NSS and SCK pins from E22-900M22S LoRa chip to SS_LORA and SCK_ESP pins of ESP32.
So that you see is the result of the test. The brilliant library used is made by the excellent engineer Stuart Robinson.
As soon tests completed and all subsystems go I will publish the total firmware.
11/09/2020 at 20:53 •
Today 09/11/20 the "real" m10sensor is build and working perfect.
m10sensor was build and thankfully no major problems on the PCB. Minor things that can be correcter to a next version.
So far we build the stand alone sensor (no need for the Raspberry to be on the field but still you can plug it in).
Underneath is the PCB hosting the SDS011 dust sensor. Raspberry module goes on top of that (next image)
While waiting to receive Lo-Ra module, GPS, and the I2C extension components (the unpopulated space on m10sensor PCB) enjoy in the image of the m10sensor collecting real time environmental data and sending them in influx database and grafana running on Raspberry Pi 4. All sensors are working perfect.
We are also preparing a platform (in WordPress) for searching the sensors on a map and view real time data in grafana.
OTA is working as well so I do not have to go to the balcony every time m10sensor needs (that is very often indeed ) improved firmware.
Below is how the M10CUBE looks like with Raspberry modules attached.
At the moment only spacers keep boards together since the boxes are in development.
11/07/2020 at 17:54 •
All five PCB types arrived some days ago. I Started building the M10CUBE system and checking for errors.
Then trying to fix the fitting inside frames.
From first impressions only minor problems. Will be fixed on the next version.
Soon test results will be published.
First version of the sensor board firmware is written and sends data to the influx and grafana running on the Raspberry .
I will publish the firmware as soon as testing is OK.
If you need any info please ask. I will be happy to provide.
10/23/2020 at 10:33 •
Today after many delays due to problems on the boards, production approved by jlcpcb.com for all 5 types of M10CUBE PCBs designed so far.
While waiting for delivery of the PCBs we are developing a first version of the firmware to support all boards.
10/19/2020 at 17:21 •
10/19/2020 at 17:13 •
Development and fabrication of M10SE01-01 stopped in favor of M10SE02-01 Some serious issues discovered during building in Breadboard an experimental version of M10SE01-01 circuit and that was:
UART0:RXD and UART0:TXD pins can not be used and better remain only for programming the ESP32 MINIKIT. Having one UART less we decided to remove RS485 communication.
The RS485 idea was to connect other M10SE01 modules distant apart for sensing the near by environment. Since that is not possible any more an I2C solution was adapted using the ideas taken from a Sparkfun design.
The 2 RJ45 connectors remaining in hope to daisy chain from one board to the other the 2 differential I2C signals. Board sent for fabrication
Ambient Light, UV Light, VOC, Digital Sound (MEMS)
Temperature, Humidity, Barometric
ESP32 minikit, GPS, LoRa, I2C EXTENDER (2XRJ45 FOR DAISY CHAIN)
10/08/2020 at 10:50 •
Development and fabrication of M10SE01-01 stopped in favor of M10SE02-01
Some serious issues discovered during building in Breadboard an experimental version of M10SE01-01 circuit and that was:
1- UART0:RXD and UART0:TXD pins can not be used and better remain only for programming the ESP32 MINIKIT.
Having one UART less we decided to remove RS485 communication. The RS485 idea was to connect other M10SE01 modules distant apart for sensing the near by environment. Since that is not possible any more an I2C solution was adapted using the ideas taken from a Sparkfun design. The 2 RJ45 connectors remaining in hope to daisy chain from one board to the other the 2 differential I2C signals.
Design and testing among others in progress before sending board for fabrication
Digital MEMS microphone for sound level metering