08/03/2018 at 15:24 •
If you’ve watched the forum, it’s been suggested to develop a new Moteino board featuring new/more powerful/more flexible or even ARM microcontrollers. Mentioned candidates were the Atmega328PB, STM32, SAMD from Microchip and perhaps others were mentioned over time as well.
Say hello to MoteinoM0 – it features the popular SAMD21G ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit processor (48Mhz, 256kb FLASH, 32kb SRAM). It’s quite an awesome bit of silicon brains and after months of playing with it, tweaking libraries and sketches, testing peripherals and designing add-ons for it, and developing an Arduino package for it that is oriented on LowPowerLab‘s most important points of interest, it is now available to the public.
But SAMD21 has been offered by others for years you say. How is this exciting and why did this take so long? I didn’t want to spam the market with a new clone and claim this is the best thing since Arduino Zero. Here are a few highlights that I think will make MoteinoM0 different and interesting:
- long range wireless programming enabled just like all the other current AVR Moteinos!
- Got low power? You bet! How about 6µA in standby sleep? MoteinoM0 yields the real low power mode achievable by the SAMD21, 7µA in watchdog periodic sleep, +1µA for the external 4MBIT FLASH-MEM chip and radio module
- supports RFM69HCW and LoRa radios, plus secondary radios and add-ons, see below
- a modular design enables compact platform for I2C/SPI/GPIO add-ons, just a few examples to mention:
- SD-card logger ( with “zero” power control)
- weather node
- multi DOF accelerometer/gyroscope/magnetometer
- secondary RFM transceiver (say you want an FSK and LoRa Gateway to listen concurrently or combine different concurrent frequencies)
- break out as many useful and Arduino supported pins as possible in a symmetric and compact board layout
- ease of side castellated mounts allow these add-ons to be mounted directly flat on the PCB without additional headers, here’s a simple weather-node add-on board that only requires one sided soldering and can be easily removed and reused:
With the release of MoteinoM0 I also wanted to make available a few boards specifically designed to mount flat on the M0 PCB for a super compact wireless sensor platform.
And there is an all new LSM9DS1 9DoF IMU Breakout featuring 3 sensors in 1 compact chip (acelerometer+gyroscope+magnetometer):
And here’s a mini SD-Card Logger Breakout featuring a low power switch to keep that hungry SDCard off when not in use
You don’t even need to use pins at all, just solder the castellated side mounts (aka half holes). You may later desolder these with hot-air or a wide chisel tip on your solder iron. You can of course use these on a breadboard or with any other Arduino/dev board. You can also stack all these on a single MoteinoM0 if you’d like, just need to get a little creative with stacking them to keep pins connected correctly:
The latest details and sample code are found added to the guide page.
08/03/2018 at 15:16 •
I prepared a video to cover all the basics of thevarious LoRa and RFM69 transceivers used on Moteino boards. I concentrated on the most common topics I've seen show up in the forum and in support emails. This should be a good primer for those getting started with using sub-Ghz transceivers with Arduino or Moteino or even other compatible boards, since most principles apply the same way.
I also made a video about the new PCB Dipole Antenna, a significant upgrade from the previous version. This has a nice VSWR of almost 1.0 at both 868Mhz (at default 78mm length), and 915Mhz (trimmed at 73.5mm). It could be trimmed anywhere down to 2.4Ghz but it will be a best performer for the wideband LoRa and FSK radios in the sub Ghz ranges. For more details and theory on dipoles be sure to check out the dipole section in the RF-Best-Practices Guide.
06/02/2016 at 18:48 •
With some help from an RF professional I've designed some Moteinos that have a trace antenna included on the PCB. Here is the regular and the MEGA variants, they accept any 868-915mhz RFM69W/CW/HW radios (they would also work with RFM12B):
In addition, there are now MEGA variants with integrated USB which take LoRa radios but will also work with RFM69HCW. So now the Moteino family can accept any type of RFM69 radio, and also the RFM92-98 LoRa radios. Legacy radios include RFM12b and RFM22b which are also usable on these boards.
06/02/2016 at 18:46 •
Check out these videos from John's DIY Playground who implemented a custom home automation system of his own, based on my gateway solution. He has implemented various nodes that control and monitor things around his house. He has also customized some of the gateway scripts and node sketches to achieve some nice variation and extra features (via metrics.js). For instance he mentioned something cool which I initially envisioned as a use case when I designed the hardware but never implemented this feature on my own SwitchMotes: using the unused status LEDs (and button?) of a SwitchMote to display the status of his GarageMote. Check out the video implementation of his utility room node and also the other videos where he covers configuration and setup of the gateway. This is a nice 3rd party overview of my hardware and gateway software. Thank you John for these videos and sharing your work!
Utility room control/monitoring node:
This is a getting-started with installing the prebuilt Gateway app image onto an SD card, and how to turn the RaspberryPi into a Moteino gateway via a MoteinoUSB (which is probably the easiest method).Here's the video covering configuration:
01/22/2016 at 21:13 •
I just added some sample functionality to the front panel buttons (sketch here). They allow the backlight intensity control and browsing through the last 10 RF messages. The large green button is the power button, currently GREEN because the Pi is powered up. In action:
01/22/2016 at 03:57 •
The Wireless Programming GUI app that I introduced in an earlier blog post is now at version 1.2 (get exe here). It features the ability to bundle up to 3 HEX file lines per RF packet (instead of the default 1), which yields a significant Moteino wireless programming speed increase. Let’s just do the TL;DR first and gaze at the results of transferring a compiled sketch of 13,858 bytes:
- running with 1 line per packet (the same as before) yields 866 packets and ~43s OTA time:
- running with 3 lines per packet yields 290 packets and ~18s OTA time:
That’s an average 58% speed gain, not too bad!
More details about this update can be found in this blog post.
01/08/2016 at 19:01 •
MightyHat is a Raspberry Pi Hat with that makes it easy to build a compact, robust, battery backed-up gateway for the internet of things. It accepts RFM69W/HW/HCW or LoRa transceivers and acts as a power controller and UPS for the RaspberryPi (when a LiPo battery is attached). It basically replaces the old way of wiring up several different boards to achieve the same thing, but produces a much more compact and more professional look:
01/08/2016 at 18:53 •
I mentioned before that there’s added support for HTTP requests in the gateway interface. That allows using things like wi-fi thermostats, and this story is a review of how I did just that. See more details about this install in this blog post.
I wanted to integrate the home thermostat into the Moteino IOT Framework Gateway and be able to control the thermostat remotely without hacking into it, building my own thermostat which would not look as good as a commercial one. I also want to avoid using the default cloud interface that comes with these thermostats. I don’t want the company to know my habits and datamine and profit from that, and also I want the thermostat to be integrated with my existing automation interface without having yet another app on my phone just for the thermostat.
I researched for an open API WiFi thermostat and I found very few and they are typically expensive, except the RadioThermostat CT50 which was around $100 including shipping. If you know of a good open API thermostat let me know!
01/08/2016 at 18:46 •
Another node type is now available on the Gateway automation interface: a sprinkler controller. This is achievable through a board I designed to be able to control many outputs. I call this board IOShield and it features two 74HC595 serial to parallel shift registers.
I had an old sprinkler controller which worked just fine. But I had a few things I could be improved:
- The programming interface was not really intuitive, definitely not wife friendly
- Every spring when it needs adjustment or sprinklers tested and fixes, it’s a pain to turn it on manually and then run in the far end of the yard to check/fix a sprinkler
- Water is expensive and Michigan weather unpredictable. I need a finer control of the sprinklers and the ease of turning programs or zones ON/OFF remotely, or when I’m away from home
The RFM69 IOShield example skech for sprinkler control has been posted at Github. The latest Gateway image andsource files also contain the definition for the sprinkler node, just plug it in and it should pop right on the interface. Sample zones and events have been defined as well, you can easily define your own or make your own schedules in metrics.js. Graphing will show you which zone ran, for how long etc. Enjoy!
04/17/2015 at 15:11 •
I've been talking about a new gateway interface for a while in the forum. I will release more details and the source code soon.
This content will be updated and improved on the dedicated Moteino Gateway page where all the source code and details will be published as they become available.
This is a work in progress and I encourage discussion, suggestions, bug reporting in the dedicated forum I created for this and all gateway related topics.
UPDATE: code has been posted: http://lowpowerlab.com/gateway/#sourcecode
Here are some more screenshots: