(tr)uSDX BS170 woes

(tr)uSDX users seem beset by a number of common problems, and one of them is failure of the BS170 PA FETs.

Further, lots of users have bought replacements that appear as a dead short circuit when wired into the board. This seems to be that pins 1 and 3 are transposed on some product bought online.

These FETs have an integral body diode, and if Source and Drain are swapped, the body diode will conduct, appearing to be a near short circuit on the supply rail in the (tr)uSDX. Continue reading (tr)uSDX BS170 woes

(tr)uSDX unauthorised product and countermeasures

It has been interesting to observe takeup of the (tr)uSDX project.

The project is released under a quite restrictive licence.

Whilst the developers do not make or sell hardware, they exercise control over the hardware and offer hardware manufacturers an opportunity to have their implementation “approved” or “authorised”.

It is not surprising that a number of implementations have appeared that the IP owner regards as infringing his licence, inevitable really as Chinese copyists have little regard for intellectual property.

Who’da thought that “unauthorised” products would appear?

One of the developers posted those rigs will be banned from Firmware updates, so don’t buy that.

My correspondent asked how can he do that? Continue reading (tr)uSDX unauthorised product and countermeasures

Review of inexpensive Chinese thermostat – DST1000

The DST1000 targets the market for inexpensive digital thermostats, the most popular being the STC1000. The novel features to the DST1000 is that it uses  a DS1820B digital temperature sensor (well probably a Chinese clone).

The problem with thermistor based thermostats is that they commonly have significant error, and although most firmware allows the user to enter a calibration adjustment, it is a fix at one temperature and does not solve the problem that the thermistor equation implemented in the firmware does not match the behavior of the thermistor. In my experience, calibrating at 20° might result in an error as much as 5° at 80°, unacceptable for lots of wide ranging applications.

It is sold with brief and inadequate / incorrect user instructions. Two were purchased to give a good chance one would work, and you guessed it, only one worked. The lower display segment of the first digit did not work on the fautly one, and the seller thought that was not a problem. The seller frustrated attempts to obtain a refund for the faulty unit.

Above, the seller’s pic of the DST1000. Continue reading Review of inexpensive Chinese thermostat – DST1000

(tr)uSDX bootloader woes

A reader of my article WriteOptiBoot.bat asked about application to the (tr)uSDX project.

The first point to note is that the (tr)uSDX project uses its own bootloader, and it would appear it is proprietary code (ie secret), and one is entirely dependent on their published information.

A common user problem reported on the the (tr)uSDX project forum is inability to either:

  1. program the bootloader; and / or
  2. program the application code.

Continue reading (tr)uSDX bootloader woes

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 5

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 1 laid out plans for a simple maker / DIY IoT garden environmental telemetry system.

This article documents a change to the sensor configuration and payload formatter adding another temperature and humidity sensor for the greenhouse.

The sensors are now:

  • ID=1 air temperature and humidity;
  • ID=2 soil temperature and humidity.
  • ID=3 greenhouse temperature and humidity.

The payload contains an 8bit payload version number then six 16bit values for the six sensors. This is parsed by the TTN uplink formatter.

RS485-LN firmware has been upgraded to v1.4. Continue reading Garden environmental telemetry project – part 5

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 4

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 1 laid out plans for a simple maker / DIY IoT garden environmental telemetry system.

This article documents a change to the sensor configuration and payload formatter in preparation for another RS485-LN.

The sensors are now:

  • ID=1 air temperature and humidity;
  • ID=2 soil temperature and humidity.

The payload  contains a 8bit payload version number then four 16bit values for the four sensors. This is parsed by the TNN uplink formatter.

function decodeUplink(input) {
  var payver=input.bytes[0];
  switch(payver){
    case 1:
      return {
        data: {
          field3: ((input.bytes[3]<< 8)|input.bytes[4])/10,
          field4: ((input.bytes[1]<< 8)|input.bytes[2])/10,
          field5: ((input.bytes[7]<< 8)|input.bytes[8])/10,
          field6: ((input.bytes[5]<< 8)|input.bytes[6])/10
        },
      warnings: [], // optional
      errors: [] // optional (if set, the decoding failed)
      };
    case 2:
      break;
    }
  }

Above, is the Custom Javascript formatter which writes the measured values into variables fields3-field6 of the data object.

To be continued…

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 3

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 1 laid out plans for a simple maker / DIY IoT garden environmental telemetry system.

Earlier experiments highlighted the disadvantage of analogue sensor connections. This article reports tests on sensors connected using digital signals.

Above is the Dragino RS485-LN LoRaWAN end node, about $90 incl shipping. In this application it will be used to read two MODBUS sensors (each with two data channels) and forward the data to The Things Network via LoRaWAN, then after some processing, RESTFUL submission to Thingspeak. Continue reading Garden environmental telemetry project – part 3

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 2

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 1 laid out plans for a simple maker / DIY IoT garden environmental telemetry system.

This article reports tests on three sensor configurations, all using a Pt100 sensor with 4-20mA converter.

This article reports

  • Pt100 remote from a 4-20mA converter (ie long Pt100 3 wire wiring);
  • Pt100 with co-located 4-20mA converter (ie long 4-20mA loop wiring);

Pt100 remote from a 4-20mA converter (ie long Pt100 3 wire wiring)

The 4-20mA sensor is 8m of CAT5 cable from the Pt100 element. The Pt100 signal sensitivity is about 400µV/° @ 15° (25000°/V).

Above, some experiments in AC powering and earthing shows the analog sensor chain prone to noise. The first half of the display is powered from a small power bank (18650 cell with switched mode boost converter). The second half is with the 5V derived from a DIN rail mount Chinese 230VAC power supply (copy of Meanwell MDR-2–5), not the quietest of output. Continue reading Garden environmental telemetry project – part 2

LED plate driver failure – 24W round plate

This article documents failure of a 24W LED oyster. The luminaire was purchased complete on eBay for about $45.

After about two years use, the light became sensitive to switching transients on the mains, visibly blinking when other appliances were turn off or on. After some time, this progressed to oscillating on and off for a few seconds on a cold startup, but on hot startup it was stable. Continue reading LED plate driver failure – 24W round plate

IoT – exploration of LoRaWAN – part 4

My experiments with LoRaWAN were cut short by the announcement that The Things Network (TTN) was to discontinue its V2 network in favour of a new V3. This coincided with Laird’s decision to manufacture region specific versions of its gateway, and all existing equipment was designated US region and would not directly support frequency plans used here in Australia.

After some years there is a solution. Newer firmware for the RG191 supports the more generic Semtech basic forwarder and protocols for TTN to configure the RG191 frequency plan… so it is possible to connect the RG191 to the North American server (instead of the AU server), and configure the gateway in TTN for Australian frequency plans, and it all comes together. Continue reading IoT – exploration of LoRaWAN – part 4