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

Garden environmental telemetry project – part 1

This is the first in a series of articles describing a simple maker / DIY IoT garden environmental telemetry system. The project is a derivative of IoT water tank telemetry project – part 1, and some of the optional components are as per that project (eg battery / solar power).

The measurements of this (get) and an another project (bme280r) are posted to the same Thingspeak channel (https://thingspeak.com/channels/436449 at this time).

Above is a screenshot of the Thingspeak channel. Continue reading Garden environmental telemetry project – part 1

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 4

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 1 described a  digital display for a DIY 25W dummy load / digital wattmeter. The original research tested implementations on an Arduino Nano (ATmega328P) and Arduino Mini Zero (ATSAMD21). Though the Zero appears the better chip (32bits, better ADC resolution etc), the dev board is so noisy (ADC wise) that the Nano produces better results.

Other candidate chips are those of the newer AVR chips, and to that end some ATtiny1614 chips were purchased for trial. Unfortunately I have not seen inexpensive dev boards and the chips are not available in DIP format, these are SOIC14 (SSOP14) 150mils.

Above is the result of this morning’s cooking… three ATtiny1614 chips on DIP style break out boards for prototyping. The chips were soldered in a T962 IR reflow oven. The very long unmasked sections of pad to accommodate different width chips make for a messy looking solder job as the solder runs along the long pads. Continue reading Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 4

CG K/ J/ S/ B to 4-20mA 0-1800 Celsius Thermocouple Converter TC Input 4-20mA Output Head-mounted Temperature Transducer – first impressions

CG K/ J/ S/ B to 4-20mA 0-1800 Celsius Thermocouple Converter TC Input 4-20mA Output Head-mounted Temperature Transducer.

So the concept is that one can program the transducer module for a range of input sensors, and lower and upper limits to the conversion range. Another significant benefit is that it does cold junction compensation (and it does not seem possible to disable it if you wanted).. Continue reading CG K/ J/ S/ B to 4-20mA 0-1800 Celsius Thermocouple Converter TC Input 4-20mA Output Head-mounted Temperature Transducer – first impressions

EARU Programmable Thermocouple K J PT100 to 4-20mA Converter TC RTD Input 4-20mA Output Head-mounted Temperature Transducer – first impressions

This article is a review of the EARU Programmable Thermocouple K J PT100 to 4-20mA Converter TC RTD Input 4-20mA Output Head-mounted Temperature Transducer.

So the concept is that one can program the transducer module for a range of input sensors, and lower and upper limits to the conversion range. Another significant benefit is that it does cold junction compensation (and it does not seem possible to disable it if you wanted). The stated cold junction compensation range is narrow at 20-60°, it seems unlikely but bears testing. Continue reading EARU Programmable Thermocouple K J PT100 to 4-20mA Converter TC RTD Input 4-20mA Output Head-mounted Temperature Transducer – first impressions

Neewer Macro LED Ring Light Flash RF550 – Guide Number

I purchased a Neewer Macro LED Ring Light Flash online for a modest price (~$50).

It was described with specifications, but specifications for Chinese product are not to be trusted… so it deserves measurement (though shortfall would become evident in use in short time).

This article reports measurements of the flash mode characteristics. Continue reading Neewer Macro LED Ring Light Flash RF550 – Guide Number

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 3

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 1 described a  digital display for a DIY 25W dummy load / digital wattmeter. The original research tested implementations on an Arduino Nano (ATmega328P) and Arduino Mini Zero (ATSAMD21). Though the Zero appears the better chip (32bits, better ADC resolution etc), the dev board is so noisy (ADC wise) that the Nano produces better results.

This article documents tests on three other dev board alternatives:

  • Arduino Nano Every (genuine);
  • Wemos SAMD21G board; and
  • Seeed XIAO mini Zero.

Baseline: Arduino Nano v3.0 (clone)

Above is the initial prototype Arduino Nano v3.0 (16MHz ATmega328P) with OLED display. This clone has a CP210x serial chip, clones with a claimed FTDI chip are probably fakes, ones with CH340x chips are probably ok. Continue reading Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 3

FT37-43 for a 49:1 EFHW transformer enquiry

A correspondent asked whether Sontheimer coupler – transformer issues – an alternative design – FT37-43 could be used to inform design of a 49:1 EFHW transformer based on the same core, but with a 2 or 3t primary.

In the case of the Sontheimer coupler the winding with the higher number of turns appears in shunt with the nominal 50Ω load, and its effect on InsertionVSWR and the core loss can be predicted reasonably well and confirmed by measurements as in the referenced article.

In that instance, a 7t winding in shunt with the nominal 50Ω load causes excessive core heating, a 3t winding will be worse, and 2t worse again.

The case of an EFHW transformer is somewhat similar, the difference is now that the winding with less turns in approximately in shunt with the nominal 50Ω primary referred load. The same Simsmith model can be used to predict likely InsertionVSWR due to primary magnetising admittance, and the core loss.

Let’s try the 3t case first, with the experience of the referenced article we can expect it will have insufficient turns for good performance.

Above is the Simsmith model of a Fair-rite 5943000201 core (equivalent dimensions to FT37-43) with a 3t winding. Note this does not apply to Amidon #43 as their material is significantly different in characteristic. Continue reading FT37-43 for a 49:1 EFHW transformer enquiry

Making a jtag2updi adapter

This article is about selection and reprogramming of an adapter to make a jtag2updi adapter using the code published at https://github.com/ElTangas/jtag2updi.

The purpose is for programming some of the newer AVR chips that use UPDI.

Above is a JTAG ICE that I purchased, but I did not check the pics carefully enough and fell foul of the Chinese Cheats. The chip arrowed is the USB-RS232TTL chip, it is a PL2303HX which will not work in Windows 10 since the driver was poisoned many years ago. Continue reading Making a jtag2updi adapter

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