New IP Camera OSHW board in design RFC

img2

We started recently new design with Allwinner S3 SOC.

The board have these features:

  • Allwinner S3 Cortex-A7 running at 1.2Ghz
  • AXP209 PMU with Lipo charger and step-up for UPS
  • internal 1Gb DDR3 RAM at 1333Mhz
  • 100Mb Ethernet interface with PoE option
  • NAND/eMMC/SPI Flash on socket
  • WiFi / BT module with RTL8723BS
  • Audio In and Out
  • UEXT connector
  • Lipo battery connector
  • Configuration EEPROM
  • LCD connector for LCD-OLinuXino
  • MIPI camera connector with RPi pinout
  • CSI camera connector
  • Dimensions: 60 x 50 mm

img1

S3 SOC is on bottom so heatsink could be add if overheating due to the small PCB area.

img3

We want to build intelligent camera solution which can be powered by PoE and can work with both wired and wireless Ethernet connection.

We add MIPI camera connector with RPi pinout as there are plenty of cheap 5Mpix cameras available.

We also will provide CSI camera with 5-8Mpix separately.

Why we do this board? We want to have intelligent IP camera among our tools and we put features which are necessary to fit our potential projects. This board have also potential for Voice over IP , Video over IP, Security, Home remote monitoring etc.

Initial upload on GitHub is with our schematic and components put on PCB locations, routing is ahead, so we would like to hear your opinion.

Did we forgot something?

Can we do something differently or better?

Let us know what do you think.

Open Source Hardware boards for NB-IoT technology presented at RuseConf 2019

nbito

RuseConf is part of IT-Tour. Every year IT-Tour organize conferences in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Ruse, Burgas, Veliko Tarnovo. They are all made by volunteers and completely free to participate. The idea is to encourage local IT community to share ideas and interesting talks.

This weekend on 28th of September was RuseConf and Olimex presented there our newest NB-IoT boards.

NB-IoT-DevKit boards will be on our web for sale next week with sale price per one unit EUR 18.00. They employ the NB-IoT technology which uses existing LTE 4G network to implement LPWAN.

The NB-IoT devices use low power and can operate on battery for 10 years if network traffic is less 200 bytes per day (this may seems small but SigFox for instance allow 2 to 140 uploads of 12 bytes messages per day. NB-IoT has no restrictions and limits, but if have to be careful as more traffic means more battery discharge. One GSM LTE base cell can connect up to 100 000 NB-IoT devices at same time ( but of course it no one talk on his GSM phone in this cell range) which beats LoRa gateway maximal theoretical 49 connections. Also the NB-IoT module we use has +20dB more sensitivity so if normally one Base cell can connect to NB-IoT nodes up to 10km this module has 10 time more sensitivity and can connect up to 100 km from the base cell. This of course is marketing claim theoretical claim as explained in the talk but still impressive.

The slides are in Bulgarian and English and uploaded at Slideshare.com

 

NB-IoT event organized by Comet electronics on December 4th

LTE_NB-IOT

NB-IoT is one of the promising LPWAN technologies I review in both my Industry 4.0 and OpenFest 2018 talks.

It’s lightweight LTE technology which has only 48 bytes of payload and 30kbps up and down link. Some call it 0G.

NB-IoT is specified by 3GPP standartization organization, same which standartize 2G/3G/4G/5G. It works flawless with existing cellular technologies with simplified RF and processing.

With these high speeds and small payloads the average consumption of NB-IoT make it more efficient even than LoRa, but there is many things to consider in your design.

First is that NB-IoT never will reach LoRa price point, it will be always about x2 more expensive.

Second – some modules like for instance the popular Ublox SARA-N2  which cost EUR 11 for 250 pcs, can’t work at lower than 2.75V power supply. Most Lithium batteries capacity is quoted with battery discharge from 3V to 2V so these modules will work only with fraction of the capacity of Lithium batteries. They are designed to operate from 2.75 to 4.2V i.e. targeting LiPO re-chargeable batteries, but these will never stay charged for 10 years as NB-IoT technology promises, so this is really odd design choice by Ublox.

Another thing to take into consideration is the high current pulses which LTE technology introduce (up to 2A when link is established). So even on paper NB-IoT to looks better than LoRa it still could be implemented with compromises where these benefits to be not seen.

Fortunately some Chinese vendors (like Quectel) made their modules BC66 to work from 2.1V.

Comet Electronics is organizing on December 4th NB-IoT event together with the first cellular operator which implements NB-IoT connectivity in Bulgaria – A1 and with Chinese module supplier Quectel.

It would be interesting to touch and evaluate this technology which is relatively new, has no infrastructure and is dependent by subscription fees only.

NB-IoT Gateways are not expensive and cost about $2000, but you can’t use them unless you have licensee to operate at GSM frequency (and these licensees cost millions of EUROs at least here in Bulgaria) so you can use your gateway only in Faraday cage :). This is where LoRa technology shine and this is what makes it so popular! No subscription, no fees for data transport, everyone can run his own gateway.

This is also one of the reason NB-IoT infrastructure is not so well developed – the investment is small, but the mobile operators still can’t figure out how to squeeze money out of this. There are already several providers on the net which sell NB-IoT SIM cards with EU roaming and with low cost like $12 per year, but local operators will find a way to shut these down and take their share.

Electronica 2018 highlights – AI, Smart Solutions, Communication and Security

electronica2018

Electronica in Munich trade fair is the most important meeting place for the electronics industry. Last week more than 3000 exhibitors and 80 000 visitors met together .

What was very visible this years is that beside the traditional big number of German companies the second biggest by number of companies exhibitor was China. There were both big:

cnbig

 

and small companies:

cnsmall

Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Smart solutions, Connectivity and security were dominating topics among the exhibitors.

LoRa and NB-IoT solutions were present on almost every fifth booth 🙂

The slides from Industry 4.0 meeting in Stuttgart are online

zve-frauenhofer

Open Source / Free Software for Effective Industry 4.0 Meetup  organized by Nexedi GmbH  and hosted by Fraunhofer IAO was held on 12th of November in Stuttgart.

There were quite interesting talks mostly focused on Open Source Technologies and their possible use in Industry 4.0.

My slides are now uploaded at Slideshare.

MicroPython running on ESP8266-EVB driving MOD-IO and MOD-IO2 relays

mod-io2-details.png

New tutorial how to use ESP8266-EVB with Micropython and to switch on/off relays and read ADC values on MOD-IO2 from MCHobby.be

The biggest FOSS/OSHW event in Bulgaria – Open Fest is 3-4 of November

Screenshot from 2018-10-11 08-20-10

Our favorite Open Source event – OpenFest is approaching. Every time I go there I do wonder how small Bulgaria attracts so many people there – thousands of people meet together. Probably the answer is that IT is developing very well and lot of people in Bulgaria work in IT industry.

I’m really pleased to announce that my proposal to talk about LoRa/TTN/LoRaWAN myths, possibilities, applications and limitations is approved! I will try to compare all popular LPWAN solutions, why LoRa is leading there (hint: open source 😉 ) and how you can calculate your power requirements, link budged etc to make sure your application will work with years on battery.

Previous Older Entries