REDS.box – Home cloud server based on A20-OLinuXino-LIME on Kickstarter

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REDS.box is new Kickstarter project which use A20-OLinuXino-LIME to create your own home server to keep your files safe and available on the net.

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People who use a cloud app these days have to store their data on servers of the companies that provide the app. Without knowing what will happen to your data and who else has access to it, you are asked to trust those companies – which means you are losing control over your data and privacy!

With REDS.box you know exactly where your files are – on your own server where only you have the access rights.

 

A20-OLinuXino-LIME server with 320GB HDD works on LiPo battery over 6 hours

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We have server rack with several x86 servers running Linux with our work file repositories, the ERP and etc.

They are quite power hungry as lot of HDDs are connected to them in RAID mirrors to prevent data loss.

We are located in industrial area and power supply glitches are not uncommon, specially during the winter.

To keep the servers alive during power downs, we had to buy expensive 2000 EUR UPS, which actually keep them no more than 20-30 minutes up when power is down, so basically just to allow you 10-15 minutes to finish your work and then to shut them down properly before the battery is drained.

This UPS has lead-acid batteries inside which has to be changed every 3 years and cost almost as much as the UPS itself.

Initially we kept our all Olinuxino Linux images on Gdrive, but there were few issues with this, the images grew to many Gigabytes, and Gdrive start to restrict the access to the files after some limits were reach, so we decided to host these images by us on torrent. We decided to make separate server for this due to security reasons, we just wanted to keep our local network private and to allow external access only to this isolated server which we access also from outside like other users.

To keep it as low power as possible we setup one A20-LIME + HDD320GB + 6600mAh LiPo battery. This configuration works well several years already.

Yesterday our power supply provider EVN warned us that they will change mains high voltage cables in our area and Olimex will have power supply cut from 9.00 to 15.00, so we had to take day off.

We came today and sure we found all x86 servers down, but to our surprise the LIME with the HDD was working fine all these 6 hours of power blackout and didn’t shut down!

We know that with 6600mAh battery the LIME will last at least 10 hours as it uses 1.5-2W, but the HDD is rated 5W (5V/1A), so we were expecting less time stand alone operation.

It was good surprise to see that actual consumption is less, maybe the HDD enters stand-by mode when not used?

ESP8266 Building Hello World Blink LED and Simple Web Server to drive the Relay and check Button status

ESP8266

ESP8266-EVB is small 57×50 mm board with Relay and Button which are connected to Internet via ESP8266 WIFI module.

ESP8266 has inside Xtensa106 processor and RF front end circuit, you do not need separate processor to drive the relay and read the button as ESP8266 can be programmed with custom code.

Here we will explain how to setup your tools and make your first project.

First you need to install your tools. It’s simple, just follow the instructions here: https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/wiki/Toolchain

There are just few small mistakes as some commands will require SUDO before them and some paths are not exactly same, but you have to follow the steps and once you get error to read and correct the problem.

Here is what we do on Ubuntu 14.04 LTE 64-bit:

sudo apt-get install git autoconf build-essential gperf bison flex texinfo libtool libncurses5-dev wget gawk libc6-dev-amd64 python-serial libexpat-dev
sudo mkdir /opt/Espressif
sudo chown $username /opt/Espressif/
sudo cd /opt/Espressif
sudo git clone -b lx106 git://github.com/jcmvbkbc/crosstool-NG.git 
cd crosstool-NG
./bootstrap && ./configure --prefix=`pwd` && make && make install
./ct-ng xtensa-lx106-elf
./ct-ng build
PATH=$PWD/builds/xtensa-lx106-elf/bin:$PATH
cd /opt/Espressif
mkdir ESP8266_SDK
wget -O esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3_14_11_21.zip https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/raw/master/sdk/esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3_14_11_21.zip
wget -O esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3_14_11_21_patch1.zip https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/raw/master/sdk/esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3_14_11_21_patch1.zip
unzip esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3_14_11_21.zip
unzip esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3_14_11_21_patch1.zip
mv esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3 ESP8266_SDK
mv License ESP8266_SDK/esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3
cd /opt/Espressif/ESP8266_SDK/esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3
sed -i -e 's/xt-ar/xtensa-lx106-elf-ar/' -e 's/xt-xcc/xtensa-lx106-elf-gcc/' -e 's/xt-objcopy/xtensa-lx106-elf-objcopy/' Makefile
mv examples/IoT_Demo .
cd /opt/Espressif/ESP8266_SDK/esp_iot_sdk_v0.9.3
wget -O lib/libc.a https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/raw/master/libs/libc.a
wget -O lib/libhal.a https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/raw/master/libs/libhal.a
wget -O include.tgz https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/raw/master/include.tgz
tar -xvzf include.tgz
cd /opt/Espressif
wget -O esptool_0.0.2-1_i386.deb https://github.com/esp8266/esp8266-wiki/raw/master/deb/esptool_0.0.2-1_i386.deb
dpkg -i esptool_0.0.2-1_i386.deb
cd /opt/Espressif
git clone https://github.com/themadinventor/esptool esptool-py
ln -s $PWD/esptool-py/esptool.py crosstool-NG/builds/xtensa-lx106-elf/bin/

For less experienced users, we are preparing VirtualBox disk image which to run on Virtual machine on any OS like Linux, MAC OS, Windows, and everything inside is pre-configured and ready to use, hopefully we will upload this image on ESP8266-EVB web page tomorrow as we didn’t manage to complete it today.

Once you have setup the Tools you can download our examples from GitHub:

cd /opt/Espressif
git clone https://github.com/OLIMEX/ESP8266.git
cd ESP8266-EVB-blinkLED
make

the project will be compiled and you will see something like this:

AR build/app_app.a
LD build/app.out
FW firmware/0x00000.bin
FW firmware/0x40000.bin

congratulations you made your first code!

now we hae to load it to ESP8266-EVB

you need: ESP8266-EVB, 5V adapter like SY0605E, USB-Serial-Cable-F
connect the USB-SERIAL-CABLE-F to ESP8266-EVB UEXT connector as follows:

  • blue wire to pin#2
  • green wire to pin#3
  • red wire to pin#4

plug the USB cable to your computer USB connector and check which serial port it connects by typing:

lsusb

your computer should display something like:

...
Bus 004 Device 005: ID 067b:2303 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port
...

if you type:

ls /dev/tty*

you will see:

.... /dev/ttyUSB0 ....

If the USB device is with different name you have to update it in the makefile.

After the code is compiled with no errors you can write it to ESP8266 by following these steps:

  1.  first you have to press button and hold it and to apply power 5V, ESP8266 will enter bootloader mode
  2. type ‘sudo make flash’ and wait until code is loaded:
sudo make flash
/opt/Espressif/esptool-py/esptool.py --port /dev/ttyUSB0 write_flash 0x00000 firmware/0x00000.bin 0x40000 firmware/0x40000.bin
Connecting...
Erasing flash...
Writing at 0x00007300... (100 %)
Erasing flash...
Writing at 0x00061200... (100 %)
Leaving...

now Green LED must start blinking!

So far so good, you just made blinking LED on ESP8266, now let’s make something more complicated – to run Embedded web server on ESP8266, go to esphttpd project directory:

cd /opt/Espressif/ESP8266/esphttpd
make

then upload the code

sudo make flash

then upload web pages with:

sudo make htmlflash

Now ESP8266 firmware is uploaded and ESP8266 create Embedded server.

Scan for WIFI which name starts with ESP_XXXXXXX where XXXXXX is the ESP8266 MAC address and connect to this network then open browser at http://192.168.4.1 you will see this home page:

HOME

if you click on Relay button in the right side you will see new page:

RELAY

On this page you can switch the on-board relay by clicking on ON and OFF button

If you click on the Button button in the right side you will see new page:

BUTTON

If you click on Start scan the web page will start to refresh each second and display the button status if you click on Stop scan the page will not refresh.

This is very basic demo code which can be used as template for your own projects!

PIC-WEB-BOX demo video

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PIC-WEB-BOX is embedded PIC web server using Microchip’s Open Source TCP-IP stack with two buttons, RS232 interface, UEXT connector, two GPIO connectors, Status LED, 2GB Sd card for web storage. The power supply can be in range 9-30VDC and the low consumption makes this board perfect for controlling things over internet or to read sensors etc.

We setup video where you can see how easy is to program it and using the build-in bootloader you can change PIC-WEB-BOX firmware over the net via TFTP.

UART, I2C, SPI interfaces are available and the video demonstrate how you can drive 4.3″ LCD, Relays, measure temperature with thermocouple etc.

SD card with 2GB is build-in for web storage.

PIC-WEB-BOX is with small enclosure.

 

LPC2378-STK Tutorial: Implementation of PPP connection with TCPNet Stack

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Ohmohm tip us this tutorial via Twitter. Its in Russian language but you can use Google translate.

LPC2378-STK in this case act as web server and allow other devices to connect to it via PPP.

http://wiki.ru.com/index.php/90-art/16492-realizatsiya-ppp-soedineniya-s-pomoshchyu-steka-tcpnet

Web Server with MOD-IO + MOD-ENC28J60

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Doing embedded Web servers with microcontrollers is not new but Andrew Rossignol blogged recently that he made embedded Web Server with MOD-IO and MOD-ENC28J60, the catch is that MOD-IO have ATMega16 microcontrollers with only 16KB Flash and 1K RAM!

You can read more about his implementation on his blog

Good work!

A13-OLinuXino web server with MOD-RGB controlling RGB LED stripe over internet

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A13-OLinuXino have enough power to run real apache web server with php5, java script etc like any desktop linux computer.

With MOD-RGB connected to A13-OLinuXino UEXT you can control RGB LED stripe up to 5A per channel over fancy web interface from any device with web browser like your tablet or phone.

For instance you can make cool RGB LED lighting in your home and to control then with your phone, A13-OLinuXino can connect to many different MOD-RGB controllers as they are addressable, so you can connect many LED stripes to A13-OLinuXino web server and to controll them separately.

These are step by step instructions how to duplicate yourself:

Prepare A13-OLinuXino-WIFI for web serving:

Update repository
$apt-get update

Install apache and php
$apt-get install apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5

Open browser and type A13 board internal network IP address. For instance http://192.168.0.30 . You should get message “It Works”

Extract demo files into apache dir. For example /var/www/RGB

Compile i2c-tool
$gcc i2c-tool

Make executable
$chmod 777 a.out

Change permitions of i2c-bus
$chmod 777 /dev/i2c*

Now open index.html. You should see color picker. Move mouse. Enjoy:)

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