Using LoPy devices with Congress

The LoPy devices from Pycom are quite neat: You get a relatively small device with built-in LoRa, BLE and WiFi support, GPIO pins, SPI, I2C and programming them is as simple as writing a few lines of Python. They’ve made plugins for both Atom and Visual Studio Code but if you have the One True Editor you can upload the files both via FTP and the serial port. Install the (optional) software If you are using Atom or Visual Studio Code there’s a plugin named Pymakr that will help you deploy your code. »

The wheels on the bus go round and round

…which may or may not affect the operation of our latest prototype. Only field testing will tell with any given degree of certainty. In late september, we were invited to a meeting with representatives from Telenor Reseach and the Northern Research Institute, which were on the lookout for mobile outdoors air quality sensors that could be mounted on bus rooftops in Tromsø, Norway. The sensor modules should be able to detect PM2. »

Raspberry Pi LoRa Gateway

“All things are difficult before they are easy”. I recently orderered a couple of RAK 831 LoRa gateways from China. If you already have a Raspberry Pi, you can get the gateway module for approximately 120 USD. If not, you can get a kit, containing the module, a raspberry, antenna and a prepopulated SD card, with the necessary drivers and software installed. This is slightly more expensive, but it saves you a lot of hassle. »

I2C Woes

Ok, so we changed out the IMU on our EE03 Lora/GPS/IMU-tracking device. Swapping out one I2C device with another I2C device shouldn’t cause any side effects, right ? We previously used the LSM9DS1 in our tracker. After playing around with the BNO055, this seemed to have superior performance characteristics, sporting an onboard MCU that could do sensor fusion, providing a 100Hz Euler angle feed. Both are 3.3V devices. Both are I2C devices. »

Fun with chemicals, lasers and really high voltages

Homebrew ESD Safe Component Trays. Assembling printed circuit boards is easy. You manufacture the PCB at location A, and then ship it to location B, along with some gerber files and a component list. The PCB is covered with a stencil that is used for applying solder paste. The PCB (with applied paste) is then fed into a pick and place machine that mounts the components, before it is fed into a reflow oven. »