The nRF9160 Feather Is Now Served

Jared Wolff has design a Feather form factor board with the nRF9160:

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The nRF9160 Feather Is Now Served

Low-power shutdown, built-in 4FF SIM card slot, flexible power supply, and more.

I was a complete failure. My prototype wasn’t working. I spent at least an hour trying to rework a frustratingly large LTE module on an impossibly small circuit board.

It wasn’t going to work.

So I went back to the drawing board. I poured my years of hardware experience into a tiny form factor.

The end product?

Something smart. Something with LTE, NB-IoT, and GPS. Something anyone could get started with right away.

And thus, the nRF9160 Feather was born.

I need your help! 🙏

To make this campaign a reality, I need your help to meet our minimum order quantity of nRF9160 Feathers. Without that, we’re dead in the water! Head on over to the campaign page to reserve yours.

For those of you who’ve already committed, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can’t wait to get the nRF9160 Feather into your hands!

P.S. Huge thanks to Hackster and GroupGets for making this happen. You guys and girls are great. ❤

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The nRF9160 Feather Is Now Served

ESP8266 Power Switch

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ESP8266 Power Switch

The DomCo Electronics, Inc. ESP8266 AC Power Switch is everything you need to get started with controlling AC mains from an ESP8266. We know dealing with AC can be intimidating for people at times and we wanted to simplify the process of making your own IoT device.

Everything you need to control a 100-240VAC 50/60Hz load is built right onto the board. Simply solder on a power lead and socket of your choice to the Power Switch and the on-board code can get you up and started in minutes. (We have a USA power tail and socket in the optional extras below.) No more needing to wire up an ESP board, a Wall wart, an IoT Power Relay (Power Tail), and a bunch of wires just to control your light or coffee maker.

ESP8266 Power Switch

Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) Nixie Tube Clock

From Mark Smith on the Surf ‘n Circuits blog:

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What is an ETA Nixie Tube Clock and How Do You Build One?

Adding IOT to the Nixie Tube Clock. A clock that provides the estimated time of arrival for up to ten destinations

The ETA Nixie clock is programmed to display the normal time and up to ten different ETA times that are easy to identify and visually stimulating. The current time is displayed for 5 seconds (i.e. 8:41:38 AM), then up to ten different ETA destinations are displayed for three seconds each before the cycle is repeated. The current time displays all six digits including seconds. The ETA locations are numbered and display hours and minutes without seconds helping to distinguish between them.  In our house, the ETA to work is ETA number 1 (i.e. 9:07 AM) and the ETA to school is ETA number 2 (i.e. 8:58 AM). Lots of other options are possible with custom programming of the Raspberry Pi to meet your ETA requirements.

surfncircuits has shared the board on OSH Park:

An Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) Nixie Tube Clock Rev 2.

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Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) Nixie Tube Clock

Dock for Onion Omega2

Valerio Backslashnew has designed a small dock for the Onion Omega 2 and 2+:

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My Omega 2/2+ dock\new

I needed the smallest dock i could do, that featured:

  • Ethernet
  • Type A USB host
  • Micro USB for power

Here’s what i came up with, i called it dock\new.

layout

It has an onboard linear voltage regulation (i didn’t bother going with a switching one for such low power), magnetics integrated in the RJ45 connector to save space, USB host ESD protection (diode array), USB host PTC fuse.

On the left side there is the RJ45 connector and nothing on the back side of the board, so that you can easily access the MicroSD card on the Omega 2+.

On the right side (the antenna side of the omega) you have the USB type A connector, facing outwards, and the microusb connector for power, facing inwards.

The project is open source (CC-BY-SA 4.0), and the KiCad schematics, board layout and the other files are available on GitHub:

5N44P/omega-dock-new

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5N44P has shared the board on OSH Park:

omega-dock-new.kicad_pcb

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Order from OSH Park

Dock for Onion Omega2

LTE Arduino GPS Tracker and IoT Dashboard

Timothy Woo shows how to make a powerful Arduino GPS tracker that posts data to the cloud via LTE and view data graphically on IoT dashboards:
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LTE Arduino GPS Tracker + IoT Dashboard

Hey guys! In this tutorial we’ll be creating a GPS tracker using the Botletics SIM7000 LTE shield and an Arduino and view the data on two free IoT dashboards. I’ll start off by explaining how to get everything set up and posting data to the cloud, then I’ll move into how to set up the IoT dashboards to view data. The two dashboards we will be looking at are Freeboard.io and ThingsBoard.io.

Since this tutorial is a follow-up of my first Instructable on using the Botletics LTE/NB-IoT shield for Arduino so if you haven’t already, please read it to get a good overview of how to use the shield and what it’s all about. In this tutorial I’ll focus on IoT data logging, and specifically, GPS and temperature tracking and provide you will all the code and guidance you’ll need to hit the road and test it out! It’ll be a decently lengthy tutorial so sit tight and grab some coffee!

Although I’ll be mainly focusing on the LTE shield that I personally designed and built, everything here (including the Github Arduino library) should work on SIMCom’s 2G and 3G modules like the SIM800/808/900/5320 as well since it’s just an updated version of the Adafruit FONA library. Regardless of hardware the concept is exactly the same and you can do lots of cool stuff with this, including sensor data logging, remote weather monitoring, auto theft karma GPS tracking, etc… so read on!

LTE Arduino GPS Tracker and IoT Dashboard

SoftRF LoRa

SoftRF is an open project for aircraft collision avoidance avionics and has designed an adapter for RFM9x to fit NRF905 module dimensions and pinout:

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SoftRF

Multifunctional DIY IoT-based general aviation proximity awareness system.

Features:

  • 2-way raw data bridge between 868/915 MHz radio band and Wi-Fi ;
  • standalone, battery powered, compatible proximity awareness instrument that fits typical 2.25 inches hole ;
  • lightweight version to carry onboard of an UAV.

SoftRF has shared the board on OSH Park:

SoftRF-LoRa v1.1
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Order from OSH Park

SoftRF LoRa

LTE NB-IoT Shield for Arduino

From Timothy Woo on Hackaday.io:

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LTE NB-IoT Shield for Arduino

This open-source LTE shield uses SIMCOM’s SIM7000-series modules with the latest LTE CAT-M technology to allow Arduino users to painlessly connect their low-power IoT devices with the next-generation cellular technology!

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NB-IoT is also available for many countries (but sadly not in the USA yet) simply by swapping out to a different SIM7000 module version. Luckily SIMCOM made it super easy to integrate this module because most of the AT commands are identical to previous version, and Adafruit has a wonderful library for their FONA 2G and 3G products. Check it out and help make this happen!

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You can view the latest code and design files here on my Github page: https://github.com/botletics/NB-IoT-Shield. Note: The hardware works great but software is still under development! I plan on launching an Indiegogo campaign when I get a fully-working prototype, so stay tuned for updates!

LTE NB-IoT Shield for Arduino

Tiny ESP32 WROVER pSRAM board

Tiny ESP32 board from the store on Tindie with optional battery header and pSRAM:

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Tiny ESP32 WROVER pSRAM board

It’s a little ESP32 Board. Perfect for controlling or sensing stuff in the real world and sync it to the internet! Despite that it features the ESP32 WROVER Module. This means it got 4MB FLASH and 4MB RAM. That’s an absolute incredible amount of RAM. I honestly have no clue for what I will ever need 4MB in my embedded Projects.

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Why did you make it?

I wanted a small ESP32 Board with the pSRAM and which works and doesn’t eat your whole time to get it working and find it’s issues and quirks.

I’ve used the CP2102 Serial converter because this is the one, which works the best way to program the ESP32. Even Espressif uses this serial converter on their own dev boards.

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What makes it special?

It’s propably the smallest ESP32 Board with pSRAM. Despite the size it’s ideal for battery operation. It uses under 200uA in Deep Sleep mode!

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Tiny ESP32 WROVER pSRAM board

Hologram.io: Open-Sourcing Our Hardware

Ben Strahan of Hologram.io writes about why development hardware should be open source:

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Open-Sourcing Our Hardware

It’s a simple premise – black boxes stifle innovation while open systems encourage exploration. Black Boxes and IP have their place as an essential tool in our economy; but in an industry like IoT where rapid innovation is needed, we need to push for open development tools as the building blocks that lead to innovative end-products for industry and consumers.

Going forward Hologram will open-source all hardware we develop for the developer community, including dependent firmware, through OSHWA. We see this as a mandatory step we need to take to help move IoT forward, to lower the barriers to entry, and to spur innovation in a rapidly evolving ecosystem.

The hardware design files for the new Hologram Nova module are available on GitHub:

Hologram Nova Hardware Repository

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Hologram.io: Open-Sourcing Our Hardware

Particle Electron Carrier for Outdoor IoT Applications

Chip McClelland designed this Particle Electron carrier board to enhance the reliability and capabilities his outdoor IoT project:

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Particle Electron Carrier for Outdoor IoT Applications

I have been building IoT sensors for outdoor use for a few years now. Most of my focus has been on helping local parks better count and report the cars, bikers, joggers and hikers which use their facilities each day. By giving them an accurate and automatic way to measure park utilization, They can save significant labor costs, get a more complete count and facilitate reporting. My hope is that this work will show how important our parks are and help preserve and even expand funding for these vital community resources.

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Longer term, I also want to collect environmental and health data with these devices and I realized that a general purpose enhancement to the Particle Electron would be useful in all manner of applications that I – or the community – might dream up. This project, developed in collaboration with the Particle community (see Team link) is open source and available to anyone who can wants to deploy IoT devices where there is no WiFi or utility power.

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These carriers have proved to be very reliable and have survived 6 months so far in the North Carolina Summer. I have started working on a Solar Implementation and have some ideas for future improvement. Please let me know if this is helpful and if you have any comments or suggestions that could help improve the carrier.

chipmc has shared the board on OSH Park:

Electron Carrier Board v2.2

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Order from OSH Park

Particle Electron Carrier for Outdoor IoT Applications