Imagine for a moment that you’re in charge of a new scientific research project where a remote device will be deployed to automatically collect data samples and report back to the lab. The device might be deployed several times to different locations throughout the year, and one requirement is that a scientist back at the lab can send a command to actuate some mechanical device, like a motor, and respond with collected data or status at any given time. For a project like this, you’ll need to somehow wirelessly communicate with the device. These remote areas are likely well beyond the reach of cellular or other far-reaching radio signals.
I’d like to take a moment to shine some light on an area of our business that is generally unthought of and under appreciated — packaging and shipping. The stuff that happens to get your product from the shelf to your doorstep. If you’ve ever received a package from us, I think you’ll fully agree that great pride and care has been put into the packaging to ensure your product arrives undamaged. The packing department has obviously learned quite a lot over the course of 35+ years of business and developed a fantastic process for creating robust packaging. They’ve thought of everything from perfectly sized, double-walled boxes and foam lining down to extra heavy duty packaging tape. Before moving on, let’s take a moment to really appreciate the time and attention the packing department puts into it. The team truly deserves it and I’m genuinely impressed every time I get a package from them. The Amazon smile packages got nothing on them!
Technology has become more than just a battle of sheer numbers. It has somewhat morphed into a “less is more” philosophy to see what’s possible with less. We pitted these three ARM CPUs together to find out if there are any positive impacts to using a slower clock speed CPU:
- 800 MHz PXA166 ARM CPU (TS-7250-V2)
- 1066 MHz PXA168 ARM CPU (TS-7250-V2)
- 696 MHz i.MX 6UltraLite ARM CPU (TS-7553-V2)
What we found is very promising in that in most tests, the 696 MHz i.MX 6UltraLite provided a huge advantage over the 800 MHz PXA166 and even the 1066 MHz PXA168. Let’s take a quick look at our findings.
I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes
Green-thumbed techno junkies rejoice! For today, we’re going to take an introductory, prototype look at what it takes to digitally monitor the soil moisture content of a common houseplant so we know when to water it. We’re talking about using a single board computer to read from a soil moisture sensor from an Analog to Digital Convertor (ADC) and toggle an indicator LED using Digital Input and Output (DIO). Specifically, we’re going to be using a TS-7250-V2, but this guide can apply to many different boards.
This practical guide gives us an opportunity to take a relaxed approach to getting started with the TS-4100 computer. We’re going to take a look at how to make our first connections, and setup the network. These are usually the first things we do before starting development. In the grand scheme of things, this is just a friendlier extrapolation from the official TS-4100 manual, so be sure to keep it handy for more advanced topics and specific details. The only assumption being made is that you’ve purchased the TS-4100 with a development kit, including the pre-programmed microSD card and TS-8551 reference board. Right then, let’s get started!
This practical guide gives us an opportunity to take a relaxed approach to getting started with the TS-7800-V2 single board computer. We’re going to take a look at how to make our first connections, and setup the network. These are usually the first things we do before starting development. In the grand scheme of things, this is just a friendlier extrapolation from the official TS-7800-V2 manual, so be sure to keep it handy for more advanced topics and specific details. The only assumption being made is that you’ve purchased the TS-7800-V2 with a development kit, including the pre-programmed microSD card and necessary cables.
For you TS-7800 users upgrading to the TS-7800-V2, you’re in for a treat. There’s a migration guide specifically created to help you with some of the nuances in upgrading. For this, take a look at the “Migration Path” section of the TS-7800-V2 Manual.
When you’ve finished, be sure take a look at PWM Primer with the TS-7800-V2. Good stuff there about working with dimming LEDs and controlling servo motors.
Right then, let’s get started! Continue reading “Practical Guide to Getting Started with the TS-7800-V2”
In this PWM crash course, we’ll be taking a look at what PWM is and how to use it by way of example. First, we’ll control the brightness of an LED and make it breathe, then we’ll control the position of a servo motor. This will all be done using the PWM channels on a TS-7800-V2.
Let’s take a look at what it takes to read sensor data from an I2C interface (aka I2C, IIC, TwoWire, TWI). In particular, we’ll be reading data from the NXP MPL3115A2 Altimeter/Barometer/Temperature sensor. The principles found in this guide can also be applied generically, even to your ambifacient lunar waneshaft positioning sensor of your turboencabulator.
Imagine this: You have a five-year-old son who has grown tall enough, and smart enough to open the door to your home office, packed with all your super fun gizmos and trinkets. It has a lock, but being the lackadaisical creature you are, you forget to lock it. You’ll only be gone for a minute or two, after all! Well, that was just enough time for your son to sneak in, rip up all the jumper wires from your breadboard, find a permanent marker, and well, you know how this ends.
In this (oddly specific) example project we’re going to be coming up with a solution to avoid such a disaster by building a wireless, internet connected, SMS door alert system using:
- 2x XBee Pro S1 Radios (OP-XBEERADIO)
- Sparkfun XBee Explorer USB
- TS-7553-V2 Single Board Computer
- Magnetic Door/Window Switch
- 3.7 VDC 1 Ah Lithium Polymer Battery
- Jumper wires and breadboard for prototyping
- PCB Etching
- 3D Printing
This way, we’ll receive a text message every time the door is opened and be able to rush to the scene of the future crime.
Continue reading “Example XBee Project: Opened Door Alert via Email/SMS”
TS-4100 System on Module powered by NXP i.MX6 UL Processor.
Feb 15, 2018 – Technologic Systems announced their latest System-on-Module, the TS-4100, has entered in to their engineering sampling program (see below for details). The TS-4100 is the first Technologic Systems System-on-Module to feature the NXP i.MX 6 UltraLite processor, featuring a single ARM Cortex A7 core, operating at speeds up to 695MHz. The NXP i.MX 6UL processors offer scalable performance and multimedia support, along with low power consumption. Technologic Systems allows you to take full advantage of the integrated power management module to optimize power sequencing throughout the board design to achieve 300 mW typical power usage, making this SoM perfect for embedded applications with strict power requirements. The TS-4100 is perfect for industrial embedded applications for medical, automotive, industrial automation, smart energy and many more applications.