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Archive for the ‘MKR WAN 1300’ Category

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Arduino MKR WAN 1310, which offers a practical and cost-effective solution for those looking to add LoRa connectivity to their projects. 

The new MKR WAN 1310 enables you to connect your sensors and actuators over long distances harnessing the power of the LoRa wireless protocol or throughout LoRaWAN networks.

This open source board can be connected to:

  • Arduino Create
  • To your own LoRa network using the Arduino Pro Gateway for LoRa 
  • To existing LoRaWAN infrastructure like The Things Network 
  • Or even to other boards using the direct connectivity mode

The latest low-power architecture has considerably improved the battery life on the MKR WAN 1310. When properly configured, the power consumption is now as low as 104uA!  It is also possible to use the USB port to supply power (5V) to the board; run the board with or without batteries – the choice is yours.

Based on the Microchip SAM D21 low-power processor and a Murata CMWX1ZZABZ LoRa module, the MKR WAN 1310 comes complete with an ECC508 crypto chip, a battery charger and 2MByte SPI Flash, as well as improved control of the board’s power consumption. 

Data logging and other OTA (Over-the-Air) functions are now possible since the inclusion of the on board 2MByte Flash. This new exciting feature will let you transfer configuration files from the infrastructure onto the board, create your own scripting commands, or simply store data locally to send it whenever the connectivity is best. While the MKR WAN 1310’s crypto chip adds further security by storing credentials and certificates in the embedded secure element.

These features make it the perfect IoT node and building block for low-power wide area IoT devices. 

The MKR WAN 1310 is available on the Arduino Store, where you’ll find complete specs and more information.

Security cameras are a great way to deter theft and vandalism, but what if the camera is out of WiFi range, or otherwise would need long cables to transmit pictures? As explained here, Tegwyn Twmffat has an interesting solution–taking advantage of neural network processing to recognize moving objects, along with a LoRa connection to sound the alarm when there is a potential problem.

Images are captured by a Raspberry Pi and camera, then processed with the help of an Intel Movidius Neural Compute Stick for identification. If it’s something of interest—a human, for example—a relatively small amount of data is transmitted to a MKR WAN 1300 base station, beeping faster and faster as the person approaches. 

As seen in the video below, it’s able to properly ignore the ‘test dog,’ while it beeps away when a person approaches! 

After deploying a remote weather station over two years ago, self-proclaimed ugly pirate Tecwyn Twmffat needed a better wireless communication solution. 

Originally, his installation used a GPRS modem to transmit data over the cellular network, and while this normally worked quite well, the module would get booted off the network during updates. Additionally, its solar panel power supply couldn’t keep up with the system during the darker months of December and January.

To solve both problems, he turned to a MKR WAN 1300 board to transmit data to a base station within range of WiFi and mains power. The base station then takes care of placing these readings on the wider Internet, which can be seen here as a series of gauges.

Now in its third version and having been tested for over two years, my weather station gets upgraded for better low power performance and data transfer reliability.

Power consumption – not a problem in the months other than December and January, but in these very dark months the solar panel, although rated at 40 Watts, was unable to keep up with the demand of the system … and most of the demand came from the 2G FONA GPRS module which transmits the data directly to the interwebs.

The next problem was with the FONA GPRS module itself, or more probably the cell phone network. The device would work perfectly for weeks / months, but then suddenly stop for no apparent reason. Apparently the network does try to send some kind of ‘system update info’ which, if not accepted, causes the device to get booted off the network, so GPRS is not really a maintenance free solution for data transmission. It’s a shame because when it did work, it worked really nicely.

This upgrade uses the low power LoRa protocol to send the data to a Raspberry Pi local server, which then will sends it on to the interwebs. In this way, the weather station itself can be low power on a solar panel and the ‘heavy lifting’ part of the process, done somewhere within WIFI range on mains power. Of course, if you have a public LoRa gateway within range, the Raspberry Pi would not be required.

Building up the weather station PCB is easy as the SMD components are all quite large (1206) and everything on the PCB works 100%. Some of the components, namely the wind instruments, are quite expensive but can sometimes be found secondhand on eBay.

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