Tag Internet of Things

what is lora

What is Lora Wireless Technology

Lora

LoRa is a spread spectrum wireless technology, developed by Semtech Corporation. It has been developed to allow long distance transmission of low rate data.

The low rate data is collected by remote field sensors and actuators, and is used for Internet of Things and M2M applications. Lora uses the 868 Mhz unlicensed radio spectrum, in what is known as the ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) bands to wirelessly facilitate low power, wide area data communication between the remote sensors and gateway devices, which connect to the Internet, or other network.

Lora is not suitable for every Industrial Internet Of Things IIOT application.

For example, if you wanted to transmit wireless CCTV images, then Lorawan would not be suitable, due to its low rate of data transfer.

What Lora excels in, however, is in transmitting small amounts of data long distances, and at low power consumption.

Low power consumption is important to wireless IIOT because some of the field sensors which record the data may be in remote locations.

Remote locations include roads and fields, which will be time-consuming and therefore expensive to get to.

By having a low power consumption rate, Lora enabled sensors do not have to have their batteries replaced very often.

Devices can be engineered to run on the same battery power supply for a few years.

Liquid Level Monitoring

LoraWAN can be used to transmit liquid level monitoring sensor data.

Examples of liquids include fuels, water, lubricants, and coolants.

The sensor by Tekelek uses ultrasonic technology to monitor liquid levels.

Using ultrasonic sensors connected to a Lora network offers accurate and reliable liquid measurement.

The battery life is more than ten years.

Using Lora long-range technology gives up to 9.5 miles range, which is 15 kilometres.

Internet of Things | Two Way Radio Wireless Communications – Yesway Communications

industry 4.0

Build a Lorawan Gateway

What is  Lorawan

First of all, what is Lorawan.  It is a wireless technology that allows small amounts of data to be sent between a remote sensor (such as a river level detector), and the Internet.

Lorawan technology is very efficient at sending the sensor data over long distances, whilst consuming very little power. This means that a the sensor devices can be battery powered, whilst the batteries last for years.

What is a Gateway then

A Lorawan Gateway is the device that receives the wireless signals containing data, that has been transmitted (using Lora wireless technology) from the remote sensors (river level monitoring, air quality etc).

Once the  Gateway has received the  wirelessly transmitted data, the gateway forwards the data onto the Internet.

Gateway connection to the Internet can be via a variety of means, such as Wifi, Ethernet, 3G, 4G, 5G etc.

Building the Gateway

For beginners to building their own gateway, I would recommend joining, or founding a local Things Network .

The Lorawan Gateway that I am going to describe here, is designed to operate on the Things Network, however other lora networks can easily be installed.

The main components that you will need are:-

1) A Concentrator board from IMST of Germany. The Concentrator board is the wireless communications part of the system, responsible for receiving the wireless data signals, from the remote environmental sensors (Air quality sensors etc).

2) A small computer to store the software that controls the Concentrator board. We are going to use the UK designed Raspberry PI 3.

A Micro SD Card, for holding the software used by the Raspberry PI.  A small 4 GB card is fine.

3) A suitable Antenna (or Aerial), with pigtail connecting cable.

4) A suitable 2 Amp rated power supply, with a micro USB connector.

5)  7 Female to Female connecting leads, suitable for raspberry PI.

4) A suitable case, to house the components.

The first thing I need to make you aware of is the risk of static electricity, to your IMST ic880a Concentrator and Raspberry PI.

Static can damage the sensitive electronic components, therefore it is advisable to take precautions, such as not touching the board components, and wearing an anti static wrist strap.

The first thing you need to do is to format the micro SD card, that will be fitted to the raspberry PI, to hold the gateway software.

The SD card association has a free piece of software, for Windows PC and Mac, to do this. My card was already formatted, so I skipped this step.

The next step is to burn the actual software that will power your gateway, onto the Raspberry PI.

To do this, I used https://etcher.io/    

I first installed Etcher onto my  linux desktop computer. As most people use Windows PC, or Mac, you will need to find a suitable alternative to Etcher.

I also downloaded the operating system needed to run the Raspberry Pi, which is called Raspbian Stretch Lite , onto my desktop PC.

Put your micro SD card into your computers micro SD card reader. If your computer (like mine) does not have a card reader, then external USB plug in ones can be purchased cheaply (I got mine from my local Asda supermarket for £6).

Fire up Etcher, or whatever card  burning software you prefer, and select the copy of Raspbian Stretch Lite , that you previously downloaded to your PC.

Follow the instructions, and burn the operating system software onto the micro SD card.

Once you have successfully burned your Raspbian Stretch Lite, onto your SD card, insert it into the Raspberry Pi (the slot is on the underside of the Pi).

The next thing to do is to connect your Raspberry Pi to a suitable monitor (I used a TV, that had a HDMI connection), and also connect a USB keyboard, power supply, and mouse.

The power supply should be 5 Volts DC, and Raspberry Pi power supplies are widely available. I used a USB phone charger, with 5 Volts output, and a current rating of 2000mA.

Boot up your Raspberry Pi (connect the power), and you will see lots of computer code scrolling across your screen (if you have done everything successfully, so far).

When the Raspberry Pi asks you for a user name and password, use the following default ones (the  bit after the  ‘ : ‘ ).

Username: Pi

Password: Raspberry

After you have successfully logged in, type:

 sudo raspi-config

Numbered options will now hopefully be on your monitor screen.

Select [5] Interfacing Options, and then P4 SPI

Then select [7] Advanced Options , and then [A1] Expand Filesystem.

You now need to exit the raspi-config utility, either by hitting the ‘CTRL’  and  ‘X’ keys, or by typing sudo reboot

Next you are going to Configure the locales and time zone.

Type this in, to set the locales, and follow instruction.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

Next, type this in to set time zone.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

The next stage is to update the raspberry Pi software, do this by typing:

sudo apt-get update

Then install any upgrades to the operating system software, by typing sudo apt-get upgrade

Next we are going to install Git , which is needed to be able to download the Things Network software from Github.

Type:

sudo apt-get install git

The next step is to create a user called TTN (the things network).  This user will eventually replace the default raspberry pi user, which we will delete.

sudo adduser ttn

Then:    sudo adduser ttn sudo

Logout, by typing logout

Once you have logged out, log back in using the user name and password that you have just set up, when you added a user.

You can now delete the default Raspberry Pi user, by typing

sudo userdel -rf pi

Set the WIFI  SSID and password details, which can be found on the back of your home router / Hub (usually).

To set the WIFI details type

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf 

Once you have typed in the above text, you should see some code on the screen. Add the following to the end of the existing code, making sure that you enter your SSID and password details, in place of the shown text.

network=

{
ssid="The_SSID_of_your_wifi"
psk="Your_wifi_password"

}

Now we are going to clone the installer from Github. This will download the software which runs the gateway, from the Github repository.  Type each of the following three code lines into your Pi, one at a time, hitting the return key after each line of code.

  git clone -b spi https://github.com/ttn-zh/ic880a-gateway.git ~/ic880a-gateway
  cd ~/ic880a-gateway
  sudo ./install.sh spi

Identifying the Gateway

The software will give the gateway the default name of ttn-gateway.

This however may need to be changed, to prevent issues with other Things Network Gateways within wireless range.

Wiring it Up

The next step is to connect the Concentrator board, to the Raspberry Pi, and also connect the antenna.

The components including the antenna should be mounted in a protective box,  and the antenna connected to the Concentrator board.

It is very important that the Concentrator board is not powered up, with no suitable antenna connected, of damage could occur to the board.

Once the antenna is connected, then the next step is to connect the Concentrator to the Raspberry Pi.

Connect using female to female connecting wires, as follows:

iC880a Concentrator pin Description RPi physical pin
21 Supply 5V 2
22 GND 6
13 Reset 22
14 SPI CLK 23
15 MISO 21
16 MOSI 19
17 NSS 24

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:

It is important that you identify the correct pins, by referring to the manufactures data sheets (Both IMST & Raspberry Pi).

We accept no liability for loss or damage caused, by following these information only Lorawan Gateway instructions.

For help, as to which pin is which on the Concentrator and Raspberry Pi boards, why not get in touch.

I also offer workshop training, where I can train your students to build their own Lorawan Gateways.

@acraigmiles

www.craigmiles.co.uk

Craig Miles (C) 2018 – 2023 , all images and content, unless stated separately.

    Internet of Things | Two Way Radio Wireless Communications – Yesway Communications

    LPWAN

    LoraWAN Advantages for IOT

    Induction Motor

    Wet Induction Motor IOT Monitoring

    Pouring water on an Induction Motor may stop it working, which can be monitored with IOT.

    The reason water stops the motor working, is due to the lowering of the insulation resistance of the internal motor coil windings, but what are the wet induction motor symptoms.

    The coil windings are located inside the metal case of the induction motor, and are what generates a magnetic field, which makes the motor turn.

    This article will focus on what are known as ‘three phase’ Induction Motors, which have three sets of coil windings inside the motor. It will also be expanded to include the advantages of adding IOT monitoring.

    The internal motor windings are wound together in a component known as a ‘Stator’.

    Each winding is electrically separated by an insulation layer on the copper wire that makes up a stator winding.

    Therefore there should be a high level of electrical resistance between each of the three coils.

    This ‘Insulation Resistance’ is typically above 2 Mega Ohms in a correctly operating Induction Motor, however for marine Induction motors 0.5 Mega Ohms is the stated (Solas) minimum.

    If the coil windings become wet, then the insulation resistance would drop to a low level, which would prevent the motor from operating, due to a short circuit between the coil windings.

    The good news is that induction motors can usually be dried out, and therefore returned to having a high insulation resistance between the Stator coils.

    Methods for drying out the stator coils to restore an acceptable insulation resistance include hot air, or heating the coil windings using a welding set.

    It is of course vital that the motor is disconnected from the electricity supply, and that only a qualified person carries out the work.

    On land based industrial installations a damp or wet  Induction Motor, should trip the safety circuit breakers (RCD), and isolate the supply.

    This is because on land, the priority is to safeguard the safety of people and livestock.

    On board ships and Super-yachts however, the priority is to maintain the ships important systems, such as Steering gear.

    Therefore ships electrical systems are designed to tolerate a single earth fault, without shutting down the whole circuit.

    A wet Induction Motor would cause an earth fault to be detected by the ships ‘fault panel’, but not trip the whole circuit.

    Yesway has experience of working on Marine Induction motors, and years of related experience.

    Monitoring Using Radio Communications

    Radio communications technology can be used to monitor the condition of induction motors.

    This can be part of your overall business improvement process.

    Sensors can be attached or even integrated into induction motors, to monitor motor conditions.

    Induction motor parameters that can be monitored by sensors are:

    Phase Current

    Motor speed RPM

    Vibration

    Torque

    Connecting via LoraWAN

    LoraWAN is a wireless technology that can be used for creating a Smart Factory.

    Advantages of LoraWAN is low power consumption, so the sensor attached to the motor can be battery powered, and last years.

    Another advantage of LoraWAN for monitoring wet Induction motors in Smart Factories is long range, and good signal penetration through walls.

    Internet of Things | Two Way Radio Wireless Communications – Yesway Communications



    Retrofitting the Internet of Things to Industry

    Things to Consider When Retrofitting the Internet of Things to Existing Industrial Equipment

    The Internet of Things or IoT for short is already known to the public through innovative products, such as body-worn fitness monitors, that record and upload data to the internet.

    In the industrial sectors, such as manufacturing, new systems are being developed to replace existing infrastructure, to improve efficiency.

    However, what about perfectly good existing equipment that you, as a business, do not want to replace. The answer is to retrofit equipment, to make it ‘Smart’.

    It is convenient to break down the IOT process in terms of:-

    Input-Process-Output

    Therefore retrofitting the Internet of Things….tb continued

    This is the first of our videos on retrofitting the Internet of Things to existing industries, such as factories, agriculture and cities.

    Internet of Things

    Retrofitting the Internet of Things to Industry

    two way radio

    What is a LoraWAN Gateway

    A LoraWAN Gateway is a device that receives (and potentially sends) the wireless data from your lora enabled sensors, and then connects it to the Internet.

    These sensors are typically low powered devices capable of detecting such things as moisture of the soil, pollution levels, or pretty much whatever you wish to measure.

    The LoraWAN Gateway can be connected to the Internet in a variety of ways, such as Ethernet, 3G,4G and 4G LTE.

    Manufacturers include Link-Labs, MultiTech and Kerlink

    LORA itself is a low power network technology that is an alternative technology to other standards such as Sigfox.

    Internet of Things

     

    Star-Delta Starter Adaption for The Internet Of Things

    Star-Delta Starters are used to start larger ac induction motors used in industries, such as Manufacturing and Marine.

    Like ‘Direct Online’ (DOL) starters, which are also used for ac induction motors starting (though smaller, lower current motors), Star-Delta starters only turn the motor on and off at a single speed.

    With the growth in the internet of things, industries, such as Mining and Marine (who use Star-Delta starter systems) need to consider how to keep their business efficiency as good as their competitors.

    Competitors are always seeking a competitive advantage. This can be achieved through cost and efficiency savings, and IOT (Internet of Things) connectivity allows close monitoring of system processes, and so-called ‘machine learning’.

    In the case of a Star-Delta motor starter, their area number of outputs that we may wish to measure using sensors.

    Firstly, the current being drawn by the Star-Delta starter. This includes both the starting (or Inrush) current, and the FLC (Full Load Current).

    Monitoring of the Full Load Current (FLC) for example is useful because an increase in current been drawn through a phase might be due to a break in one of the other phases. This causes what is known as ‘Single Phasing’ to occur.

    Single Phasing can potentially damage both the motor windings and cabling from the starter to the motor, due to the current doubling in the two phases still connected.

    The motor windings, for example, would not be designed to handle the excess current flowing through the two (still) connected ones, potentially causing damage, expense, and downtime.

    The Star-Delta Starter normally has a current limiting device installed, called an Over Current Relay (OCR).

    There are three types of OCR, Electronic, Magnetic, and Thermal.

    The OCR will detect higher than normal currents, caused for example by ‘Single Phasing’.

    When single phasing is detected by the OCR, it will disconnect the three-phase supply going to the induction motor (after a short delay, dependent on overcurrent size).

    To be continued………

    (c) 2016 Craig Miles

    Challenge of Installing IOT Sensor Equipment in Explosion Proof Areas

    Challenge of Installing IOT Sensor Equipment in Explosion-Proof Areas, by Craig Miles

    IoT, or the Internet of Things is already changing the way that businesses function, and this is set to explode in the forthcoming years.

    IoT is all about improving business efficiency by collecting information (via sensors) about the physical world (Inputs such as temperature, pressure, location, etc), and then using this data to trigger an automated action, based on the data.

    Installing the sensors that provide the ‘inputs’ to your IoT system is usually fairly straightforward in most environments, however potentially explosive environments require special considerations.

    When installing any electrical or electronic device in a potentially explosive environment, the device must be rated as ‘EX’ , also known as ‘intrinsically safe’.

    Intrinsically safe electrical equipment is available as components such as electric fans, cable glands, and hand-held two-way radios.

    This is a business opportunity for IoT device manufacturers to create ‘EX’ rated sensors.

    The main thing to consider at all times when designing your install is will my equipment cause a spark, potentially causing an explosion.

    First, consider your sensor itself. An example is a sensor located in a ship’s battery room to monitor and report on voltage and a specific gravity of the lead-acid batteries, used for emergency backup.

    The sensor you use to collect the information MUST be EX rated / intrinsically safe, to be compliant.

    The next consideration is how you are going to get the data from the sensor ‘out’ of the potentially explosive area and to the location where the data is processed.

    Wireless technologies such as Zigbee, WIFI, and LORA could be used, but by definition produce RF radiation which could potentially cause an explosion. Therefore it is crucial that only equipment that is EX rated is used.

    In the case of environments hostile to RF (Radio Frequency) Radio Waves, such as ships, oil rigs, and other buildings with high metal content, an alternative would be a fixed wired solution.

    When using wired methods to transmit sensor data, the cable gland must be designed so that the explosive area remains gas-tight, to prevent explosive gases from interacting with electrical components outside the intrinsically safe area.

    Glands for this purpose exist and can be found online.

    To conclude, the key to installing the Internet of Things (IOT) in a potentially explosive environment is to ensure that every piece of IoT equipment that is installed is EX rated to prevent explosion risks.

    You also need to think about and ensure that any wiring that leaves the intrinsically safe/explosive area goes through properly rated EX glands, to ensure safety.

    For more information on the Challenge of Installing IOT Sensor Equipment in Explosion-Proof Areas, why not contact us.

    The author is Craig Miles (me) and I can be contacted via www.craigmiles.co.uk

    All content is copyright, and copying and all rights are reserved (c) Craig Miles 2015

    Internet of Things | Two Way Radio Wireless Communications – Yesway Communications

    Internet of Things and Big data

    The ‘Internet of Things’, or IOT for short is set to dominate the next phase of the internet.

    The IOT is about monitoring and controlling everyday machines and items by giving them an address (IP address) on the internet.

    Recent advances in low power wireless technologies open up the possibility of cost effective transmission of monitoring data, with long service intervals for the monitoring equipment (sometimes 10 years on one battery).

    By capturing the data from all these internet connected wireless sensors, and storing it in a huge cloud based ‘Data Lake’ , trends in data can be searched and analysed.

    Yesway Communications aims to be at the forfront of the ”Big Data’ and Internet of Things revolution.

    If you have a business that could benefit from data monitoring and analysis using the cloud, then get in touch.

    Lincoln Farmer with poor radio coverage

    Lincoln Farmer

    Recently we were contacted by a farmer, based just outside of the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

    He had had a system supplied and installed by another company a few years ago, however, the performance had decreased over time.

    The first task was to carry out a through audit of the installed equipment. This included radio RF performance tests of the installed radios to verify that the correct power output was being achieved from each radio. We also checked on-air speech quality, and receive audio.

    Once we were satisfied that the equipment was working properly (there is no point fitting a new aerial to a vehicle with a bust radio), we checked the aerial systems for forward and reflected power. This is done with an SWR (standing wave ratio) meter.

    A number of the aerials fitted to the tractors and combine harvesters were in a poor state. Some whips were missing/damaged, while others were simply the wrong length.

    The length of the aerial will vary depending on the frequency that the radio operates on.

    The farmer had bought a replacement mag-mount aerial from a high street supplier, however, these come ‘un-trimmed’. Therefore some of the power was being reflected back into the radio, and not going out into the ether (as it should).

    This is why choosing an experienced company like Yesway, is always a good idea, as part of business process improvement.

    After trimming to the correct length, the output power increased. They also reduce the risk of radio equipment damage.

    Benefits of LoraWAN for Farmers

    A recent development that can benefit Lincoln farmers is LoraWAN and the Internet of Things.

    Recently near Wainfleet in the Lincolnshire Wolds Farmers and householders experienced extensive flooding.

    The Wainfleet floods were caused by heavy rains causing the river banks to be breached.

    By using LoraWAN wireless connected sensors, river levels could be monitored, and the data put onto the Internet cloud via a device called a ‘LoraWAN Gateway’.

    There are both public and private LoraWAN networks available, and we have even custom built our own experimental LoraWAN gateway ourselves.

    If you are a Lincoln or Wainfleet Farmer who wishes to find out more about how LoraWAN wireless sensor technology could be used to monitor River levels, get in touch.

    The Internet of Things (IOT)

    The ‘Internet of Things’ is a term that is due to become more widely known during 2014.

    One application of the Internet of Things, or IOT, is smart vending machines. For example the machine would know when it had run out of mars bars.

    It would the automatically send this data to a central database, which would automatically contact a delivery driver in the field. The driver could be instructed to change his delivery route, and go to replenish the mars bars in that empty vending machine.

    This is just a fraction of how machines will automatically communicate with other machines, and even with people (the delivery driver for instance).

    (c) Craig Miles 2014