Notes IoT provider. Devices and outbid

    Hello, dear lovers of Internet Things!

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    For a long time there were no articles from me. In lichku asked a lot of questions - they say, where have you gone, what are you doing? Did not throw the project?

    In no case! The project grows and develops. At the moment we have launched and are launching several pilot zones in places where I would not have thought of using LoRaWAN a year ago. I will tell you about these pilots as soon as they give some result.

    We also have our own device at the finish line. The testing period has been completed, we are releasing the first batch in a small series, arranging for subscribers. I will also devote a separate article to this device. Half the battle is not shown, because it will be only when we are all completely debug.

    In the meantime, I will tell you about our summer experience. We do not cease to follow the market novelties and try to order curious devices with the support of LoRaWAN. Here are the most interesting of those that have passed through the hands of our engineers.

    1) GPS tracker with data transfer via LoRa network. We bought it from one of the Russian firms, I will not say the name. Although he suspiciously resembles a product from the same Alibaba.

    Left tracker on the site of the Russian supplier, on the right - Alibaba

    Initial testing has shown that the tracker behaves more or less adequately when immobile. In motion, he begins to send zero readings. In principle, this is not critical, since the tracker is designed to monitor the movement of containers and other large loads.

    If the tracker is not going anywhere, then from the trunk of my car every five minutes, he sent quite adequate readings. When the car was standing in the open, the deviation was no more than a few meters. In the dense high-rise buildings, he was mistaken for 100-200 meters. For a general understanding of the scheme of movement suitable for total surveillance - no.

    The tracker is not mistaken in the open space, but allows for an error in the dense building

    2) Sensor opening hatches. It also suspiciously resembles a similar product on Alibaba.

    Left sensor on the site of the Russian supplier, right - Alibaba

    The sensor worked without any complaints, honestly practicing the opening and closing. Grieved only wrong DevEUI on the case. We picked up the correct identifier by analyzing the server logs. Since the server listens to the entire broadcast, it sees the calls even of other people's devices. So managed to get the faithful DevEUI, and then it went more fun.

    3) Cover for Mercury 230. A very curious device. Serves for a survey of electricity meters Mercury 230. It is put in place of the regular cover. We pre-configure those parameters that we want to pull off the counter, they are polled by the lid module and then only dry digits are transmitted to the LoRa network in one or several packets. This is the most adequate solution for working with RS-485, I wrote about it in this article .

    Unfortunately, we failed to finish testing. We stopped at the fact that the cover adequately polled the counter and gave the correct information in the configurator (when we are connected to the cover by usb). However, further, the cover had to send these readings to the network. They did not fit into one package, they were transmitted in three packages, with confirmation. And here the cover came into conflict with the server. If the confirmation came from different base stations, and not from the same one, then the cover considered the packet as not confirmed and sent it again. As a result - a lot of small packets and their repetitions. At the moment, we understand how to eliminate this disadvantage.

    Also, we got a lot of fun experience communicating with IoT outbid. This is an amazing phenomenon that I had not noticed on the market before. Since the word "LoRa" is now at the hearing and in fashion, many companies rushed to add devices to their prices. There is one problem. They do not understand what it is and how it works.

    Example. We pick the next piece of iron from the supplier. We write a letter in which we describe in detail what is not working and attach scans. Here, a packet, here it is seen by three base stations, here one answers.

    Next, the supplier writes the following question:

    - Do you have a Vega server? Which version?
    - 1.1.5
    - Wow! And where did you get it? We only have 1.1.2!

    The humor here is that while working with the Vega server, the following characters climb into my eyes:

    Attention in the upper right corner

    It seems that this is the server version, but this is the admin tool version. The server version looks a little deeper.

    But in the previous example, the supplier even has a server and a base station, he somehow understands what is happening. There are some really funny things.

    For example, I was sent a price list of devices with IoT support. They say that you are engaged in Laura, maybe you will be interested.

    I open the price list, there are all the devices on ZigBee.

    - Sorry, we need LoRaWAN.
    - Well!
    - What is it? You have a ZigBee.
    - Well! Sensors with Laura and the Internet of Things. On ZigBee!
    I was just silent for a while.

    Of course, the dialogue is higher - this is quite the ultimate case. However, over the summer several times I was called by such outbursts who, with burning eyes and aspiration, reported that they had “that very LoRa”. Fluent communication showed that there is one type of base station (usually Vega or Rising HF), impulse counters, and interface converters at their worst (when the transparent channel is through LoRa).

    Nevertheless, the market is gradually filled with interesting devices. In addition, more and more meters with integrated LoRa modules. For example, now it is quite possible to buy an apartment water catch with a transmitter within 2500 rubles. This is good, because the survey on impulses for apartments is still a kind of transitional decision that should not be seriously considered for the future. 2500 for one water meter is still very expensive, but it is not 5000 as before.

    Let's hope that Semtech will still drop chip prices and LoRa will enter our daily life as firmly as possible.

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