Pre-assembled sensor modules



  • Hi,
    Thank you for what you are doing. MySensors is great!
    But to me it sounds a bit to difficult for people who don't know very much electronics.
    Their only alternative is to go for a commercial solution. Seems there is not much in between.
    In your presentation page, you wrote : "we are working on launching our own set of sensor modules and boards to ease the build process even more"
    Any progress on this? would be nice to get sensors ready to use out of the box. Or at least ready with minor operation...
    Do you still plan to release your sensors? and what timeframe?
    Bye!



  • I would though image price gets too high if those are sold as pre-assembled. (These devices are hand made, and not manufactured by a real manufacturing line that manufactures thousands per day) Are you able to solder? I think most of the guys developing HW here are willing to sell off their PCB, so you "only" have to solder connectors and a few lead through components to the PCB to assemble the PCB together.
    If you are not able to handle soldering, then search for the nearest Fablab in your area, as there are skilled people that most likely are willing to teach you how to solder: https://www.fablabs.io/

    This could be a good start:
    https://forum.mysensors.org/topic/2740/easy-newbie-pcb-for-mysensors

    More good stuff to be found via this link:
    https://forum.mysensors.org/category/30/openhardware-io


  • Admin

    There is actually two "products" that are sold.. Not complete with plastic box etc. And you have to solder a socket for the radio, and add the radio yourself, as well as do a bit of programming, but the SMD parts are already mounted. I think that this is the closest that you come to a pre-assembled unit these days.

    Sensebender gateway - Can be bought from Itead
    Sensebender micro - Can be bought from Itead



  • Hi! thank you for the answers. I personally have the expertise and I am able to solder. I was thinking of people who just have basic or no knowledge about electronics. It is always a pain to get a working initial set up. In case of communication issue (which is always the case at the first try) you never know where it comes from. Is it the node? is it the gateway? is it hardware? is my code correct? is my power supply correct?
    So I've decided to design a minimalist board that embeds an ATMega328p low power and an nRF24L01p: just the bare minimum. The purpose is to provide a functional board that works for sure out of the box. Actually it is an Arduino Pro Mini fitted with a radio module. The pinout is 100% compatible with Arduino Pro Mini. Users won't have to spend time on assembling the parts and testing the radio, they can directly focus on their sensor.
    Design files are available here.
    I also created a kickstarter just to see. You can buy one or more units and support the project if you are interested.
    I don't know much about openhardware.io but I guess I can share my project there as well.


  • Admin

    @echi nice product, but what about rf conformity of the radio? Is there any fcc / ce approval? It's not enough to just slam a radio chip on a board and sell it (unless you are a cheap Chinese eBay seller ;))

    That is one of the main reasons to why I did not incorporate the radio module with sensebender micro, as I do not need to make any radio measurements.

    /Thomas



  • thank you! this is a really good question. I now understand why you didn't incorporate the radio module. Is it the only reason? Have you investigated ways to certify a product? It is a pity if you can't incorporate the radio but we need to add extra modules that are probably not certified either. I am not willing to become a vendor (just providing a design and a few units). In that case, I don't think I need to make any measurements. Of course if one wants to go further in the industrialization process, it is a mandatory step.



  • thank you! this is a really good question. I now understand why you didn't incorporate the radio module. Is it the only reason? Have you investigated ways to certify a product? It is a pity if you can't incorporate the radio but we need to add extra modules that are probably not certified either. I am not willing to become a vendor (just providing a design and a few units). In that case, I don't think I need to make any measurements. Of course if one wants to go further in the industrialization process, it is a mandatory step.



  • @echi Have you checked the price for getting the FCC and radio approvals? it's quite expensive. As it's mandatory to have an independent test company to do actual test on your devices as a part of the documentation. Furthermore you need also to get country approvals (Notified Body) for several countries where you want to sell you product, fortunately as I recall EU only requires approvals in 1 country to be valid in the rest of EU countries.

    This link is from 2014, but gives you an idea what kind of approvals that you MUST get prior selling your stuff
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-average-cost-to-get-FCC-and-CE-certification-for-a-very-simple-electronic-gadget?share=1


  • Admin

    @echi the thing is, that if you design/sell a board with an radio incorporated, then you are obligated to get fcc certification (for the US), and other approvals for the rest of the world, as @bjacobse explains.

    But if you do not include the radio module, then it's not your problem if an end user use a cheap Chinese radio module together with your product.



  • So what do you think of the cheap radio modules? Are they certified? Some are sold by sellers based in Europe. Is all this illegal?


  • Admin

    @echi for my part I'm not concerned about it, because I'm not the designer/seller of those modules. So if the notified bodies find that they are not compliant, then it's not me that they're gonna bug about it.

    It's all about responsibilities. I'm not making a radio module, so I'm not responsible for the rf part, and as such, they can't sue me for that part.

    / Thomas



  • @echi Basically it's quite simple, it's the whole device that needs to comply to the rules, and not ONLY the radio-part of your design.
    so it's not possible to "buy" a radio approved RF IC and then add this to your own design, and then think this is adequate



  • I understand your point. But in the end almost everybody uses non certified radio parts. And a lot of users around here are frustrated because of the hardware issues due to bad radios. That means a lot of wasted time, also for the helpers.


  • Admin

    @echi We are just pointing out potential pitfalls if you are going to sell your pcb pre-assembled to the masses..

    That is, if you are selling a PCB with radio on, then you are obligated to follow the rules and get the radio verified by a notified body.


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