My Small GateWay



  • (Recreating this topic after the forum-crash)
    When hek starting posting about this Arduino-project it persuaded me to buy a VeraLite. This is great fun! Because of all the new and good things in the 1.4 libraries that is what I started with and it worked first time. In the picture below there is still a NRF without PA and that didn't do it for me. The distance to the nearest node is too far for a reliable connection. So I've ordered a few new NRF's with PA and hopefully that will still fit in the housing.

    IMG_0861.JPG
    IMG_0862.JPG

    Updates will follow



  • Wow that looks really nice. I'm looking at doing something similar when i get my Vera unit.



  • Where did you get that housing?

    looks clean 🙂



  • @p0lar
    Haha, we are back where we were before the black-out of this forum. I did write an answer before but it became lost. But the answer wasn't anything interesting because what I wrote was that these boxes are about 30 years old and I have no idea where they came from, sorry. They are some kind of watertight electrical boxes made of quite thick hard plastic.


  • Hero Member

    There are similar enclosures on AliExpress, maybe not this exact size, most of them larger:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/category/150512/electronic-instrument-enclosures.html

    I've bought a couple of these to house outdoor battery powered sensors:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/-/1950031021.html
    You can find them on Ebay as well. VERY solid boxes. Feels like you could run them over with a car.


  • Hero Member

    I just received a couple of these:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/271449456462

    I haven't used them in a project yet, but they seem pretty good. A Uno and a shield or two fit into it, and it has plenty of room for the upcoming MySensors battery powered node and batteries.

    I also have a smaller brother:http://www.ebay.com/itm//221476893142 as well, which plenty of has room for a Arduino Pro Micro or Nano. It's a bit small for the battery node (56x46mm minus the corners). If I ever learn to make a PCB myself, I would consider designing it for this profile (and maybe the mounting holes).

    I think the Ali Express link above has some similar to these, among other styles.

    The mounting ears may be handy for solid mounting without extra holes in back of the water resistant box, good for some purposes.

    @hek if you decide to endorse some box like these in the store, feel free to point the links to the store instead of going direct to eBay.



  • I promised to place updates of the progress, so here it is.
    The distance between my gateway and sensor is still a problem. I replaced the NRF's with on-board PA on both sides. When I bring the sensor closer to the GW all is fine. But the limit is about ten meters, then the serial log of the Motion-sensor shows constantly:
    send: 1-1-0-0 s=1,c=1,t=16,pt=0,l=1,st=fail:0
    and after 20 times: new parent=0, d=1 which is normal. The weird thing is that the motion-sensor works perfectly. Never misses and the UI instantly updates.
    What I have tried:

    • replaced the NRF's several times
    • moved the NRF a little away from the Arduino
    • moved the GW away from Vera with longer USB-cable
    • replaced the gateway and the sensor for other Arduino;s
    • all Arduino's have a LM1117 3.3v regulator (also tried the ones on a breakout board with capacitors on it)
    • tried different capacitors (4.7 / 47 / 100 / 200 uF) on the 3.3v and checked with a scope

    I'm running Lib Version 1.4b1 (18848a2) on both sides. I know there is no support on beta software but maybe someone has a suggestion? If no-one tries the beta-software there is no progress I guess 🙂


  • Mod

    @C4Vette said:

    The distance between my gateway and sensor is still a problem....
    ... The weird thing is that the motion-sensor works perfectly. Never misses and the UI instantly updates.

    Just that I (we) understand your setup: so you've got 2 sensor nodes (1 motion and one with limited range) and 1 gateway, right?

    I'm running Lib Version 1.4b1 (18848a2) on both sides. I know there is no support on beta software but maybe someone has a suggestion?

    Nonsense! Of course there's support on beta software; we try to find bugs and other anomalies to get to a stable version in everybody's interest!


  • Admin

    @C4Vette

    With PA you should have more than 10 meters distance!

    If the always UI updates it seems your messages is reaching the gateway but the hardware ack (from gateway) isn't picked up by the sensor.

    There has been reports on powering issues (modules need more juice) when using the PA modules. What happens if you lower the transmit power in gateway (MyConfig.h)?



  • @Yveaux
    No, just one sensor-node and a serial gateway. I did use more Arduino's, but just for swapping to try and find the culprit by elimination.

    @hek
    Tomorrow I will try your suggestion. But you mean only lower the power of the gw? Wouldn't that just make it worse? Will try anyway and report back. And you say the ack isn't picked up, shouldn't the sensor resend then? Thanks so far.


  • Hero Member

    @C4Vette said:

    Tomorrow I will try your suggestion. But you mean only lower the power of the gw? Wouldn't that just make it worse?

    With two LNA+PA units you should have lots of link budget left over (lots of slack) at that range - IF both modules have all the input power they need. But if either nRF's drawing too much power and its power supply is sagging or malfunctioning, the nRF may be floundering too.

    So I think the point of reducing transmit power is to reduce the draw on the input power supply, to see if the nRF works better. At that range you should still be able to communicate with less than full power.

    You could also just try testing with known-good power supplies which can easily handle the nRF's load even with LAN & PA.



  • To be honest, I could not believe it had to do with the power. So I kept on trying several other things like changing channels. But in the end nothing really helped so I lowered to "RF24_PA_HIGH" for the GateWay. And THAT really helped 😳
    So I must admit that the 3.3v is not up to the demand. That is weird because I use a LM1117 on a breakout board plus on additional capacitor over the 3.3v side. LM1117.JPG
    Could it the be that the Nano's 5v is not up to it to deliver enough current from it's 5v pin?
    I have the GateWay on an external USB-hub with its own power-source.


  • Admin

    @C4Vette said:

    Could it the be that the Nano's 5v is not up to it to deliver enough current from it's 5v pin?
    I have the GateWay on an external USB-hub with its own power-source.

    Yes, it could be. Try bypassing the Arduino.

    I'm currently running PA_LOW on my amplified gateway.


  • Mod

    @hek said:

    I'm currently running PA_LOW on my amplified gateway.

    Does this mean you have to run everything at PA_LOW?

    Any idea what disadvantage is attached to this setting?


  • Admin

    @marceltrapman said:

    Does this mean you have to run everything at PA_LOW?

    My vanilla radios run at maximum. Only the amplified gateway run at LOW. The 3.3V pin on the Nano does not seem to cope with full power transmissions (at least in my setup with Vera powering Nano without any powered USB hub). Range is no problem in my house with LOW setting.

    Any idea what disadvantage is attached to this setting?

    Shorter range for outgoing/ack messages.



  • Which size resitor is used?



  • Nice box. This is exactly what I am looking for. However, I am wondering what is the black rectangle thingy next to the LEDs for.



  • @masterkenobi said:

    ........... I am wondering what is the black rectangle thingy next to the LEDs for.
    It's a pushbutton for inclusion of new nodes.



  • @C4Vette thanks! I can see more details is at http://www.mysensors.org/build/advanced_gateway


 

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