Posts

The NB-IoT is becoming a standard in wireless communication of IoT devices, for standalone solutions and complex installations with thousands of units, coordinated with gateways. Will NarrowBand-IoT replace other wireless technologies in industrial automation?

What exactly is NarrowBand?

NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) is a radio technology in the field of LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) dedicated for IoT devices, operating on the licensed frequency band used by telecommunications operators.

The biggest advantages of NB-IoT include:

  • long battery life (up to 10 years),
  • efficiency in the amount of data transferred,
  • intra-building penetration,
  • the ability to connect even tens of thousands of devices in one system,
  • a global standard,
  • a high level of security and low cost

You can build mass solutions and those that until now were considered unprofitable. NB-IoT technology works in the licensed band, so there is no risk of interference and blocking communication by competing networks.

The service life of devices powered by two AA batteries is up to 10 years. However, the devices themselves are constructed in such a way that they can work for many years without the need for technical supervision and recharging the battery.

NB-IoT used in industrial solutions

One of many uses of NarrowBand-IoT wireless modems can be communication of edge devices, dedicated to data management, process control (e.g. with MQTT protocol) and monitoring. Latest ESP32-based eModGATE controller from TECHBASE company is a series utilizing MicroPython environment to provide data management solutions for end-points applications. The eModGATE has built-in Wi-Fi/BT modem and can be equipped with additional NarrowBand-IoT modems

eModGATE eqipped with wireless NB-IoT modem are perfect for industrial automation solutions, e.g. data logging, metering, telemetrics, remote monitoring, security and data management through all Industrial IoT applications.

Supported bandwidths:

  • Global-Band LTE CAT-M1:  B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B8/B12/B13/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B39;
  • Global-Band LTE CAT NB-IoT1:  B1/B2/B3/B5/B8/B12/B13/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28;
  • GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900Mhz Control Via AT Commands

Supported data transfer:

  • LTE CAT-M1(eMTC) – Uplink up to 375kbps, Downlink up to 300kbps
  • NB-IoT – Uplink up to 66kbps, Downlink up to 34kbps
  • EDGE Class – Uplink up to 236.8Kbps, Downlink up to 236.8Kbps
  • GPRS – Uplink up to 85.6Kbps, Downlink up to 85.6Kbps

Nowadays, mobile Internet offers are becoming more and more popular. They are often cost-effective for those who do not download too much from the web. Usually you don’t even need to sign a contract – some operators offer fairly favorable pre-paid internet offers. Anyway, even if we want an Internet contract, sometimes the monthly fee is lower if we do not take the device.

In that case, how will we receive this Internet? The solution is simple – unfortunately we have to invest some money in the LTE modem. As a router separating the signal we will use Raspberry Pi. For a ready and complete solution we can choose ModBerry Industrial IoT devices already equipped with modem of our choosing

ModBerry M500 modem configurability

ModBerry M500 added wide range of I/Os to the board, including RS232/485 serial ports, digital and analog I/Os, 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, USB, 1-Wire and optional CAN. ModBerry series also offers additional wired interfaces and wireless communication modules with their proprietary modules called ExCard. The range of wireless modules include 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT), Wireless M-Bus, ZigBee, LoRa, Sigfox, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and many more.

Bulgarian open equipment specialist, Olimex, has started stocking compact modules to add Low-Power NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) connectivity (LPWAN) to the project: the NB-IoT-BC66 family.

NB-IoT is low power wide area networking technology which uses existing GSM LTE technology and has many advantages versa LoRa,” the company explains. “GSM network quality of service; single GSM cell can talk to up to 100,000 devices; high; communication speed 25.5kbps up and downlink; secure communication using LTE encryption; better range than LoRa both in urban and rural area (* depend on cell operating frequency – best range is on 850MHz.)

Source: https://olimex.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/new-nb-iot-bc66-modules-with-size-only-26×26-mm-contain-everything-you-need-to-add-nb-iot-functionality-in-your-next-project/

Olimex has launched four NB-IoT breakout boards. They are all based on the Quectel BC-66 module. NB-IoT-BC66 is the basic model, NB-IoT-BC66-ANT includes an attached GSM antenna, NB-IoT-BC66H contains a pre-soldered header, NB-IoT-BC66 and NB-IoT-BC66H-ANT combines both a soldered header and an attached antenna.

Olimex BC66 breakout board’s features and specifications:

  • NB-IoT Connectivity
    • Quectel BC-66 with worldwide GSM bands coverage
    • 25.5 kbps uplink and downlink
    • nano SIM card slot
    • u.FL antenna connector + optional antenna
  • I/O Expansion – 3x 10-pin header either unpopulated or fitted with male headers; Level shifters for 5x GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART
  • Misc – Status LEDs
  • Power Supply –
  • Dimensions – 26×26 mm

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/04/08/olimex-quectel-bc66-breakout-board/

eModGATE with ESP32

NB-IoT used in industrial solutions

One of many uses of NarrowBand-IoT wireless modems can be communication of edge devices, dedicated to data management, process control (e.g. with MQTT protocol) and monitoring. Latest ESP32-based eModGATE controller from TECHBASE company is a series utilizing MicroPython environment to provide data management solutions for end-points applications. The eModGATE has built-in Wi-Fi/BT modem and can be equipped with additional NarrowBand-IoT modems

eModGATE eqipped with wireless NB-IoT modem are perfect for industrial automation solutions, e.g. data logging, metering, telemetrics, remote monitoring, security and data management through all Industrial IoT applications.

Supported bandwidths:

  • Global-Band LTE CAT-M1:  B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B8/B12/B13/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B39;
  • Global-Band LTE CAT NB-IoT1:  B1/B2/B3/B5/B8/B12/B13/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28;
  • GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900Mhz Control Via AT Commands

Supported data transfer:

  • LTE CAT-M1(eMTC) – Uplink up to 375kbps, Downlink up to 300kbps
  • NB-IoT – Uplink up to 66kbps, Downlink up to 34kbps
  • EDGE Class – Uplink up to 236.8Kbps, Downlink up to 236.8Kbps
  • GPRS – Uplink up to 85.6Kbps, Downlink up to 85.6Kbps

NarrowBand-IoT the new black of Industrial IoT

The NB-IoT is becoming a standard in wireless communication of IoT devices, for standalone solutions and complex installations with thousands of units, coordinated with gateways. Will NarrowBand-IoT replace other wireless technologies in industrial automation?

What exactly is NarrowBand?

NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) is a radio technology in the field of LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) dedicated for IoT devices, operating on the licensed frequency band used by telecommunications operators.

The biggest advantages of NB-IoT include:

  • long battery life (up to 10 years),
  • efficiency in the amount of data transferred,
  • intra-building penetration,
  • the ability to connect even tens of thousands of devices in one system,
  • a global standard,
  • a high level of security and low cost

You can build mass solutions and those that until now were considered unprofitable. NB-IoT technology works in the licensed band, so there is no risk of interference and blocking communication by competing networks.

The service life of devices powered by two AA batteries is up to 10 years. However, the devices themselves are constructed in such a way that they can work for many years without the need for technical supervision and recharging the battery.

NB-IoT used in industrial solutions

One of many uses of NarrowBand-IoT wireless modems can be communication of edge devices, dedicated to data management, process control (e.g. with MQTT protocol) and monitoring. Latest ESP32-based eModGATE controller from TECHBASE company is a series utilizing MicroPython environment to provide data management solutions for end-points applications. The eModGATE has built-in Wi-Fi/BT modem and can be equipped with additional NarrowBand-IoT modems

eModGATE eqipped with wireless NB-IoT modem are perfect for industrial automation solutions, e.g. data logging, metering, telemetrics, remote monitoring, security and data management through all Industrial IoT applications.

Supported bandwidths:

  • Global-Band LTE CAT-M1:  B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B8/B12/B13/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B39;
  • Global-Band LTE CAT NB-IoT1:  B1/B2/B3/B5/B8/B12/B13/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28;
  • GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900Mhz Control Via AT Commands

Supported data transfer:

  • LTE CAT-M1(eMTC) – Uplink up to 375kbps, Downlink up to 300kbps
  • NB-IoT – Uplink up to 66kbps, Downlink up to 34kbps
  • EDGE Class – Uplink up to 236.8Kbps, Downlink up to 236.8Kbps
  • GPRS – Uplink up to 85.6Kbps, Downlink up to 85.6Kbps

TECHBASE updates M500 devices with Raspberry Pi 4

The newest addition to TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT Ecosystem is an updated ModBerry M500 with latest Raspberry Pi 4 development board, equipped with a 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 processor (approximately 3 times better performance than previous Cortex-A53 powering Raspberry Pi 3+ Model B and Compute Module 3 and 3+). ModBerry M500 can be configured from 1GB / 2GB / 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM options.

Gigabit Ethernet & USB 3.0 on-board

Another new and appreciated feature is an upgrade to full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet for fast network connection and 2x USB 3.0 / 2x USB 2.0 for additional I/O, data storage extension and fast wireless modem support. ModBerry M500 with Rasbperry Pi 4 has dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 on-board. For additional wireless networks expansions, you can choose from variety of Industrial IoT modems from TECHBASE offer, incl. 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT), Wireless M-Bus, ZigBee, LoRa, Sigfox, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and many more.

Enhanced Video support for RPi4

The full HDMI port has been replaced with two microHDMI ports with dual monitor support, at resolutions up to 4K, VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x and 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video. The device is fully compatible with previous versions of Rasbperry Pi based Industrial IoT devices and accessories from TECHBASE.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Modberry M500

Raspberry Pi 4 based ModBerry M500 availability

New ModBerry M500 with three variants of Raspberry Pi 4 based devices is available for pre-orders via https://iiot-shop.com/product/modberry-m-series/ For specific delivery time please contact us via e-mail or Live Chat, directly at Industrial IoT Shop.

The embedded SIM card (eSIM) is a form of programmable SIM card that is directly built in the device. eSIM is a global GSMA specification that enables remote SIM delivery to any supported device, and GSMA defines eSIM as the SIM card for the next generation of connected consumer / professional devices and network solution with the use of eSIM technology.

Easy SIM operator swap

In Industrial IoT applications in which there is no need to change the SIM card, the need of using a connector is avoided, which increases reliability and data security. eSIM can be remotely configured – users can add or change operators without having to physically swap the SIM card from the device. It is often a crucial requirement for the installations where factors such as temperature, water and shock resistance, as well as lack of access forces user to choose remote solutions.

eSIM Raspberry Pi Connvectivity

Raspberry Pi & ESP32-based devices

TECHBASE company is now developing eSIM support for Raspberry Pi and ESP32 industrial devices, such as ModBerry and Moduino X to improve the handling of wireless modem connectivity. To receive an offer for ModBerry/Moduino device with eSIM-based modem, contact our Sales Department via e-mail or Live Chat.

The latest version of Raspberry Pi development board, Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+, is now available as a platform for ModBerry M500 industrial computer series. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (Plus) offers has more computing power and much greater possibilities in the field of wired and wireless communication.

The biggest new feature introduced in 2016 is the Raspberry Pi 3 wireless support. Now the creators took a step forward and refined the solution. The new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ – supports two-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and new 5 GHz), Bluetooth version 4.2  and Ethernet over USB 2.0 (up to 300 Mb / s). Upgraded ModBerry M500 series is powered by s more powerful heart, in the form of a Broadcom BCM2837B0 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz. Power-over-Ethernet support has also appeared, and heat dissipation has been improved.

ModBerry M500 on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

ModBerry M500 vs ModBerry 500(CM3)

Standard ModBerry 500 series is based on Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, an industrial version of commercial Raspberry Pi branch, with flagship Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. Used Compute Module is more suitable for custom products, such as our ModBerry 500 industrial computer, which can be adapted to customer’s need with wide range of extension modules from TECHBASE. ModBerry equipped with CM3 can be configured to support chosen number of RS-232/485 serial ports, Digital and Analog I/Os, various setup of Ethernet/USB ports, CAN interface, 1-Wire and wireless modems: 3G/LTE, GPRS/EDGE, GPS, LoRa, ZigBee, Wireless M-Bus, NarrowBand-IoT and many more.

The updated M500 availability

Currently the updated M500 samples, are available on demand. Please contact TECHBASE’s sales department via https://iot-industrial-devices.com/ contact form with specific requirements to receive an offer that will suit the project’s needs. Since the M300 update is still under the development, the development, specific datasheets will be available in mid-June. The pricing of each unit may vary on the basis of configuration and order quota.

Introduced in November 2017, the ModBerry M300 series, based on NanoPi NEO revolutionised the economic segment of Industrial IoT devices and proved, that automation and monitoring can be done effectively with low expenditure on industrial installations.

Read more: http://linuxgizmos.com/automation-controller-runs-linux-on-a-nanopi-neo-sbc/

https://www.cnx-software.com/2017/11/15/techbase-modberry%E2%80%8B-m300-linux-iot-gateway-%E2%80%8Bis-powered-by-nanopi-neo-board/

To ensure constant development of TECHBASE’s solutions and cutting-edge technology, the NanoPi platform part of ModBerry series is expanded by updated ModBerry M300 N2 product, based on NanoPi NEO2. The new addition features Quad-core Cortex-A53, twice more RAM than previous version of NanoPi NEO and Gigabit Ethernet for fast communication.

For even wider range of communication interfaces and application possibilities, TECHBASE offers now ModBerry M300 N2+ based on the NanoPi NEO Plus2. M300 N2+ is equipped with 8GB eMMC, features more USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet port like M300 N2 and is supported with onboard Wi-Fi/Blutetooth 4.0 to ensure many channels of data management.

ModBerry M300 series can optionally support an external 2.5″ SATA hard disk and 2242 SSD storage units with M.2 interface thanks to onboard JMS567 USB to SATA controller. With extra storage space, data management of specific installations would be more convenient than sending all unprocessed data into cloud or directly to user.

OrangePi capabilities

To meet the Industrial IoT market demands the ModBerry family joined new embedded computer platform, offering adjustable solutions for every industrial installation. ModBerry M300 O1/O2 series is formed by two OrangePi module boards offering different approach to IoT than NanoPi solutions.

ModBerry M300 O1 based on OrangePi Zero Plus features Allwinner H5 (Quad-core Cortex-A53) SoC, moderate 512MB RAM, storage memory option with microSD slot, USB and Gigabit Ethernet port. The wireless communication is supported with onboard Wi-Fi module.

Offering much higher performance and wider feature range, the ModBerry M300 O2 features same SoC as M300 series, but thanks to OrangePi Zero Plus2 means, the device is equipped with onboard 8GB eMMC, extra microSD expansion slot as alternative and wired/wireless interfaces, e.g. HDMI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0.

ExCard modules to peak the performance

Every TECHBASE’s industrial computer is supported by ExCard add-on modules for extra RS-232/485 serial ports, Ethernet ports, PCIe slots, analog input and output, digital I/Os, relays, M-Bus interface, opto-isolation, accelerometer, etc. To provide specific communication paths, ModBerry can be rigged with additional Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module, 3G/LTE, NarrowBand-IoT, LoRa, ZigBee, GPS and Wireless M-Bus.

The latest options for ModBerry series are:

  • SuperCap expansion, to provide constant power supply as a UPS option
  • OLED 0.96” & new OLED 1,3″ screen, allowing the control without the need of connecting into the device
  • ESP32 module as a security chip, to add a firewall into control installation and ensure constant operation of the device, even with power drops and random events
  • Aluminum case, to grant much higher durability for extra harsh industrial conditions
  • Mentioned earlier SATA/M.2 SSD controller for extra data storage

The updated M300 availability

Currently all the updated M300 samples, including M300 N2, N2+, O1, O2 are available on demand. Please contact TECHBASE’s sales department via https://iot-industrial-devices.com/ contact form with specific requirements to receive an offer that will suit the project’s needs. Since the M300 update is still under the development, specific datasheets will be available in mid-February. The pricing of each unit may vary on the basis of configuration and order quota.

The latest configuration of ModBerry 500 device presents the important milestone in TECHBASE’s offer. The introduction of two platform symbiosis, RaspberryPi Compute Module 3 assisted with Espressif’s ESP32 module brings new possibilities of application to life. High performance of CM3, if compromised by exposition to harsh environmental conditions or sudden drop of power, is aided with low-powered ESP32’s real-time system to continue operation of the device. ESP32 module can be battery powered, same as standalone Moduino series, based on similar solution.

ESP32 subsystem for ModBerry 500

Main difference between ESP32-aided ModBerry device and ESP32-based Moduino is that the first one benefits from low-power module aid to prevent errors and downtimes. ESP32 compared to Compute Module 3 works much longer on battery power supply and offers extended sleep modes. Real-time system of ESP32 and simplified communication between ESP32-aided ModBerry device and Moduino controllers drastically shortens the time needed for the system implementation and the cost of maintaining the application. It also enables the use of Espressif’s Wi-Fi-based technology in the ESP-NOW and ESP-MESH networks.

The separate ModBerry-Moduino Ecosystem, working as a separate devices is a solution for scattered object and installations monitoring – with the use of wireless communication interfaces (e.g. LoRa, NarrowBand-IoT, ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.), rather than standard wired networks. For more information ask TECHBASE via one of contact form at: https://iot-industrial-devices.com/ & http://moduino.techbase.eu/

Coming soon

TECHBASE plans further development of the product, particularly the issue of remote access to input/output resources and use of ESP32 as a Security Chip – hardware layer protection against hacking (very important issue in current IoT business).

 

Introduced with Moduino series, TECHBASE developed further the project of modular aluminum case for their devices. The latest version of housing allows ModBerry to expand in any dimension, supporting additional extension cards (e.g. I/Os, modems, opto-isolation, accelerometer, etc.) and DIN rail mount, that can be retracted into device itself. TECHBASE constantly improves the project to support different platforms (e.g. Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, NanoPi, ESP32, UpBoard and probably more in the nearest future) and brings them to Industrial IoT world.

Supercapacitor power support for ModBerry

To improve the possibilities of ModBerry devices, TECHBASE added supercapacitor UPS option for ModBerry 500 configurations. Additional power supply available at emergency situations, such as power drop or loss, allows the device to log the recently acquired data and send the notifications to user regarding the occurred event. The supercap support for ModBerry ensures safe system shutdown and protects memory from fragmenting, so there is no need to use diagnostic tools afterwards.

ModBerry enhanced with OLED screen

Just like ESP32-based Moduino series, the ModBerry computers can be now equipped with OLED 0.96″ 128×64 screen via i2c extension protocol. The is small, only about 1″ diameter, but very readable due to the high contrast of an OLED display. Because the display makes its own light, no backlight is required, therefore reduces the power required to run the OLED.