THE DIGITAL PORTAL FOR ENGINEERING RELATED KNOWLEDGE.

Al-H2O Battery

posted Oct 16, 2017, 5:15 AM by Pure Engineering


Open Water’s technology harnesses the significant electrochemical energy stored in aluminum metal.
The future of Ocean batteries. 
Stock up on Aluminium :).  

It would be interesting to take advantage of the wasted H2 gas and heat for other uses. Perhaps a secondary hydrogen cell? 

Windows Subsystem for Linux

posted Oct 16, 2017, 4:41 AM by Pure Engineering   [ updated Oct 16, 2017, 4:42 AM ]

The Windows Subsystem for Linux lets developers run Linux environments -- including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications -- directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a virtual machine.

You can:
Choose your favorite Linux distributions from the Windows Store.
Run common command-line utilities such as grep, sed, awk, etc.
Run Bash shell scripts and Linux command-line applications including:
Tools: vim, emacs, tmux
Languages: Javascript/node.js, Ruby, Python, C/C++, C# & F#, Rust, Go, etc.
Services: sshd, MySQL, Apache, lighttpd
Install additional Linux tools using the distribution's built in package manager (apt-get, for example).
Invoke Windows applications from the Linux console.
Invoke Linux applications on Windows.

WSL no longer requires developer mode! 


Anyhow. These are some cool additions. May not need the dual boot setup anymore... 

Remote Year- Weather data by PureModule's BME280 sensor

posted Jun 7, 2017, 5:11 AM by Michael Rodriguez

Greetings from Bulgaria! 

I am currently 3 months into an amazing journey known as Remote Year (www.remoteyear.com). In short, RemoteYear is a travel program for remote workers where you travel to 12 cities in 12 months with a group of 60 other like-minded individuals. 

It has been my pleasure developing firmware for PureModules (www.puremodules.com), a solder-less modular sensor system. One of the most convenient thing about PureModules is the portability (each sensor is about the size of a quarter). This lends well to travel.  I have been traveling with PureModules and collecting weather data using the BME280 Environmental Sensor. Below is a compiled map of the gathered data as well as a quick guide on how its made. 

Remoteyear- Bme280 Map



How its Made:

The PureModule's SuperSensor has a BME280 (shown below) sensor capable of measuring Temperature, Humidity, Pressure and Elevation. 


The CoreModule's (white board above) nrf52 has BLE capability which allows this CoreModule-SuperSensor system to communicate with smartphone applications. I have created a Quick-start guide that describes the steps needed to display data on our PureModules Android application. 

The data from the Android application is parsed into a .csv file which is then compiled into a Google sheet. The map above uses the compiled Google sheet to place the markers and display the data. 

I hope you enjoy the map and also enjoy PureModules!

I am looking forward to seeing what you will build with them.

Michael
Firmware Engineer

Thingy-52-Iot-Sensor-Kit

posted Jun 6, 2017, 10:54 AM by Pure Engineering

The Nordic Thingy:52™ is a compact, power-optimized, multi-sensor development kit. It is an easy-to-use development platform, designed to help you build IoT prototypes and demos, without the need to build hardware or write firmware. Sounds familiar? Puremodules

  • Flexible applications that allow full usage out of the box
  • All sensors and Bluetooth low energy parameters are configurable through the Bluetooth low energy interface.
  • Cloud connection example to IFTTT
  • Environment Sensors (temp, humidity, pressure, air quality color and light)
  • 9-axis motion sensing (accelerometer, gyroscope and compass)
  • Speaker for playing pre-stored samples, tones or sound streamed over Bluetooth low energy (8-bit 8kHz LoFi)
  • Microphone streaming
  • Configurable RGB LED and button.
  • Simple Mobile application development SDKs for Android, iOS (Java and Swift 3.0) and web apps
  • Source code available for apps and firmware
  • Long battery life with Li-ion battery and charging via USB.
  • Secure OTA DFU for product updates

Embedded Trace, the cheap way

posted Mar 21, 2017, 11:41 PM by Pure Engineering   [ updated Mar 22, 2017, 12:02 AM ]

Some reading here:

the key enabler is the -finstrument-functions option to gcc. 

Generate instrumentation calls for entry and exit to functions. Just after function entry and just before function exit, the following profiling functions will be called with the address of the current function and its call site. […]
          void __cyg_profile_func_enter (void *this_fn,
                                         void *call_site);
          void __cyg_profile_func_exit  (void *this_fn,
                                         void *call_site);

Then adding a debug output with the address, combined with addr2line you can get full trace debugging of the code. 

Of course this adds overhead, so is only useful when tracking down an issue or optimizing an application. 



LG 360 Video Conversion on PC

posted Jan 18, 2017, 8:42 PM by Pure Engineering   [ updated Jan 20, 2017, 4:13 PM ]

Install Software
type LGR-105 in the search box. 

Download and install the LG 360 CAM Viewer and the LGBridge_Setup

Download and install the K-lite Mega pack 

Open LG 360 CAM Viewer
Drag video file to viewer and wait a long time. 

Converted video will be in the same folder as the source video as Result_xxx.mp4

You can upload this file directly to YouTube. 

Tips
Using the 360 CAM Manager on the Phone, Go To Camera, then settings. From there you can change the Shutter Delay to 3 or 10 seconds. This way you don't see your finger in the phones when taking photos. 

Sample Video

Sample Photo



nRF52840 SoC

posted Dec 8, 2016, 7:35 AM by Pure Engineering   [ updated Mar 10, 2017, 3:00 PM ]


Very Exciting, a new Nordic Semi Conductor release. Finally USB and 802.15.4.  This will be one amazing chip to power the world of IIot. Be sure we will be using it. Only sad news is that we will have to wait until Q4 of 2017 before production. Also the nrf52810 seems cool as well. 

Nordic Semiconductor today announces the launch of the Bluetooth 5 ready nRF52840 SoC with features and capabilities that redefine the performance envelope of single-chip Bluetooth® low energy applications. The nRF52840 SoC is especially suited to smart home and advanced wearables applications, including wearables for payments and medical, as well as industrial sensor and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

 

The nRF52840 is designed to support the latest Bluetooth wireless technology Core Specification, Bluetooth 5, that will shortly be officially adopted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). Bluetooth 5 introduces longer range and throughput improvements that significantly enhance Bluetooth wireless technology’s suitability for smart home, wearables, and IoT applications. Compliance with the specification, coupled with increased maximum output power, enables the nRF52840 SoC to deliver Bluetooth low energy wireless connectivity with up to 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps) compared with the Bluetooth low energy implementation of Bluetooth 4.2.

 

In addition to Bluetooth 5 support, the nRF52840 SoC includes IEEE 802.15.4 capability. 802.15.4 wireless technology forms the basis of smart home technologies such as ZigBee and Thread (with additional upper layers not defined by the standard). IEEE 802.15.4 can also be employed as a Network Adaptation Layer with 6LoWPAN and standard Internet Protocols. The nRF52840 SoC’s support for 802.15.4 significantly extends the product’s capability as an interoperable foundation technology for IoT, smart home, or industrial sensor wireless networks using several different wireless technologies.

 

The nRF52840 SoC has been engineered to build on the mature architecture of Nordic Semiconductor’s existing nRF52 Series of SoCs to support complex Bluetooth low energy and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The nRF52840 SoC employs the proven 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex™ M4F processor employed on Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC, plus a CPU with ample generic processing power, Floating Point, and DSP performance, to meet the demands of even the most demanding wireless applications.

 

The nRF52840 SoC’s hardware enhancements compared with Nordic’s existing nRF52832 SoC include a new radio architecture with on-chip PA boosting output power considerably, and extending the link budget for ‘whole house’ applications; a doubling of Flash memory to 1MB and a quadrupling of RAM memory to 256kB; support for Bluetooth 5, 802.15.4, ANT, and proprietary 2.4GHz wireless technologies; a full speed USB 2.0 controller; and a host of new peripherals (many with EasyDMA) including a quad-SPI interface. The nRF52840 can also operate from power supplies above 5V, such as re-chargeable battery power sources.

 

Designed to address the inherent security challenges that are faced in IoT, the nRF52840 SoC incorporates the ARM® CryptoCell-310 cryptographic accelerator offering best-in-class security for Cortex-M based SoCs. Extensive crypto ciphers and key generation and storage options are also available.

 

The introduction of the nRF52840 SoC will be accompanied by the release of the S140 SoftDevice, Nordic’s latest addition to its family of RF protocol software ‘stacks’. The S140 SoftDevice is a Bluetooth 5 compliant software stack with support for the long range and high data throughput features of Bluetooth 5.

 

“The nRF52840 SoC builds on the success of the nRF52 Series but will enable wireless product developers to embark on even more ambitious single-chip smart home, wearables, and IoT applications,” says Thomas Bonnerud, Director, Product Management at Nordic Semiconductor. “The scope of these application areas is developing quickly; wearables are moving towards payment and identification devices. The new Bluetooth 5 long range feature makes Bluetooth a genuine contender for smart home device communication and the nRF52840 is designed to meet and exceed developer expectations. Security cannot be an afterthought in today’s connected products, the consequences can prove disastrous.”

 

Bonnerud concludes: “With ARM CryptoCell hardware on-chip we are equipping developers with the very best-in-class hardware and software security options to build secure products. The nRF52840 SoC with its hardware enhancements, Bluetooth 5 range and bandwidth improvements, and 802.15.4 support, is the latest embodiment of that intention.”

 

Nordic will release its S140 SoftDevice and associated nRF5 SDK with support for Bluetooth 5 longer range and high throughput modes upon ratification of the Bluetooth 5 standard in early December.

 

Engineering samples and development kits will be available to order from Nordic’s global distribution network from December 6th. Production variants of the nRF52840 will be available Q4 2017.





7 Advantages of prototyping with modular hardware

posted Dec 7, 2016, 3:08 PM by Pure Engineering


  1. Reuse tested hardware and software. The first time you do anything it always takes longer than you expected. There is a magnitude of things that can go wrong or were not planned. By starting with known working hardware, you can reduce the number of variables. Firmware for hardware takes time to work out all the bugs to make is reliable under all the operating states. Not only that but if you are writing firmware drivers and you have interment hardware you can literally go crazy troubleshooting your code, when the hardware is at fault. By starting with a known starting point your risk is greatly reduced.

  2. Quick to illiterate and experiment. If a design is modular you can try out new ideas until you figure out something that works well. You can build several versions of the hardware and see which path is the best one. If there are several sensors that do the same thing you can compare them side by side. The power to experiment provides a way to discover new ideas and truly innovate.  

  3. Easy to pivot if something goes wrong. Murphy’s Law is always in effect, even the best designs can have unforeseen issues once put into play. With a modular design, you can swap out what doesn’t work and replace it with something else with minimal disruption of the rest of the design.  

  4. Make a custom solution to the problem. When prototyping with a typical development board, they typically attempt to include every possible interface on one large circuit board. Often is the case you only need a few of them, and the rest is unneeded. The development board also includes power supplies and other support logic that may not apply or go against your design. This often makes a large bulky solution that can make prototyping difficult in some cases to large or inconvenient to test. With a modular hardware design, you just choose what you need without all the extra bulk, also since each block is chosen for your solution you have exactly what you need and is truly a custom solution.  

  5. Minimize time and money designing hardware. Designing custom hardware is expensive and time consuming. The typical design process can take many weeks for a simple design, and unlike compiling code it takes weeks to try out each version to make sure it works. Often the first version of hardware doesn’t work the way you intended and you need to repeat the process several times. If you can just pick and choose from a list of proven designs this is a huge time savings.

  6. Only design what you need. If there exists modular hardware for 99% of your design, then you can greatly reduce the focus of your hardware design to just the 1% that is different. Now 100% of your time can be devoted to making your 1% as best as possible without worrying about everything else.    

  7. Lower your risk before you make your final design. Once you have prototyped your entire design, you can write all your software as if was running on production hardware. Because of this you know it will work the way you designed. You can show it to potential investors and customers and get early feedback that is invaluable. The confidence of a proven working prototype that is close to the final design allows smart business decisions to be made rather than gambling and hoping that things go as you planned.


PUREmodules preview

posted Oct 13, 2016, 10:09 PM by Pure Engineering

The above image is that of the Super sensor module. We put every good i2c sensor on one board. We are very excited about it. Below is a list of a few things you can do with it. 
  • BAROMETRIC PRESSURE  
  • HUMIDITY 
  • TEMPERATURE 
  • ACCELEROMETER 
  • MAGNETOMETER
  • DISTANCE 
  • UVA UVB 
  • RGB 
  • IR
  • HEART RATE PULSE OXIMETRY


Above is the nRF52 Core module. We tried to get everything we could on a small board. 
  • nRF52832 SOC 
  • Onboard Antenna
  • LIS2DE12TR Accelerometer
  • 1225 Coin Cell holder
  • 2.4Ghz Antenna
  • One While LED 
  • Two User buttons
  • Three output expansion ports, two I2C and one SPI
  • Two input expansion ports, one I2C and one SPI
  • Shipping with BLE bootloader. Update firmware over the Air. 
  • Optional JTAG programming connection via Tag-Connect
  • One of the I2C expansion ports has JTAG and NFC expansion options
  • Total of 20 GPIO is available 


LEGO PCB's

posted Oct 6, 2016, 10:43 PM by Pure Engineering   [ updated Oct 7, 2016, 2:14 PM ]

We are experimenting with making our PUREmodules compatible with a LEGO block by only using a PCB.

We have a few designs we are testing. if you want to try one out, here is the oshpark link


We are excited to use LEGO's to prototype a quick case, way more fun than boxes. 

The general idea here is that you can build modules into your lego creation without tape or glue to keep things in place. By adding one simple Printed Circuit Board, PCB, the modules can plug into the lego adaptor board. Everything should be neat and clean and no wires. 

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