Connecting Proxidyne Sensor Node to the Senet LoRaWAN Network

Posted by on May 30, 2017

We released the Proxidyne Sensor Node a few weeks ago and the ability to join a LoRaWAN network has generated a bunch of excitement.  The Sensor node has a bunch of different modes that make it a great device for lots of different applications.  It can detect nearby wearable iBeacon devices for asset tracking, it can be a simple button (with one to four inputs), or it can relay sensor data from any of the Proxidyne sensors.  In terms of output, it can send information to another Proxidyne Sensor Node in peer-to-peer mode and it can also connect to a LoRaWAN network.

Senet, a large LoRaWAN network provider, is in the Chicago area.  I worked with their team to get our Proxidyne Sensor node attached to their network and the process was very straightforward.  They identified a park in downtown Chicago that had good LoRaWAN coverage and I loaded up my gear and headed out.

The Proxidyne Sensor Node uses the Microchip RN2903 module.  The Senet gateway in Chicago using 8 channels rather than the 64 channels that are available in other areas, so I limited our Sensor Node to only use the lower bank of channels (channels 0 to 7 and channel 64).  I logged into the Senet portal and registered our Sensor Node with their network and it generated the necessary keys (DeviceEUI, AppEUI, and AppKey).

Once at the park, I powered up the sensor node, put it in the passthrough mode, and registered the keys:

sys reset
sys factoryRESET
mac set deveui *****
mac set appeui ****
mac set appkey ****
mac set sync 34

mac set ch status 0 on
mac set ch status 1 on
mac set ch status 2 on
mac set ch status 3 on
mac set ch status 4 on
mac set ch status 5 on
mac set ch status 6 on
mac set ch status 7 on
mac set ch status 8 off

mac set ch status 63 off
mac set ch status 64 on
mac set ch status 65 off

mac set ch status 71 off

I then saved the config and connected:

mac save
mac join otaa

accepted

Success!  Now to send some data:

mac tx uncnf 01 11DEADBEEF2233

Heading off to the Senet portal, I see that the device is connected:

Drilling down, I see the data that I sent:

The portal also gives lots of great info like RSSI values, connections, and data rates:

Now that the sensor node is communicating, I wanted to do something interesting with the data.  Senet has a bunch of services that can be triggered when data is received:

I selected a simple web hook to trigger an email, and sent more data. Soon my inbox was chiming:

The Proxidyne Sensor node was now online!  Any of the button presses from the Proxidyne Survey and Call buttons, movement from the Proxidyne motion sensor, and activity from nearby wearable iBeacons could be detected and sent via the LoRaWAN to a cloud service like the Proxidyne Dashboard.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

 

 

 

 

 

New in iOS 10! iBeacon For Printers

New in iOS 10! iBeacon For Printers

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017

Walk up to any printer with any iPhone or iPad and discover a printer instantly with iBeacons for Printers.  iBeacons for Printers were introduced in iOS 10 so that these beacons  broadcast printer discovery to nearby iOS devices over Bluetooth. When an iOS device running iOS 10 or later attempts to print, the device will scan for nearby printer beacons. The Bleu Station Printer Beacon responds with the network address and other information to the iOS device, and the iOS device uses that information to verify that the printer is reachable on the WiFi network.  If it is, the printer will be shown as a selectable printer.

In large organizations, discovering printers with iOS can be difficult since iOS will show all printers that are on the same network and are broadcasting AirPrint advertisements.  The iOS device may see no printers or may show dozens of devices, making it very difficult for the person who wants to print to select the correct printer. iBeacon for Printers solves this problem by broadcasting the printer location over Bluetooth to nearby iOS devices running iOS 10 or later.  As long as the iOS device can reach that printer over the wireless network, it can print to it.  This includes AirPrint printers or any print queue compatible with iOS 10 devices.

Interested in Deploying iBeacons for Printers?   Complete the form below and we’ll contact you. We have the expertise and the experience to make it work for you.

Need more info? Contact Us!

100,000 Cashier Button Presses!

100,000 Cashier Button Presses!

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017

One of the grocery store chains that use the Proxidyne Cashier button solution just passed 100,000 button presses!  Each time a cashier presses a button, an announcement is sent to the front end manager’s two-way radio, smart device or WiFi communicator, alerting them of the specific needs of a cashier such as “change needed, register nine”.  The button press event is also sent up to the Proxidyne Dashboard so the customer and the dealer can monitor staff usage, customer traffic and effectiveness of the system.  For example, you can see usage aggregated by day of week:

Or by how often each button was used:

The solution even monitors the battery level of every wireless button or sensor in each store in real-time.  Since the Cashier buttons securely communicate wirelessly back to our Dashboard, retailers and their service providers can monitor the battery level of each button and sensor and even view the historical data so they know when to change batteries which last for more than a year in most cases:

The Cashier button is just one of the sensors retailers can use with the Proxidyne solution.  Check out our Motion sensor to see how you can detect when customers are shopping in a specific aisle and dispatch a staff person to provide customer service.  Prompt attention increases sales, improves customer satisfaction and reduces theft as well!

If you would like to learn how our Cashier button or other Proxidyne solution can help your organization, fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch.

Need more info? Contact Us!

Automatically notify staff with our new Proxidyne Motion Sensor [Video]

Automatically notify staff with our new Proxidyne Motion Sensor [Video]

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016

When a customer walks into an area that has high value merchandise, use the Proxidyne Motion Sensor to alert staff over smart phones, tablets and two way radios.  Watch the video to see how it works:

 

 

The New Proxidyne Sensor Starter Kit [Video]

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016

I created a new video showing off our sensors and bridge that comes with our new starter kit.  Check it out on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHxMCJVrdBk

Amazon AWS iOT Button Deep Dive

Amazon AWS iOT Button Deep Dive

Posted by on Sep 5, 2016

I got an AWS iOT Button to take a look at. We discuss how it associates with the WiFi network, how it uses MQTT, public key cryptography, and the AWS iOT service.

Check it out!

Proxidyne iOT Cashier Call Buttons

Proxidyne iOT Cashier Call Buttons

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016

We are excited to announce our new Cashier Call Button, a wireless call button so your cashiers can quickly and easily call for assistance without interrupting the checkout process.  With a simple press of a button, a customized announcement is made over a two-way radio or sent to a tablet.  The messages are customized for each button and each cashier, so your cashier gets the help they need fast!

Learn More

change needed 125 Cashier needs change? Press a button and a customized announcement gets change there fast!
Alcohol Sales Are some of your cashiers under 21? Press the Alcohol button and an announcement is immediately sent and help is on the way!
Price Check Need a price check? Press the price check button and all staff that are available to do the price check are immediately notified. No muss, no fuss.
manager A cashier can call a manager over just by pressing the manager button. The manager doesn’t need to see a flashing light, but can be anywhere in the store.

Learn More

 

To learn more, check out the the Cashier Button page on our website or watch a movie about it,

IoT Fundamentals – LoRa and LoRaWAN

IoT Fundamentals – LoRa and LoRaWAN

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016

Great post by Paul Sabadin on LoRa and LoraWAN, for long range iOT communication.

…we see that LoRa has a star-of-stars topology and can span great distances, even over a single End Device link (on the order of 15 km), making the technology very IoT friendly.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/iot-fundamentals-lora-lorawan-paul-sabadin

 

Bleu Station Installation with external antenna

Bleu Station Installation with external antenna

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016

We had a customer looking for a solution to automatically open a gate when the owner’s vehicle approached. We helped him with a prototype of our new beacons and an external antenna.  Here is his experience.

Article written by Robert Predovich:

The Goal

We wanted to automatically open a sliding wrought iron gate at the entrance of a new home as the homeowners approached it within their vehicles. The “open gate” command is available via custom programming within SmartThings and attempts were made to use geofencing on their iPhones to recognize proximity and create a trigger. However, this proved very inconsistent and unreliable. The concept of using a locally installed Bluetooth beacon that would trigger an app on the iPhones, which would in turn trigger an event within SmartThings, was then considered as an alternative.

The Challenge

The location is near Toronto, Canada and so weather, especially cold and snow in winter, become a major issue with regards to determining where a beacon could be installed. Not having to rely on battery power that would be susceptible to a shortened lifespan with the cold temperatures was a significant design consideration. Therefore, an enclosed area that could be serviced with AC power was desirable.

The General Plan

The gate is controlled by a DoorKing unit that provides a user interface for visitors. The hope was that a beacon could be mounted within its metal enclosure without interfering with that unit’s electronics. This would provide the protection and AC power required.

Plan “A”

Initially a Proxidyne Bleu Station Series 100 Beacon was installed. The small size of the unit, even when powered via the AC adapter, was perfect. However, the metal enclosure severely restricted its range. Considering the homeowners would be in their own “metal enclosure” (their vehicle) as they approached the gate, the result was that there was no perceived benefit of an automatic reaction by the system to open the gate compared to their ability to manually trigger the opening of the gate as they arrived.

Plan “B”

When I explained the dilemma to Tim Perfitt and Russell Scheil of Proxidyne they recommended that I do an experiment with a prototype Bleu Station Beacon that had the ability to have an external antenna attached. In this way the beacon could be mounted inside the metal enclosure, safely away from the weather elements and powered via AC, with the dipole antenna sitting on top as illustrated by the photos.

The Result

The beacon range, which was only a few meters from the enclosure when the antenna was inside it, was increased to approximately 110 meters during testing when walking away from it. Although the range during normal use is expected to be reduced by the fact that the iPhones will still be within a metal vehicle as they approach, the external antenna has made this concept a practical solution for us.

 

Thanks for the great writeup, Bob!

Here is a photo of our Series 360 Beacon with external antenna, powered over mini USB or 2 AA batteries:

360 External Antenna 2

If you are interested in an external antenna for your iBeacon application, or more information about our beacons and bluetooth devices for deployment, get in touch!

 

 

iOT Candy Machine to give out Skittles with new Twitter Followers

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016

 

Demo and explanation of how I created an iOT candy machine that gives out skittles whenever someone follows us on twitter (@proxidyne). Links mentioned in the video below.

Links:
Proxidyne: http://proxidyne.com
Series 360 Relay: http://www.proxidyne.com/products/relay/
Candy Dispenser at Amazon (affiliate link): http://amzn.to/2auvVSz
Source Code: https://bitbucket.org/tperfitt/iotcandymachine

(Thanks to Jose Marcelino @jmarcelino for the idea from his tweet https://twitter.com/jmarcelino/status/724155310307467264 )