Mottek Archive 2014

Little motes here and there

Since the internet of things is all the rage, I wanted to do some learning by doing, and set up an own small network to experiment a little. It seems that there are a lot of technologies to chose from, and that on all layers: Different radio technologies, different processors, different protocols and so on. I settled for now on SWAP as the protocol since it's easy enough, but I'm using the widely available NRF24L01+ chips for the radio layer. The CPUs are a mix of MSP430's, LPC1114's and STM32F0's, running either a bare metal program (MSP430 and STM32F0) or mbed (LPC1114).

It has been a very interesting experience so far, and in good hacker manner, doing things from first principle gives a lot of insights: How to get power consumption to the micro ampere level? How to build small and simple hardware designs? What are good antenna designs? What about quality of service, packet loss, etc? How to visualise data and use it in smart ways?

The biggest problem is however a very common one: What to actually build with all that stuff :)?

A Subjective Classification of MCUs

  • MSP430 (the smaller x2 series): Like a trusted friend or cosy small home. Limited, but things work as expected.
  • ATmega328: Crufty and rusty. Glad there are abstraction layers to hide that.
  • STM32: Shiny weapon of choice (with some rough edges here and there).