Posts

Dual Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Cluster for Industrial IoT

Updated ClusBerry device for IoT prototyping

Recently TECHBASE introduced ClusBerry, an industrial Raspberry Pi based cluster device, utilizing up to 8x Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and custom cluster board with a wide range of configuration possibilities.

For smaller projects and IoT prototyping, the company designed a smaller and ready-to-deploy cluster device including two independent ModBerry I/O mainboards and two Compute Module 4’s. The ClusBerry-2M offers similar resources as double ModBerry 500-CM4 with software cluster management tools – Docker and K3s Lightweight Kubernetes solutions.

Each module can perform various tasks, from standard I/O gateway, wireless modem, Gigabit LAN router to NAS file server and AI Gateway with Google Coral Edge TPU modules. You can manage your cluster modules at ease, boot modules from one to another, upgrade firmware crosswise and provide safe operation of each module. The modules are connected to each other to provide such features and allow quick healing of the dual cluster.

New features of multiple Compute Modules 4 brought to new ClusBerry series

Fully configurable devices are something desirable in the IoT market, where high performance and low cost is a key factor to success of implementation. TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT Ecosystem gives the opportunity to adjust ordered devices with certain resources and cut unnecessary I/Os, lowering the total cost of the device. 

Various implementations must have guaranteed high hardware performance to react fast enough in real time. For this purpose, the arrays of processor blocks are constructed to be assigned to individual tasks. For several years now, attempts have been made to use various types of SBC for this purpose, including, of course, Raspberry Pi

Reason for use of CM4 cluster in ClusBerry-2M

The introduction of new Compute Module 4 has opened the possibility to construct and maintain effective hardware matrix solutions with the use of both PCI-Express buses and 1GBps Ethernet. Therefore, the ClusBerry-2M opens up completely new capabilities of utilizing cluster solutions for Industrial Automation and server applications.

ClusBerry-2M can be equipped with multiple expansion cards, e.g. serial RS-232/485 ports, range of digital and analog I/Os, USB, HDMI and Ethernet. Interfaces can be expanded with additional I/Os and opto-isolation, relays, Ethernet, 1-Wire, CAN, M-Bus Master and Slave, accelerometer and many more features like TPM Security Chip & eSIM. The device can also be equipped with additional SuperCap backup power source for continuous work and safe boot/shutdown in case of emergency.

ClusBerry-2M series also offers two M.2 NVMe SSD slots and up to four standard miniPCIe module support for various wireless communication protocols, such as:

  • GSM modem (4G/LTE and fast 5G modem)
  • economic NarrowBand-IoT technology
  • LoRa, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Sigfox, Wireless M-Bus
  • secondary Wi-Fi/Bluetooth interface or Wi-Fi Hi-Power
  • custom wireless interfaces

Software cluster management with Docker and K3s Lightweight Kubernetes

With use of Docker-based and Kubernetes solutions, installation and management of ClusBerry-2M is easy and backed with a large community for further support and development. Kubernetes is a portable, extensible open-source software platform for managing containerized tasks and sites that enables declarative configuration and automation. The Kubernetes ecosystem is large and dynamically developing. Kubernetes services, support and tools are widely available.

Kubernetes provides:

  • Detection of new services and traffic. Kubernetes can balance the load and redirect the network traffic to ensure the stability of the entire installation.
  • Kubernetes data storage management enables you to automatically mount any type of storage system – on-premises, from cloud providers and others.
  • Automatic deployment and rollback. You can describe the expected state of your installation with Kubernetes, which will take care of bringing the actual state to the expected state in a controlled manner. For example, with Kubernetes, you can manage your cluster modules at ease, boot modules from one to another, upgrade firmware crosswise and provide safe operation of each module.
  • Automatic management of available resources. ClusBerry-2M provides a cluster of modules that Kubernetes can use to run tasks in containers. You determine the CPU power and RAM requirements for each container. Kubernetes arranges containers on machines in such a way as to make the best use of provided resources.
  • Self-healing Kubernetes reboots containers that have stopped working, replaces them with new ones, forces disabling containers that are not responding to certain status queries, and does not announce their availability until they are ready to run.
  • Managing confidential information and Kubernetes configuration with TPM Security Chip allows you to store and manage confidential information such as passwords, OAuth tokens and SSH keys. Secured data and configuration information can be provided and changed without having to rebuild the container image and without exposing sensitive data in the overall software configuration.

ClusBerry-2M availability

Basic version of ClusBerry-2M is available in 2-4 weeks. Delivery time for various configurations of ClusBerry-2M including ExCard modules and modems can be approximately 2 months, depending on the CM4 supply on the market and chosen expansion cards. For more information please contact via our website and sign the offer here: https://clusberry.techbase.eu/

Latest Raspberry Pi CM4 device with relay expansion

Sequent Microsystems has introduced the Raspberry Pi “4-relay” add-on to the Industrial IoT market. Four relays switch lines for loads up to 10 A and 250 V, can be stacked up to 8 times with max. 32 switched relays.

It can be used to control loads of up to 10A and 250V. You can control directly all your lights and appliances. Pluggable connectors accept 18 to 22 AWG wires and simplify the installation, specially if you are planning to use more than one card. The cards are stacked with 18mm male-female standoffs. All the hardware required for the installation is provided. Relays are controlled through I2C IO Expanders, using only 2 pins on the GPIO interface and leaving all the other pins available for the user.

Source: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/279405789/4-relays-for-raspberry-pi-8-level-stackable-10a-250v-each/

Some industrial IoT devices, based on Raspberry Pi platform already offer Relay expansion modules. One of them is ModBerry 500 CM4 series, introduced in 2014 – later upgraded with latest Raspberry Pi’s Compute Module 4+. ModBerry standard configurator offers up to 12x Relay expansion, with additional customizable options available for larger orders.

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
  • M.2 NVMe SSD controller for extra data storage
ModBerry 500 with Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4

Battery powered IoT devices crucial to 2020+ standards

Technology must transfer data to the central system in real time, otherwise it may have negative consequences. If the sensor battery power runs out, a machine failure may stop production for one day or lead to direct danger. If battery life is unbelievable and short, IoT applications will become useless, causing more interference rather than making life easier for its intended purpose. Therefore battery powered IoT devices come as a standard in up-to-date IoT installations

Wireless sensors and sensor networks are one of the elements of the Internet of Things systems and intelligent factories. Replacing the standard sensors and data collection devices with versions that communicate wirelessly gives many benefits, but also enforces a highly thought-out system design that will minimize energy consumption. This is important because these systems must work for many years without servicing. In the article we present the issues regarding the design of systems and forecasting of energy consumption in IoT systems.

Wireless communication vs Battery power

The idea of wireless sensor networks has been around for at least two decades, while the IEEE subgroup working on personal wireless networks defined the 802.15.4 standard in 2003, a year later the first versions of ZigBee appeared. Since then, many varieties of wireless communication have been developed, such as LoRa & NarrowBand-IoT and additional functions introduced, as a result of which designers now have a choice of various open or proprietary protocols. What significantly affects the way the entire project is implemented is energy consumption.

Obrazek posiada pusty atrybut alt; plik o nazwie battery-iot-esp32-1030x386.png
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

The basic elements of these systems are sensors that measure physical quantities. Some signal and data processing capabilities are also important. After all, the communication interface is important, which will allow you to pass the measured data on. Such a sensor node should wake up from time to time, make contact with its superordinate controller, transfer data and fall back to sleep again. Battery life depends on the total charge collected. Minimizing this consumption in the long run means that you need to minimize energy consumption during each work cycle. In many cases, the sensor will only work for a small fraction of the time. A measurement that lasts a few milliseconds can be triggered once per second, once per minute, or even less frequently. Therefore, the energy consumed in sleep mode may dominate the total energy consumption.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation. Check battery-powered Moduino X0

ESP32 Serial Port

Arduino ESP32 Serial Port to TCP Converter via WiFi

In this class, you will create serial port to TCP converter using Arduino code running on ESP32 processor. We will use one of device which uses such processor: Moduino X ESP32. For TCP communication WiFi module will be used.

You will need:

  • Moduino X2 (may be also X1) ESP32 device (check this website to find out more)
  • PC with Linux operating system
  • socat application
  • RS-232/RS-485 port in your computer or USB to RS-232/RS-485 converter (for programmming and testing)

Introduction

In our example data sent to serial port (which is used as terminal port in regular Micropython ESP32 device) will be send via WiFi using TCP protocol. It also decodes incomming TCP packets and writes them to serial port.Then virtual serial port can be opened for that TCP packets and perform serial communication.We will use socat application for that.

You can read the complete tutorial at Hackster.io:

SIMCom SIM7000G

SIMCom NB-IoT modems now available in Industrial IoT Shop

TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT devices, ModBerry & Moduino series supports latest SIMCom global-band SIM7000G eMTC & NB-IoT Module. Now the latest SIM7000G as well as 7000E / 7000A versions of modem are available at IIoT-Shop.

SIMCom SIM7000G

Our ModBerry / Moduino devices equipped with latest SIM7000G 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

You can browse wireless modem category here: https://iiot-shop.com/product-category/modems/

ESP32 Modbus Master TCP

Welcome to the series of configuration instructions for ModBerry and Moduino ESP32 devices. In this class, you will program ESP32 processor to be Modbus TCP Master.

We will use two devices, which contain this processor: Moduino ESP32 and Pycom. Both devices are running in MicroPytthon environment. Our Modbus Slave will be PC computer with Modbus simulator software running on it.

You will need:

  • Moduino ESP32 or Moduino Pycom device (check this website to find out more about Moduino ESP32 device and this to check Pycom device)
  • PC with Linux operating system
  • RS-232/RS-485 port in your computer or USB to RS-232/RS-485 converter

You can read the complete tutorial at Instructables.com:

 

Sleep mode and power saving for Raspberry Pi based ModBerry devices

Sleep functionality for ModBerry/Raspberry Pi devices

TECHBASE company designed new extension module for RaspberryPi-based devices, ModBerry series for better power management in changing conditions of industrial environments. With the use of GPIO the module can manage sleep mode or safe shutdown of device in terms of unexpected drop in the power network.

In last few years developers marketed wide range of ARM-based development boards, lacking in enhanced power management, especially sleep and wake up modes, commonly used in PC-grade computing. These boards are not adjusted for battery power supply, so it’s natural that sleep/wake functions should be implemented. In connection with the development of solutions based on Linux-SBC, key factor is adding sleep modes to any remote installation

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation.

The preliminary module for ModBerry devices is available on request and delivery time will be specified by Sales Dept. depending on the size of the project.

Sleep mode with additional power backup

Additional power management option for ModBerry devices is sleep functionality enhanced with SuperCap UPS energy backup device. This solution allows programming scenarios including the execution of chosen actions, in order to save data, send a notification and restart/shutdown the controller after completion.

Advanced power management solution

Most advanced configuration includes use of Moduino ESP32 device for extra logic for wake up / sleep scripts. This addon will allow the RaspberryPi-based ModBerry device to be woken up by Moduino controller via Wi-Fi/GSM/LAN networks.

Moduino-ModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

New SuperCap options for Moduino/ModBerry

The SuperCap UPS-SC01 backup power supply is equipped with a highly available backup feature to safely bridge fluctuations, drops or failures accompanying standard 9~30VDC supply voltage and avoid interruption of output voltage in industrial and automation environments. For this purpose SuperCap UPS-SC01 utilizes two supercapacitors (so-called supercaps) as a durable, cycle-resistant and maintenance-free solution for backup energy storage and failure safety.

The UPS-SC01 model is available for purchase at price set to 90€. SuperCap family offers now preliminary and revised models: UPS-SC02 with twice the capacity at 135€ and UPS-SC04 respectively at 180€ with quadrupled capacity of the base device, which can be preordered at our new Industrial IoT Shop, here: https://iiot-shop.com/product/supercap-ups/

New SIM7000G modem for ModBerry / Moduino Industrial IoT devices

TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT devices, ModBerry & Moduino series, now supports latest SIMCom global-band SIM7000G eMTC & NB-IoT Module. New SIM7000G supersedes previous 7000E / 7000A / 7000C versions of modem and provides a universal band set with global coverage, in opposite to Europe, America and China-only solutions.

Our ModBerry / Moduino devices equipped with latest SIM7000G 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

Our ModBerry / Moduino devices with global-band SIM7000G are available for testing and developing purposes, due to pending certifications of this module. For more information please contact our sales managers via live chat or contact forms.

 

 

SuperCap UPS – Backup power supply for Raspberry Pi / ESP32 IIoT devices

The new SuperCap UPS-SC01 backup power supply is equipped with a highly available backup feature to safely bridge fluctuations, drops or failures accompanying standard 9~30VDC supply voltage and avoid interruption of output voltage in industrial and automation environments. For this purpose SuperCap UPS-SC01 utilizes two supercapacitors (so-called supercaps) as a durable, cycle-resistant and maintenance-free solution for backup energy storage and failure safety.

As an addition to Industrial IoT family of TECHBASE’s products, such as ModBerry (Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 powered) industrial gateways and Moduino (ESP32 powered) end-point devices, the SuperCap UPS-SC01 serves well as an additional, highly efficient and fanless power source to allow continuous operation of connected devices in difficult conditions, such as extended industrial temperature range. Perfect solution for a multi-range applications, especially for embedded IIoT / Industry 4.0 systems, where stability and high availability is most important.

Read more

ModBerry expands to the latest NanoPi & OrangePi platforms

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://modberry.techbase.eu/ 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.