The 2nd Generation ITEAD Core is Coming Soon

In August 2013, ITEAD Studio released ITAD Core A10/A20. Since then, we’d received a lot of useful feedbacks. We are grateful to all of you for giving us so many suggestions on improving this product.

From the end of March this year, we have been focusing on developing and testing the second generation of ITEAD Core by referring to the suggestions from our customers. After about four months of development, we’ve completed PCB layout of ITEAD Core AW2041/AW2042, tested its prototype, made a small batch of production and done the long-term stability test. It is expected that volume production of ITEAD Core AW2041/AW2042 will be commenced next week.

Compared to the first generation, the second ITEAD Core has been improved with following aspects in the design.

  1. on-board micro SD slot for multimedia storage and data logging purposes, supporting the maximum capacity of 64G SD card.
  2. on-board SATA interface for the convenience of connecting external hard drive or CD-ROM.
  3. the second ITEAD Core uses SO-DIMM 204 pins interface for easily plugping in and out.
  4. The known bugs of the first ITEAD core have been fixed in the second generation.

 

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Intelligent Power Socket

In the previous blog, we’ve introduced how to build a gateway for intelligent home. Based on the gateway we’ve built, in this blog we will use our new product Iteaduino mini RBoard to demonstrate how to make a "DIY intelligent power socket", so that you can control the state of socket switch at any time and realize remote controlling various appliances.

Compared to its original model Rboard, Mini Rboard with a small size has built-in a relay, a nRF24L01 interface and a 433M RF Receiver interface. Let's see how we use it to make an intelligent socket!

Components we need:

Components Assembly

Plug NRF24L01 module and FOCA module into the corresponding interfaces on mini RBoard respectively. The circuit diagram is shown below:

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Gateway for Intelligent Home-To realize uploading data and control via web

With development of Internet, intelligent home is getting increasingly popular. In this article, we will teach you how to build a DIY gateway for intelligent home. The gateway works just like a host to connect the home appliances to the Internet, to receive and to send commands. With it, we can check the home temperature and humidity at any time, prepare bath water in advanced, regulate air conditioning intelligently and remote monitor home situation. With just a little effort, you can make your home as cool as that in sci-fi movie!

As the wiring of IBoard is quite simple and very easy to operate, here we will use it as a controller for the gateway. All the components needed can be purchased on our imall.iteadstudio.com

Components we need:

IBoard X 1
FOCA X 1
NRF24L01 Module X1
Mini USB cable  X1
9V/12V 1A power adapter
Ethernet cable X 1

Hardware Circuits Assembly

Plug nRF24L01 module into the corresponding interface on IBoard. Then switch power of FOCA to 3.3V and connect it to IBoard. Connect IBoard with router through an Ethernet cable. The circuit diagram is shown as below:

 

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Instruction for ITead TFT Modules

In imall.iteadstudio.com, there are two kinds of TFT modules: one is with shield while the other is not. Some customers bought the TFT modules home, assembled them with main boards, and uploaded demo to the main boards, but nothing showed on the TFT modules. In fact, some TFT modules need to be used with a particular shield that is to be plugged into main boards, and each TFT module should work with its own compatible main board.

As the ITDB02 Series of LCD modules work in 3.3 voltage level, they're not compatible with Arduino MEGA pins, thus you will need a shield for Arduino MEGA. The ITDB02 LCD modules can be plugged directly in the shield and stand on the Arduino MEGA board. ITDB02 Arduino MEGA shield supports mainboards of both 3.3V and 5V, thus it not only can be used with Arduino MEGA but also can work with other Arduino MEGA compatible mainboards.

ITEAD 3.2 TFT LCD Touch shield + Arduino MEGA 

ITDB02-2.8 + ITDB02 Arduino MEGA shield + Arduino MEGA

For the starters, you need to download UTFT demos in the following link, then extract them to the directory libraries, which is under the directory arduino IDE that you’ve installed.

http://henningkarlsen.com/electronics/library.php?id=51

 

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Introduction to RDM8800 – A 13.56MHz Configurable RFID Module

RDM8800 is another RFID card reader launched by ITEAD STUDIO after RDM6300. RFID is Radio Frequency Identification for short. At present, the most commonly used RFID are 12.5 KHz EM4100 card and 13.56MHz ISO 14443 Type A card.

RDM6300 card reader module can be used to read 12.5KHz EM4100 RFID card directly, and the card information will be output directly through the serial, an external microcontroller can be easily used to receive the information read from RFID card together with the serial port. While RDM8800 can read 13.56MHz ISO 14443 Type A cards, and the card data will be output via the serial.


It is quite convenient to use both of the card readers to read the RFID card information, as the modules are equipped with antenna. Once the antenna is connected to the module, and the output serial pin of the module is connected to the microcontroller's serial port and powered up with 5V, the module serial will read the card information when the RFID card is close to the antenna. To make it easier to use, antenna of RDM8800 adopts standard shielded coaxial connection, and there is a 2.54mm pin hole in the antenna which can be used connect to the antenna pin on module via a Dupont line.

 

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Raspberry Pi Drives ITEAD PN532 NFC Module with libnfc

ITEAD PN532 NFC module is equipped with double-row pins, which can be connected directly to the Raspberry Pie via connection cable and then drive the module for non-contact near field communication operations, such as reading and writing 13.56M IC card. You can buy this module from here: http://imall.iteadstudio.com/im130625002.html

libnfc is the first libre low level NFC SDK and Programmers API released under the GNU Lesser General Public License. It provides complete transparency and royalty-free use for everyone. The library currently supports modulations for ISO/IEC 14443 A and B, FeliCa, Jewel/Topaz tags and Data Exchange Protocol (P2P) as target and as initiator. For more information, you can refer to http://nfc-tools.org/

The following tutorial demonstrates how to use libnfc on Raspberry Pi to drive ITEAD PN532 module with the SPI bus.

1, Hardware connection

As Itead PN532 Module is customized for Raspberry Pi, it can be connected directly to Raspberry Pi via the adapter cable as shown in picture below

 

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Dragon Boat Festival Holiday Schedule (2014)

Due to Dragon Boat festival, ITEAD STUDIO will have a three-day holiday from 31rd, May to 2nd, June. The schedule is shown as below:

Ordinary orders received from 26th to 28th of May will be processed normally as usual, while for orders on 29th and 30th, we will try our best to deliver before holiday – but as it takes time to deal with packaging, we cannot guarantee that orders in these two days can be sent out before the holiday. Thank you for understanding. For the pending orders received before holiday and during the holiday, we will process on 3rd, June when we are back to work – due to backlog of orders during the holiday and increase of orders in post office after the holiday, we estimate that orders may be processed slightly slower than usual. However, we will make our efforts to deliver as soon as possible.

For orders of PCB service, generally PCB production costs about a week, while the number of orders often increases before the holiday, thus it will need a longer time to be processed. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the orders of PCB service received from 26th, May to be shipped before the holiday. However, for files received from 26th, May to 30th, May, we will arrange production, but the finished boards will be received and delivered after the holiday. For orders received during the holiday, we can only arrange the production after the holiday.

Above is our holiday schedule. For any inconvenience caused, we do hope you can understand, and you can arrange time for placing orders according to your own needs.

IBOX Ethernet Troubleshooting

More and more IBOX backers on indiegogo have received the product and have begun to use it, and they also provide various feedback.

Ethernet failure issue is the most frequently mentioned. At first, we are not able to figure out what the matter is, so we asked the customers to return the defective IBOXs so that we can send them new ones. Now, we have received two IBOXs with Ethernet failures, and we have found the cause of this issue after failure analysis and repair.

The Ethernet failure is caused by an instable resetting circuit on the baseboard, which resulted from a poor-quality capacitor in the resetting circuit, and sometimes the resetting circuit does not work properly.

Fault phenomenon :

Ethernet can not have access to the network, LED indicator on Ethernet interface only flashes once when powering up and then it does not flash any more.

Cause :

Capacitor in the resetting circuit has quality problems, thus the resetting level time cannot can not meet the needs for resetting the system, and the Ethernet chip cannot work properly due to unsuccessful resetting.

Solution:

Replace C8 on the PCB with a 2.2uF 0603-packaged chip capacitor, the position is shown as below:

If you can replace the faulty capacitor by yourself, it would be the fastest approach to solve the problem. Of course, it is not easy to replace a chip unless you're a hardware engineer, so we would like to offer a new IBOX baseboard for free for those who encounter such issue.

If you were unlucky to receive IBOX with Ethernet fault, please send e-mail to (ivy.long @ itead.cc), and we will send you a new baseboard. After receiving the new baseboard, you only need to open the aluminum case, remove the old baseboard from ITEAD A20 Core and then replace it with the new one. You do not need to return the old baseboard to us.

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Itead Support is under Public Test Now

To improve user experience and to offer better services, we introduced the support system of Freshdesk, which is your starting point for help with Itead Studio's products. We have run the private beta for some time, and now we want to have the technical support section for public tests.

You are welcomed to submit your requests for technical support either by sending e-mails to support@itead.freshdesk.com or via the portal http://support.iteadstudio.com/.

Submitting a ticket via Email 

One of the easiest ways to reach the support team is by sending an email to support@itead.freshdesk.com
To get things going quick, try to use the email ID you have provided for the records, so that the support agents can know exactly who you are when the ticket comes in. 

Quick guide to submitting a ticket through email: 

  • Login to your mailbox 
  • Compose an email to support@itead.freshdesk.com
  • Mention what help you need in the body of the mail 
  • Click on the Send button 

Submitting a ticket via the portal 

A more traditional way of getting support is by filling out a support form on Itead support website. When you do, you provide more accurate information about the problem and make it easier for the representatives to track down your problem. 

Quick guide for customers to submit tickets through our portal: 

  • Point to Itead support URL http://support.iteadstudio.com/ 
  • Click on the ‘New Ticket’ button 
  • Fill out the form and mention all the details about your requirements 
  • Click on the Submit button 

Creating a support account 

The first time you open a ticket, you will automatically be created an account with the Itead Support. You need to check your email for information about the account and click on the link available inside to set your password for the first time. You can activate your account by using the link and logging into Itead support. You could also automatically sign up for an account by submitting a ticket with the online support portal. This can be done in different ways. You will get an activation email whenever you reach out to the customer support team for the first time. 

Quick guide to creating a support account from the portal: 

  • Open up the support portal http://support.iteadstudio.com/ 
  • Click on the sign up link at the top right corner of the page 
  • Enter your Full Name and Email Address 
  • Fill in the captcha for verification 
  • Click on the Save button 
  • Check your inbox for the activation email with instructions. 

Checking the ticket status 

You can check what’s going on with your ticket by opening up the ticket's page from Itead Support. This is included in each of your support emails and can be accessed by simply clicking on the link. When prompted, please login with your existing credentials and get a hold of your ticket history. 

Quick guide to checking your ticket status: 

  • Login to the support portal 
  • Click on the Check your ticket status tab 
  • Open the necessary ticket by clicking on it 
  • Check its status from the ticket page 

You can click here to download the complete user guide.

Basic Test/Tutorial for ITEAD WIFI Shield REV2 – by David Morphett

This is a basic test/tutorial for ITEAD WIFI Shield REV2 using an Iteaduino MEGA2560 with serial ports 0 and 2. It was written by David M on 19 April, 2014 and updated to include entry of SSID and password on 3 May, 2014.

Configuration:

  • MEGA2560 connected to Arduino IDE serial monitor on PC via USB using hardware serial port 0.
  • Ensure serial monitor is set to transmit with both CR and LF.
  • WIFI shield connected to MEGA2560 via hardware serial port 2.
  • Mount WIFI Shield on the MEGA2560 using the socket rows beside the standard UNO ones. Align WIFI shield so that its pin D0 connects with the MEGA2560 RX2 socket.

 As well as the IDE on the PC have a TCP connect test program available e.g. SocketTest v 3.0.0. … and a browser.
 
 Purpose:
 
 Facilitate developing an understanding of the WIFI Shield REV2 / RAK410 wireless module.
 
 To use this sketch:
 
 1. Set up the physical configuration
 2. Open the Arduino IDE and serial monitor; set the monitor baud rate to 115200 and to "Both NL & CR"
 3. In void set up() edit the sketch to enter the SSID and password and TCP port that you want to use when the WIFI shield is configured as an Access Point.
 4. Upload the sketch
 5. Press the re-set button on the WIFI shield and then press the re-set button on the MEGA2560
 6. Enter your wireless network SSID and password when prompted.
 7. Enter a command from the list presented on the monitor – start by entering "Direct".
 8. In the "Direct" mode enter 'at' commands – start with "at+ascii=1".
 9. Try entering sequences of commands as described in the RAK410-EVB User Guide starting at section 5.1.1
10. Enter "EndDirect" to terminate the "Direct" mode and allow a different command to be entered.
 
 Once the above session is completed, configure the WIFI shield as a web server with TCP listening port and connect to a TCP tester and then a browser.
 
 1. Press the re-set button on the WIFI shield and then press the re-set button on the MEGA2560
 2. Enter the "ConnectStation" command. The sequence of 'at' commands and responses from the shield will be echoed to the serial monitor
 3. Note the IP address that has been allocated to the WIFI shield
 4. Open the TCP test program on the PC and set the IP and port details. Click Connect.
 5. Assuming the TCP connection via WIFI has been successfully created, enter the "Transparent" command.
    Note: The WIFI shield will return an error if you try to enter transparent mode without a TCP connection being present.
 6. The WIFI module will now be in Transparent mode and will not accept further 'at' commands until re-booted.
 7. Check that "conversation" works between the serial monitor and the TCP test program.
 7. At the TCP test program click disconnect and then open a browser. Type in the WIFI shield IP address.
 8. The client GET request issued by the browser will be echoed in the serial monitor.
 9. From the serial monitor enter "Post". This will cause the MEGA2650 to respond with a basic web page.
10. The web page has two hot spots. Click one and observe the resulting GET request on the serial monitor.
11. Note that the hot spot request is interpreted by the MEGA2650 and displayed as an all caps message within the GET request echoed on the monitor

Finally set up an Access Point and connect to it with a mobile phone.

12. Press the re-set button on the WIFI shield and then press the re-set button on the MEGA2560
13. Enter the "AccessPoint" command. The sequence of 'at' commands and responses from the shield will be echoed to the serial monitor
14. From the mobile phone, connect to the WIFI shield wireless access point
15. From the phone browser connect to IP address 192.168.1.1. That will establish a TCP connection with the WIFI shield
16. From the serial monitor enter the "Transparent" command. You should see the GET request from the phone
17. From the serial monitor enter "Post". The web page will load on the phone.
18. Click a hot spot and observe the command returned to the serial monitor.

That's about it. The sketch does not use any libraries other than the plain vanilla Arduino base. It has been structured to facilitate experimentation.

High level commands for entry from the serial monitor can be readily added … as can 'at' command sequences and html material.
 
There is a separate version of this sketch that is modified to work with the ITEADuino UNO – where use of a software serial port is required for
communication between the UNO aand the shield.

Downloading link of library for WIFI Shield REV2 with MEGA2560 v3 115200: http://blog.iteadstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Mega_v3_115200.ino

Downloading link of library for WIFI Shield REV2 with UNO rev0: http://blog.iteadstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/UNO_rev0.ino