Project Update

Now that you’re a bit more familiar with the project and what’s all about, we decided to post an update related to the development of the Talk² products.

As mentioned before Talk² will cover many platforms but we decided to start with the following products:

  1. Raspberry PI Talk² HAT
  2. Wireless Ultra-Low Power Sensor/IO Board

Below some details about the boards design and production phase, as well the target price.

Raspberry PI Talk² HAT

The Talk² HAT is actually a 2-in-1 board. It offers a CAN Bus interface for your RPI and, at same time, it has a CAN Bus node, based on an ARM Cortex M3 micro-controller, connected to the RFM69 module.

The Cortex M3 micro-controller will be pre-loaded with the Talk² CAN Bus to RF gateway firmware, which can be remotely updated over the Bus or using the RPI UART in case you wish to customize anything.

The same board will also include a 6-30V input switching regulator, which means that you’ll be able to have a single 12V or 24V power supply for the whole wired bus. Note that this feature will be standard for every Talk² wired board. Imagine, having a single CAT5 connecting all your nodes (Arduino, RPIs or any other) for data and power.Logo_Rpi

Status on 03/Dec/2015: Prototype working; analyzing different components and samples.
Target Price: under USD 30.00
Estimated availability: early 2016.

Wireless Ultra-Low Power Sensor/IO Board

The first Wireless Ultra-Low Power Sensors/IO Board will be based on the popular AVR ATMega328p, so it’ll be compatible with the Arduino code.

Being a low power circuit designed to run on batteries for years, the board will count with a boost/step-up switching regulator. The regulator accepts anything from 0.9V and delivers 3.3V.

To save some extra-power and stay within the ATMega328p specifications, the MCU will run at 8MHz, offering internal and external crystal options. The board will all also include power-switches/Mosfets so you’ll be able to turn on/off individual sensors and components and preserve energy.

The wireless communication will be based on the RFM69/Semtech SX1231. The board will also include external Flash memory to allow programming over-the-air.

We’ve used data extracted from our Ultra-Low Power prototype board on the post Low Power Budged, have a look there and check the average power consumption over time.

Logo_AVR

Status on 03/Dec/2015: Prototype working; defining sensors and expansion ports.
Target Price: under USD 20.00 + sensors costs
Estimated availability: early 2016.

Compatible Hardware

Although Talk² is designing its own hardware, there are a couple of boards on the market which should be able to perform in a similar way and integrate with Talk².

Wireless

Some boards implementing RF which should be compatible with  Talk²:

Both products above are professionally produced and are fitted with the RF module RFM69. If running in the same frequency, they must be able to communicate to Talk².

Another interesting project that worth checking is the ULP Node by Charles-Henri Hallard. His project also uses the RFM69 module and is designed to run on batteries for long time. Charles’ approach is a bit different as the circuit is designed to completely shut down for some period instead of going into sleep.

Can Bus Modules

For the wired connection, any Can Bus device, independent of silicon brand, should be able to communicate with Talk² if configured at same bitrate.

You can easily find a many of Can Bus modules for sale, including from eBay. We would recommend having a look on this one at Modtronix, it’s 3.3V compatible and safe to use with a Raspberry PI.

Bear in mind that Talk² hardware is being design to support Data and Power over a single CAT5 cable. Using another module might require independent power supply for each node.

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