Using a Rotary Encoder

As part of an ongoing project, I recently designed an expander card for my ESP-12E I2C Base. I am referring to this device( Atmega 328P Base PWM Controller Card). At the time of writing that article, I have not released any of the code for the project. This is a very short post, showing one possible way to implement a rotary encoder onto that particular device. (It can also be adapted for other devices, of course)

Arduino Style Code for using a rotary encoder

// Constants and Variables
const int encFWD = 8;
const int encREV = 7;
int aState;
int aLastState;
int encDir;
int encTurned = LOW;
int encLastState;
int encValue = 0;
int lastEncValue;
const int encInc = 10;

unsigned long lastEncDebounce = 0;
unsigned encDebounceDelay = 50;
const int encBtn = 9;
int encButtonState;
int lastEncBtnState = LOW;
int EncBtnValue = LOW;
int encBtnState;

void setup() {
  //Rotary Encoder
  pinMode(encFWD,INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(encREV,INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(encBtn,INPUT_PULLUP);
  // Init the pins in UNPUT Pullup Mode
  encTurned = LOW; // Flag for encoder

  encLastState = digitalRead(encFWD);
  //Serial
  Serial.begin(115200);
  //Status LED on D13
  pinMode(13,OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(13,LOW);
}

void loop() {
  lastEncValue = encValue;
 //Handle the Encoder Push Button
 encBtnState = digitalRead(encBtn);
 if (encBtnState != lastEncBtnState) {
    lastEncDebounce = millis();
 }
 if ((millis() - lastEncDebounce) > encDebounceDelay) {
    if (encBtnState != encButtonState) {
        encButtonState = encBtnState;
        if (lastEncBtnState == LOW) {
          EncBtnValue = !EncBtnValue; // Toggle the button Value
        }
    }
 }
 lastEncBtnState = encBtnState;
 // Handle the Rotary Encoder Dial
 aState = digitalRead(encFWD);
 if (aState != aLastState) {
    if (digitalRead(encREV) != aState) {
       if (encTurned == LOW) {
          encLastState = encTurned;
          encTurned = HIGH; // Set Flag
// Setting this flag will get rid of double value entries caused by contact
// bounce inside the encoder. I found it easier to implement this way
// as opposed to using software debouncing as with the button

       } else {
          encTurned = LOW; // Set Flag low
// This will ensure that the value is increased only once per "click"
       }
       if ((encValue < 300) && (encDir == 0)){
          if ((encLastState == LOW) && (encTurned == HIGH)){
            encValue = encValue + encInc;
            encDir = 1;
          }
       }
      
    } else {
      if (encTurned == LOW) {
        encLastState = encTurned;
        encTurned = HIGH;  
      } else {
        encTurned = LOW;
      }
      if ((encValue > 0) && (encDir == 0)){
          if ((encLastState == LOW) && (encTurned == HIGH)){
            encValue = encValue - encInc;
            encDir = 2;
          }
      }
    }
    encLastState = encTurned;
}
aLastState = aState;
encDir = 0;
// Print Some Status
if (encValue != lastEncValue) {
  Serial.print("Encoder Value Changed from ");
  Serial.print(lastEncValue);
  Serial.print(" to ");
  Serial.println(encValue);
}
digitalWrite(13,EncBtnValue);



}

I hope that this will be useful to somebody.

ESP32-S Card Module

ESP32-S Card Module

What is this?

This project is the result of a lot of prototyping, using different MCUs and wanting to find a way to get a standard interface to all the devices.

The idea is to eventually create similar card-type MCU breakout boards, with similar pins in the same position on the 2x20p breakout header,

for example, power, i2c bus, reset and flash will always be in the same position on the female header…

Step 2 from here on would be to design a baseboard, that is capable of providing power, as well as access to the various GPIO pins. I am thinking along the way of a PC motherboard style interface, with “slots” at regular intervals. These “slots” will have access to the SPI, and I2C bus, as well as various other GPIO.

Step 3 would be a series of commonly used input and output “cards” that will plug into the “slots”…

If successful, I plan to design various MCU cards, with various different processors, with the obvious criteria that they are 3v powered.

This could result in a very flexible development platform, where it is possible to reuse the base-board and IO “cards” with any one of the various MCU “cards”.

The Schematic

As seen on the schematic, almost all of the ESP32-S’s pins are broken out, with the exception of those used for internal flash. Reset and Flash circuitry is provided on the PCB, as well as on the 2x20pin female header.

It is worth noting that I did not include any UART to USB circuitry on the card. Flashing should be performed with an external USB-to-UART converter. It will however be included in the base-board.

There is also no power supply circuitry onboard. This was also intentional, as the card is intended to be powered from the base-board. It is however perfectly acceptable to power only the card from a suitable 3.3v DC power supply unit through the 3v and gnd pins on the 2x20pin header.

Where can I get my own version of this module?

This module will be exclusively available from PCBWay for the foreseeable future. Click on this link to order your own, and help support a great company that produces very high-quality PCBs for a very affordable price.

PCBWay

This PCB was manufactured at PCBWAY. The Gerber files and BOM, as well as all the schematics, will soon be available as a shared project on their website. If you would like to have PCBWAY manufacture one of your own, designs, or even this particular PCB, you need to do the following…
1) Click on this link
2) Create an account if you have not already got one of your own.
If you use the link above, you will also instantly receive a $5USD coupon, which you can use on your first or any other order later. (Disclaimer: I will earn a small referral fee from PCBWay. This referral fee will not affect the cost of your order, nor will you pay any part thereof.)
3) Once you have gone to their website, and created an account, or login with your existing account,

4) Click on PCB Instant Quote

5) If you do not have any very special requirements for your PCB, click on Quick-order PCB

6) Click on Add Gerber File, and select your Gerber file(s) from your computer. Most of your PCB details will now be automatically selected, leaving you to only select the solder mask and silk-screen colour, as well as to remove the order number or not. You can of course fine-tune everything exactly as you want as well.

7) You can also select whether you want an SMD stencil, or have the board assembled after manufacturing. Please note that the assembly service, as well as the cost of your components, ARE NOT included in the initial quoted price. ( The quote will update depending on what options you select ).

8) When you are happy with the options that you have selected, you can click on the Save to Cart Button. From here on, you can go to the top of the screen, click on Cart, make any payment(s) or use any coupons that you have in your account.

Then just sit back and wait for your new PCB to be delivered to your door via the shipping company that you have selected during checkout.

Easy to Use RA-02 Breakout Module

Original RA-02 breakout Module, next to improved RA-02 breakout Module

Most Makers and electronics enthusiasts may already know of the RA-02 LoRa Module. Many of them might own an RA-02 Breakout module or two… For those who do, they will surely know about the problems encountered with using this particular breakout module…

The RA-02 module, in itself, is a great piece of kit, and when used on a custom PCB, which was designed with all the little secrets of this module taken into consideration, is a pleasure. Using the RA-02 breakout module, in its existing form factor, does however present quite a few unique challenges, which, if you are unaware of them, can cause quite a few frustrating moments, or even result in permanent damage to the module…

In this post, we will focus on :
1) The Challenges of the existing commercially available RA-02 Breakout Module
2) My Solution to above mentioned Challenges
3)Testing the Module
Maker Uno – An Arduino Uno Clone
Maker Nano RP2040
Maker Pi Pico – Raspberry Pi Pico breakout module


What are these challenges:

1) The module is based on the SX1278 chip from Semtech and is a 3v device. The IO pins are NOT 5v compatible but seem to work for a few hours or so when used with 5v… This causes many people, especially on Youtube, to assume that it is ok to send 5v logic signals to this module…

I have still not seen any Youtube video telling viewers to at least use a resister divider or logic converter… People just don’t know, and those that know seem to be keeping quiet!

Adding logic converters is in fact specified by the datasheet.

2) Adding logic converters means adding additional wiring, and for a breadboard based project, that adds to the complexity.

3) You have a total of 4 ground pins that need to be connected. not connecting all of them, causes funny things to happen, from overheating down to failure… ( My personal experience while researching this project)

4) The existing breakout module is not breadboarding compatible, resulting in a floating assembly with wires going everywhere, which results in unstable connections etc…

Basically something similar to the picture below:

RA-02 breakout Module (original) with Maker Uno and Level converter module

In this picture, I have an existing RA-02 Breakout Module, with an 8 channel Logic converter and an Arduino Uno clone, along with all the needed wiring to make this setup possible… Quite a lot of wires indeed…

My solution:

I design and use quite a few LoRa PCBs and on all of them, I implement logic conversion using the BSS138 N-MOS Mosfet and 10k resistors. It is a cheap and reliable solution, but it can take up quite a lot of space on a PCB, as this means 11 Mosfets and 22 10k resistors if I were to provide level conversion to all of the RA-02’s GPIO and IO pins…

I also have the constant problem of many unnecessary wires, many of which sometimes fail straight out of the box, when prototyping something. I partly solved that by designing a few dedicated PCB solutions, but that is not always ideal,

Using a dedicated Logic Converter IC, and Mosfet based converters to make up the difference, on a breadboard compatible module, seemed like a good idea, so I went ahead and designed the following solution:

RA-02 breakout Module on a breadboard

The breakout board module is breadboard compatible, and also has clearly marked pins to indicate the 3v and 5v sides of the module.

Testing the Module:

Using a 5v device ( Cytron’s Maker Uno )

For my first test, I decided to test with an Arduino Uno Clone, since that is what most Makers and students will have access to. I used Cytron’s Maker Uno platform, which is equipped with some added goodies, in the form of diagnostic LED etc to make prototyping a lot easier.

RA-02 breakout Module, connected to Maker Uno

As we can clearly see, It is only necessary to connect to the 5v logic side of the module, as well as provide 3v and 5v + GND to the module

In this test, I used Sandeep Mistry’s LoRa Library, with the Arduino IDE to do a quick test sketch.

Connections are as follows:

RA-02 Module Maker Uno

MISO D12

MOSI D11

SCK D13

NSS D10

RST D9

DIO0 D2

OE D8

Full code download

Let us look at some important sections though, to thoroughly understand how to use the module:

Pin Declaration

#include <SPI.h>       // include libraries

#include <LoRa.h> // I used Sandeep Mistry’s LoRa Library, as it is easy to use and understand

const int csPin = 10;     // LoRa radio chip select

const int resetPin = 9;    // LoRa radio reset

const int irqPin = 2;     // change for your board; must be a hardware interrupt pin

const int OEPin = 8;     // Output Enable Pin, to enable the Logic Converter

In the Setup function, we need to do a bit of extra work, since our Maker Uno ( or your Arduino Uno ) is a 5v device…

void setup() {

 Serial.begin(115200); // initialize serial

 pinMode(OEPin,OUTPUT); // Setup the OE pin as an Outout

 digitalWrite(OEPin,HIGH); // and Pull it High to enable the logic converter

 while (!Serial);

 Serial.println(“LoRa Duplex – Set spreading factor”);

 // override the default CS, reset, and IRQ pins (optional)

 LoRa.setPins(csPin, resetPin, irqPin); // set CS, reset, IRQ pin

 if (!LoRa.begin(433E6)) {       // initialize ratio at 433 MHz

  Serial.println(“LoRa init failed. Check your connections.”);

  while (true);            // if failed, do nothing

 }

 LoRa.setSpreadingFactor(8);      // ranges from 6-12,default 7 see API docs

 Serial.println(“LoRa init succeeded.”);

}

A comparison, using the standard RS-02 Breakout module, together with one of my own “Arduino type PCB”

ATMEGA328P with 8 Channel Logic Converter.

Original RA-02 Breakout Module, connected to an ATMEGA328P PCB with onboard Level converters

As we can see, you need quite a lot more wires to make this work. It is also worth noting that we have only 8 level converters on this ATMEGA328P PCB, in order to use all of the RA-02’s GPIO, we will need to add an additional external logic converter as well.

Using a 3v Device:

Cytron’s Maker Nano RP2040

For my second test, I decided to be a bit brave, and try to use the new Raspberry Pi Pico ( RP2040 Microprocessor ). I have quite a few of them lying around and have never really done a lot with them, due to the fact that I do not really like using MicroPython or CircuitPython, and also because the recently released Arduino Core for the RP2040 still being quite new… I decided to use a development board that I recently bought from Cytron, the Maker Nano RP2040, as it has all the added diagnostic features to make my life a bit easier, I will also include a test with an original Pi Pico board, to make it more accessible to everyone out there.

RA-02 Breakout Module, connected to Maker Nano RP2040

Once again, I used Sandeep Mistry’s LoRa Library, with the exact same Arduino sketch, used for the Maker Uno test. (I obviously needed to change the pin numbers though, as the RP2040 uses different pins for its SPI interface).

Maker Nano RP2040 RA-02 Breakout Module

NSS 17

MOSI 19

MISO 16

SCK 18

RST 9

DIO0 8

In this case, we DO NOT need the OE pin, as the RP2040 is a native 3v device. The level converter can thus stay disabled, with its pins in tri-state ( high impedance ) mode.

If we look at the code, it is similar to the Maker Uno’s code, with only the Pin declarations needing a change

#include <SPI.h>       // include libraries

#include <LoRa.h>

const int csPin = 17;     // LoRa radio chip select

const int resetPin = 9;    // LoRa radio reset

const int irqPin = 8;     // change for your board; must be a hardware interrupt pin

byte msgCount = 0;      // count of outgoing messages

int interval = 2000;     // interval between sends

long lastSendTime = 0;    // time of last packet send

// Note that SPI has different names on the RP2040, and it has 2 SPI ports. We used port 0

// CIPO (Miso) is on pin 16

// COPI (Mosi) is on pin 19

// SCK is on pin 18

// CE/SS is on pin 17, as already declared above

I did not use a breadboard, in order to make things as easy as possible.

Cytron’s Maker Pi Pico – A Pi Pico on a breakout PCB

RA-02 Breakout Module, connected to Maker Pi Pico

To make things a bit easier, without having to resort to using a breadboard, I decided to do the Original Pi Pico test using the Maker Pi Pico PCB. This PCB is basically a big breakout module, with detailed pin numbers and some diagnostic LEDs, but it also uses a native Pi Pico, soldered directly to the PCB, by means of the castellated holes… So, While technically not being a true standalone Pico, It makes my life easier and was thus used for the test, as I can be sure that the pins are labelled exactly the same as on the original Pico.

The code used for the Maker Nano RP2040 works perfectly, with no changes required.

This post is getting quite long by now, so I have decided not to include my tests of the ESP-12E ( NodeMCU ) or ESP32 development boards here as well… They also function as expected.

In Summary

When I started this project, I set out to solve a problem ( personal to me ), that could potentially help a lot of other people use the RA-02 Module for more projects and tasks. The Breakout module in its current form can also be used with the RA-01h module (915Mhz Module) without any changes. All GPIO pins are broken out, and accessible through full logic converted pins on both sides of the breakout module.

I hope that this will be useful to someone. I am also not releasing the full schematics at this stage, as I may decide to make some minor cosmetic changes in the near future.

The PCB can however be ordered from PCBWay in its current form and works 100% as expected. The BOM file is available with the ordered PCB as usual.

PCBWay Banner

This PCB was manufactured at PCBWAY. The Gerber files and BOM, as well as all the schematics, will soon be available as a shared project on their website. If you would like to have PCBWAY manufacture one of your own, designs, or even this particular PCB, you need to do the following…
1) Click on this link
2) Create an account if you have not already got one of your own.
If you use the link above, you will also instantly receive a $5USD coupon, which you can use on your first or any other order later. (Disclaimer: I will earn a small referral fee from PCBWay. This referral fee will not affect the cost of your order, nor will you pay any part thereof.)
3) Once you have gone to their website, and created an account, or login with your existing account,

PCBWay Start Quotation Page

4) Click on PCB Instant Quote

PCBWay Instant Quote

5) If you do not have any very special requirements for your PCB, click on Quick-order PCB

Quick order PCB from PCBWay

6) Click on Add Gerber File, and select your Gerber file(s) from your computer. Most of your PCB details will now be automatically selected, leaving you to only select the solder mask and silk-screen colour, as well as to remove the order number or not. You can of course fine-tune everything exactly as you want as well.

PCBWay PCB parameters
PCBWay PCB Parameters - Page 2

7) You can also select whether you want an SMD stencil, or have the board assembled after manufacturing. Please note that the assembly service, as well as the cost of your components, ARE NOT included in the initial quoted price. ( The quote will update depending on what options you select ).

PCBWay Stencil
PCBWay Checkout

8) When you are happy with the options that you have selected, you can click on the Save to Cart Button. From here on, you can go to the top of the screen, click on Cart, make any payment(s) or use any coupons that you have in your account.

Then just sit back and wait for your new PCB to be delivered to your door via the shipping company that you have selected during checkout.

I2C IO Module with 4 Relay Outputs and 4 Galvanic Isolated Inputs

Sometimes we need extra Inputs or Outputs on a device, or for use with a project. To implement it properly we also need a lot of additional electronic components to properly isolate these inputs and outputs, with the signals they switch, from our own project, because, let us be real, electronics and electrical devices in the real world do not all work with Arduino or ESP32/ESP8266 save voltages ( 5v and 3.3v ).

I will also tell you about a very special deal to get PCBs of your own made for only one (1) USD ( Including shipping with DHL )! No, I am not joking, and I am not crazy either… More on that later in the post…


It is thus extremely important to have a module that can effectively interface with inputs of 5.5v up to 32v DC ( optically Isolated up to 3000v ), and relay outputs, also optically isolated at 3000v. ( Note that the optical isolation voltage does not mean you can input that voltage level into the chip! It means that it can isolate the electronics on the safe side of the isolator from a voltage spike of up to that voltage!).

I also love using I2C, as it allows me to add modules onto an existing data bus while using only 2 GPIO lines on the MCU!

The module I am presenting to you today was designed to be operated from 5v DC. That includes the I2C data lines (SDA and SCL). If you need to interface to a 3.3v microprocessor, like an ESP32 or ESP8266, or even the new RP2040 or an STM32, you need to use a logic level converter.

The PCB uses the popular PCF8574 8 channel IO expander, which is extremely easy to use, and where you can connect up to 8 devices in a chain ( 16 if you use the PCF8574AT variant as well.. Meaning eight of each variant) This surely adds up to quite a lot of IO lines at a cost of only 2 GPIO on your MCU!

The Circuit diagram is below, and I will discuss each part briefly.

Schematic – Page 1

This is the Galvanic Isolated Input schematic. Each input operates at a voltage of 5.5v to 32v DC. Complete Galvanic Isolation between the Module and the remote input is in effect. Please note that you have to supply a remote ground from the device that provides the input. DO NOT connect the PCB Module ground to an isolated ground pin. This may still work but renders the galvanic Isolation for that input completely useless.


Relay Driver Schematic

This is the Relay driver schematic. Each relay output is driven through an optocoupler, as well as a transistor. Although this arrangement does not provide complete galvanic Isolation of the relay coil, it does protect your MCU from any voltage spikes caused by back-emf when the relay is de-energised. The Relay contacts themselves, being magnetically actuated by the coil, are in themselves Galvanically Isolated from the rest of the PCB.

I2C Control Schematic

Finally, we have the I2C IO Expander schematic, with a 5v LDO regulator, capable of providing up to 600mA of current to the PCB. The PCF8574 Chip’s address is selectable with DipSwitch SW1 so that you can use multiple PCBs at the same time if you should choose to do so. The only note on that is that you should not connect the 5v lines of each individual PCB together. You should also only connect the GND and SDA, SCL lines back to the MCU.

Raw PCB Layout

Earlier on in the post, I promised to tell you about a very special deal…

Well, here it is, as well as some details about the sponsor of this very exciting deal…

PCBPartner.com is owned and operated by Kinji Group, which was established in 1997. We have over 20 years of experience in PCB manufacturing, PCB design, component manufacturing and distribution, PCB assembly and PCB cam software development.

While Kinji Group has 3 PCB factories in China, we have also developed strategic partnerships with more than 15 other factories around Asia. We, therefore, have a large group of specialists in PCB manufacturing, quality control, technical support and part sourcing to support your innovative ideas and products.

Our over 500 employees are spread across 8 branches in Mainland China (Shenzhen, Dongguan, Shanghai, Wuxi, Chengdu, Xiamen), Hong Kong SAR, and Taiwan. And we’re still growing!


We’re confident once you try us out, we’ll become your PCB Partner. And if not? Well, you’ll have scored some free PCB! So why not take us for a spin, you’ve got nothing to lose.

We, MakerIoT2020.com, have decided to give it a go and send this particular PCB to PCBPartner.com for manufacturing. So far, while we are still waiting to receive the PCB, ( Weekends happen 🙂 ), We are very happy with the ease of use of the online ordering system provided.

We would also like to point out that this special order will only be available until the end of March 2022,
as well as that there are a few conditions:

Promotion ends  March 31st 2022
Each new customer can enjoy free PCB on their first order
This promotion applies to
1-2 layers of FR4 PCB, up to 100x100mm, 10pcs, with Green Solder Mask
4 layer of FR4 PCB, up to 50x50mm, 10pcs, with Green Solder Mask
1 layer Aluminum PCB, up to 100x100mm, 10pcs
This PCB promotion cannot be used with other discounts or other promotional activities



For a full list of conditions, and countries that may participate in this offer, please click on the link here

Let us have a look at the entire ordering process..

Once you click on the PCBPartner.com link, you will be taken to their website, where you should sign up, which is free and easy… We used our Google.com account details and were ready to order in seconds…

PCBPartner Start Page

You can now Login with your new credentials ( after registering using this special link ). Then click on the FR4 button to start the order process…

FR4 PBC Quote Form – Before uploading your Gerber Files

Enter the specific details for the manufacturing of your PCB, and upload your Gerber files.

After uploading your Gerber Files.

Continue selecting options for your PCB order…
Make sure to select DHL shipping, to take advantage of the special 1USD option, and click on the ADD to Cart Button…

Quote added to your shopping cart.

You will now get a message that your enquiry has been submitted successfully.

Click on the “Under review” button, to see your quote status… In my case, it took about 5 minutes for the review to pass, and be able to checkout and pay for the order…

PCB order under review

Once the review has passed, you will see a pending payment,

Payment Pending

You may now click on the “Proceed to Payment” option

Add your shipping address, and choose your payment option.

At this moment in time, only two payment options are supported, Paypal ( as well as Debit and Credit cards) and Direct Bank Transfer. I believe more options will be made available in future..
Checkout with Paypal

In my case, I chose Paypal and paid by Debit card.

Enter your card details
After Payment.

After payment was made successfully, you can also check on the status of your order…

Review your order status

You can also review your order at any stage before or after payment, as well as get progress reports of the manufacturing process.

PCB Order Status.

In conclusion, I would like to say that it was quite easy to order and make payment. The Website is easy to use, and everything is clear and easy to understand. The PCB was well manufactured and seems to be quite good quality

Build your own 8 DI Optically Isolated Arduino Shield – Part 3

Welcome to the final instalment of my 8 DI Optically Isolated Arduino Shield. Today I will show you some of the assembly pictures, as well as look at the coding to use this shield. I will also provide you with a link to the manufacturing files, in case you want to make your own.

These PBC’s were manufactured at PCBWAY.

You can order your own version of this board for just $5 USD if you click here

PCBWay makes it quite easy to order prototypes for your PCB’s… Just upload the Gerber files on their website, select your desired options for the PCB and order. The turn-around time is great. I received these boards, ordered together with a stencil for SMD assembly, in exactly 5 days, shipping from China to Thailand 🙂 That is super fast, as it arrived 4 days faster than the components that were ordered locally from Bangkok! Be sure to consider using their services next time you need a PBC made…

Top and bottom layout of completed Shield
Bottom of Shield
Top Layout

Some notes on assembly: The reset switch will seem misplaced, and indeed, it is 🙂 The reason for this is that I could not get any 4 pin tactile switches 🙁 So I had to either leave it unpopulated or use a two-pin tactile switch. As I will be using these shields myself, I decided that although it doesn’t look perfect, the two pin switch will still provide me with the functionality that I want.

On the bottom of the board, you can still see some blobs of flux, as the pictures were taken right after assembly, and have not been cleaned up yet. Some solder joints have also not been cleaned up yet.

The top of the unpopulated PCB
The bottom of the PCB

Testing and Coding

The testing of the board is quite straightforward. I first checked all the power rails with a multimeter to make sure there are no open circuits of shorts. Then I checked connections to all the chips and other components, yes, it takes a while to do that, but rather safe than sorry. After assembly, I repeated this process, making sure that all the components receive the correct power level, and that all switches ( like for addressing and the reset button ) actually do what I intended them to do. The next tests were the individual inputs with the optocouplers. This is done by connecting an input source (between 5.5v and 32v) to each individual input and then physically testing on the pins of the optocoupler in question, for the correct voltage input.

The shield is then powered from 5v and the input test is repeated while checking with a multimeter that the input signal does indeed get transferred by the optocoupler to the PCF8574 chip. I found that with the particular batch of PCF8574 chips that I got, that the IC would only respond reliably with a voltage between 5.5v and 32v. The original design was for 3.0v to 32v. I found that the Optocoupler EL357N seems to be unable to switch itself on at the low current allowed through the resistor divider at the input. This can be fixed by lowering the value of R1, R5, R9, R13, R17, R21, R25, R27 from 4k7 to whatever value you need. Note that that will reduce the top-level input voltage that you can safely use. For my application, however, 5.5v to 24v will be perfect, so I will leave it as is.

The shield is now connected to an Arduino with DuPont Wires, to test the I2C addressing of the PCF8574. The chip address is changed with the 3-way dip switch at SW1. All eight addresses are available. It should be noted that I have used a pull-up configuration on the address lines. That will reverse your logic.. Switching the dip switch on will pull the pin to GND, not to VCC as you would normally expect. Thus as an example, all switches off will give an address 0f 0x3f, while all on will give 0x38.

Coding

You can use the standard Arduino IDE with the Wire.h library to code the shield, or you can use one of the many PCF8574 libraries that are available. I coded my tests with the Embeetle IDE, as it gives me much better control over my code. I will show you a short, interrupt enabled sketch, in Arduino C++ below

#include <Wire.h>

byte _portStatus = 0b00000000;
boolean _readI2C = false;

void MyISR() { // Interrupt service routine
  //Serial.println("Interrupt Occured on Pin2");
  if (_readI2C != true) {
    _readI2C = true;  
  }
}

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
  pinMode(2,INPUT_PULLUP);
  attachInterrupt(digitalPinToInterrupt(2),MyISR,FALLING);
  Serial.begin(115200);
  Wire.begin();
  Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
  Wire.write(0xFF); // set all pins to 1, needed to make them inputs
  Wire.endTransmission();
}

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
  
  byte _data;
  if (_readI2C == true) {
    _readI2C = false;
    Wire.requestFrom(0x20,1);
    if (Wire.available()) {
      _data = Wire.read();
    }
  }
  if (_portStatus != _data) {
    Serial.print("Port Data Changed : 0xb");
    Serial.print(_portStatus,BIN);
    Serial.print(" changed to : 0xb");
    Serial.println(_data,BIN);
    _portStatus = _data;
    delay(50);
  } else {
    _portStatus = _portStatus;
  }
  
}

Conclusion

This turned out to be a very interesting and fun project to do. From designing the circuit to getting it manufactured and hand assembling it myself was a very satisfying experience. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Wendy Wu, from PCBWay‘s Marketing department, for her assistance with the manufacturing of the board. The speed and efficiency with which she handled this project were fantastic.

Multiple LoRa Device Communication

In this part of my LoRa Series ( Part 3 ) I will look at some basic code for the Heltec LoRa 32 V2 Module. This code will in particular be focused on Multiple device communication. It can easily adapted from the stock example (as provided below) to implement a custom addressing scheme.

LoRa Multiple Communications No Interrupt

#include "heltec.h"

#define BAND    433E6  //you can set band here directly,e.g. //868E6,915E6


String outgoing;              // outgoing message

byte localAddress = 0xBB;     // address of this device
byte destination = 0xFD;      // destination to send to

byte msgCount = 0;            // count of outgoing messages
long lastSendTime = 0;        // last send time
int interval = 2000;          // interval between sends

void setup()
{
   //WIFI Kit series V1 not support Vext control
  Heltec.begin(true /*DisplayEnable Enable*/, true /*Heltec.LoRa Enable*/, true /*Serial Enable*/, true /*PABOOST Enable*/, BAND /*long BAND*/);

  Serial.println("Heltec.LoRa Duplex");

 
}

void loop()
{
  if (millis() - lastSendTime > interval)
  {
    String message = "Hello there!";   // send a message
    sendMessage(message);
    Serial.println("Sending " + message);
    lastSendTime = millis();            // timestamp the message
    interval = random(2000) + 1000;    // 2-3 seconds
  }

  // parse for a packet, and call onReceive with the result:
  onReceive(LoRa.parsePacket());
}

void sendMessage(String outgoing)
{
  LoRa.beginPacket();                   // start packet
  LoRa.write(destination);              // add destination address
  LoRa.write(localAddress);             // add sender address
  LoRa.write(msgCount);                 // add message ID
  LoRa.write(outgoing.length());        // add payload length
  LoRa.print(outgoing);                 // add payload
  LoRa.endPacket();                     // finish packet and send it
  msgCount++;                           // increment message ID
}

void onReceive(int packetSize)
{
  if (packetSize == 0) return;          // if there's no packet, return

  // read packet header bytes:
  int recipient = LoRa.read();          // recipient address
  byte sender = LoRa.read();            // sender address
  byte incomingMsgId = LoRa.read();     // incoming msg ID
  byte incomingLength = LoRa.read();    // incoming msg length

  String incoming = "";

  while (LoRa.available())
  {
    incoming += (char)LoRa.read();
  }

  if (incomingLength != incoming.length())
  {   // check length for error
    Serial.println("error: message length does not match length");
    return;                             // skip rest of function
  }

  // if the recipient isn't this device or broadcast,
  if (recipient != localAddress && recipient != 0xFF) {
    Serial.println("This message is not for me.");
    return;                             // skip rest of function
  }

  // if message is for this device, or broadcast, print details:
  Serial.println("Received from: 0x" + String(sender, HEX));
  Serial.println("Sent to: 0x" + String(recipient, HEX));
  Serial.println("Message ID: " + String(incomingMsgId));
  Serial.println("Message length: " + String(incomingLength));
  Serial.println("Message: " + incoming);
  Serial.println("RSSI: " + String(LoRa.packetRssi()));
  Serial.println();
}

LoRa Multiple communication, Interrupt

#include "heltec.h"

#define BAND    433E6  //you can set band here directly,e.g. 868E6,915E6

  
byte localAddress = 0xBB;     // address of this device
byte destination = 0xFF;      // destination to send to

String outgoing;              // outgoing message
byte msgCount = 0;            // count of outgoing messages
long lastSendTime = 0;        // last send time
int interval = 2000;          // interval between sends

void setup()
{
   //WIFI Kit series V1 not support Vext control
  Heltec.begin(true /*DisplayEnable Enable*/, true /*Heltec.LoRa Disable*/, true /*Serial Enable*/, true /*PABOOST Enable*/, BAND /*long BAND*/);

  LoRa.onReceive(onReceive);
  LoRa.receive();
  Serial.println("Heltec.LoRa init succeeded.");
}

void loop()
{
  if (millis() - lastSendTime > interval)
  {
    String message = "Hello World!";   // send a message
    sendMessage(message);
    Serial.println("Sending " + message);
    lastSendTime = millis();            // timestamp the message
    interval = random(2000) + 1000;     // 2-3 seconds
    LoRa.receive();                     // go back into receive mode
  }
}

void sendMessage(String outgoing)
{
  LoRa.beginPacket();                   // start packet
  LoRa.write(destination);              // add destination address
  LoRa.write(localAddress);             // add sender address
  LoRa.write(msgCount);                 // add message ID
  LoRa.write(outgoing.length());        // add payload length
  LoRa.print(outgoing);                 // add payload
  LoRa.endPacket();                     // finish packet and send it
  msgCount++;                           // increment message ID
}

void onReceive(int packetSize)
{
  if (packetSize == 0) return;          // if there's no packet, return

  // read packet header bytes:
  int recipient = LoRa.read();          // recipient address
  byte sender = LoRa.read();            // sender address
  byte incomingMsgId = LoRa.read();     // incoming msg ID
  byte incomingLength = LoRa.read();    // incoming msg length

  String incoming = "";                 // payload of packet

  while (LoRa.available())             // can't use readString() in callback
  {
    incoming += (char)LoRa.read();      // add bytes one by one
  }

  if (incomingLength != incoming.length())   // check length for error
  {
    Serial.println("error: message length does not match length");
    return;                             // skip rest of function
  }

  // if the recipient isn't this device or broadcast,
  if (recipient != localAddress && recipient != 0xFF)
  {
    Serial.println("This message is not for me.");
    return;                             // skip rest of function
  }

  // if message is for this device, or broadcast, print details:
  Serial.println("Received from: 0x" + String(sender, HEX));
  Serial.println("Sent to: 0x" + String(recipient, HEX));
  Serial.println("Message ID: " + String(incomingMsgId));
  Serial.println("Message length: " + String(incomingLength));
  Serial.println("Message: " + incoming);
  Serial.println("RSSI: " + String(LoRa.packetRssi()));
  Serial.println();
}

LoRa – Part 2

So many people asked me which Lora Module I use for my projects. In this part of the series, I will show you, as well as shed some light on another module, that although seemingly cheap, is, unfortunately, according to me, a complete waste of time and money.

Heltec LoRa 32 v 2 – The good stuff ( according to me at least)

Technical Specs
Electrical Specifications
Pinout

Installation in Arduino IDE:

Installation of the libraries into the Arduino IDE is quite easy, just follow the link to heltec…

The Bad ( according to me )

The following module, is, according to me, an absolute waste of time and money. Documentation is impossible to find, and that that you do find, as often incorrect. The pin-outs are wrong, with no definite standard.

I am talking about the TTGO Lora V1 or V2 or what ever ??? can seem to even find that answer reliably. I was initially attracted to this module, as it was allegedly compatible with the heltec version, and did not have the oled screen, which, to be honest, is not always needed in every project. It was also about 25% cheaper, and could be sourced locally, without enriching the greedy shipping companies 😉 (I just have to rant about this, as 25USD to ship 100g worth of stuff is a ripoff. Either that or 60 to 90 days of guess-if-it-will-arrive mail is not on ( and even that is 10 USD!)

So, having high hopes, I ordered one of these boards, hoping to use it together with my heltec boards… It arrived, and that was well the top came of.. I could immediately see that the quality of the PCB was quite bad. Documentation was missing, and even the supplier sent me to a heltec pinout, which, after a quick test were definitely not correct…

Google turned up mixed results, and eventually I found a sort of accurate pinout …

Alleged pinout for TTGO LoRa device

This pinout also turned out to be only about 50% correct, and after manually trying to map out the pins, I was sort of confident enough to test it further…

Further problems arose, LoRa does not work, I2C does not work, SPI does not work shall I continue…? 🙂 It now seems clear that the board that I bought was a clone of a clone, and a very bad one at that …
I will post a picture of the actual board below, in the interest of education, to inform others not to get duped as well. Likewise, If I am the mistaken party, and you have had success with this board, please give me a message/yell and lets share some knowledge

The Front (Top Side) of the Module

Front (Top) of the module
Back (Bottom) of the module

I hope that you found this useful and that I will see you for part 3 of the series, where I will get into the actual coding.

What is LoRa?

Introduction

When designing IoT solutions, we all encounter the problem of connecting our device(s) to each other, either directly, or through the internet. In Urban areas, it is quite easy to use WiFi or even GSM to achieve this, but these solutions often come with additional costs in the form of subscriptions. Although it is possible to run your own WiFi network free of charge, you will soon run into issues with the range…

Enter LoRa (short for Long Range) Radio communication. LoRa is a radio technology derived from chirp spread spectrum technology. It uses an ISM band, meaning it is unregulated in most countries, if you use the correct frequency for your country, that is.

It is also extremely low power, making it ideal for use with battery-powered devices.
The technology is available in Node-to-Node, as well as Node-to -Gateway modes.

In this series, I will show you how to use a few of the existing LoRa Modules available on the market.

Ai-Tinker Ra-02 (Sx1278)

Ra-02 Lora Module, with spring antenna, by Ai-Tinker

This Module is conveniently broken-out onto a breakout board. It is sort of bread-board friendly (depending on the size of your bread-board) and is nicely labelled. It is also extremely cheap ( around $USD5 each, depending on where you buy from).

Caveats

There are quite a few important things that you should know about these modules before you start using them.

Disclaimer: The caveats listed below are by no means complete, or even valid. They are the result of experimentation by myself, with the intent to destroy a few modules, to see how hardy they are. Also take into mind, that living in SE Asia, it is quite common to buy something from a shop, where the seller has no or only a very limited idea of what he or she is selling, and are thus usually quite unable to provide any technical support.

To summarise: USE YOUR HEAD. If I did leave out something, it is quite possible that I forgot, or decided not to include it on purpose. This is a general guide, and you should ideally do your own research as well. That is the best way to learn.



1) Always connect an Antenna. This may seem like a logical one, but it is extremely important. The module is capable of quite a lot of transmission power, and operating it without an antenna will quickly damage the module, permanently.

2) ONLY use 3.3v, even on the control lines (the module uses SPI). This is quite important, as it is not very clearly stated by the suppliers, and will result in very short-lived component operation 😉 If you absolutely have to use 5v, use a level converter. (There are examples available on the internet, where they use this chip directly from an Arduino Uno. I can confirm that that approach does work, BUT, not for very long. I have purposely sacrificed a pair of transceiver modules so that you don’t have to. You can also adjust the SPI frequency, in the event that your level converter is not capable of running at a high SPI frequency.

3)Make sure that you connect ALL the ground pins on the device. This is another area that is not fully explained by the user manual and does “unexplainably” result in damaged modules.

4) Use short, good quality cables, and if possible, keep the module off the breadboard.
While testing the modules, I found that the usual DuPont wires, as everyone should know by now, are quite unreliable. Combine that with a bread-board that has seen its share of use,
and it is a definite recipe for headache 🙂

5) LoRa Antennas are polarised, make sure you have your antennas in the same orientation.
Although this will not prevent it from working over short distances, it makes sense to just do it correctly. Good RF practices never hurt anybody 🙂

Connecting to Arduino

A Note on Power:
It is important to power this module from a decent dedicated 3.3v power-supply.
The Arduino Uno does sometimes have a 3.3v regulator on-board. From my tests, it is however not always up to the task, as the module may spike up to 120mA when transmitting. It is thus also recommended to have a nice fat capacitor across the power lines (decoupling cap) to soak up any spikes.

As mentioned above, a level converter is mandatory for a 5v Arduino. You may do without it if you use a 3.3v Arduino, but once again, your mileage will vary 🙂

Both the transmitter and receiver uses the same connections, which are listed below:

LoRa SX1278 ModuleArduino Board
3.3V
GndGnd
En/NssD10
G0/DIO0D2
SCKD13
MISOD12
MOSID11
RSTD9
Connections to the Arduino from a LoRa RA-02 Module

Remember that you NEED a Level converter between the LoRa Module and the Arduino.

Software Library

The software library that we will use in our example is the excellent library from Sandeep Mistry. We will just include this into the Arduino IDE, and then use a slightly modified version of the examples for our experiment. It is also important to note that we will use Node-to Node communication, NOT LoRaWan. This means that all your communications will essentially be unencrypted, and not addressed. This does however allow you the flexibility to design and implement your own addressing scheme.

LORA code for Transmitting Side

#include <SPI.h>
#include <LoRa.h>

int counter = 0;

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(115200);
  while (!Serial);

  Serial.println("LoRa Sender");

  if (!LoRa.begin(433E6)) { // Set the frequency to that of your  //module. Mine uses 433Mhz, thus I have set it to 433E6
    Serial.println("Starting LoRa failed!");
    while (1);
  }

  LoRa.setTxPower(20);
  
}

void loop() {
  Serial.print("Sending packet: ");
  Serial.println(counter);

  // send packet
  LoRa.beginPacket();
  LoRa.print("hello ");
  LoRa.print(counter);
  LoRa.endPacket();

  counter++;

  delay(5000);
}
LORA code for Receiver Side

#include <SPI.h>
#include <LoRa.h>

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(115200);
  while (!Serial);

  Serial.println("LoRa Receiver");

  if (!LoRa.begin(433E6)) {
    Serial.println("Starting LoRa failed!");
    while (1);
  }
}

void loop() {
  // try to parse packet
  int packetSize = LoRa.parsePacket();
  if (packetSize) {
    // received a packet
    Serial.print("Received packet '");

    // read packet
    while (LoRa.available()) {
      Serial.print((char)LoRa.read());
    }

    // print RSSI of packet
    Serial.print("' with RSSI ");
    Serial.println(LoRa.packetRssi());
  }
}

Where to from here?

If all went well, you will see packets being received in the serial monitor of the Arduino IDE, connected to the receiver module. You will also see that the data from this example is sent as a string… It is however also possible to send binary data, by using the LoRa.write() function.

In the next part of this series, I will show you how to use LoRa with the ESP32/ESP8266,
as well as a working example with binary data transmission and an addressing scheme in part 3.

Thank you

ESP32/ESP8266 WiFi Config and OTA on Demand

While working on a recent project, using a custom version of the ESP32, I had a particular need to be able to update the firmware of the device, as well as allow the end-user to set various configuration options on the device. This need can best be described as follows below:

1. The device firmware needs to be updated periodically, as new features are needed, or when bugs are discovered by the end-user, that needs fixing. The problem encountered was that the physical device will be quite far away from me, so travelling, or sending the device to and fro via post was not really an option.

Sending uncompiled firmware to the customer is a possibility, but also risky and prone to errors, as everyone is not always inclined to learn how to update firmware via USB port from an IDE, and accidental changes to code can render it unable to compile and upload in the first place.

The device also needs to run on battery power, in remote areas without connectivity. Conserving battery power is thus also a very important issue, one that prevents me from having a permanent OTA server running via WiFi.

2. The second issue was that there are certain setup parameters that needed to be set by the end-user, these include addresses and others. My initial thoughts were to implement a simple UI via UART, but that I also quickly saw that that, although very useable to me, would not appeal very much to an end-user.

These two issues, OTA and Configuration, both done through WiFi, seemed mutually exclusive as far as all the research that I have done online seemed to be concerned. To complicate it even further, the WiFi HAD to stay off when not in use.

I believe that I have developed a very neat, workable solution, that I would like to share with you today, in the hope that it will solve some problems for somebody out there, that maybe having a similar problem.

My solution makes use of a “flag” set in the ESP32/ESP8266 device’s EEPROM.
This “flag” can then be set to a “Normal” Run mode, a Firmware Update Mode, and a Configuration Mode.

Please Note: The code below has been tested, and works perfectly. You will however have to make modifications to use it for your own needs.

The code is also very long, so I will explain the operation here:

When first started, the chip will run your standard code.
When you quickly press the PGM button, 5 times after each other, a flag will be set to 0x0F.
This will then activate the ESP Soft IP.
You can then connect to this AP, and telnet to 192.168.4.1 on port 23

You will be presented with a very brief menu, where you can SET Firmware Mode, Exit or see the menu again.

This can be expanded to suit your needs

On setting Firmware Mode, the Flag 0xFF is written to EEPROM, and the ESP is restarted.
upon startup, you once more connect to the generated SoftIP, and then browse to http://192.168.4.1, log in with username admin, and password admin.

You can now load and upload a .bin firmware file to the ESP.
on successful upload, the flag 0x00 is once more written to EEPROM.

After restarting, the device will once more run your standard code.


Let us look at how I have done this:

The actual code will be commented with details, please read that for more info.

#include "EEPROM.h"
#include <WiFi.h>
#include <WiFiClient.h>
#include <WebServer.h>
#include <ESPmDNS.h>
#include <Update.h>

#define EEPROM_SIZE 64 // This can be smaller or larger, adjust to    //your needs as well as the chip capabilities
int wifi_ap_on = 0; // the address for the "flag"


// Wifi for Firmware Update and Configuration Server(s)
const char* host = "ESP32/8266";
char* ssid = "--- your desired ssid ---";
char* password = "--- your password ---";

// Define two types of Servers, they will however not run at the same // time
WebServer OTAserver(80); // OTA Server Port
WiFiServer ConfigServer(23); // Configuration Server Port

String header; // HTML requests will be stored in here

// HTML Pages for Firmware Updater
/*
 * These are the standard OTA examples that came with Arduino IDE
 * Modify and enhance as see fit, keeping in mind that my application
 * would not have access to the internet
 */

/*
 * Login page
 */
const char* loginIndex = 
 "<form name='loginForm'>"
    "<table width='20%' bgcolor='A09F9F' align='center'>"
        "<tr>"
            "<td colspan=2>"
                "<center><font size=4><b>ESP Firmware Update Page</b></font></center><br>"
                
                "<br>"
            "</td>"
            "<br>"
            "<br>"
        "</tr>"
        "<td>Username:</td>"
        "<td><input type='text' size=25 name='userid'><br></td>"
        "</tr>"
        "<br>"
        "<br>"
        "<tr>"
            "<td>Password:</td>"
            "<td><input type='Password' size=25 name='pwd'><br></td>"
            "<br>"
            "<br>"
        "</tr>"
        "<tr>"
            "<td><input type='submit' onclick='check(this.form)' value='Login'></td>"
        "</tr>"
    "</table>"
"</form>"
"<script>"
    "function check(form)"
    "{"
    "if(form.userid.value=='admin' && form.pwd.value=='admin')"
    "{"
    "window.open('/serverIndex')"
    "}"
    "else"
    "{"
    " alert('Error Password or Username')/*displays error message*/"
    "}"
    "}"
"</script>";

const char* serverIndex = "<form method='POST' action='/update' enctype='multipart/form-data'><input type='file' name='update'><input type='submit' value='Update'></form>";
// End HTML Pages 

// Other variables
int Btn = 0; // The PGM button, Usually connected to GPIO0
int wifi_ap = 0; // The Running MODE
int buttonState;
int buttonValue = 0;
int lastButtonState = LOW;
int buttoncount = 0;

void setup()
{
   Serial.begin(115200);
   EEPROM.begin(EEPROM_SIZE); initiate EEPROM
  /*
   * Upload the sketch via USB the first time, and let chip run for
   * a few seconds. We need to set the EEPROM location to a known
   * initial value. Then comment the following 3 lines, to prevent 
   * the chip from overwriting the EEPROM location on next startup
   */
  pinMode(Btn,INPUT);
  EEPROM.write(wifi_ap_on,0x00); // comment this line after first run
  EEPROM.commit();// comment this line after first run
  delay(50);// comment this line after first run
  wifi_ap = EEPROM.read(wifi_ap_on); // read EEPROM value into "flag"
  
  if (wifi_ap == 0x00) { 
   // This will be executed on normal startup
   // Place all your normal initialisation stuff here
   // For example other pin configurations and 
   // peripheral  initialisations
  } else if (wifi_ap == 0xFF) { // Firmware Update MODE
   // Setup for OTA Webserver.
   // I have used SoftAP mode, as internet would not
   // be available anyway.

    WiFi.softAP(ssid,password);
    IPAddress IP = WiFi.softAPIP();
    Serial.println("");
    Serial.print("Connected to ");
    Serial.println(ssid);
    Serial.print("IP address: ");
    Serial.println(WiFi.localIP()); 
     
    if (!MDNS.begin(host)) { //http://esp32.local
        Serial.println("Error setting up MDNS responder!");
        while (1) {
        delay(1000);
      }
    }

    
    server.on("/", HTTP_GET, []() {
    server.sendHeader("Connection", "close");
    server.send(200, "text/html", loginIndex);
  });
  server.on("/serverIndex", HTTP_GET, []() {
    server.sendHeader("Connection", "close");
    server.send(200, "text/html", serverIndex);
  });
  /*handling uploading firmware file */
  server.on("/update", HTTP_POST, []() {
    server.sendHeader("Connection", "close");
    server.send(200, "text/plain", (Update.hasError()) ? "FAIL" : "OK");
    ESP.restart();
  }, []() {
    HTTPUpload& upload = server.upload();
    if (upload.status == UPLOAD_FILE_START) {
      Serial.printf("Update: %s\n", upload.filename.c_str());
      if (!Update.begin(UPDATE_SIZE_UNKNOWN)) { //start with max available size
        Update.printError(Serial);
      }
    } else if (upload.status == UPLOAD_FILE_WRITE) {
      /* flashing firmware to ESP*/
      if (Update.write(upload.buf, upload.currentSize) != upload.currentSize) {
        Update.printError(Serial);
      }
    } else if (upload.status == UPLOAD_FILE_END) {
      if (Update.end(true)) { //true to set the size to the current progress

/*
 * NOTE : We clear the EEPROM Flag after a sucessful Firmware Update
 * That way, the chip will stay in OTA mode on a failure.
 */
        EEPROM.write(wifi_ap_on,0x00);
        EEPROM.commit();
        delay(5);
        Serial.printf("Update Success: %u\nRebooting...\n", upload.totalSize);
      } else {
        Update.printError(Serial);
      }
    }
  });
    OTAserver.begin();
  } else if (wifi_ap == 0x0F) { // End of Mode 0xFF 

    //This is Configuration Mode
    //This code will normally not be executed,
    //As the device exits Config mode on restart, and
    //We dont write Mode 0x0F to EEPROM

  } // End of Mode 0x0F
} // End of Void Setup

void loop() 
{
  CountButton(); // Count Button Presses
  if (buttoncount == 5) { // Activate Configuration Mode
    buttoncount = 0;
    StartSoftAP(); // Start a SoftAP
  }
  if (wifi_ap == 0x0F) { // Code for the Config Server (TELNET Style)
       WiFiClient client = ConfigServer.available(); // Start Config
       if (client) {
          String currentLine = "";
          client.println();
          client.println("Telnet Server - Welcome");
          client.println();
          client.println("Press <Enter> to Login");
          
    while (client.connected()) {
      if (client.available()) {
       char c = client.read();
       if (c == '\n') {
        if (currentLine.length() == 0) {
           
        } else {
          // Process Commands
       if (currentLine == "Master123abc") {
        telnetLogin == true;
        client.println();
        client.println();
        client.println("****** MENU ******");
          client.println();
          client.println("MENU -  SHOW THIS MENU");
          client.println("RUF  -  Enable Firmware Update Mode");
          client.println("EXIT -  Exit Menu and RESTART");
          client.println();
          client.print("Command> ");
          currentLine = "";
       }
       // Show MENU
       if (currentLine == "MENU") {
        client.println();
        client.println();
        client.println("****** MENU ******");
          client.println();
          client.println("MENU -  SHOW THIS MENU");
          client.println("RUF  -  Enable Firmware Update Mode");
          client.println("EXIT -  Exit Menu and RESTART");
          client.println();
          client.print("Command> ");
          
       }
 
       // EXIT AND RESTART
       if (currentLine == "EXIT") {
        client.println();
        client.println("Restarting in 5 Seconds");
        delay(5000);
        client.stop();
        ESP.restart();
      }
      // Upgrade Frmware Mode
      if (currentLine == "RUF") {
          client.println();
          client.println("Enable Firmware Update Mode");
          client.print("Connect to SoftAP :");
          client.println(ssid);
          client.println("Browse to http://192.168.4.1 ");
          client.println("Login with Username admin, Password admin");
          EEPROM.write(wifi_ap_on,0xFF); // Set Flag in EEPROM
          EEPROM.commit();
          delay(5000);
          client.stop();
          ESP.restart(); // Restart Device
      }
      
       // End Process commands 
           
          currentLine = ""; 
        }
        
       } else if (c != '\r') {
        currentLine += c;
       }  
        
      } // End if client Available
    } // End While Client Connected
    client.stop();
   } // END Client
  } // END MODE 0x0F
  if (wifi_ap == 0xFF) {
    OTAserver.handleClient(); // Handle OTA Server
    delay(1);
  }
  if (wifi_ap == 0x00 )
    // Normal code goes here , to be executed every cycle
  {

} // End of Void Loop

void StartSoftAP() // Start SoftAP, for Configuration Server
{
  WiFi.mode(WIFI_OFF);
  WiFi.softAP(ssid,password);
  IPAddress IP = WiFi.softAPIP();
  ConfigServer.begin();  
  wifi_ap = 0x0F; // Set Flag to Config Mode
                  // Note that we dont write it in EEPROM
}

void CountButton() // Counts Button Presses, to enable Config Mode
{
  //int buttonState;
  //int buttonValue = 0;
  //int lastButtonState = LOW;
  //int buttoncount = 0;
  //unsigned long lastDebounceTime = 0;
  //int debounceDelay = 50;
  buttonValue = digitalRead(Btn);
  if (buttonState != lastButtonState) {
    if (buttonValue == LOW) {
      buttoncount++;
      if (buttoncount > 10) buttoncount = 0;
    }
  }
  delay(50);
  lastButtonState = buttonValue;
  // End Debouncing
  if (buttoncount == 5) digitalWrite(LED,HIGH);
}

This concludes a very long piece of code, question are welcome.
Thank you

Using the MCP23017 to increase your GPIO’s

Today I will show you another useful IO Expander chip, The MCP23017. This chip, although similar to the PCF8475, which I have already covered in a previous article, has many additional features that may make it a very attractive solution when you need some more extra GPIO pins for a big project…

Features

Let us look at some of the features of this chip

  • 16-Bit Remote Bidirectional I/O Port:
  • I/O pins default to input
    • High-Speed I2C Interface (MCP23017):
  • 100 kHz
  • 400 kHz
  • 1.7 MHz
    • High-Speed SPI Interface (MCP23S17):
  • 10 MHz (maximum)
    • Three Hardware Address Pins to Allow Up to
    Eight Devices On the Bus
    • Configurable Interrupt Output Pins:
  • Configurable as active-high, active-low or
    open-drain
    • INTA and INTB Can Be Configured to Operate
    Independently or Together
    • Configurable Interrupt Source:
  • Interrupt-on-change from configured register
    defaults or pin changes
    • Polarity Inversion Register to Configure the
    Polarity of the Input Port Data
    • External Reset Input
    • Low Standby Current: 1 µA (max.)
    • Operating Voltage:
  • 1.8V to 5.5V @ -40°C to +85°C
  • 2.7V to 5.5V @ -40°C to +85°C
  • 4.5V to 5.5V @ -40°C to +125°C
MCP23017 Pinout Diagram

The sixteen I/O ports are separated into two ‘ports’ – A (on the right) and B (on the left. Pin 9 connects to 5V, 10 to GND, 11 isn’t used, 12 is the I2C bus clock line (Arduino Uno/Duemilanove analogue pin 5, Mega pin  21), and 13 is the I2C bus data line (Arduino Uno/Duemailnove analogue pin 4, Mega pin 20).

External pull-up resistors should be used on the I2C bus – in our examples we use 4.7k ohm values. Pin 14 is unused, and we won’t be looking at interrupts, so ignore pins 19 and 20. Pin 18 is the reset pin, which is normally high – therefore you ground it to reset the IC. So connect it to 5V!

Finally we have the three hardware address pins 15~17. These are used to determine the I2C bus address for the chip. If you connect them all to GND, the address is 0x20. If you have other devices with that address or need to use multiple MCP23017s, see figure 1-2 in the datasheet.

You can alter the address by connecting a combination of pins 15~17 to 5V (1) or GND (0). For example, if you connect 15~17 all to 5V, the control byte becomes 0100111 in binary, or 0x27 in hexadecimal.

It is also available on a convenient breakout PCB, for about $USD0.80 from AliExpress

MCP23017 on Breakout PCB – Back
MCP23017 on Breakout PCB – Front

Please Note: THIS BREAKOUT PCB IS NOT SUITED FOR USE ON A BREADBOARD. YOU WILL SHORT OUT VCC AND GROUND AS WELL AS ALL THE IO PINS IF YOU TRY TO USE IT ON A BREADBOARD.

As you can see, the pins are however very clearly labelled, and thus easy to use. I have also purposely soldered my header pins “the wrong way round” to prevent using it on a breadboard, as this will short out Vcc to Ground!

Having interrupt outputs is one of the most important features of the MCP23017, since the microcontroller does not have to continuously poll the device to detect an input change. Instead an interrupt service routine can be used to react quickly to an input change such a key press…

To make life even easier each GPIO input pin can be configured with an internal pullup (~100k) and that means you won’t have to wire up external pull up resistors for keyboard input. You can also mix and match inputs and outputs the same as any standard microcontroller 8 bit port.

Addressing

The 23017 has three input pins to allow you to set a different address for each attached MCP23017.

The above corresponds to a hardware address for the three lines A0, A1, A2 corresponding to the input pin values at the IC. You must set the value of these hardware inputs as 0V or (high) volts and not leave them floating otherwise they will get random values from electrical noise and the chip will do nothing!

The four left most bits are fixed a 0100 (specified by a consortium who doles out address ranges to manufacturers).

So the MCP23017 I2C address range is 32 decimal to 37 decimal or 0x20 to 0x27 for the MCP23017.

Please note: The addresses are the same as those for the PCF8475. You must thus be careful if you use these two devices on the same i2c bus!

MCP23017 Non interrupt registers

IODIR I/O direction register

For controlling I/O direction of each pin, register IODIR (A/B) lets you set the pin to an output when a zero is written and to an input when a ‘1’ is written to the register bit. This is the same scheme for most microcontrollers – the key is to remember that zero (‘0’) equates to the ‘O’ in Output.

GPPU Pullup register

Setting a bit high sets the pullup active for the corresponding I/O pin.

OLAT Output Latch register

This is exactly the same as the I/O port in 18F series PIC chips where you can read back the “desired” output of a port pin whether or not the actual state of that pin is reached. i.e. consider a strong current LED attached to the pin – it is easily possible to pull down the output voltage at the pin to below the logic threshold i.e. you would read back a zero if reading from the pin itself when in fact it should be a one. Reading the OLAT register bit returns a ‘one’ as you would expect from a software engineering point of view.

IPOL pin inversion register

The IPOL(A/B) register allows you to selectively invert any input pin. This reduces the glue logic needed to interface other devices to the MCP23017 since you won’t need to add inverter logic chips to get the correct signal polarity into the MCP23017.

It is also very handy for getting the signals the right way up e.g. it is common to use a pull up resistor for an input so when a user presses an input key the voltage input is zero, so in software you have to remember to test for zero.

Using the MCP23017 you could invert that input and test for a 1 (in my mind a key press is more equivalent to an on state i.e. a ‘1’) however I use pullups all the time (and uCs in general use internal pullups when enabled) so have to put up with a zero as ‘pressed’. Using this device would allow you to correct this easily.Note: The reason that active low signals are used everywhere is a historical one: TTL (Transistor Transistor Logic) devices draw more power in the active low state due to the internal circuitry, and it was important to reduce unnecessary power consumption – therefore signals that are inactive most of the time e.g. a chip select signal – were defined to be high. With CMOS devices either state causes the same power usage so it now does not matter – however active low is used because everyone uses it now and used it in the past.

SEQOP polling mode : register bit : (Within IOCON register)

If you have a design that has critical interrupt code e.g. for performing a timing critical measurement you may not want non critical inputs to generate an interrupt i.e. you reserve the interrupt for the most important input data.

In this case, it may make more sense to allow polling of some of the device inputs. To facilitate this “Byte mode” is provided. In this mode, you can read the same set of GPIOs using clocks but not needling to provide other control information. i.e. it stays on the same set of GPIO bits, and you can continuously read it without the register-address updating itself. In non-byte mode, you either have to set the address you read from (A or B bank) as control input data.

Now to examine how to use the IC in our sketches.

As you should know by now most I2C devices have several registers that can be addressed. Each address holds one byte of data that determines various options. So before using we need to set whether each port is an input or an output. First, we’ll examine setting them as outputs. So to set port A to outputs, we use:

Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
Wire.write(0x00); // IODIRA register
Wire.write(0x00); // set all of port A to outputs
Wire.endTransmission();

Then to set port B to outputs, we use:

Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
Wire.write(0x01); // IODIRB register
Wire.write(0x00); // set all of port B to outputs
Wire.endTransmission();

So now we are in void loop()  or a function of your own creation and want to control some output pins. To control port A, we use:

Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
Wire.write(0x12); // address port A
Wire.write(??);  // value to send
Wire.endTransmission();

To control port B, we use:

Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
Wire.write(0x13); // address port B
Wire.write(??);  // value to send
Wire.endTransmission();

… replacing ?? with the binary or equivalent hexadecimal or decimal value to send to the register.

To calculate the required number, consider each I/O pin from 7 to 0 matches one bit of a binary number – 1 for on, 0 for off. So you can insert a binary number representing the status of each output pin. Or if binary does your head in, convert it to hexadecimal. Or a decimal number.

So for example, you want pins 7 and 1 on. In binary that would be 10000010, in hexadecimal that is 0x82, or 130 decimal. (Using decimals is convenient if you want to display values from an incrementing value or function result).

For example, we want port A to be 11001100 and port B to be 10001000 – so we send the following (note we converted the binary values to decimal):

Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
Wire.write(0x12); // address port A
Wire.write(204); // value to send
Wire.endTransmission();
Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
Wire.write(0x13); // address port B 
Wire.write(136);     // value to send
Wire.endTransmission();

A complete Example

// pins 15~17 to GND, I2C bus address is 0x20
#include "Wire.h"
void setup()
{
 Wire.begin(); // wake up I2C bus
// set I/O pins to outputs
 Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
 Wire.write(0x00); // IODIRA register
 Wire.write(0x00); // set all of port A to outputs
 Wire.endTransmission();
Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
 Wire.write(0x01); // IODIRB register
 Wire.write(0x00); // set all of port B to outputs
 Wire.endTransmission();
}
void binaryCount()
{
 for (byte a=0; a<256; a++)
 {
 Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
 Wire.write(0x12); // GPIOA
 Wire.write(a); // port A
 Wire.endTransmission();
Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
 Wire.write(0x13); // GPIOB
 Wire.write(a); // port B
 Wire.endTransmission();
 }
}
void loop()
{
 binaryCount();
 delay(500);
}

Using the pins as inputs

Although that may have seemed like a simple demonstration, it was created show how the outputs can be used. So now you know how to control the I/O pins set as outputs. Note that you can’t source more than 25 mA of current from each pin, so if switching higher current loads use a transistor and an external power supply and so on.

Now let’s turn the tables and work on using the I/O pins as digital inputs. The MCP23017 I/O pins default to input mode, so we just need to initiate the I2C bus. Then in the void loop() or other function all we do is set the address of the register to read and receive one byte of data.

// pins 15~17 to GND, I2C bus address is 0x20
#include "Wire.h"
byte inputs=0;
void setup()
{
 Serial.begin(9600);
 Wire.begin(); // wake up I2C bus
}
void loop()
{
 Wire.beginTransmission(0x20);
 Wire.write(0x13); // set MCP23017 memory pointer to GPIOB address
 Wire.endTransmission();
 Wire.requestFrom(0x20, 1); // request one byte of data from MCP20317
 inputs=Wire.read(); // store the incoming byte into "inputs"
 if (inputs>0) // if a button was pressed
 {
 Serial.println(inputs, BIN); // display the contents of the GPIOB register in binary
 delay(200); // for debounce
 }
}

Other Libraries

You can also download and install the MCP23017 Library from Adafruit for the Arduino IDE.
This library will make using this chip even easier… I will discuss this library in another post

I hope this will be useful to somebody.