Detecing LoRaWan traffic with SDR-RTL

RTL-SDR is a Software Defined Radio using a cheap DVB-T receiver with a chip from Realtek (RTL).

It can tune to 868 MHz and show activity, which is really handy when you are debugging a LoRa node and need to figure out if it is actually transmitting anything.

I bought the receiver from van Dijken Electronica at their stand at the VERON fleamarket for about 25 euro. It plugs into USB or a raspberry pi and the software is free (as in beer). I use SDR# from Airspy.

This is a couple of minutes traffic from a LoRa node building meetup.
The top graph is the current spectrum around 868 MHz, the lower graph is the history. The fuzzy red rectangles are spread spectrum LoRa transmissions.

sdr

Alpha Clock Five

In return for helping out at Makerfaire Eindhoven, Pieter from Floris.cc gave me a Alpha Clock Five kit from Evil Mad Scientist.

The kit is very well documented (schematic and sourcecode), uses only though hole components and is easy to assemble.

Aside from the Atmel and Chronodot stuff it uses two interesting IC’s : Macroblock MBI5027 and Macroblock MBI5168

Another nice thing about the Alpha Clock Five is the Serial protocol that allow you to control all aspects of the clock.

The software is really polished, no flickering display, nice gradient while dimming, user definable characters. The only thing missing you could possibly want is different intensities per segment.

P1020842 P1020804 P1020805 P1020809 P1020815 P1020819 P1020827 P1020828 P1020833 P1020820 P1020837 P1020825 P1020841

IR-Toy and DX RGB lamp

DealExtreme has a couple of IR controlled RGB led lamps available (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ) with GU10 or E27 connector. Kees, the unstoppable tinkerer, loaned me one of these  (I’m assuming it is this one) to play with. Aldi Netherlands has them as well.

Remote Control RGB LED
Remote Control RGB LED

RGB LED with GU10 socket
RGB LED with GU10 socket

RGB LED Remote control
RGB LED Remote control

Dangerous prototypes has has a toy called “IR Toy” that can record and playback IR Remote signals.

Dangerous Prototypes IR-Toy
Dangerous Prototypes IR-Toy

To control the lamp the IR you first have to record the signals of the remote. For WinLIRC the procedure is described here. In my case I first had to upgrade the firmware of the IR Toy to 09a.

The DX RGB lamp is well built with a metal housing and neat PCB and seems hackable.

The RGB LED lamp internals.

Notes: 3

The RGB LED lamp internals.
The RGB LED lamp internals.

Notes: 3

The RGB LED lamp internals.