datasheet for EK2550 by Synapse Wireless

datasheet for EK2550 by Synapse Wireless
USERS GUIDE
for SNAP and Portal Version 2.4
Document Revision v1.7
© 2008-2013 Synapse, All Rights Reserved.
All Synapse products are patent pending.
Synapse, the Synapse logo, SNAP, and Portal are all registered trademarks of
Synapse Wireless, Inc.
500 Discovery Drive
Huntsville, Alabama 35806
877-982-7888
Doc# 600-0010G
1.
Before Getting Started ................................................................................................ 4
Other Documentation ...................................................................................................... 4
Other Sources of Information ......................................................................................... 5
2. Getting Started ............................................................................................................ 7
Overview ......................................................................................................................... 7
A Portal into Your Network............................................................................................ 9
Evaluation Kit Hardware .............................................................................................. 10
Taking the Nodes for a “Test Drive” ........................................................................... 14
Time to push some buttons! (Seeing the demo script in action) ................................... 16
More about the Hardware ............................................................................................. 17
Device Configurations .................................................................................................. 17
3. Installing Portal ........................................................................................................ 18
Updates on the Web ...................................................................................................... 18
Running Setup............................................................................................................... 18
Plug in the Bridge Device ............................................................................................. 22
Launch........................................................................................................................... 25
4. Tutorial ..................................................................................................................... 26
Welcome ....................................................................................................................... 26
Navigating within Portal ............................................................................................... 27
Pull-down Menus ...................................................................................................... 27
Tool Bar .................................................................................................................... 27
Tabbed Windows ...................................................................................................... 27
Rearranging Windows .............................................................................................. 28
Resizing..................................................................................................................... 28
Closing Tabs ............................................................................................................. 28
Discovery ...................................................................................................................... 29
Node Info ...................................................................................................................... 31
Upload SNAPpy Image................................................................................................. 33
Portal Scripting ............................................................................................................. 37
Radio Range Testing ..................................................................................................... 39
Battery Operation .......................................................................................................... 40
Low Power Operation ................................................................................................... 41
Where To Go Next ........................................................................................................ 41
License governing any code samples presented in this Guide.......................................... 42
Disclaimers ....................................................................................................................... 42
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1.
Before Getting Started
You’ve come to the right place: This manual is a tutorial introduction to the Synapse
SNAP product line, and you should definitely read through it and try out all of the handson examples it contains.
When you have completed this manual, you will have:
•
•
•
gotten familiar with the included SNAP hardware
installed the companion Portal software and any needed device drivers
gotten familiar with the basics of using Portal and SNAP to develop wireless
applications
Because it is intended to be a tutorial, you need to read through it in order, as opposed to
skipping around within the document. You also need to actually do the steps as specified,
because later sections assume the steps from previous sections have been completed.
This manual also focuses on the components actually included in the kit, rather than
trying to cover all the different types of SNAP hardware that are available. Just be aware
that there exist other types of SNAP-compatible hardware than what you see included in
this kit.
Finally, be aware that this manual is a starting point if you will, just one piece of a much
larger set of documentation.
Other Documentation
This document, the EK2500 Evaluation Kit Users Guide, is only one of several featured
with this evaluation kit. (Several documents are also installed on your system when you
install Portal, which you will do as part of this tutorial.) Be sure to also take a look at:
•
The “SNAP Primer”
(600037-01D)
This document contains an introduction to SNAP and explanations of how mesh
networking works. It also introduces the various Synapse software and hardware
available, and clarifies the naming conventions used for the various SNAP items.
•
The “SNAP Users Guide”
(600025-01A)
This document is where you will find an explanation of how the components in a
SNAP network work together, with introductions to topics like hook handling and
with sample scripts.
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•
The “SNAP Reference Manual”
(600-0007N)
This document is where you will find information on the built-in functions provided
by Portal and SNAPpy. It also provides information specific to each platform to
which SNAP has been ported.
•
The “SNAP Sniffer Users Guide”
(600026-01B)
Starting with Portal version 2.2.23, a “wireless sniffer” capability is included with
Portal. If you follow the instructions in this standalone manual, you will be able to
actually see the wireless exchanges that are taking place between your SNAP nodes.
•
The “Portal Reference Manual”
(600024-01G)
This document contains lots of information on how to use Portal, the software that
runs on your PC and allows you to configure and manage your wireless network.
Additionally, you may wish to refer to the following hardware guides:
•
The “SNAP Hardware Technical Manual”
(600-101.01D)
Every switch, button, and jumper of every SNAP board is covered in this hardware
reference document.
•
•
The “End Device Quick Start Guide”
The “SN171 Quick Start Guide”
(600-0001A)
(600-0011C)
These two documents are subsets of the “SNAP Hardware Technical Manual” and
come in handy because each focuses on a single board type.
All of these documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF) files and are available on
the Synapse Wireless forum website.
Other Sources of Information
There is a dedicated support forum at http://forums.synapse-wireless.com.
In the forum, you can see questions and answers posted by other users, as well as post
your own questions. The forum has examples and Application Notes, waiting to be
downloaded.
The forum also contains all the latest copies of the documentation included with this kit,
plus the latest versions of Synapse Wireless software. Be sure to download the newest
version of Portal (which includes the most recent firmware) for the latest feature set.
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Also be sure to check out the Synapse website at www.synapse-wireless.com.
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2.
Getting Started
Overview
The Synapse SNAP product family provides an extremely powerful and flexible platform
for developing, deploying and managing wireless applications.
SNAP is the name of our network operating system. The word is also used somewhat
generically to refer to the entire product line. Often when we are talking about SNAP we
are implicitly including SNAP, SNAPpy, Portal, and SNAPconnect.
A SNAP network consists of individual SNAP nodes. At the heart of each node included
in this kit is a Synapse SNAP Engine, or some other equivalent SNAP Device.
Each SNAP Engine combines a microcontroller, a radio, and an antenna. The antenna can
either be an integral “F” antenna, or a mounting point for an external antenna. The exact
hardware included in your evaluation kit may vary, depending on the platform around
which your kit was built. It may be based on RF100 SNAP Engines (also known as RF
Engines), as pictured above, or RF200 or RF300 SNAP Engines. RF100 and RF200
SNAP Engines communicate using 802.15.4 2.4 GHz radio signals, while RF300 SNAP
Engines are used for sub-gigahertz communications (900 MHz, 868 MHz, etc.).
Additionally, there are EK2500 kits available that showcase the hardware of other
vendors (for example Panasonic). This alternate hardware still runs SNAP.
Each SNAP Engine has an on-board microcontroller with its own internal RAM and
ROM. No external components are required for operation.
Each SNAP Engine includes General Purpose I/O (GPIO) pins, which can be configured
as digital inputs or outputs. Many of these same GPIO pins can also be switched to
alternate functionality. The exact number pins and how they can be repurposed will vary
from platform to platform, but each SNAP Engine will be able to support:
•
•
•
analog inputs, providing 10-bit resolution (or better)
serial data lines (one or two UARTs, depending on platform)
serial handshake lines (one RTS and one CTS per UART)
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Although up to 20 I/O pins are available, you only have to hook up the exact
functionality required by your application. The minimal hookup to an SNAP Device
consists of two wires:
•
•
One wire for VCC (2.7-3.4 volts DC)
One wire for GND
The SNAP Engines contain core code (written in C) that implements basic wireless
networking functionality. This core code also implements a virtual machine that executes
a subset of the Python programming language. Synapse has named this subset of Python
SNAPpy.
You can find details on the SNAPpy language, and how it compares to Python, in
the “SNAP Users Guide” and the “SNAP Reference Manual.” For now, the
important point is to understand that SNAP nodes support a scripting language.
SNAPpy scripts can be uploaded into SNAP Engines “over the air” (OTA), or over the
serial interfaces. These scripts define the personality of each node; by changing the
SNAPpy script in a node you change the node’s behavior.
SNAP Engines can be designed into your own products, acting as a slave device to your
main microcontroller or microprocessor. In many cases the SNAP Engine can take over
the functionality of the original main processor, in addition to adding wireless capability
and SNAPpy scripting.
In addition to discrete SNAP Engine modules, Synapse also sells SNAP demonstration
boards that extend the basic core capabilities with additional I/O hardware.
Three different kinds of SNAP demonstration boards are included in this evaluation kit:
•
One SN111 End Device Demonstration Board
•
One SN171 Proto Board
•
Depending on the hardware platform around which the kit is based it will
include one of the following:
o One SS200 SNAP Stick USB Dongle
o One SN132 SNAP Stick USB Carrier Module
Details about each of these boards can be found in the “SNAP Hardware Technical
Manual.”
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A Portal into Your Network
Portal is a standalone software application that runs on any standard PC with Microsoft
Windows 2000 or higher 1. Using a USB or RS232 interface, it connects to any SNAP
Engine in the SNAP Wireless Network, becoming a user interface for the entire network.
Note: most of the icons shown in the previous diagram were taken directly from the
Portal user interface.
is used (by default) within Portal to represent a SNAP Node.
is used within Portal to represent Portal itself.
Once connected, Portal provides the capability to interactively build an intelligent
wireless network. You can:
•
•
•
Discover new SNAP Devices
Upload intelligence to those devices over the air, using SNAPpy scripts
Customize Portal to suit your specific application
Interactively – you do all this within Portal, observing the results immediately.
Intelligent – the network is purpose-built for your application, with the ability to monitor
and conditionally control things connected to it.
Synapse’s Portal administrative software is included in this evaluation kit.
1
Portal also runs on the latest long-term release of Ubuntu Linux, and on the latest Macintosh OS. There
may be minor cosmetic differences in the UI appearance, but the functionality is the same across operating
systems.
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For more information about using Portal, refer to the “Portal Users Guide.”
Throughout this manual, the term “Portal PC” is used to refer to the PC (Windows, Linux
or Macintosh) that Portal is running on. Screenshots in this document show Portal
running in a Windows environment, but Portal’s functionality is consistent across the
platforms.
Note:
Synapse also licenses a standalone SNAP Connect library, giving you access into your
SNAP network. Import the SNAP Connect library into your Python application to allow
your backend systems to participate seamlessly in the SNAP network.
Evaluation Kit Hardware
To demonstrate many of the capabilities of Synapse SNAP Engines, SNAP and Portal,
we’ve bundled them together in an evaluation kit form – the EK2500.
The hardware included in the standard kit is (clockwise, from upper left) power supply,
serial cable, power supply, AA battery holder, SN111 End Device Demonstration Board,
SS200 SNAP Stick USB Dongle and SN171 Proto Board. (Depending on the platform on
which your kit is based, you may have a SN132 SNAP Stick USB Carrier Module, shown
at right, with an additional SNAP Engine instead of the SS200 SNAP Stick USB
Dongle.)
The EK2500 evaluation kit comes with software, power supplies, external battery holder,
and an RS232 serial cable. Although not shown in the photo, the kit also comes with one
pair of AA batteries. The kit also contains three different kinds of SNAP boards:
•
•
•
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One SS200 SNAP Stick USB Dongle or SN132 with SNAP Engine
One SN111 End Device Demonstration Board
One SN171 Proto Board
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Each type of node in the EK2500 evaluation kit has been included to showcase a different
set of SNAP traits. Each one has different strengths, and you will likely be building your
final wireless network using a mix of the different node types. It is also possible to
directly incorporate the Synapse SNAP Engines used by these “demonstration” nodes
into your own designs.
Furthermore, the demonstration boards in the EK2500 kit provide different approaches to
demonstrating how the nodes can be used. In your own hardware designs, it is not
necessary that you incorporate SNAP demonstration boards in order to use SNAP
Engines.
NOTE! Kit contents might be slightly different!
Some older versions of the EK2500 kit included the following hardware:
• One SN163 Bridge Demonstration Board
• One SN111 End Device Demonstration Board
• One SN171 Proto Board
For the demonstrations contain in this guide, if you have an older kit simply use the
SN163 bridge board where references are made to the “SNAP Stick”.
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SN111 End Device Demonstration Board
Select Switch
Reset Switch
Power Switch
The Synapse SN111 End Device Demonstration Board features a push-button switch,
LED, seven-segment display (two seven-segment digits, 14 segments total), and a generic
sensor input.
The sensor input comes with a photocell pre-installed, but other analog input devices can
be connected instead.
The SN111 can be powered by an external power supply (4-25 VDC, 6-24 VAC). The
SN111 can also be powered by one or two AA batteries.
The SN111 does not provide ready access to all GPIO pins. Some are used by the onboard hardware, and other GPIO pins simply are not brought out to any user-accessible
connector.
Since we will be talking wirelessly to this node, there is no need to connect an RS232
cable at this time. Do be aware that the RS232 port on this node is functional, and can be
used to talk to other RS232 devices (including the Portal PC and even other SNAP
nodes).
Refer to the “SNAP Hardware Technical Manual” for more details on this board.
Antenna Connection
At this time, you’ll need to attach the supplied antenna to the SNAP Engine with the
Reverse Polarity (RP) SMA type connector (shown below). SNAP Engines without the
connector come equipped with an integrated “F” type antenna, and don’t require an
external antenna.
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SN171 Proto Board
Select or Reset Switch
The Synapse SN171 Proto (prototyping) Board omits the dedicated seven-segment
display and sensor input hardware of the SN111. Instead, it provides easy access to all
General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) pins, including all analog inputs. It comes with a
small piezo buzzer attached to GPIO pin 9, but you can remove it if you need that pin for
some other purpose.
All of the onboard SNAP Engine signals are made available at easy-access screw
terminal blocks located on either side of the node. These same signals are also made
available in a more compact form in the center of the board. A dual-row header provides
a connection point for a ribbon-cable (or some other form of wiring harness) from some
other circuit board or testing apparatus.
The SN171 can be powered by an external power supply (5-9 VDC).
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The power supplies included in the EK2500 kit can be used with either of the included
nodes, but be aware of the different input voltage ranges if you substitute your own
external power supplies.
The SN171 can also be powered by two AA batteries; an external battery holder for this
purpose is also included in the EK2500 kit.
The third SNAP Device in this evaluation kit is either an SN132 SNAP Stick USB
Carrier Module with a SNAP Engine, or an SS200 SNAP Stick. Either of these plugs into
a USB port on your PC to act as the bridge node between Portal (or SNAP Connect) and
the rest of your wireless network. (For the remainder of this document, this third SNAP
Device will be referred to as your “bridge device” or “bridge node”.)
Taking the Nodes for a “Test Drive”
All three nodes come from the factory preloaded with a demo SNAPpy script. Although
this demo script showcases only a tiny portion of the capabilities of a SNAP node, it
provides a quick way to get familiar with the nodes without having to install any software
on your PC. (We’ll install the Portal software in a later step.)
If you haven’t already done so, power up the bridge device by connecting it to a USB
port on your PC. (If the “Found New Hardware” wizard appears, just click “Cancel” – we
don’t want to install that software yet).
Power up the SN111 End Device Demonstration Board by connecting it to one of the
two included “wall transformer” power supplies provided in the kit, and sliding the on/off
switch to the “on” position.
Power up the SN171 Proto Board node by connecting it to the other “wall transformer”
power supply.
Note: The SN171 Proto Board does not have a dedicated on/off switch. You
simply disconnect the external power supply to turn the unit “off”.
The yellow LEDs on the SN111 and SN171 boards should now be blinking once every
second. This shows that the preinstalled demo SNAPpy scripts in all three nodes are
running. No LED will blink on the bridge device (though a green power LED will light if
you have the SN132 board).
In addition, the green “external power” LED on the larger board (the SN111 node) should
be on, indicating an external power supply is connected and providing power.
On the node with the seven-segment display, “00” should be displayed. This shows that
the pre-loaded SNAPpy script is running. (It put the “00” pattern on the display.)
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If all of your nodes are on and the yellow LEDs are blinking, proceed to the next
section. Otherwise, here are some trouble-shooting tips that may apply.
SN111 Troubleshooting
Tip: “Lit” does not always mean “on”
On the SN111 node, the “external power” LED indicates just that – that external
power is currently being provided to the board – but it (by itself) does not indicate
that the SNAP Engine has actually been powered. You must manually slide the on/off
switch (located next to the “barrel” power connectors) to the “on” position.
SN171 Proto Board Troubleshooting
Tip #1: Verify the power-related jumpers:
Your SN171 “proto-board” node should have come from the factory preconfigured to work
with an external DC power supply. Still, as a double-check, verify that the PWRSEL jumper is
in the VEXT position (connecting pins 2-3), not the VBAT position (connecting pins 1-2).
Tip #2: Verify the LED related jumpers:
The SN171 “proto-board” node should come from the factory preconfigured to enable its two
on-board LEDs (one yellow, one green). If the unit is not blinking its yellow LED, it is worth
verifying that the LED1 and LED2 jumpers are both installed.
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Time to push some buttons! (Seeing the demo script in action)
Using our “multicast” capability, here we use the preloaded SNAPpy script
“McastCounter.py” to show that all three nodes can talk to (and hear) each other.
Press the select switch on the SN111 End Device Demonstration Board or the SN171
Proto Board. The seven-segment display on the SN111 should now be showing “01.” The
SN171 Proto Board and the bridge device receive the count as well, but have no sevensegment display to display the change. Instead you can watch the lower two bits of the
count displayed on LED2 and LED1 on the SN171, and as a cycling tri-color LED on the
SNAP Stick.
Each additional button press should advance the displayed count by one (wrapping
around to 00 after the maximum value of 99), regardless of which node’s button you use.
Press the button on the SN171 Proto Board node to see it advance the count as well. (If
this does not function as expected, check the S1SEL jumper on the SN171 to be sure it is
connecting the GPIO5 pin rather than the RESET pin.) Turn off the SN111 End Device
board, and then turn it back on. Notice that it is now displaying 00 on its seven-segment
display. Press the button on the SN171, and the SN111 will now display the new count.
Press and hold for two seconds the push-button on either of the nodes to reset the
count to zero. The node with the seven-segment display should now show “00”.
Unplug the SNAP Stick from the USB port. Press the buttons on the remaining nodes.
The displayed count on the remaining nodes should still increment with every press of the
Select button.
The “bridge” node can provide the eventual connection to the Portal PC, but it is not a
“coordinator” of the SNAP network. (there is no central coordinator with SNAP)
Plug the SNAP Stick back in if you want to see all three nodes interoperating some more.
Some things to notice:
The nodes are immediately able to communicate with each other:
There is no such thing as a “network join time” with SNAP.
Any node can talk directly to any other node:
There is no central “coordinator” node with SNAP.
Using SNAPpy scripts, SNAP nodes can autonomously respond to changes in their
environment:
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Here you have a user pushing a button, but it could be any digital input, for
example, “water detected”, or even an analog input such as “furnace
temperature.”
Turn off the nodes when you are ready to begin installing the Portal software.
More about the Hardware
Since the Portal PC (the PC that the Portal software will be running on) has no radio of its
own, one of the SNAP nodes must act as a “bridge” for it. Portal will connect directly to
this bridge node, using either a USB or RS232 connection. Portal will then be able to
communicate to the rest of the SNAP nodes indirectly, by sending packets across the
directly connected bridge node.
Verify that the SNAP Stick is correctly connected to the PC’s USB port.
Device Configurations
The following table assumes you have not moved any of your RF Engines between the
different boards and does not apply to kits with the RF300.
Synapse Network Evaluation Kit RF Engine Configurations:
Description
Function
Antenna
Power Amp
Receive Amp
SN200 SNAP
Stick
SN111
End Device
Demonstration
Board
SN171
Proto Board
Portal
interface
Photocell
Integrated
Yes
Yes
External
Yes
Yes
Buzzer
Integrated
Yes
Yes
It is also important to understand that SNAP Engines are not fixed to the boards on which
they’re provided in the EK2500 kit. You can move the engines between boards, if you
desire. For example, the SN171 Proto Board can be used with an RFET SNAP Engine
that has an external antenna.
A Photocell component is connected to Sensor Input terminals 1&2 on the
End Device. Note that the pullup-resistor strap is in the LOW range position,
with jumper J10 jumped, to properly condition this sensor type.
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3.
Installing Portal
The Synapse Network Evaluation Kit contains a sheet of paper with instructions for
where to download the Portal Installer and SNAP support documentation. This provides
all the software you need to get started with SNAP and Portal. Additional updates, and
the most current release of this software will always be available on the Synapse support
forum.
Updates on the Web
You’ll find the latest version of Portal on the Synapse Support Forum at
http://forums.synapse-wireless.com (look under Software Releases -> latest Releases).
Portal comes bundled with the latest SNAP firmware and documentation.
Also be sure to check the Synapse website at http://www.synapse-wireless.com
Running Setup
Download and run the Portal installer, Portal-setup-2.4.n.exe (where “n” indicates the
latest release version).
Depending on the version of Windows running on your PC, you may get a warning
dialog similar to the following somewhere in the installation process:
The warning is harmless, and you should click on Run or Continue Anyway to proceed
with the installation.
NOTE – if a previous version of Portal (for example, version 2.2.23) is already installed
on your computer, you will get an initial dialog box like the following:
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You must click the “OK” button in order to install the newer version.
If you are using an operating system other than Windows, follow the installation
directions that are provided with your OS’s installer. For the Linux installation, be sure to
consult the readme file that is included with the .deb package file.
The following screenshots assume you are installing in Windows. Your precise Portal
version number might be different from 2.2.39, but the process should be very similar.
A dialog box similar to the following will appear (your version number will be higher).
Click the Next button to get the following:
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Read the license agreement at the specified URL, check the “I agree” box and then click
on Next.
You can either enter the desired destination folder manually, browse to the desired folder,
or just click on Next to accept the default.
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Make sure the desired components are checked, and click on Install.
After several files have been processed, if you specified that USB drivers should be
installed you will get the following dialog box:
To ensure that the latest Synapse USB drivers can be installed, you must not be running
the old versions of these drivers. Disconnect any Synapse USB devices to ensure this, and
then click on the “OK” button. The installation process will continue.
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You have now successfully installed Portal. There will be a Portal icon on your
Windows Desktop (if you specified there should be), as well as in the Start Menu. We
recommend that you do not run Portal until you have completed the bridge device driver
installation through the following steps, so you should uncheck the “Run Synapse Portal”
checkbox before clicking “Finish”.
Plug in the Bridge Device
The SNAP Stick bridge device should now be plugged into a USB port on the PC on
which you installed Portal. Depending on the drivers loaded on your system and which
version of Windows you are using, it may be necessary for the Synapse USB drivers to
complete installation. This will only occur the first time the bridge device is connected
and powered up. If necessary, the following dialog box will appear:
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Since the correct software is already available (you just installed it along with Portal),
there is no need for Windows to connect to Windows Update – just select “No, not this
time” and then click on Next.
Choose “Install the software automatically…” and click on Next.
Depending on the version of Windows you are running, you may get a warning dialog
similar to the following:
This warning is harmless, and you should click on Continue Anyway.
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Congratulations! Your Synapse USB Device is installed and ready to be used by Portal.
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Launch
After installation, launch the Portal program. You should see a screen similar to the
following:
You have now successfully installed Portal, and detected a USB-connected bridge device.
Note – The “Connect” dialog box is automatically shown at Portal startup. If you click
the Cancel button, you can bring this dialog back by clicking the
button on the main
toolbar.
Also be aware that this toolbar button doubles as a status indicator. When you are
connected, it looks like , and functions as a disconnect button. When you are not
connected, it looks like
and functions as a connect button.
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4.
Tutorial
This section is a snapshot of wireless application deployment using SNAP and Portal. In
the following example, we have three SNAP nodes present: a bridge device connected to
the PC via USB (either the SS200 SNAP Stick or the SN132 SNAP Stick USB Carrier
Module with an RF Engine), and two remote devices – the SN111 board and the SN171
board. Ensure all three nodes are powered on.
The SN111 board has a photocell connected to GPIO 18 (Analog Input 0), and its Device
Type has been set at the factory to “Photo”.
The SN171 Proto Board has a small piezo buzzer connected to pin GPIO 9, and its
Device Type has been factory set to “Buzz”.
Welcome
Starting Portal for the first time brings up a blank network configuration and a dialog
asking what port to use to connect to the SNAP bridge device:
Make sure the SNAP Stick is plugged in, and the USB device should be found
immediately. Press Connect once the SNAP bridge device is found.
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Navigating within Portal
Portal is straightforward to use. However, since it is extremely customizable by the user,
your screen layout may not always match the screen shots in this manual. For that reason
it is important to understand the fundamental concepts used in navigating the Portal GUI.
Pull-down Menus
At the top of the Portal GUI are pull-down menus for File, View, Options, Network, and
Help operations. (These menus are in their standard position at the top of the screen in
Macintosh and Ubuntu versions.)
Clicking on one of these top-level menu choices will pull down a sub-menu of additional
choices. For example, clicking on Network will present a sub-menu from which you
perform actions like Broadcast Ping, Find Nodes…, or New Configuration. Similarly,
clicking on Help will bring up choices for SNAP Reference Manual, Portal Reference
Manual, etc.
The convention is that menu choices ending in “…” usually bring up additional menus or
dialog boxes, and menu choices not ending in “…” cause immediate action to be taken,
with no further prompting.
Tool Bar
Below the pull-down menus is a horizontal Tool Bar from which you can initiate several
actions. Hovering the cursor over each button will display a short “tool-tip” help
message, and clicking on each button will initiate the action displayed by the tool-tip.
Tabbed Windows
The remainder of the Portal GUI is taken up by a changeable collection of tabbed
windows. Each of these windows has a name, which is displayed in the tab for that
window.
Many of the tabbed windows have toolbars of their own, located in the horizontal region
just below their labeled tab.
Portal starts out with an initial set of tabbed windows visible. Sometimes clicking on
certain controls within one tabbed window will open and/or switch to another tabbed
window. You can also open additional tabbed windows by choosing them from the View
menu. Finally, many of the tabbed windows can be launched from the main tool bar.
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Rearranging Windows
The tabbed windows in Portal can be dragged and repositioned on the screen. To do this,
press and hold the left mouse button while the cursor is positioned over the tab label you
want to move. While holding the button down, drag the tab until you see a light blue
“shadow” indicating a possible new position for the window. When you’ve found a
suitable new position, just release the mouse button and the move will be complete.
Drag tab as shown
to move windows
Resizing
Windows may be resized by clicking and dragging the horizontal and vertical borders
separating them.
Closing Tabs
You can close tabbed windows that you no longer want by clicking on the small “X”
located to the right of the name in the tab.
Now that you know the basics of navigating within Portal, we can continue with the tour.
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Discovery
We first need to look at the Node Views tabbed window. If this window is not already
open, you can click on Views, then choose Node Views window. Alternatively, you can
click on the
icon on the toolbar.
You will notice that the Node Views window has its own toolbar. Ignore all but the first
four buttons for now.
The Node Views tabbed window lets you look at your nodes in four different ways:
•
•
•
•
Report View
Icon View
List View
Tree View
All four views are just that, “views” of the same network information. Click on the
Report View button.
You should see that three Devices have been discovered. They all will have names of the
form McastCounterX. (X in this case refers to a trailing digit that will be present for any
node after the first one found.) The directly connected “bridge” device should be shown
in blue, while the two remote devices should be displayed in black. Because the nodes
report in using a random response delay, which node gets to be McastCounter,
McastCounter2, or McastCounter3 can vary.
When you double-click on a node in one of the Node Views, Portal displays basic
information about that Node in a separate Node Info pane.
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RF300 Usage Notes
Tip #1: Manually set the device type:
Most RF Engines running a demonstration script will automatically set their Device Type (NV
Parameter 10) to reflect the Synapse demonstration board on which they are currently
mounted. This is not the case for RF300 engines due to a slight pin-out difference.
Users must set each node’s “Device Type” to match the following list:
Device
SN171 Proto Board
SN111 End Device
SN132 SNAP Stick
SNAP Device Type Setting
“Buzz”
“Photo”
“Stick”
The Device Type setting can be accessed by selecting the “Change Configuration
Parameters” option, then the “Device” tab, from the Node Info pane toolbar in Portal.
Note that the node names are based on the names of the SNAPpy scripts loaded into those
same nodes at the time of discovery, but with additional trailing digits (2, 3, 4) added to
enforce uniqueness.
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Since these nodes were pre-loaded at the factory with the “McastCounter.py” script, their
names are of the form McastCounterX, where “X” is replaced by a number. If the nodes
had been pre-loaded with some other script, then you would have seen that script’s name
in place of McastCounter.
If the three nodes had not been pre-loaded with scripts at all, then their names would have
been “Node”, “Node2”, and “Node3.”
Node Info
Lots of information is shown in the Node Info tabbed window. However, Portal may not
be set to automatically query the node for its information. (This is a configurable
preference in Portal.) To be sure Portal knows everything important about your node,
icon in the toolbar that runs across the top of
click the “Refresh Node Information”
the Node Info tab.
On the left-hand side, the Firmware Version, Platform, Network Address, MAC
Address, Device Image, Image CRC, Image Size, License, Channel, and Network Id
are shown. Below that is a block where Path information (the path to/from the node) can
be displayed. Below that there is an Info field that can be controlled from Portal scripts to
add your own custom field(s) to the Node Info panel.
Device Image refers to the SNAPpy script (also referred to as a SNAPpy image) loaded
into the node. Here you can see that the script/image “McastCounter.py” has been loaded
into the node. Also note that you can click on the device image name shown
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(McastCounter), and automatically bring that script up in Portal’s built-in source code
editor.
On the right hand side, a collapsible tree of available functions is shown. In this next
screenshot, you can see the BuiltIn tree (the tree of built-in functions) in expanded form.
Notice that there is a scroll-bar on the right-hand side of the pane – there are too many
built-in functions to fit on the screen at one time.
Hovering the cursor over a function name will display a tool-tip for that function. More
importantly, you can click on any function to invoke that function directly on the
selected node.
Functions that do not require any parameters (for example, the reboot() function) will be
executed immediately.
If the function requires any parameters, Portal will
automatically prompt you for them.
For example, clicking on the setSegments() function will
prompt you to enter the actual “pattern value” to be put on
the seven-segment displays.
You can either:
1) Enter a value (for example 0x4040) and press OK, or
2) You can press Cancel to abort the function invocation.
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You can also expand the tree of functions defined by each module (in other words, by
each SNAPpy source file).
Here you can see the various functions defined in the McastCounter.py SNAPpy script.
Like the built-in functions, these can also be directly invoked by clicking on them (and
entering any needed parameters).
The Node Info tabbed window also has its own toolbar. Most of the toolbar functions
will be discussed later, but one is of particular importance to us now: “Upload SNAPpy
Image.”
Upload SNAPpy Image
The “multicast counter” script was preloaded merely as a convenience to the user. You
can overwrite these default scripts with other scripts from the set of example scripts
included with Portal, or even with your own custom scripts.
We’ve already tried out the “multicast counter” functionality in section 2, so now let’s
override that behavior with a different one. To do that, we will assign new “behavior” to
two of the nodes, by giving each one a new SNAPpy Image.
Select the node with Device Type “Buzz” in the Node Views panel. Then, in the Node
Info panel, select “Upload SNAPpy Image” . (If the button is disabled, it means Portal
does not know enough about the node to enable it to load a script into it. Click the
button, and after the node information refreshes the
“Refresh Node Information”
“Upload SNAPpy Image” button should be enabled.)
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This will bring up a dialog box asking which script/image to upload.
These scripts are located in a Portal\snappyImages directory in your MyDocuments
folder when using a Windows operating system. (On Macintosh and Linux, the scripts are
in the user’s home directory.)
Select the “buzzer.py” example, and press OK (or
you could double-click on the script name). Upload
of the new SNAPpy Image (over the air!) should
complete in a few seconds. The node will
automatically restart when the upload finishes.
(Depending on the script loaded into a node,
restarting may not cause any visual change. In this
case, the yellow LED will begin blinking after the
node restarts. This node is the SNAP Engine on the
SN171 Proto Board.)
Now select the node with device type “Photo”
from the Node List and upload the
“DarkDetector.py” script into it. (This loads a new
script into the SNAP Engine on the SN111 End
Device Demonstration Board.)
Notice that in this example we are running
different scripts on each node. The nodes do not have to be running the same script to
interact with each other.
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The buzzer.py script is pretty simple:
1) When buzzer.py first runs, it “announces itself” to any nodes that might be
looking for a buzzer they can use.
2) It blinks the yellow LED once a second (just to let you know the script is
running).
3) If you push the button on that node, a short beep will sound (just to let you know
the buzzer is working)
4) If any node broadcasts “who has a buzzer I can use?”, buzzer.py will answer
5) Other nodes can ask for a “beep” of a specified duration.
So, script buzzer.py basically provides a “buzzer service” that other nodes can take
advantage of.
Now look at the SN111 End Device node (Device Type = “Photo”), which should now be
running the DarkDetector.py script:
1) The yellow LED should be blinking once per second
2) Depending on the light levels and variance where the SN111 is sitting, it is either
showing a value of “00” on its display, or it might be displaying various values.
The displayed value represents a “percentage of darkness”, 00-99, with a value of
99 representing the maximum darkness level the node has ever seen.
The Dark Detector script is already monitoring for changes in light levels, but the script
also includes an “auto-calibration” capability. Since you have not “calibrated” the node
yet, no values will be acted upon.
Cover the photocell on the node with your finger. A value of “99” will be shown on the
display, and you should also hear a short beep from the other node (the SN171 Proto
Board, which is running the buzzer.py script we uploaded into it).
Now by “hovering” your finger at various heights above the photocell, you should be
able to vary the “darkness level” from 0 to 99%. Whenever you cross the 85% level, a
short beep should sound from the “buzzer.py” node.
In Portal, bring up the Node Info panel for the Dark Detector node, and expand the tree
of functions provided by the “DarkDetector” module.
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Notice the setThreshold() function. The script defaults to “beeping” when the darkness
level crosses 85%, but you can change this threshold “on the fly” by calling this function.
Click on setThreshold(), and answer the pop-up dialog box with a value of 50. (Don’t
forget to click on OK.)
Now vary the darkness level by covering the photocell, and notice that the threshold point
has indeed been changed. Now the remote beep (on the other node) will be triggered by
crossing 50% darkness.
Note that the node names do not change within Portal, even though the underlying script
names have. You can rename each node manually, or delete each node and then do a
manual ping to rediscover them under new names.
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Also notice that the SS200 SNAP Stick is still running the McastCounter.py script. It
continues to relay messages to the other nodes from Portal even though the scripts
running on those nodes do not otherwise interact with the node.
All of the nodes are independent – they can be running completely different scripts,
and performing completely different functions, all at the same time and continue to
communicate with and pass messages for each other.
Portal Scripting
A fundamental property of SNAP is that all nodes are peers on the network. This
provides tremendous advantages in system design and integration. With SNAP:
• All nodes are capable of routing mesh traffic
• No special node-type is required to form a network
• Any node can bridge mesh traffic over a UART port
When you connect your PC to a SNAP Engine with a USB or serial port, you are using
that SNAP Engine as a bridge. This allows Portal to participate as a peer on your SNAP
network. Other SNAP devices see Portal as “just another SNAP node.” Behind the
scenes, the Portal GUI is calling built-in functions on SNAP nodes, and they are calling
built-in functions in Portal. This is all done using SNAP’s RPC (Remote Procedure Call)
based protocol, which is exactly the way all SNAP nodes communicate with each other.
Since Portal is “just another SNAP node,” we can load a script into it! Scripts running on
Portal have all the access to the resources of the PC that the PC’s user has, through
libraries of the Python language. For instance, logging data to a file or database system is
a simple matter using a Portal script.
A simple example of a Portal script is already installed. Select the Portal node in the
Node View window, and use to upload a new Portal Base File.
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Select the file “portalMcastCounter.py”, and it will immediately become the device
image for Portal. If you’ve been following the tutorial closely, you’ll still have the
McastCounter script loaded on your Bridge node. (If not, upload it.) Use the Upload
SNAPpy Image button to reload the McastCounter script into the nodes on the SN111
and SN171 boards as well. Now press the select button on an McastCounter node. You
should see the following popup window (your displayed count value may differ from the
“2” shown):
The Portal script you uploaded implements the “setButtonCount()” function, and it uses
that to update the displayed number. Experiment with incrementing this count from all
your SNAP devices. Also, try scrolling the number up/down from the PC – you can use
keyboard arrow keys to do this rapidly.
It is important to note that since Portal runs full Python scripts rather than scripts written
in the SNAPpy defined subset of Python, scripts that work perfectly well in Portal are not
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likely to work in other nodes and vice versa. The underlying structure and grammar will
be the same, but Python provides access to more data types and libraries than SNAPpy
does.
Note that the GUI part of this script really has little to do with SNAP; you’ll need other
references if you want to explore programming Python on the PC further. For advanced
applications, user-interfaces, etc. the SNAPconnect product provides a way for your
application to participate in the SNAP network.
When you’ve finished playing with portalMcastCounter, you may want to “unload” this
script from Portal. Removing a script is done in the same way for all SNAP nodes: just
use the Erase SNAPpy Image ( ) button on the Node Info tab’s toolbar. (For Portal, the
button is labeled Erase Portal Base File.)
Radio Range Testing
Now let’s change the behavior of the nodes again. The SN111 board has a seven-segment
display on it. We can use this display to provide real-time information on radio
performance (receiver link quality).
NOTE! – The “LinkQualityRanger” script is not compatible with kits using the RF300
RF Engine
Upload script “LinkQualityRanger.py” into SN171 (Device Type = “Buzz”) and SN111
(Device Type = “Photo”) nodes. The two nodes will begin multicasting “test” messages
to each other, at a rate of 10 messages per second (one message every 100 milliseconds).
When script “McastCounter.py” was running in these nodes, the seven-segment display
showed a “current count” value. That count value could be changed by pressing a button
on any of the nodes running the McastCounter.py script.
Now the seven-segment display shows radio receiver link quality. The display is updated
every second with a link quality value (0-99%, where 99% is best), averaged over the last
10 received messages.
Your node on the SN111 board should be displaying a link quality value higher than 0.
Depending on how close the nodes are to each other, your displayed link quality might be
as high as 99%. Note that if your nodes are too close to each other, lower values may be
observed due to receiver saturation.
At this point you might want to move the units around, and see how link quality is
affected by both distance and intervening structures or obstacles.
This brings us to our next topic: How can we easily move the nodes around, when they
have power cords and/or cables attached to them?
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Battery Operation
So far, we have been running the nodes from USB power (the bridge node) and from wall
power (the SN111 and SN171 nodes).
It is also possible to run most nodes from battery power.
The SN111 node comes with on-board battery holders, which can hold one or two 1.5
volt AA cells. You have the option of using one or two AA batteries.
NOTE! – The SN111 has a jumper on the right-hand side of the battery holder that
configures the node to run from one AA cell, or two AA cells.
If the jumper is on posts 1 and 2 (the posts furthest away from the battery holder), then
the unit only uses one AA battery, which should be installed in the battery holder closest
to the center of the board. If the jumper is on posts 2 and 3 (closest to the battery holder),
then the unit requires two AA batteries.
Set the jumper to match the actual number of batteries you will be using. Using two AA
batteries instead of one will result in longer operation before having to replace the
batteries.
Regardless of how many batteries are used, be sure to install them in the battery holder
with the correct orientation. The bottom of the battery holder has the usual + and – labels
molded into the plastic.
Note: There is a jumper labeled “RS232 PWR” located near the center of the board.
This jumper must be installed for the RS232 port to work when running on battery
power. To increase battery life it should not be installed if you are not using the RS232
port.
The SN171 Proto Board does not have a built-in battery holder, but a separate battery
holder for this node is included in the EK2500 kit.
Before you can power the SN171 from the external battery pack, you must unplug the
external power supply, and change the PWRSEL jumper located near the center of the
circuit board. The jumper posts for this jumper are labeled “VBAT”, “VCC”, and
“VEXT”. The board comes from the factory with the jumper connected to the VEXT and
VCC pins, which configures the node to run from the external power supply.
If you move the jumper so that it connects the VBAT and VCC pins, then the board will
be configured to receive power from the white two-pin connector located directly behind
the barrel-jack that the external power supply plugs into.
After changing the jumper to the VBAT+VCC position, install two AA batteries in the
external battery holder, and connect the white connector from the external battery pack to
the mating white connector on the SN171 board.
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NOTE! There is an on/off switch on the external battery pack. Be sure to slide it to the
“On” position when you want to power up the SN171 node.
Low Power Operation
The Proto Board is capable of achieving years of
battery life from the included AA pack, but to do so
requires running a SNAPpy script that sleeps, as well
as removing all RS232 jumpers shown in the
photograph (JMP2, JMP5, JMP6, JMP7 and JMP8).
Unless you are running such a low-power script, be
sure to turn battery power off when the node is not in
use.
See example SNAPpy script “protoSleepCaster.py”
for one example of low-power operation. This script
is like McastCounter.py, but sleeps between button
presses.
Where To Go Next
In this manual we have introduced the components of the EK2500 Evaluation Kit,
installed Portal, and run some simple demos.
Now you will want to take advantage of some of the other SNAP documentation:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The “SNAP Primer”
The “SNAP Users Guide”
The “SNAP Reference Manual”
The “Portal Reference Manual”
The “SNAP Hardware Technical Manual”
The “End Device Quick Start Guide”
The “SN171 Quick Start Guide”
These documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The first three are
installed with Portal and are available from Portal’s Help menu. The device guides and
hardware manual are available from the Synapse website.
In addition, you can find an ever-expanding collection of useful information on the
Synapse Support Forum at http://forums.synapse-wireless.com, including:
•
•
Synapse Application Notes
More Example Scripts
Here you can see questions and answers posted by other users, and you can post your
own questions, as well.
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License governing any code samples presented in this Guide
Redistribution of code and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted
provided that it retains the copyright notice, operates only on SNAP® networks, and the paragraphs below
in the documentation and/or other materials are provided with the distribution:
Copyright 2008-2010, Synapse Wireless Inc., All rights Reserved.
Neither the name of Synapse nor the names of contributors may be used to endorse or promote products
derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
This software is provided "AS IS," without a warranty of any kind. ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED
CONDITIONS, REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED
WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NONINFRINGEMENT, ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. SYNAPSE AND ITS LICENSORS SHALL NOT BE
LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES SUFFERED BY LICENSEE AS A RESULT OF USING, MODIFYING
OR DISTRIBUTING THIS SOFTWARE OR ITS DERIVATIVES. IN NO EVENT WILL SYNAPSE OR
ITS LICENSORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOST REVENUE, PROFIT OR DATA, OR FOR DIRECT,
INDIRECT, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, HOWEVER
CAUSED AND REGARDLESS OF THE THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF
OR INABILITY TO USE THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF SYNAPSE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
Disclaimers
Information contained in this Guide is provided in connection with Synapse products and services and is
intended solely to assist its customers. Synapse reserves the right to make changes at any time and without
notice. Synapse assumes no liability whatsoever for the contents of this Manual or the redistribution as
permitted by the foregoing Limited License. The terms and conditions governing the sale or use of Synapse
products is expressly contained in the Synapse’s Terms and Condition for the sale of those respective
products.
Synapse retains the right to make changes to any product specification at any time without notice or
liability to prior users, contributors, or recipients of redistributed versions of this Guide. Errata should be
checked on any product referenced.
Synapse and the Synapse logo are registered trademarks of Synapse. All other trademarks are the property
of their owners.
For further information on any Synapse product or service, contact us at:
Synapse Wireless, Inc.
500 Discovery Drive
Huntsville, Alabama 35806
256-852-7888
877-982-7888
256-852-7862 (fax)
www.synapse-wireless.com
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