New product – Low cost mesh network gateway
So far, we have been using the Raspberry PI to connect the WiSense mesh network to the external world. We have built gateways for customers with Raspberry PI, a WiSense coordinator node and a mix of backhaul interfaces such as wired ethernet, WiFi and GSM/GPRS. Recently we got a requirement for a low cost gateway which can send WiSense sensor node data to the cloud through the home router. The customer was not interested in using the PI because of the cost factor. This pushed us to look for a low cost alternative which would be good enough at least for this customer. Unsurprisingly, the cheapest option was to interface the WiSense coordinator to a ENC28J60 wired ethernet module. We built a prototype which sent sensor data to the cloud using UDP and demoed it to the customer.
The ENC28J60 has an SPI interface and so does the CC1101 radio IC on our coordinator node. We have had some problems with multiple devices on the SPI bus so we decided to use an extra MSP430 (bridge) micro in between the coordinator node and the ENC28J60. The bridge micro gets data from the Coordinator node over UART and forwards it to the ENC28J60 over SPI.
Here is a pic of the prototype.
The pic below shows a gateway with Raspberry PI