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    Watch the Tech Specs Intro video of the Pi 3 Model B+:

    Buy NowBuy Now


    *US Customers: The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is now available from!


    NEW! Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+


    Key Improvements from Pi 3 Model B to Pi 3 Model B+:

    Improved compatibility for network booting and new support for Power over Ethernet

    Processor speed has increased from 1.2Ghz on Pi 3 to 1.4Ghz, with improved thermal management

    New dual band wireless LAN chip, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz with embedded antenna

    Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy onboard

    Faster onboard Ethernet, up to 300mbps!


    Other Technical Specification:

    40 pin extended GPIO

    4 x USB 2 ports

    4 pole Stereo output and Composite video port

    Full size HDMI output

    CSI camera port for connecting the Raspberry Pi CameraRaspberry Pi Camera

    DSI display port for connecting the Raspberry Pi Touch Screen DisplayRaspberry Pi Touch Screen Display

    microSD port for loading your operating system and storing data, up to 64GB tested

    Upgraded switched Micro USB power source (now supports up to 2.5 Amps)

    The same form factor as previous Raspberry Pi boards!


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  • 03/16/18--16:24: Need help coding
  • I have 4 sparkfun lummenati 3x3 bParts,

      I having a problem finding a code,

    i have them daisy chained would like to make

    a top hat band

    any help would be greatly appreciated

    thanks bob

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    Electronics & Design Projects

    Enter Your Electronics & Design Project to earn a $100 Shopping Cart to any element14 transactional site!

    About Project14

    Project14 Home
    Monthly Themes
    Monthly Theme Poll



    How are Monthly Themes selected?

    • Around the 14th of every month a new poll will go up with themes to choose from.
    • Vote on the design competition you want to see next.
    • The poll will remain open until the 14th of the following month and will soon be replaced with a new poll.
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    How do you earn free swag?

    • If you think of an idea for a project theme you can earn swag by submitting images or ideas that are used in future themes.


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  • 03/16/18--15:39: LED delay chip?
  • I have a ton of cheap RGB LED strips laying around, some are 5050smd (RGB) and some are 2850smd (single color per RGB channel), but I was wondering:

    Is there a chip or something else that can take a signal, and add a second or two of "wait" delay?


    The reason I ask is because I obviously do not know, but whenever I search for it I can't find anything like it.

    I am currently using a strip of 2850's for my TV shelf, and just about halfway on the strip, the blue channel has gotten damaged, but it fits really well because It splits the colors between behind the TV's, and under the shelf.

    Since there is damage to it and I recently found a new roll of waterproof 5050's, I was thinking of preserving the cool color differences, without having to wire up a second controll box. And while I could get some adressable LEDs, that somet for another time.


    So, anyone know of such a way to just add a delay circuit halfway down the LED strip to have the colors offset? (It's on more or less 24 hours a day so on/off does not matter as much.)


    Image of TV shelf with 2850smd LED strip and damage.

    (I'm not sure if I've posted in the right place, or even if I've written it correct.

    First post, just looking for help.)

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    MCUs II

    Wireless Microcontrollers

    Sponsored by

    1. Introduction 2. Objective 3. Networking and Communication Concepts 4. Typical Radio Communication Protocols Supported 5. What is a Wireless MCU?
    6. Types of Wireless MCUs 7. Wi-Link 8 Combo Solutions 8. Working with The SimpleLink Devices Parts Used Test Your Knowledge

    1. Introduction

    With the proliferation of communicating-hardware devices that use microcontrollers, it has become necessary to combine both the processing and communication functions to create easy to use devices. And many applications today use not only microcontrollers, but they also have a need for nodes communicating with each other and/or a central controller. To illustrate this direction, let's consider the Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

    Due to the Internet of Things (IoT), just about every device, appliance, and even light bulbs are expected to collect and process data and then communicate it to a central point, which in turn commands what actions (e.g., actuations) need to take place.  Sports/fitness, smart buildings, smart grids, smart cities, businesses – almost anything may benefit from such an arrangement.

    IoT use cases already exist.  They range from wearables that can monitor our fitness, sports achievements, or physiological functions, to applications such as smart homes, smart buildings, smart cities and smart grids. Often these applications require a sensing unit to communicate information while collecting it. In sensor networks, we see a similar need for nodes to be collecting and communicating data simultaneously. By combining the radio and the microcontroller functions into a single integrated chip, significant system design advantages are applied in these applications.

    2. Objective

    The objective of this learning module is to provide you with an overview of Wireless Microcontroller Units (MCUs).

    Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

    Define the unique characteristics of a wireless MCU

    Examine networking and communication concepts

    Explain the differences between various radio communication protocols

    Discuss the characteristics and benefits of different types of wireless MCUs

    3. Networking and Communication ConceptsBack to Top

    For well-disciplined use of the radio frequencies, regulatory bodies (such as the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, in the US) manage the use of frequency bands in countries around the world. Interference can be a major problem and these regulatory bodies manage frequency allocations judiciously so as to minimize interference between various applications that make use of the Radio Frequency Spectrum.

    Most frequency bands are licensed (usually purchased through auctions), while a few (such as the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) are left as unlicensed or free-to-use. Recently, the FCC has been experimenting with a new Spectrum Access in the 3.5 GHz band through the Citizen's Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) governed by a Spectrum Access System (SAS) where emerging Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) is being applied.

    When there is a network of nodes communicating together to achieve some system goals, the nodes need to follow a communication protocol. Such protocols need to be standardized such that interoperability is ensured between devices from different manufacturers.

    In the Internet, all communications use a suite of protocols called the TCP/IP suite. TCP/IP uses 5 layers of the well-known and idealized 7-layer protocol standards OSI model proposed by the ISO. This is indicated in the Fig 1 to the left.

    The application layer is for running the applications that depend on the service provided by the lower layers. Transport layer functions support end-to-end transport of data between two computers communicating across the Internet. With regard to the TCP/IP set of protocols, TCP or the transmission control protocol fulfills that role when reliable communication is desired; user datagram protocol (UDP) is the unreliable alternative. The network layer is intended to handle transmission of data packets via the intermediate nodes within a network, which is known as the routing function, IP or the Internet Protocol that does the job. The data link layer is responsible for point-to-point communication between one node to the next. Ethernet is an example of a vastly popular data link layer protocol, though it is common to see Wi-Fi since so many applications are evolving to wireless.

    It is worth noting that both Ethernet and Wi-Fi are actually MAC (Medium Access Control) protocols. The MAC layer is considered a sub-layer of the Data Link Layer, and the other sub-layer is the Logical Link Control (LLC). Explaining the difference between the two is beyond the scope of this piece and would be the subject of its own Essentials' learning module. For all practical purposes we can consider Ethernet, Wi-Fi, etc. to be the Layer 2 or Link Layer protocol.

    Incidentally, the two extra layers in the ISO-OSI model are called the session and presentation layers, which land between the application and transport layers. These layers have some utility in theory, but in practice their functions are performed by a combination of the other layers (usually the application layer). The Internet doesn't fit the model because it was already firmly in place when the OSI model was designed retrospectively. For an entertaining discussion of how these extra impractical layers came about see Computer Networks by Andrew Tanenbaum.

    4.  Typical Radio Communication Protocols SupportedBack to Top

    There are many different types of radio communication protocols. In this section, we will examine the most common ones used today.

    Wi-Fi: This is the most widespread wireless standard. The IEEE 802.11 standard applies. Several versions have been issued to upgrade data throughput and other capabilities over time, with the current one being 802.11ac. A low power version for scenarios such as IoT is taking shape in the form of 802.11ah. Wi-Fi was developed to work with Ethernet (and as mentioned earlier, it also works with the same LLC sub-layer) and is now a part of the standard TCP/IP suite.

    Bluetooth: Popular use cases include phone-to-headset communications, music streaming from phone-to-speakers, etc. It offers point-to-point or star topology and can support data rates of up to 2 MB/sec. A recent version is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE or Bluetooth Smart) and offers lower power operation in which devices can operate for years with coin cells. With BLE, newer applications such as, health and fitness wearables, toys, automotive and industrial, are becoming popular. Bluetooth can support up to 8 devices in a star topology. The BLE/Smart version has device support that is unlimited. However, in real applications 10 to 20 devices is usually the limit because they would still be in a broadcast domain sharing the same spectrum. BLE like the original Bluetooth works in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed ISM band that is also used by Wi-Fi and a host of other applications such as wireless/cordless phones, baby monitors, etc. Bluetooth is designed to automatically hop around interference in its Spread Spectrum Hopping Scheme and, therefore, is likely to use less than the available 79 channels in practical situations.

    ZigBee: The IEEE 802.15.4 standard defines ZigBee. It is a low throughput, low power, and low cost method of implementing a data link protocol standard. Data throughput can be up to 250 Kbps. ZigBee has become popular in smart energy, home automation, lighting control applications, wireless sensor networks, and industrial applications. ZigBee needs to operate through a gateway to be able to communicate with a TCP/IP implementation (to make a switch at layer 2). The gateway works as a node in the mesh that runs a full TCP/IP stack connecting the ZigBee layer 2 network to the Internet.

    6LowPAN: This standard is defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and was released on Sept 2011 as a "Compression Format for IPV6 Datagrams over IEEE 802.15.4 based Networks." 6LowPAN defines an adaptation layer that makes the IEEE 802.15.4 ZigBee layer work well with the TCP/IP stack. 6LoWPAN often means the combination of ZigBee link layer, the IP compression layer, and the TCP/IP stack. In this way, ZigBee can support a large mesh network reliably, provide low power operation and is IPv6 ready.

    RF4CE: This is a standard defined for two-way communications for ultra-low power input devices for consumer electronic units such as a remote control. RF4CE is one of the profiles defined in the ZigBee standard and is for consumer electronic devices.

    Sub-1 GHz: While most applications operate in short ranges and very low power, there are some applications that require more transmission power. A portion of the sub-1 GHz band that is unlicensed makes communications within a home or bigger building possible. This could be useful in smart security solutions, consumer applications and safety applications. The frequencies used are 315 MHz, 433 MHz, 500 MHz, 868 MHz, 915 MHz, and 920 MHz bands.

    Proprietary 2.4 GHz:  Industrial applications use proprietary protocols when using radios in this band. The radio acts as just the PHY and the data link layer; the rest of the layers are required to be developed, as needed.

    NFC: Near field communications have become quite popular in recent times. This enables data exchange between devices with very low power capacity, or even zero power, which makes possible applications such as passing a smartphone over a point-of-sale (POS) terminal for contactless payments. These actions typically take place at 13.56 MHz.

    5. What is a Wireless MCU?Back to Top

    Wireless MCU devices combine microcontroller functionality with radio communication functions on a single integrated chip. Such integrated circuits are commonly known as a "system on a chip" or SOC devices. In the previously published ESSENTIALS learning module about ultra-low power MCUs, we have seen microcontrollers with components in addition to the microprocessor being integrated on a single circuit. These components include program storage memory, system memory, general purpose I/O pins, interrupt pins and registers.

    The additional components allow for easy deployment of an MCU into a variety of applications. By integrating some radio frequency (RF) functionality into the chip, a single integrated module can be created to handle the radio, as well as the control requirements, leading to an even wider variety of applications. These kinds of devices are known as wireless MCUs.  Several semiconductor device makers, such as Texas Instruments (TI), Freescale, Silicon Labs, Microchip, NXP, Marvel, and others, produce a range of wireless MCU devices. TI's device range is very extensive.

    - 5.1 A Typical Wireless MCU SOC

    Texas Instrument's SimpleLink Wireless MCU family is a good example of a wireless MCU SOC. See Fig 2.

    The peripheral sub-units indicated in the diagram include many common functionalities required by MCUs. The processor unit helps run (1) the operating system (such as a real time OS or RTOS), (2) drivers required for peripherals, libraries, and (3) the communication software stacks. Memory is also required for the processor to execute software.

    In addition, other blocks have been integrated onto the chip. The radio block implements the radio functionalities, and the SCE block helps manage sensors. It provides the analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) facilities for reading data from analog sensors. It helps reading sensors that provide digital outputs. Capacitive-sense functions that help create convenient touch user interfaces are often also integrated on the MCU SOC nowadays.

    - 5.2 A Simple Wireless MCU Example

    Another example of a simple device that has a radio transmitter built into the chip is a Microchip PIC 8-bit microcontroller (Fig 3 to the left).

    This device's operating voltage is 1.8V – 3.6V, with a corresponding low current consumption. The transmitter operates in two bands in the sub-1 GHz band. There are four variants (PIC12F529T48A/T39A and PIC12LF1840T48A/T39A) of the device, offering different amounts of program memory and two frequency bands in the unlicensed portion of the sub-1 GHz band, which is available in most countries. These devices are suitable for simple applications such as: garage door openers, remote keyless entry devices, wireless sensors, etc.

    Two other significant features that are offered by most manufacturers are the availability of a development board and royalty free communication software stacks.  The benefit of this is little or no development time or royalty costs are needed to develop the communication software. Distributing it along with the application code is free since the communication software offers royalty free code by most manufacturers.

    6. Types of Wireless MCUsBack to Top

    Wireless MCU devices are available as a part of the Texas Instruments' Wireless Connectivity product family. The family is partitioned into several categories and each of these are useful for various wireless solutions. Fig 4 summarizes the product tree. The largest category is the SimpleLink, which contains 4 other sub-categories.

    - 6.1 Wireless Microcontrollers

    CC1350 SimpleLink Ultra-Low Power Dual Band Wireless Microcontroller

    SimpleLink CC1X MCUs: These ultra-low power devices can provide up to 20-years of battery life. RF coverage within a building or a larger city-wide area is possible. They operate in 315 MHz, 500 MHZ, 868 MHz and 920 MHz bands of Sub-1 GHz standards and proprietary designs.  The family can offer long range, high sensitivity, low interference, and reliable communication in home and building automation, safety and security, consumer, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CC1350 is one example of this sub-category.

    CC2640 SimpleLink Ultra-Low Power Wireless MCU for Bluetooth Low Energy

    SimpleLink CC2X MCUs: These are multi-standard platforms with very low operating power needs. This family is good for Bluetooth Smart, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, and proprietary 2.4 GHz implementations. They include embedded wireless microcontrollers (MCUs) with integrated MCU, RF transceiver and more. The CC2640R2F is one example of this sub-category.  It's a wireless MCU targeting Bluetooth applications. The Bluetooth Low Energy controller is embedded into ROM and runs partly on an ARM Cortex-M0 processor. The newest version of it is ready for the Bluetooth 5 core specification which offers longer range, higher speed and more data for enhanced connection-less applications in building automation, medical, commercial and industrial automation.

    CC3200 SimpleLink Wi-Fi® and Internet-of-Things solution, a Single-Chip Wireless MCU

    SimpleLink CC3X MCUs: They offer support for Wi-Fi on one side and full TCP/IP on the internet side, making it easy to use in Internet applications (IoT). The ultra-low power MCU on-board allows the device to operate for a year on 2x AA size batteries.This family is WI-FI certified to FCC, IC, CE and TELEC certifications. IoT applications like home and building automation, security, smart energy and industrial applications are a good fit for these devices. The CC3200 is one example of this sub-category.

    RF430CL330H Dynamic NFC Interface Transponder

    RF430 MCUs: This family helps implement NFC/RFID systems. They come with a tightly coupled MCU and RF components needed for the NFC applications at 13.56 MHz. Low consumption passive circuitry helps run the system on coin cells for a long time. These are based on the MSP430 core. NFC or the “near field communications” technology has been gaining traction for some time. It is good for contactless data transfer applications. In some low energy applications, sensor tags carrying data can be built that do not require any on-board energy, not even a coin cell.  The RF430CL330H is one example of this sub-category.

    CC430F5137 Ultra Low Power Microcontroller SoC with Integrated RF Transceiver Core

    CC430 Wireless MCU: They have a sub-1GHz radio integrated with receiver of high sensitivity. They can operate with different modulation methods and offer different data rates. This family is based on the MSP430 family of MCU devices. These devices help bring personal and industrial wireless networking to the mass market.  The CC430F5137 is one example of this sub-category. Note: The communication stack software development will have to be undertaken; there is nothing ready-made.

    LAUNCHXL-CC2650LAUNCHXL-CC2650SimpleLink CC2650 Multi-standard Wireless MCU LaunchPad

    Wireless MCUs are often featured in development kits to simplify the testing and experimenting process during product and system development.  The LAUNCHXL-CC2650LAUNCHXL-CC2650 LaunchPad is an example that features the SimpleLink CC2650 Wireless MCU. This kit supports development for multi-protocol support for the SimpleLink multi-standard CC2650 wireless MCU and the rest of CC26xx family of products.

    - 6.2 Smart RF Transceivers

    CC1120EMK-868-915CC1120EMK-868-915Evaluation Kit for High-Performance RF Transceiver for Narrowband System

    These are transceivers or radio devices that can be interfaced with an MCU to create a wireless MCU solution. But they are not strictly wireless MCU devices as defined earlier in this learning module. The radios can support one or more of the wireless communication supported by the SimpleLink family. These are 6LoWPAN Bluetooth low energy dual-mode Bluetooth ZigBee Sub-1 GHz and proprietary 2.4 GHz.  An external MCU is needed. Featured is an example of the CC1120 transceiver chip on the CC1120EMK-868-915CC1120EMK-868-915 evaluation module kit for 868-915MHZ.

    - 6.3 Wireless Network Processors

    CC3100MOD SimpleLink Wi-Fi® Network Processor Module BoosterPack

    Wireless Network Processors offer embedded, self-contained networking solutions. Using a wireless network processor makes implementing an interoperable, standards-based network or industrial designs easy. Featured is the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 featured on a BoosterPack, which is used with TI's LaunchPad evaluation kits. The SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3100 solution gives the flexibility to add Wi-Fi to any microcontroller (MCU). This internet-on-a-chip solution contains everything needed to easily create IoT solutions for security and quick connection.

    - 6.4 Range Extenders

    CC2592RGVTCC2592RGVTRange Extender 2.4-GHz

    Range Extenders: These devices help extend the range of the radios used in SimpleLink solutions. Range extenders also help extend the range of Proprietary 2.4-GHz and Sub-1GHz transceivers and system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. They include a power amplifier (PA), a low-noise amplifier (LNA), switches and RF matching circuits. They make it easy to upgrade to a wider network range.  These devices/modules work with an external MCU.

    7. Wi-Link 8 Combo SolutionsBack to Top

    WiLink 8 Module 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi® + Bluetooth® COM8 Evaluation Module

    WiLink 8 combo connectivity modules help manufacturers easily add Wi-Fi® and dual-mode Bluetooth® to embedded applications. This product family offers high throughput and an extended industrial temperature range with robust Wi-Fi + Bluetooth coexistence. The modules are FCC/IC/ETSI certified. Featured is the WL1835MODCOM8 evaluation board for the TI WiLink 8 combo module family.

    8. Working with The SimpleLink Devices Back to Top

    Let's look at two TI products, CC1310 and CC3200, as examples of devices that are in use today.

    - 8.1 The SimpleLink CC1310

    SimpleLink CC1310 Evaluation Module Kit

    The CC1310 provides a sub 1GHz solution and a good entry point for hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts to develop familiarity. There is no need to get into the complexities of Wi-Fi and the TCP/IP protocol stack. It also provides the opportunity to implement a whole range of interesting applications that can be served by the sub 1GHz radio integrated on the chip.

    The chip has a very low power RF transceiver and a dedicated Cortex M0 processor that runs it.  A Cortex-M3 microcontroller is the MCU for implementing the main component of an application. As the sub 1GHz bands allowed vary from country to country, the CC1310 has the capability to operate in 315, 433, 470, 500, 779, 868, 915, and 920MHz bands.

    Application domains include:

    • Smart home and smart building applications
    • Alarm and security applications
    • Industrial monitoring and control
    • Smart grid applications
    • Wireless healthcare applications

    - 8.2 The SimpleLink CC3200

    CC3200-LAUNCHXLCC3200-LAUNCHXLWi-Fi SimpleLink CC3200 LaunchPad

    The SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3200 uses the Wi-Fi protocol standard and is certified to be interoperable with all other Wi-Fi certified devices from any manufacturer. Created for the Internet of Things (IoT), the SimpleLink CC3200 device is a wireless MCU that integrates a high-performance ARM Cortex-M4 MCU, allowing developers to develop an entire application with a single IC. Since the CC3200 has on-chip Wi-Fi, Internet and robust security protocols, a developer does not need any prior Wi-Fi experience, therefore, the development process is faster and easier.

    Development of a product with a wireless MCU will be similar, irrespective of the manufacturer that provides the device. With its extensive device support, TI also offers an extensive set of development hardware, software/firmware tools, communication stacks (certified or otherwise). The actual tools used will vary somewhat with the family chosen for development of an application. The following looks at the development process and the tools used for a multi-protocol project for IoT applications, in brief.

    To begin, wireless MCUs have ultra-low power microcontrollers. We discussed the power management aspects of an ultra-low power design in the previous Essentials series. Due to the addition of the wireless component, some amount of complexity is added to the power management. Higher power consumption can be caused by software-related issues, duty cycle issues, and issues with the wireless network itself. One of the crucial points to remember is that the wireless environment is often much less reliable and more prone to interference than wired communication. This leads to expending more energy to transmit the same amount of information.

    Settings in the wireless MCU chips can partially remedy the power situation. In the CC32xx family devices, these settings can save a significant amount of power. See the blog post from TI's E2E community website for a discussion of optimizing power consumption in an application over Wi-Fi using SimpleLink.

    There are two options available for an integrated development environment (IDE) when working with the CC3200. One is the Code Composer Studio (CCS) and the other is the IAR embedded Workbench. TI created the Code Composer Studio for its own products. CCS has been derived from the widely-used Eclipse IDE code base. There is a cloud-based version available. The free version provides a set of tools that may be enough for hobbyists and DIYers. IAR Embedded Workbench is not specific to any manufacturer.

    We take the SimpleLink CC3200 Wireless MCU kit as an example for the development process being discussed here. This kit is a development platform for CC3200 based applications. In the case of a hobbyist/DIY project, this board can become the product once the software development is complete and burnt into on-board flash. In the case of commercial product development, the product could be based on the actual resources used for the project and the custom PCB designed based on them. An antenna is available on the PCB, or an external one can be rigged. When choosing a device for a real project, communication support is the most important issue. The device you choose must have the required communication protocol supported. Should certification be required, you should choose a device that has certified firmware.

    The software development kit available with this bundle has some 40 odd Wi-Fi examples, Internet applications and MCU peripheral programs. The SDK also provides driver support. The USB and the JTAG interfaces can be used to connect the board directly to PC.  Both 4-wire JTAG and 2-wire Serial Wire Debug (SWD) interfaces are available. The PC will help run the IDE tools.  They can also help downloading application code to the board when ready. When downloading the SDK from TI, access to the communication stack firmware is made available. This stack helps provide certified compliance for the protocols to be used. The board provides connector pins as headers for adding boosterpacks for additional functionality, if needed. GNU debugger is supported on-board via Open On-Chip Debugger (OpenOCD).

    *Trademark. Texas Instruments®, and TI are trademarks of Texas Instruments, Inc. Other logos, product and/or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


    Shop our wide range of wireless microcontrollers, dev kits and accessories.

    Shop NowShop NowShop NowShop NowShop Now


    Test Your KnowledgeBack to Top

    Are you ready to demonstrate your wireless microcontrollers knowledge? Then take a quick 15-question multiple choice quiz to see how much you've learned from this Essentials MCUs 2 module.

    To earn the MCUs 2 badge, read through the module to learn all about wireless microcontrollers, attain 100% in the quiz, leave us some feedback in the comments section, and give this page a star rating.


    1) A system on a chip (SOC) has system functions integrated into the microcontroller chip.


    2) Which two layers are part of the OSI model but are not used in practice on the Internet:


    3) As defined in this learning module, a wireless MCU contains wireless and microcontroller functionality integrated on a single chip.


    4) A wireless MCU that has a low power transmitter along with an MCU can be used to implement a simple application such as:


    5) Data transmissions across the Internet are controlled by a set of protocols known as:


    6) In the TCP/IP suite of protocols, _____ is a common transport layer protocol.


    7) Wireless connectivity solutions can be created by using a wireless network chip, power management chip and an MCU of your choice.


    8) When a non-integrated MCU is used to create a sensor node wireless solution, ____________.

    A microcontroller must be custom-designed


    9) Only the SimpleLink wireless MCU products are true "Wireless MCU's" as defined in this article.


    10) Why is it such a big help to developers that communication protocol software is available for the wireless MCU they will be working with?

    Saves development and testing time


    11) Communication software available as development support is royalty free, how does that help?


    12) The SimpleLink 1310 family supports communications in the unlicensed Sub 1GHz band. Which of the following applications is a good fit for it?


    13) SimpleLink CC2X MCU family parts can support different communication protocols (CC2650 device for example). Is the protocol software of all the supported protocols burnt into system memory before the device is sold to you?


    14) The CC3200 evaluation board supports both the JTAG and SWD debug connections with the development system.


    15) Which of the following work in the 2.4 GHz band:

    Alas, you didn't quite meet the grade. You only got %. Have another look through the course, and try again.
    You nailed it, and scored %! To earn the MCUs 2 badge, read through the module to learn all about wireless microcontrollers, attain 100% in the quiz, leave us some feedback in the comments section, and give this page a star rating. Other topics you want to learn? Send a suggestion.

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    Boot and power your Raspberry Pi 3 B+ over Ethernet.


    Buy NowBuy Now


    The official Power over Ethernet (PoE) add-on board for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+! Use this HAT to power a Raspberry Pi via an Ethernet cable, removing the need for a separate power supply, an ideal solution for embedded and IoT projects. For Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and onwards, an 802.3af compliant POE injector, switch, or router device is required (not included).


    • Power over Ethernet 802.3af compliant
    • Power over Ethernet Boot (PXE Boot)
    • Class 2 device
    • Fully isolate Switched-Mode Power Supply (SMPS)
    • 36-56V Input Voltage
    • 5V Output Voltage
    • Supplies up to 2.5A
    • Fan Control
    • Plug-and-play compatibility with Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+


    Best of all, it fits within the official Raspberry Pi Case!

    0 0

    Amazingly, the Raspberry Pi booting from a USB device is a huge point of controversy. A great deal many people believe that you still require the SDCard to be able to do it. This is definitely no longer the case, especially with the Raspberry Pi 3. So even though with the Pi Desktop you're going to be connecting a Solid State Drive via a SATA to USB 2.0 interface, where you're going to lose some speed, overall, it's still an improvement. If for nothing else, the capacity of what you can store on it. The add-on HAT board will take an mSATA SSD up to 1 Terabyte in size, and for that to be faster to boot and access than an SDCard and for some USB 'sticks' or 'drives' then that is a significant improvement in itself, and I know a lot of people out there want a dedicated Pi NAS box after all.


    So why isn't this straight forward for a lot of people? Why can't you simply plug in your mSATA SSD, format it and get going? Well, I've identified are a few areas that people are mainly struggling with on this:


    • You have to enable the 'USB Boot bit' on the Raspberry Pi 3 first (this is permanent)
    • Your SSD has to be imaged in the 'right way'
    • Some have the impression that you still need the SDCard in, and that you need to mount the SSD (you can do this, though, you don't strictly have to use the SSD as a boot device)
    • The mSATA SSD has to be supported by the add-on HAT (I'm not actually sure of any that aren't and there's no reference list at the moment, this is mostly hypothetical).
    • There are/were problems with the PiDesktop debian file supplied by Embest (these are being worked on and there is an official github repo here).


    On the SSD being imaged in 'the right way', you can end up encountering problems imaging your SSD card as you likely do with your SDCard, especially with Microsoft Windows. Windows has a terrible interface to the SDCard readers with the various software that's available. This is either because the software can only refer to the device via the 'drive letter' or by the 'hardware device ID'. Unfortunately most software (eg. Win32DiskImager, I'm looking at you) can only handle imaging drives when it has a drive letter. This totally fails if you haven't even partitioned your device yet and assigned it a drive letter, and some people feel forced to format it to FAT32, this can break things even further. You don't need to format or pre-partition your device, merely assign it a drive letter. There're two useful pieces of software I use to handle this, one is the free software 'Active Partition Manager' and the other is the Disk Management Snapin for Management Console.


    Let's go through some steps on setting this up. By all means comment on this with your experiences or software you've used that has been successful. What you're about to read is my except from the user manual.



    Connecting an mSATA SSD


    Inside the Pi Desktop we can access the data stored onto the mSATA SSD in one of two ways. Either via USB from the add-on board and then into the attached Raspberry Pi (where we can also boot from it), or connect it to an external computer via USB without having to open up the Pi Desktop case (though you still need to 'turn on' the Pi Desktop for this to work).


    If the mSATA SSD that you have connected is pre-formatted with a partition using a FAT32 file system (FS), then this FS is typically accessible by all known modern operating systems (OS), and easily accessible. Though if it uses a typical Linux FS such as ext2/3/4, this is trickier to access by all OSs.


    Note: If you’re connecting the mSATA SSD add-on board to a computer other than the Raspberry Pi inside the Pi Desktop, then you will need the appropriate cable, and you will also have to power the add-on board/Pi Desktop and press the power-on switch. This will also power on the Raspberry Pi if it is still connected.


    Imaging and Setting Up Partitions

    An easy to use utility for managing the partitions on the drive is ‘gparted’ from the Raspbian (OS) (for example if you booted from the SDCard):




    This is a graphical user interface (GUI) tool that can be used to manage the partitions on your drives, connected via USB or otherwise. It can be installed via the apt package manager from the command line interface (CLI) :


    > sudo apt-get update

    > sudo apt-get install gparted


    Then you can either run it from the menu of your Raspbian OS, or from the CLI:


    > sudo gparted


    From here you can (re)partition your mSATA SSD if it’s running a supported file system. If you are using the CLI, then you will want to issue the following command:


    > sudo fdisk /dev/<identifier>


    Where <identifier> is the mount point for the mSATA SSD.


    Alternatively, you can simply write an image to the mSATA SSD, just as you would write an image to an SDCard. The Raspberry Pi Foundation have instructions on how you write images here:



    Note: if you write an image to your mSATA SSD then the data used and accessible from the OS will only be of the size of the image written, unless you resize the partitions.


    Mounting the mSATA SSD to Access Files



    The Raspbian OS is based upon Debian Linux, and as such supports the majority of commands and functions that you would use to mount drives within that OS (these typically involve fstab -, and pmount - ).


    From the GUI

    Depending on your version of Raspbian, and how you have it configured, when you boot your Raspberry Pi to the GUI and then connect the attached mSATA SSD, you will be prompted what to do with your “Removable media” that has been inserted, and the drive will be automatically mounted.


    It is possible that the GUI will not behave in this way, and instead you will have a transparent icon representing the drive on your desktop, which you can then double-click with the left mouse button and Raspbian will attempt to mount it.


    From the CLI

    When mounting the drive from the GUI, you will have made the drive accessible from the CLI. Typically this is located within the following folder:




    However, sometimes we can’t use the GUI, or merely we don’t want to. To mount the drive we must first know how Linux is referring to it. Linux has the majority of its hardware listed under the ‘/dev’ folder structure, with connected devices typically using the format of ‘/dev/sd<x>’ where <x> is a letter. These can even extend further with ‘/dev/sd<x><y>’ where <y> is the number of the partition(s) on the device.


    There are a few commands in which we can determine what the device is of a USB device we connect, first, connect the USB device, and then type the following:


    > dmesg


    This will tell you basically the contents of a system log which gives you information about the device you have just plugged in. You can also issue the following commands:


    > lsusb


    Which will tell you about the device identifiers, and also:


    > lsblk


    This command will tell you the /dev/ mount points.


    Note: If you have problems running a command, try typing ‘sudo’ before it.


    Now, you will need somewhere to mount the drive to. Let’s make a directory and set the permissions onto it:


    > sudo mkdir /media/ssd

    > sudo chmod 755 /media/ssd


    Once you know the device mount point, you can then issue the following command:


    > sudo mount /dev/sd<x><y> /media/ssd


    Note: Mounting will only work if the mSATA SSD has a file system and partitions setup (see ‘Imaging and Setting Up Partitions’ in this document.), you will want to mount the relevant partition (which has a number, such as /dev/sdb1) as opposed to the device itself (/dev/sdb).


    The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s official magazine, The Mag Pi has a good article on this:




    Microsoft Windows

    Thanks to an open source project called Ext2Fsd (Ext2 File System Driver) it is now possible to very easily mount linux FS onto Microsoft Windows OS.


    You can download and install the software from these websites:



    To install the software you will need to have administrative rights on the computer you’re installing it onto, and the ability to install the required system drivers. Afterwards you will likely have to reboot.


    After you have connected the mSATA SSD HAT board to your computer, you will see it in Windows device manager as a USB Mass Storage Device and also as a drive:




    From the start menu, you will want to open the ‘Ext2Fsd’ folder and then ‘Ext2 Volume Manager’:



    From the software we can then see the partitions of all of the drives listed, including the identified ext FS:



    Since in this example, we have already imaged the mSATA SSD with Raspbian, a FAT32x partition is listed (drive E:). it is the EXT4, Linux FS we want below it:






    Make sure we want to give it a drive letter so we can access it, there are various mounting options you can choose from.



    Windows Explorer then has the new drive listed, which we can then open and view the Linux EXT FS:



    You can now alter the files and unmount them as necessary.


    Boot from the mSATA SSD

    Configuring your Raspberry Pi to boot from a USB device is a one-way setting. You are configuring a ‘flag’ or a ‘bit’ on your Raspberry Pi chip that you cannot revert.


    The Raspberry Pi will always prioritise booting from the SDCard when one is present.


    To set this up, you will need an SDCard in your Raspberry Pi that has the Raspbian OS on it. Inside the file located in:




    You need to set this option to the value ‘1’ :




    Then power on your Raspberry Pi with the SDCard inserted. That’s all there is to it. Once you’re in Raspbian, you can run the following command from the CLI:


    > vcgencmd otp_dump | grep 17:


    This should output the following:




    Now all you need to do is ensure your mSATA SSD has an OS on it, that it’s connected via USB and power up your Pi Desktop. If you’re unsure about these steps then you can read the following guide on the Raspberry Pi Foundation site:



    You can write the same Raspbian image to your mSATA SSD as you have done to your SDCard. You now no longer need the SDCard to boot your Raspberry Pi once this flag is set.


    I've got a Pi Desktop sat on my desk here, if there's any further information you need, or believe I should elaborate on any part of this, then go ahead and ask by adding a comment and I'll do my best.

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    I want to make a weather station with the basic micro controller like Atmega32 or 16. Without using any Arduino  or raspberry board.
    But im new in this field and want to learn micro controller from the very basic while doing the project. can any one please help me with this.
    i will be  ever grateful .
    thank you in advance

    0 0

    Pi Desktop Desktop computer kit with expansion board that can turn a Raspberry Pi into a real desktop PC

    Pi Desktop

    RASPBERRYPI3-MODB-1GB Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with 1GB of RAM with WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy


    Buy together
    Buy NowBuy Now
    • Intelligent On/Off power switch
    • mSATA SSD socket for up to 1TB on-board storage
    • Integrated RTC (Real Time Clock)
    • Includes case and heat sink
    The Pi Desktop is a desktop computer kit based on Raspberry Pi 2 & 3. It includes a case and an expansion board that can turn a Raspberry Pi into a real desktop PC. It provides an intelligent and safe power controller, a real- time clock, and a high capacity Solid State Drive (SSD) expansion card for additional storage.
    • Add-On board
    • Heat sink
    • USB Adapter (Micro-Type A)
    • Long Spacer (x4)
    • Short standoff (x4)
    • Screws (x2)
    • Enclosure (Base and Lid)
    • Button cell, CR2032
    Type Download
    Applications Library Pi Desktop Debian Package (on github)
    Source Code deb packet source code (.html)

    0 0

    Another week has passed for the challengers of the Pi Chef Design Challenge, bringing us up to week eight!  We’ve had some excellent updates in the past seven days and I would like to highlight a few of them, but before I get started let's take a moment to learn more about this challenge.



    Pi Chef Design Challenge


    About The Challenge


    Featured as the first design challenge of 2018, the Pi Chef Design Challenge opened for project idea submissions in October of 2017, which was met with many submissions from community members. As I mentioned earlier, the challenge is based around the Raspberry Pi 3 Model BRaspberry Pi 3 Model B SBC. Challengers have eleven weeks to develop their project, and share their progress in a series of weekly update post. By posting a minimum of ten update post, challengers become eligible to win several awesome prizes, and the chance to become one of our prestigious design challenge winners.



    Entering the challenge is not limited to just the ten chosen community members though,  anyone can join the Challenge as a non-sponsored Challenger. Here's how: Simply get buy  a Raspberry Pi 3 model B and integrate it into your project, as well as post 10 blogs chronicling your project’s progress into  the Pi Chef Design Challenge space (tagging your blogs 'IoT on Wheels'). All Challengers must build their projects in accordance with the Challenge's terms and conditions, and all projects must include the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.



    The Official Kit, and The Prizes


    On January 10, 2018 Element14 announced the 15 community members that were picked to participate in this challenge, and those challengers received a kit of sponsored components to use in their design which was based around the Raspberry Pi 3. If you would like to purchase the official kit, click here.


    Each kit contains the following items:


    To learn more about each of these components or to purchase them to use in your own project, visit the official kit announcement at the links above.

    Each challenger is competing to win one of three prize packs that feature the following prizes:


    Grand Prize

          • Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
          • $1500 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart

    Runner Up

          • Whynter Ice-Cream Maker
          • $750 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart

    Third Place

          • Breville Tea Maker
          • $500 USD Newark element14 / Premier Farnell Cart


    A finisher who has completed their project, used the Raspberry Pi, posted 10+ updates in the Pi Chef space and adhered to the requirements in the Terms and Conditions will receive a mystery package of element14/Premier Farnell products valued at $65 USD.



    The Past Week In Review


    Over the past 7 days, February 25th - March 3rd, we have had a total of fourteen updates posted across ten projects. I’m going to pick my three favorite updates from the week and highlight them below, but before we get into that lets take a look at which projects were updated this week!




    This Week’s Top Updates


    Project: Stove Assistant - Pi Chef Blog #4 - Temperature Camera Overlay



    After building a custom camera mount for the Panasonic Grid-Eye sensor, Bernhard Mayer (bernhardmayer)got to work on creating the first video with the temperature overlay enabled. “The next step is to make a video with camera and temperature data to see how the data aligns in the whole sensing area. Making a video with OpenCV is quite simple: you just have to add each image/frame and OpenCV does the rest,” he wrote. “Unfortunately OpenCV and the video input buffer always add a little delay to the video stream. So there is a little delay between the temperature data and the video. One solution would be to handle the video input in a second thread. But this is more complex so I have to live with this little delay for now.”



    Project: Automatic Dough Shaper - Pi Chef Blog #5 - Motor Control



    Magic smoke is one of those phenomena that every engineer dreads smelling, but it is one of the hard facts of life as an electrical engineer. Unfortunately for AnnaLisa Davis (a_davis_22), her workbench is ripe with the fresh smell of that wispy demon. In the fifth update of project Automatic Dough Shaper, AnnaLisa was working on adding in a stepper motor to her project to serve as the motion element to a cutting device. Things were going ok until she accidentally connected a 12V power lead to the wrong side of her breadboard resulting in a fried development board, and that familiar acrid smell of burning electronics.


    “It smelled a little like something was burning, but I couldn't see anything wrong... Then I couldn't get the computer to recognize my PSoC. And after some puzzling I realized that I had accidentally connected the motor's 12v power supply to the same side of the breadboard as the PSoC power to the A4988,” she wrote. “I completely burned up my microcontroller! And probably my A4988 too. sheesh.I guess I learned my lesson. Be extremely careful about where you put the power!



    Project: The Cooker Connector - Pi Chef Blog #7 - PCB Design



    Everyone knows that I love to see custom PCBs in design challenge projects, and that is exactly what Jonathan Schooler (jschools) seventh update to project The Cooker Connector, is all about. “I will be designing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for my Sensor Hub. This is the piece that connects the thermometer probes to the Raspberry Pi. I plan to mount the board on top of the Raspberry Pi, similar to how the official Pi HATs mount,” he wrote. “This provides a strong mechanical connection to the Pi and a direct electrical connection as well. The circuit board will hold all of my electrical components, including the Analog-to-Digital Converter, the jacks for the temperature probes, and all of the circuitry to transform the signals and get them where they need to go. I also plan to plug the servos that control the air intake vents into the board.”



    That is going to wrap up this weekly summary of the Pi Chef Design Challenge. Remember to check back each and every week for the duration of this challenge for a summary post from the previous week’s updates. If you would like to learn more about this challenge, and to see what progress has already been made, head over to the its official challenge page, and if you would like to follow what I am up to these days, follow me on Instagram I apologize for the summary being a little short this week, but I am currently traveling to Atlanta to attend a woodworking event and to hang out with almost one hundred of my fellow maker content creators. I will see you next week, and as always, remember to hack the world and make awesome!