Ground Lab Hardware and Devices

These devices are the products created from Ground Lab's work and projects, below are the overviews of each device.

If you would like to obtain one of the devices or related parts please see the >Ground Lab shop< for details.

GSM Boards

GE863+atMega1280

Created (2010) Full schematics and a BOM parts list can be downloaded from the GroundLab GitHub site here:

https://github.com/GROUNDLAB/TelitMega1280

Description:

The Big brother board is a multi-use platform that combines a Atmel microcontroller with a GSM module to allow communication over any cell network. With the device you can use all the functionality of the atmel microcontroller (ADC conversions, Digital I/O, Uart, I2C) and then link it to remote modules, the InterWeb or your cell phone with the GSM Telit module.

This boards original function was to link a remote PV system to the web via a local cell network in Mali. It was used to provide two functions:

  • Collect real time operational and environmental data about the in field system.
  • Control operational and mechanical behavior of the PV system from a centralized server.

The BigBrother board is a combination:

-Sirfstar GPS unit 

-GSM(class 10 cell module)

-AVR atMega1280 RISC microcontroller

Tech Overview:

The board combines four technologies into one board:

On board python interpreter
Satellite based GPS locational data 
GSM sim based networked connectivity
The full functionality of the atMega1280 RISC processor

The Telit python interpreter allows the Telit to run python scripts on board giving full control of the GPS GSM and GPRS functionality:

Python script interpreter (module takes 
the application code directly in the 
Python language)

Memory: 1.9 MB of NV memory for the user scripts
and 1.2 MB RAM for the Python* engine usage

Over-the-air application SW update

IIC Bus and SPI Bus controlled in Python

Full python reference can be found here: http://www.telit.com/en/products/python/python-for-m2m-applications.php

The on board GPS SirfStar chipset provides:

"Low power consumption with position resolution 
accuracy of less than 2.5m, SBAS (WAAS and EGNOS) 
as well as high sensitivity for indoor fixes."
-Telit GE863 Datasheet-

The GPS chipset can be controlled utilizing the built in Telit AT command set or directly accessed through the Sirf Binary port.

The GSM cellular modem provides real Quad band access to GSM based networks around the world with these features:

Quad-band     EGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz 
Serial port multiplexer GSM 7.10
SIM access profile
Sensitivity: 
|-107 dBm (typ.) @ 850 / 900 MHz 
|-106 dBm (typ.) @ 1800 / 1900 MHz
TCP/IP stack access via AT commands

Full reference can be found on the Telit website:

www.telit.com/en/products/gsm-gprs.php?p_ac=show&p=8

The Avr atMega1280 chip is fully broken out in accessible solder pads allowing the use of headers or cable to be attached to all the ports of the device. The AVR chip is a powerful microcontroller consisting of:

128KB self-programming Flash Program Memory
8KB SRAM
4096 Bytes EEPROM
Multiple Digital I/O ports
16 Channel 10-bit A/D-converter
JTAG interface for on-chip-debug 
Up to 16 MIPS throughput at 16 MHz 
1.8 - 5.5 Volt Operation

Full datasheet can be found here: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/product_card.asp?part_id=3633

Application:

The BigBrother board is designed to be flexible, providing many hardware and software options.

Hardware Specifications: The board allows two separate voltage inputs to the Telit Gsm and the atmel atMega1280 chip. This allows you to run the Telit at one voltage while running the atMega at a higher or lower voltage in accordance with the peripherals needs.

Voltage Input for main regulator:
4v-12v DC (*Max 15V)

Atmel voltage:
Specified by atMega1280 datasheet.

Telit voltage:
3.8V

To do this solder pad jumpers can be utilized to attach or detach the power supplies,(as shown on the above board schematic) the jumper labeled “ATMEL JUMP” connects the atMega1280 to the main power supply and the “TELIT JUMP” connects the Telit to the main power. The board also has through hole resistors placed for easier voltage level adjustment.

Communication level Translation: When connecting a device running at a differing voltage than the Telit, to insure the proper logic levels are maintained a logic level conversion circuit is used. A series of jumper pads allows access to the logic level conversion circuit, which connects the communications between the Telit and the atMega1280 allowing flexibility in attaching various serial communication sources.

Atmel atMega1280: The atMega1280 can be used with a ISP programmer as well as JTAG interfaces. In addition the Arduino (http://www.arduino.cc/) bootloader may be loaded onto the device to use the Arduino IDE with the board. The pin configuration is also identical to the Arduino Megas configuration to allow any shields which are compatible to be used with this unit as well.

Software: Two complete code libraries are available to be used with this device, one to be used with the Arduino IDE and one to be compiled using the avr-gcc compiler more information and reference can be found here:

>GSM+ARDUINO<

>GSM_LIBRARY<

GE863+USB

Description:

The LittleBoy Board is designed to easily give access to the GPS and GSM functionality of the Telit, providing a small, portable, easy to use tracking device. The device is capable of taking satellite based GPS data and sending it via the cell network to a web based server, allowing for web based real-time visualizations of the devices current position. Easy access to the Telit interface is done through the use of a on board USB chip allowing direct communication and programming from your computers USB port as well as a logic level conversion circuit to allow a microcontroller to easily attach to the device.

The board was designed as part of the >Open Source Tracking< project to provide a easy to use low cost tracking device

Created (2010) Full schematics and a BOM parts list can be downloaded from the GroundLab GitHub site here: https://github.com/GROUNDLAB/GE863_FTDI

The board combines five technologies into one board:

On board python interpreter 
Satellite based GPS locational data 
GSM sim based networked connectivity
A USB FTDI chip for easy access to the Telit module
A USB charging circuit to charge the device off your PC

Tech Overview:

The Telit python interpreter allows the Telit to run python scripts on board giving full control of the GPS GSM and GPRS functionality:

Python script interpreter (module takes 
the application code directly in the 
Python language)

Memory: 1.9 MB of NV memory for the user scripts
and 1.2 MB RAM for the Python* engine usage

Over-the-air application SW update

IIC Bus and SPI Bus controlled in Python

Full python reference can be found here: http://www.telit.com/en/products/python/python-for-m2m-applications.php

The on board GPS SirfStar chipset provides:

"Low power consumption with position resolution 
accuracy of less than 2.5m, SBAS (WAAS and EGNOS) 
as well as high sensitivity for indoor fixes."
-Telit GE863 Datasheet-

The GPS chipset can be controlled utilizing the built in Telit AT command set or directly accessed through the Sirf Binary port.

The GSM cellular modem provides real Quad band access to GSM based networks around the world with these features:

Quad-band     EGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz 
Serial port multiplexer GSM 7.10
SIM access profile
Sensitivity: 
|-107 dBm (typ.) @ 850 / 900 MHz 
|-106 dBm (typ.) @ 1800 / 1900 MHz
TCP/IP stack access via AT commands

Full reference can be found on the Telit website:

www.telit.com/en/products/gsm-gprs.php?p_ac=show&p=8

Application:

The LittleBoy board is designed to be a low cost easy to use tracking solution. It implements a FTDI chip and a logic level conversion circuit to allow a PC or microcontroller to easily attach to the device.

Hardware Specifications: The board allows you power the device from a common rechargeable single cell lithium ion battery.

Voltage input
3.3 V (discharged) to 4.23 V

Battery Charging To enable the recharging of the battery from the USB port of your PC you just halve to solder the “CHARGESJ” jumper on the top of the board. This will wake the board whenever it is plugged into the PC and start the charging algorithm.

USB communication The Telit can be accessed through your USB port on your PC in two easy steps,

  • First you need a mini USB “B” style cable (found at any electronics store)
  • Second you need to download and install the free USB driver from FTDI found here: http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDrivers.htm

With that you can just plug in the device and access it from any terminal program like miniCom or coolTerm, for more information see here: >Telit+python Tutorial<

Connecting to a microcontroller: To connect it to a external microcontroller is also simple because of the on-board logic conversion circuit. All you need to do is hook up the VCC Ground and RX TX from the microcontroller to the LittleBoy board and flip the sliding serial selection switch and you are hooked up. See here for more details:>Microcontrollers to GSM modules<

Software The Telit has a on board python interpreter which allows the custom programming of the Telit module for more information and a complete Tool chain from Ground Lab to load scripts onto the device look here at >Telit+python Tutorial<

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