Author Topic: Last days for NoCAN: the 'wired' IoT platform for makers or Kickstarter.  (Read 1254 times)

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Offline L1L1

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Hello all!

NoCAN is an Arduino-compatible 'wired' IoT platform for makers, based on CAN-bus. It enables you to connect a set of Arduino-compatible 'nodes' to a Raspberry-Pi, using a single cable that brings both power and networking. The Raspberry-Pi controls the network and acts as a gateway to the outside world. You can connect sensors, lights, relays, and actuators and build complex IoT application easily. You can even control your network with your smartphone thanks to the 'blynk' gateway included in the software.

This "wired" approach is meant as an alternative for applications where wireless solutions based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and the like are not satisfactory because of battery or signal strength issues for example. The Arduino-compatible nodes are based on the new Arduino MKR form factor, with the now typical SAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller.

You can learn more here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1242572682/nocan-the-wired-iot-platform-for-makers
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Looks very slick and clearly a fair amount of work and thought behind it. Initially I questioned why you wanted to go wired when the whole point of IoT seemed to be wireless (particularly since wired networks for small kit has been around for a long time in many guises). But perhaps most users might be too young to remember those, and having Arduino plug'n'play sketches is hard to beat.

However, one thing that does stand out is the way these are wired - daisy-chained. Fine if kit is close together but if you have one node here and another that way and another that way it's a lot of wire running both ways up a conduit. Also, if kit gets removed you need to plug in a connector to join the wire ends (or isolate that run if you can). The ability to connect into the cable anywhere (i.e. having a bus topology) would make life simpler for the user, I think. Maybe it can already do that, but if so then perhaps the diagram showing how they connect should reflect it.
 

Offline L1L1

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  • Country: gr
Looks very slick and clearly a fair amount of work and thought behind it. Initially I questioned why you wanted to go wired when the whole point of IoT seemed to be wireless (particularly since wired networks for small kit has been around for a long time in many guises). But perhaps most users might be too young to remember those, and having Arduino plug'n'play sketches is hard to beat.

However, one thing that does stand out is the way these are wired - daisy-chained. Fine if kit is close together but if you have one node here and another that way and another that way it's a lot of wire running both ways up a conduit. Also, if kit gets removed you need to plug in a connector to join the wire ends (or isolate that run if you can). The ability to connect into the cable anywhere (i.e. having a bus topology) would make life simpler for the user, I think. Maybe it can already do that, but if so then perhaps the diagram showing how they connect should reflect it.

You are right: if a node is removed from the chain, you need to connect the wire ends in order to avoid "breaking" the chain. Note that the CANZERO nodes are rather cheap so if you don't need a node, you could just leave it in place thereby avoiding any extra work.
Nevertheless, we are looking into adding more connection options to the CANZERO. There is an unpopulated 4 pin header on the board that we will use for that purpose in the future. For example, some people have asked for the ability to use RJ45 connectors. Using a small RJ45 extension board, the CANZERO node could then be plugged and unplugged from the network without "breaking" the chain, as you suggested.

Please note that we are entering the last 48hours of the campaign. Last chance to be part of the game!  ;)
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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One of the issues with the daisy-chaining, which isn't related to the cost or difficulty of replacing a node, is the Xmas-lights effect: when it stops working, tracing the fault can be a right pain in the rear. And you can't think "Well sod this for a lark, we can limp on until the weekend with the working bits" because there won't be any working bits.

Good luck with the last day or so of the campaign. I'm sure you won't be disappointed :)
 


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