Another Arduino?

Yes and no.

MKRFOX1200 is a new board that allows us to deploy new kind of projects due to peculiar characteristics:

  • compatible with battery powered scenarios due to the low power consumption of Cortex-M0+
  • able to communicate short messages without internet connection
  • 100% compatibles with Arduino ecosystem (same IDE, same libs, …)

If you are interested in technicalities:

  • SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ 32bit low power ARM MCU
  • Many digital and analogic I/O Pins
  • 256 KB of flash memory
  • SigFox radio @868MHz
  • External antenna

Wait! What is SigFox?

SigFox is a French company that developed a UNB-based (UltraNarrowBand) technology in the area of Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN).

This technology allows long-range wireless communication at a low bit rate compatible with battery powered sensor boards.

The SigFox network allows a subscription service in which you can send 140 messages (around 1 message every 11 minutes) of 12 bytes and you can also receive 4 messages per day. The backend will maintain all the messages and allow the communications from the internet.

OK! Now help me to make it work

Firmware upload

The first step is to upload a firmware for extract information useful for configuration and for test the board. You can use Arduino IDE adding the support for the MKRFOX 1200 board and some libraries (like Arduino Low Power).

After upload opens the serial terminal and copies ID and PAC codes, you will need this code in order to register your board.

Register on SigFox backend

Open browser and go to activation website, then choose Arduino in the first page …

… then select your country …

… and insert the ID and PAC of your board! 

Turn on board, write on serial terminal and you will see new messages on the web interface.

Get data using

The easiest way to receive data is to set a Callback, so for each message, the system will send a request to a web service passing the information received.

The creation of a callback is available editing the Device Type tab and following the configuration mask.

In my case, I send this messages to a Node-RED web service in order to process with this platform … but we will see this in another article.

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