- 1 Overview
- 2 Connecting your xChips
- 3 Download xFlasher
- 4 Track data on the OD01 screen
- 5 Connecting to the dashboard
- 6 Troubleshooting
- 7 Viewing data using MQTT
- 8 Further Reading
Welcome to the XinaBox Ecosystem! This guide covers simple hardware and software setup, as well as connecting to our free dashboard, or the cloud via MQTT. Here is the Getting Started Guide .
- 1 x CW01 Wi-Fi Core (ESP8266/ESP-12F)
- 1 x IP01 USB Programming Interface (FT232R)
- 1 x SW01 Advanced Weather Sensor (BME280)
- 1 x SL01 UVA, UVB, Light (VEML6075 & TSL4531)
- 1 x OD01 OLED Display 128x64 (SSD1306)
- 1 x MD01 Spacer
- 1 x XC10 - 10-Pack xBUS Connectors
What can the kit do?
This kit has a Wi-Fi enabled Core, and a set of sensors that can communicate data on local weather conditions such as temperature, pressure, humidity, visible light, UVA and UVB. This data can be accessed on our free dashboard, or via MQTT. Further xChips, including sensors and control modules can be added to this kit to create further devices.
Note: Once your kit is set up, it will connect automatically each time you connect it to a power source. However, if you use it in a different internet Wi-Fi environment, you will need to reconnect it to the internet by repeating step 5.
Let’s get going!
Connecting your xChips
Remove the xChips from their bags, and you should have a collection that looks like this:
You will see that the connectors have a tab between a set of pins:
This tab needs to match the notch on the xChip connector port:
Tip 1 – Make sure the short product names are facing the same way up, as can be seen below:
Tip 2 – If you can’t see both the codes, it is not correct:
When all your xChips are connected, your kit should look something like this:
You are now ready to program!
xFlasher is an XinaBox application making it easy for you to upload code to Core xChips. This process can be performed using a computer running Microsoft Windows or Mac OS.
Supported Operating Systems:
- Microsoft Windows 7
- Microsoft Windows 8.1
- Microsoft Windows 10
- macOS X High Sierra
- macOS X Mojave
Note:When flashing multiple cores using a single IP01 and xFlasher. Users may notice that xFlasher may output an error saying “IPxx not Found” or “CWxx not found.” This is a known issue which can be rectified by unplugging the IPxx from your laptop/PC and restarting the xFlasher App.
- Microsoft Windows Installation
- Open xFlasher latest release to find the latest release of xFlasher (see below):
- Download xFlasher by clicking on xFlasher.exe located right below Assets. The download will appear in the bottom left corner of your browser.
- The download will be situated in your Downloads folder unless otherwise specified by user settings. Go to the Downloads folder. See below.
- macOS Installation
- Download from the Mac App Store. Click on the iStore button to go to the App in the store:
- Click the link that says view in Mac App Store. The store will pop-up as seen below.
- Select install. Follow the prompts to install the App.
Download the prepared Arduino Code
We have developed a sample App for you to get your kit up and running. The technical term for this is “Firmware”. Open WeatherStation-XK01 latest release. It will take you to the webpage containing the latest release of the XK01 Firmware.
The latest release may be of a different version than that shown in the below pictures which is used purely for illustrative purposes.
Download the firmware by clicking on XK01_V1_XXX.bin located right below Assets. This download will appear in your Downloads folder. Do NOT double click the .bin file.
The firmware will download to your Downloads folder on Windows as shown below.
Uploading Firmware using xFlasher
Connect your device to your computer’s USB port.
Now, start xFlasher by doubling clicking on the xFlasher application. xFlasher will open as in the below image. To upload the firmware, click on the magnifying glass in the top right corner.
Navigate to your Downloads folder where the firmware is located. Click once on the file and select Open.
You should see the path to the firmware in the Application field. See below.
Enable tick box Erase First.
Hint : If you are using IP01 version 1.0.1 or earlier ensure that the switches are towards B and DCE (towards each other).
The Firmware will then upload to your device.
When the screen says "FINISHED” then you may proceed to the next step.
Configuring your kit to Wi-Fi
Disconnect your kit from the USB port in your computer, and power it using an alternative USB power supply.
You will notice that the unit will start a countdown timer, giving you time to connect and configure.
Hint: If the Captive Portal doesn’t pop-up on your screen after connecting to your kit, open your browser and enter the address [22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199] as shown on the OD01 screen.
Take note of the unit Wi-Fi Hotspot name which starts with XINABOX_xxxx followed by numerals.
In the example below, the unit’s name is XINABOX_15680266. In every case the password is “password”.
Important – you need to know the login details for your local Wi-Fi network, which cannot require enterprise level security (i.e. the kit can login to Wi-Fi networks requiring a login and password). If in doubt, a smart phone hotspot normally works well.
Open up you Wi-Fi connection choices and choose the XINABOX_xxxx Wi-Fi that responds to your kit, as in this picture:
A screen will open that looks like this:
Select “Configure Device”.
Create a Device Name. In this case “XK01 Demo” has been used. You need to create a unique name which is used to identify your unit. Write this name somewhere so that you don’t forget it. In our case, we have used our organisation “XinaBox” - you can use your own. The index will default to “smallsat”, and for simple setup we recommend using that value. Click Save. You will be presented with another window as shown below.
For this guide we will not configure Blynk, therefore select “Configure Wi-Fi”.
The following screen will come up:
The STEM Server should default to “XinaBox”. Type in the name of your Wi-Fi and the password. Now click Save.
Hint: If you have issues connecting your kit to the Wi-Fi ensure that you’ve entered the correct Wi-Fi Password (PSK) and correct Wi-Fi Name (SSID). Note that both of these are case sensitive.
This XinaBox screen will close and within a few seconds your kit will connect to the internet, and begin displaying data:
The light on CW01 should be green.
Track data on the OD01 screen
The data being collected by the kit will be visible on the OD01 screen.
Connecting to the dashboard
In your browser, type in the following link : [data.xinabox.cc data.xinabox.cc] A screen will pop up and you need to enter:
Note all lower case.
Click Sign In.
In the search bar at the top of the landing page, search for your kit unit name that you wrote down earlier. Ours is “XK01 Demo”.
Press the search icon:
You should now see your data on the dashboard.
For a more indepth view of your data. Click the drop-down on the latest entry of data on the discovery page
After clicking the drop-down you should see a screen similar to the one below
Click the tab “JSON” next to the “Table” tab. You will see your data similar to what’s shown below
Find more information on utilising the dashboard under the “Further Reading” heading in this doc.
- No IPxx found error when attempting to program with xFlasher :
- If you are running Microsoft Windows please ensure that you have the latest FTDI drivers installed, more information about this can be found at this link
- Reboot your computer then reopen xFlasher and start fresh.
- If you have other issues with uploading the .bin file via xFlasher please ensure that you haven’t double clicked the .bin file to create a .bin.cpgz file in your downloads folder. If this is the case the please head to your downloads folder, delete the .bin.cpgz file and open xFlasher and ensure you select the original .bin file.
- If your LED on the CW01 remains blue after configuration is complete you may have made an error while configuring your WiFi, please return to step 7 and redo your WiFi settings
Viewing data using MQTT
XinaBox operates an MQTT server for the purpose of allowing users of our kits, at time of writing, XK01, to capture data as they are uploaded from the kits to the internet. As per the above diagram, the kits - here illustrated as 3 x XK01 kits, are uploading data either to the XinaBox MQTT server or to the ThinSat MQTT server. That is determined when the CW01 in each of the kits are been provisioned, by means of a dropdown, where either XinaBox or ThinSat is selected.
If ThinSat is selected, the data runs straight from the ThinSat MQTT server to the [sdd.nsldata.com Space Data Dashboard], which is maintained by NearSpaceLaunch as part of the Virginia Space program. Only participants of that program will be able to gain access to that server environment.
However choosing the XinaBox MQTT server, will allow you to see the data on the XinaBox dashboard, data.xinabox.cc. The website is a sandboxed website, which means everybody has access to all data and configurations, and can do what pleases them, for that reason we need to verify your intentions before giving you access to [data.xinabox.cc data.xinabox.cc].
The dashboard is based on Kibana with data stored on an ElasticSearch database. It is beyond this documentation to describe how to to use the Kibana software, as plenty of online tutorials are available. The intention with the sandboxed dashboard, is to give the user an easy access to data and allowing to graph or even download the data to a spreadsheet.
Can I add on more sensors?
XinaBox has a further 20 sensors that you can add onto your weather station, like carbon dioxide, volatile organics, radiation, proximity and particle sensors. Note that the addition of new sensors aren’t supported in the sample App. You will have to do the code for additional sensors yourself.
Can I run experiments?
XinaBox has developed some experiments that you can conduct with this kit, e.g.:
- Does the light stay on in the fridge when I close the door?
- What is the relationship between temperature and humidity?
- What effect does temperature have on atmospheric pressure?
- Can I calculate the dew point and know when the frost will arrive?
- What is the UV index and how do I know when it is dangerous to be in the sun?
- How is the UV index affected by weather conditions like cloud cover?
All data is transferred IoT-style by Wifi to a dashboard. The unit includes the download of pre-developed code, experiments.