XK07

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STEM FlatSat Kit
XK07.jpg
Cores CW01, CS11
Sensors SW01, SL01, SI01, SN01,
Power PB04
Radio RL03
Interfaces IP01
Output OD01
Accessories XC10

Overview

The XK07 is a STEM Kit, that allows for more comprehensive experiments. A very typical experiment with the XK07 is a Weather Balloon mission, which will simulate a satellite mission. This STEM kit includes xChips to build both a satellite or - as we like to call it - a FlatSat (which can be moved in the environment, including being flown), and a Ground Station, to receive and display data.

This kit was developed originally for the Generic STEM programme, as a satellite engineering model, and as the payload for a Weather Balloon Mission. As a STEM kit, we have developed Experiments that can be conducted in the classroom and school surrounds. This XK07 kit is ideal for Science Clubs and STEM Youth Centres.

What's included in the XK07 Kit

Ground Station:

  • 2 x CW01 - WiFi Core
  • 1 x IP01 - USB Programmer
  • 1 x OD01 - OLED Display
  • 1 x RL03 - LoRa Radio 915MHz
  • 1 x XC10 - 10-Pack xBUS Connectors

Flight Station:

  • 1 x CS11 - Core with SD Card Interface
  • 1 x PB04 - Dual AA Intelligent Battery
  • 1 x RL03 - LoRa Radio 915MHz
  • 1 x SG33 -VOC & ECO2
  • 1 x SI01 - IMU 9DoF
  • 1 x SL01 - UVA, UVB, Light Sensor
  • 1 x SN01 - GNSS (GPS)
  • 1 x SW01 - Advanced Weather Sensor
  • 1 x XC10 - 10-Pack xBUS Connectors

What can the XK07 do?

This kit has a core, Wi-Fi 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 any other interface via MQTT. Many other xChips can be added to this kit to create further devices, with these sensors and core capable of controlling solid state relays or servo motors.

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...

Ground Station:

XK07Picture1.png

Flight Station:

XK07Picture2.png

Connectors

You will see that the connectors have a tab between a set of pins:

Picture2.png

This tab needs to match the notch on the xChip connector port:

Picture3.png

Assembly Tip:

Tip 1 – Make sure you can read the names or codes of the xChips, and that the names are facing up. Example can be seen below, in this picture we can see both the codes for the CS11 and the SG33, and the connector:

Picture4.png

Tip 2 – If you can’t see both the codes, it is not correct:

Picture5.png

When all your xChips are connected, your kit should look as follows:

Ground Station

XK07Picture3.png

Flight Station

XK07Picture4.png

Now that you have assembled your hardware.

You are now ready to program!

Download xFlasher

xFlasher is an App developed by XinaBox to enable you to upload code to specific core xChips. This process you will need to perform using your computer, either 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. It will take you to the webpage containing the latest release of xFlasher. See below.
Picture8.png
Download xFlasher, by clicking on xFlasher.exe located right below Assets. The download will appear in the bottom left corner of your browser.
Picture9.png
The download will be situated in your Downloads folder unless otherwise specified by user settings. Go to the Downloads folder. See below.
Picture10.png
macOS Installation
Download from the Mac App Store. Click on the iStore button to go to the App in the store:
App-store.svg
Click the link that says view in Mac App Store. The store will pop-up as seen below.

Picture12.png

Select install. Follow the prompts to install the App.

Picture13.png

Download the sample App

We have developed a sample App for you to get your kit up and running. The technical term for this is “Firmware”. Open Latest release. It will take you to the webpage containing the latest release of the XK07 Firmware.

Note:The latest release may be of a different version that that shown in the below pictures which is used purely for illustrative purposes.

XK07Picture5.png

Download the firmware by clicking on FIRMWARE_XK07_V1.XXX.zip located right below Assets. This folder will appear in your Downloads folder. The FIRMWARE_XK07_V1.XXX.zip contains 2 folders, namely CS11 SAT(the software for your flight station) and CW01 GS(the software for your ground station). XK07Picture6.png

Uploading code to the xChip CS11

Head to you downloads and open the CS11 SAT folder. XK07Picture7.png

Open the RADIO.TXT file. Replace “<YOUR_ID>” with your chosen radio ID(a number between 1 and 255) and note this for configuring your ground station later. XK07Picture8.png

Save the changes to the file. Insert your SD card into your computer.

Note: the SD card needs to a maximum of 32GB and must be formatted with FAT32. It should appear as a drive on your computer.

Drag and drop the entire UPDATE.bin and RADIO.TXT files onto the SD card . Safely eject the SD card and insert it into your CS11.

Note:Do not copy the entire folder to the SD Card.


Now that you have loaded the software onto the SD Card and inserted it into the CS11, plug the OD01 from the Ground Station into your Flight Station configuration as depicted below.

XK07Picture9.png

Power up the Flight Station. When the CS11 boots up you will be presented with some dialog info on the OD01 during the boot process.

If the SD Card was not inserted it will pop-up on the OD01 that the SD Card is not present.

XK07Picture10.png

Uploading code to the xChip CW01 using xFlasher

Disconnect the OD01 from your Flight Station and connect it to your Ground Station as depicted in step 3. Insert your ground station into a USB port on your computer. Now, start xFlasher by doubling clicking on the xFlasher App.

xFlasher will open as in the below image.

To upload the firmware, click on the magnifying glass in the top right corner.

XK07Picture11.png

Navigate to your Downloads folder where the firmware is located.You should see the path to the firmware in the Application field. See below.

XK07Picture12.png

Click once on the file and select Open.

Enable tick box Erase First.

XK07Picture13.png

Hint: If you are using IP01 version 1.0.1 or earlier ensure that the switches are towards B and DCE (towards each other).

Press FLASH.



The Firmware will then upload to your device.

XK07Picture14.png

When the screen says “FINISHED” then you go to the next step.

Configuring your Ground Station to Wi-Fi

Disconnect your Ground Station from the USB port in your computer, and power it using an alternative USB power supply.

XK07Picture15.png

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 [194.168.4.1 194.168.4.1] as shown on the OD01 screen.

Take note of the unit Wi-Fi 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 find out the local internet connected Wi-Fi name and password. It cannot be a Wi-Fi that requires more than a password ( only WPA Personal). In most cases, you can create a hotspot on your smart phone and use that as internet connection.

Open up you Wi-Fi connection choices and choose the XINABOX_xxxx Wi-Fi that responds to your kit, as in this picture:

XK07Picture16.png

A screen will open that looks like this:

XK07Picture17.png

Tips:

  • If the Captive Portal doesn’t pop-up on your screen after connecting to your kit, open your browser and enter the address [194.168.4.1 194.168.4.1] as instructed on the OD01 screen.
  • 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.

Select “Configure Device”.

XK07Picture18.png

Create a Device Name for yourself. In this case “Demo XK07” 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”, and you need to use your own.

The index will default to “smallsat” and leave that as it is.

You need to select a unique Radio ID between the range of 0 to 255. Make sure it matches the Radio ID you’ve entered while programming the CS11

The STEM Server should default to “XinaBox”.

Click Save.

You will be presented with another window as shown below. XK07Picture19.png

For this guide we will not configure Blynk, therefore select “Configure Wi-Fi”. The following screen will come up: XK07Picture20.png

Type in the name of your Wi-Fi and the password. Note that the password is case sensitive.

Now click Save. 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. XK07Picture21.png

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:

Username: data

Password: xinabox

Note: All lower case.

Picture32.png

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 “XK07 Demo”. Press the search icon: XK07Picture22.png

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 XK07Picture223.png

After clicking the drop-down you should see a screen similar to the one below XK07Picture24.png

After clicking the drop-down you should see a screen similar to the one below XK07Picture25.png

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.

Picture37.png

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.

Troubleshooting

  • No IPxx found error when attempting to program with xFlasher :
  1. 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
  2. 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

Further Reading

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?

What can I expect?

Balloon missions are exciting and packed with learning. Requirements for a successful balloon mission describes the necessary preparation and is useful for many of the XK07 projects.

This is not a kit for a short event, but rather a kit that requires some preparation. The preparation is divided into the teacher/facilitator preparation and the preparation - and actual learning, that the students has to undertake.

Teacher/facilitator preparation