WisBlock Valve Controller

Ball Valve controller based on the WisBlock and RAK4631, using the WisBlock-API library

Hardware Used

Here is the list of hardware used, substitutions can be made based on use-case

Connections Diagram

Valve Controller

Setup

  • WisBlock Base, Core, and IO Expansion Module per the instructions in the RAK WisBlock Quickstart Guide
  • If you are using Visual Studio, the following platformio.ini can be used to take care of the library requirements:

; PlatformIO Project Configuration File
;
;   Build options: build flags, source filter
;   Upload options: custom upload port, speed and extra flags
;   Library options: dependencies, extra library storages
;   Advanced options: extra scripting
;
; Please visit documentation for the other options and examples
; https://docs.platformio.org/page/projectconf.html

[env:wiscore_rak4631]
platform = nordicnrf52
board = wiscore_rak4631
framework = arduino
lib_deps = 
	beegee-tokyo/[email protected]^2.0.11
	adafruit/Adafruit MCP23017 Arduino [email protected]^2.1.0
	beegee-tokyo/[email protected]^1.1.15
; build_flags = -DAPI_DEBUG=1 -DMY_DEBUG=1

Build and Upload

  • Before building the code, be sure to modify the LoRaWAN keys in credentials.h to be unique to your device

#define NODE_DEVICE_EUI {0x00, 0x0D, 0x75, 0xE6, 0x56, 0x4D, 0xC1, 0xF3}
#define NODE_APP_EUI    {0x70, 0xB3, 0xD5, 0x7E, 0xD0, 0x02, 0x01, 0xE1}
#define NODE_APP_KEY    {0x2B, 0x84, 0xE0, 0xB0, 0x9B, 0x68, 0xE5, 0xCB, 0x42, 0x17, 0x6F, 0xE7, 0x53, 0xDC, 0xEE, 0x79}
  • Additionally, check that the LoRaWAN settings within main.cpp:setup_app() align with your region

g_lorawan_settings.app_port = LORAWAN_APP_PORT;  // Data port to send data
g_lorawan_settings.lora_region = LORAMAC_REGION_US915;  // LoRa region
g_lorawan_settings.tx_power = TX_POWER_0;  // TX power 0 .. 15 (validity depends on Region)
g_lorawan_settings.data_rate = DR_3;  // Data rate 0 .. 15 (validity depends on Region)
g_lorawan_settings.subband_channels = 2; // Subband channel selection 1 .. 9
  • Use PlatformIO or Arduino IDE to upload to the target

Verify Functionality

  • LoRaWAN CLASS A should auto-join the network provided there is a gateway in range. Check to see if your device has joined the network.
  • Use the Bluefruit Connect app to scan for your device (RAK-VLVC-XXXX) and attempt to connect. By default, the code is set to advertise BLE indefinitely.
  • Interact over UART from the app, or via LoRaWAN downlink to the device to do the following:
    1. Check if LoRaWAN join was successful: AT+JOIN=?
    2. Check the LiPo battery status: AT+BAT=?
    3. Manually open the valve: AT+VLVS=1
    4. Manually close the valve: AT+VLVS=0
    5. Open the valve for a specified number of seconds: AT+VLVI=45
    6. Check the current state of the valve: AT+VLVS=?
    7. View more info about WisBlock AT commands here

Send a downlink to begin an “open” interval via the Helium Console

  • All AT commands are accepted via downlink. Using the AT+VLVI=x command we can initiate an “open” interval for x seconds.
  • For example, if we want to initiate an interval of 45 minutes (eg. Water the garden for 45 minutes) send AT+VLVI=2700 using the Text option in the downlink panel on Console
  • Queue the downlink:

image

  • Optionally the command can be encoded to base64 and used in tha payload_raw to be used in an API to trigger downlinks from an integration: # echo "AT+VLVI=2700" | base64 QVQrVkxWST0yNzAwCg==
  • More info on using HTTP integrations with the Helium Console can be found HERE

Sample screenshots from BLE UART Interactions

Project Photos

image image

Future Improvements

  • Add circuitry or a new RAK module to measure and track the capacity of the 9V battery used to drive the valve motor.
  • Add RAK12002 RTC module to allow for the controller to keep a programmable open/close schedule.

GitHub

View Github