Arduino Library - IridiumSBD

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crispin12
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Arduino Library - IridiumSBD

Postby crispin12 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:45 pm

Is there any chance of Matrix turning the IridiumSBD arduino library into a component that can be used primarily as an Arduino component in Flowcode and later possibly a more advanced version to work as a component with other controller families? The library facilitates comms with the Rockblock satellite modem which is becoming hugely popular and would make a great addition to the Flowcode Comms component models.

https://github.com/mikalhart/IridiumSBD

I am actually surprised that Matrix haven't already jumped on the Rockblock modems and created an e-block with them?
I would love to be able to work in Flowcode with these modems. I wish I had the C C++ coding skills to create this component but sadly I am reliant on the hope that Matrix might take this up. The modems are not cheap BUT the Iridium constellation has satellite coverage over every square metre of the earth and is probably the only guaranteed method of sending data long distance between any two points on the planet. The Rockblock modems are self contained and use UART Hayes type AT commands to control them. The advantage of the ArduinoSBD library is that it makes setting up the modem comms a piece of cake. However, Flowcode does not support the Arduino open source libraries so there's the rub.

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Re: Arduino Library - IridiumSBD

Postby kersing » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:43 pm

I am not surprised Matrix has not jumped on them. If you read the forum looking at what people want components for they could employ an army of developers just to create components. :D

Out of interest, what is the price of the modems and what is the pricing on the iridium connectivity plan?
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Re: Arduino Library - IridiumSBD

Postby crispin12 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:59 pm

Hello Kersing

I agree with you about component development resources. I know this is hashing over old ground and has been covered on the forum at other times but when Matrix took on making the Arduino a target for code compilation I wonder if they really had thought out the benefits versus the dev costs and support. Arduino's biggest asset is the enormous amount of open source libraries but if Flowcode cannot take advantage of those libs then it really limits anyone wanting to adopt Flowcode as a platform for Arduino development. I'm not criticising Flowcode but rather questioning the wisdom of taking on the Arduino without fully evaluating the resource effort to support it. In fact I'm wondering whether developing components is the way to go and the solution may be arrived at a lot easier by enhancing the C code component to act as a portal to hook in the Arduino libraries in their native form and simply allow us to use C code command icons to call the macros of those libraries to access the internal lib functions? I'm probably over simplifying things but the way I see it then is that Matrix would only need to maintain and develop the C Code portal that can allow all external libs to go through rather than making components ad infinitum for every lib that gets written.

I'm based in the UK and each Rockblock modem costs in the region of £160 and then there is satellite time based on the message bandwidth. You can purchase access by buying blocks of credits and every message subtracts from your credit pool. The more messages you send the quicker you use up your credits. It's like a pay as you go Giffgaff cellular scheme. But its great for transmitting key data say a few times per day in applications where you don't require continuous communication access. Each modem gets registered to get it on "air" and then you pay £10 per month rental to keep it on line. You can share your credit pool among several modems. You don't need to have a separate credit bank for each modem. The size of the hardware fits in the palm of the hand and that is the complete RF/data/modem unit. You just connect your micro up to the power and TTL level serial I/O lines or the RS232 port (depending on which model you choose).

I'm pretty certain you can use Flowcode to communicate with them with what is already in Flowcode (will probably try it at some point) but the Arduino lib I referred to earlier has some really nice automatic program features built in like a "call back" function that allow you to let the Arduino go about doing other stuff while waiting for a signal from the modem that it it has grabbed the satellite and is all connected up. Basically if the comments from the Arduino community are anything to go by that IridiumSBD lib makes the whole thing an absolute doddle to get the system up and running. Its so successful that its just been ported across to Python for Rasberry Pi users.