[IMST IC880A + RPi] Gateway "hangs" every few weeks

Great news!

IMST is preparing an backplane to connect RPi to the iC880a (still NOT official!). I will be testing one of these boards soon and will post the results.


Indeed great news!
I will be visiting them tomorrow, picking up my iC880a. Maybe they will need another tester :wink:

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In the meantime you can use this one, works great

And I’ve updated the packet forwarder to manage LED

Dedicated post

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I sent support a message offering to test it - and received a very terse response. I don’t know why companies do this - an official Pi backplane would mean they would sell much more!

They want to keep it low profile until they 1) know that it actually solves the problems 2) decide they even want to offer it as a product.

Ok, one more backplane to the mix! :slight_smile:

My board doesn’t have any of the funky features of @Charles’ one. It’s as simple as it gets:

It’s shared on oshpark and the Fritzing file is on github.

It works with the installer script without changes.

And this is how it looks when plugged to the boards:



You finally succeeded PCB with Fritzing ?

well, it’s more like I failed with Eagle and then tried Fritzing :wink:

nice work, but does this also mean you didn’t receive the official board yet?

I email IMST about their official board and case and it seems they are only selling them with new IC880a orders, not a good way to treat recent customers. I wanted to show their kit at my local makerspace but they seemed disinterested.

If IMST missed the chance, thats the best for others :laughing: as
@Charles iC880A and Linklabs in-between-shield plus funky features
@gonzalocasas onzalocasas [IMST IC880A + RPi] Gateway "hangs" every few weeks

well that depends - I know of quite a few people who want a close to turnkey solution, they don’t mind assembling but don’t want to solder.
With the delays of the TTN gateway and the increasing interest of telcos I hope that TTN doesn’t “miss the boat”

I could sell those pre-assembled if anyone is interested. I can provide them at cost, not interested in making money with this; what I am not sure of is how the shipping part works, I guess I can ship it in a regular padded envelope, otherwise the cost of shipping to some countries will exceed that of the board itself.

DM me if you’re interested.

I also have a problem where my gateway (RPi/IC880a SPI) falls over when left running. Last night it only ran for an hour. I start poly_pkt_fwd manually and see how long it goes for before getting:

ERROR: [main] unintended SX1301 reset detected, terminating packet forwarder.

I will have a go at doing the steps listed in this post and see if it improves. Shorter wires or make a PCB, power supply filtering, shielding, turn off WIFI (which would be a real pain!).

I also have CRC errors so may have some relationship.

Notice that the unintended reset message is recoverable. The service restarts automatically in that case, so, that’s probably not the root cause if your gateway is non operational after that. I’d go for WiFi issues or power supply issues (in that order).

I’m afraid the nice watchdog code is hiding the real problem, the relative long non screened wires between Pi and IC880A act as antenna’s, for example GSM telephone or switching relays, connecting mains loads further away all these can couple into the wires and disturb signal levels and shape, resulting in wrong SPI communications. Maybe I was lucky but my gateway never did fail or reset, it’s already running for months with Wifi communication to the internet and no special code.

Further keep the IC880A antenna input as far as possible away from the noisy Pi, it will help you with receiver sensitivity…

Mine was resetting due to the power supply. I had inadvertently used the wrong white wall plug adapter. Changed it back and resets gone. CRC errors still present so still some work to do. I am going to put a good power supply filter on and probably a stiffer reset pull up and a small cap. The jumper wires gotta go. Perhaps make an adapter PCB with everything on it and good shielding.

Keep in mind packets with CRC errors are to be expected and present on commercial gateways as well. After all with radio communication interference is to be expected…

Hi Gonzalo,
I build a Lorank based gateway with a beaglebone, same problems, and I want to install the watchdog. Do you know if the Lorank installer is already updated with it?

The watchdog is outdated, we’re not using that anymore, the current fix is in the packet forwarder itself (the TTN fork: https://github.com/TheThingsNetwork/packet_forwarder/commit/d0a3319599d84cb455047f915b9c2aac7cd54e25). I think Lorank8 does not use the TTN fork but @devlaam knows best.

For a quick test, you could try adding the same lines of code directly in the clone of the packet forwarder you have and trigger compilation, Lorank8 uses almost the same script to build that we use (in fact, we forked from theirs originally), so their process is also basically 1) clone 2) compile 3) install.