SolidSense N8 Compact Quick Start Guide

Revision and Notes

Date

Owner

Revision

Notes

 

Introduction

The following quick start guide provides background information about the SolidSense N8 Compact.

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact Edge Gateway is an enterprise Internet of Things gateway designed for servicing a local network of IoT devices with a range of solutions and business applications. SolidSense is the ultimate IoT M2M solution, with high-end connectivity options.

Based on NXP i.MX8M Nano processors, , SolidSense is a feature-rich edge platform designed to provide flexibility for developers and OEMs in implementing an almost endless range of IoT solutions.

Main features

SoC: NXP i.MX 8M Nano Arm Cortex A53 Single core @1500MHz + Cortex M7@650MHz
Memory: 1GB DDR4
Storage: 8GB eMMC
Temperature: Commercial (0C to 50C)
OS: Linux

Hardware Setup

Product Specifications

 

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact BLE

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact LTE BLE

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact Extended

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact Extended LTE

 

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact BLE

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact LTE BLE

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact Extended

SolidSense N8 IoT Compact Extended LTE

I/Os

1 x USB 2.0
1 x BLE 5.0 (SDR based on nRF52832 – Wirepas Compatible)

1 x USB 2.0
1 x BLE 5.0 (SDR based on nRF52832 – Wirepas Compatible)

1 x RS485
1 x CAN
1 x USB 2.0

1 x RS485
1 x CAN
1 x USB 2.0

Networking

1 x Ethernet RJ45 10/100/1000
1 x 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0

1 x Ethernet RJ45 10/100/1000
1 x 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0
1 x LTE Cat 4 Worldwide + GPS (with fallback on 3G/2G)

1 x Ethernet RJ45 10/100/1000
1 x 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0

1 x Ethernet RJ45 10/100/1000
1 x 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0
1 x LTE Cat 4 Worldwide + GPS (with fallback on 3G/2G)

Processor

NXP i.MX 8M Nano Arm Cortex A53 Single core @1500MHz + Cortex M7@650MHz

NXP i.MX 8M Nano Arm Cortex A53 Single core @1500MHz + Cortex M7@650MHz

NXP i.MX 8M Nano Arm Cortex A53 Single core @1500MHz + Cortex M7@650MHz

NXP i.MX 8M Nano Arm Cortex A53 Single core @1500MHz + Cortex M7@650MHz

Memory & Storage

1GB DDR4
8GB eMMC
MicroSD

1GB DDR4
8GB eMMC
MicroSD

1GB DDR4
8GB eMMC
MicroSD

1GB DDR4
8GB eMMC
MicroSD

Misc.

Programmable LEDs
Supercap protection
RTC w/ battery

Programmable LEDs
Supercap protection
RTC w/ battery

Programmable LEDs
Supercap protection
RTC w/ battery

Programmable LEDs
Supercap protection
RTC w/ battery

Development and Debug interfaces

Console port (internal)

Console port (internal)

Console port (internal)

Console port (internal)

Power

9V-36V
PoE sink

9V-36V

9V-36V
PoE sink

9V-36V

Expansion card I/Os ( * )

1 x internal expansion header

1 x internal expansion header

1 x internal expansion header

1 x internal expansion header

Temperature

0°C to 50°C

0°C to 50°C

0°C to 50°C

0°C to 50°C

Dimensions

150 x 85 x 40mm

150 x 85 x 40mm

150 x 85 x 40mm

150 x 85 x 40mm

Enclosure

Plastic casing with internal antennas for WiFi-Bluetooth/BLE

Plastic casing with internal antenna for WiFi-Bluetooth. One SMA port for LTE.

Plastic casing with internal antenna for WiFi-Bluetooth

Plastic casing with internal antenna for WiFi-Bluetooth. One SMA port for LTE.

Please Note

(*) Only accessible with case open.

 

 


Block Diagram

The following figure describes the SolidSense N8 Compact Edge Block Diagram.


Visual features overview

Please see below the features overview of the front side of the product.

Note
The unit has two Dual-Band Antennas (for WIFI Module and U-Blox): RF ANT 2.4GHZ/5.4GHZ FLAT PATCH .

 

The system can be used in 4 ways:

  1. Ready to go SolidSense IoT platform (SolidSense Out-Of-the-Box) with Eclipse Kura Framework and Wirepas/Bluetooth Low Energy MQTT gateways built-in applications. Configure the gateway via Kura and that’s it you can directly have your data forwarded to your cloud application.

  2. Developing your own application or add-on on top of the platform. Simple additions can be developed via Python 3.7 using the pre-installed packages. For more sophisticated development, a Docker infrastructure is ready to host your containers.

  3. Create your own SolidSense image derived from SolidSense OOB.

  4. From bare metal. You can create your own Linux image starting from SolidRun BSP. The support for these developments are not covered in the SolidSense section.

The product comes with a SolidSense built in software and ready to go.

Power Connection

Connect your power adaptor to the DC jack (12-36 V), and then connect the adaptor to mains supply.

A green LED will light up at the front panel. This is an indication of your device working.
If it didn’t seem to be lit, then you have to press the on/off button.

Network Configuration

For managing your IoT gateway, monitor the gateway status, and manage the network configuration, you can refer to Configuring SolidSense networking with Kura .

Please see below picture to get the serial number for SSID of the network.


Wirepas

If you are using SolidSense as a Wirepas gateway you can directly configure your Wirepas gateway by referring to Configuring and testing the Wirepas gateway software .

For flashing or re-flashing wirepas sinks, please refer to Flashing or Re-flashing Wirepas sinks on SolidSense gateway (V0.9 and up) .

CanBus and RS485


Connector Description

6 Position Terminal Block Plug, Female Sockets 0.138" (3.50mm) - 180° Free Hanging (In-Line) like this connector.

 

 

 

CanBUS and RS485 Test

For testing your CANBus and RS-485 interfaces, please refer to SolidSense N8 Compact RS485 and CAN bus .

Bluetooth

1. For showing all Bluetooth devices, run the following:

1 hciconfig -a

2. Choose a device, and turn it on:

1 hciconfig hci0 up

3. Set up the Bluetooth name:

1 hciconfig hci0 name 'SolidRun_Ble'

4. Make your Bluetooth detectable by other devices:

1 hciconfig hci0 piscan

5. If you want to connect to other devices:

  • Start by scanning for other Bluetooth devices:

1 hcitool scan
  • Choose a MAC address and connect :

1 rfcomm connect 0 $MAC 10 &
  • You can check the communication between the devices by writing :

1 l2ping -c 4 $MAC

 

Graceful Boot Application

Our source code https://github.com/SolidRun/imx8mp_build/tree/imx8mn  includes a graceful boot/reboot application which prevents corruptions of the filesystem due to power loss.

Hardware used by application

  • 5[F] Supercapacitor which can supply power to the board for ~10-15 seconds.

  • Supercapacitor backup power manager IC.

  • I/O expander, connected to the backup power manager IC.

All these components are part of the board (if assembled).

How the application works

The kernel polls the I/O expander, once the kernel detects that the external power is off (signal from the supercapacitor backup power manager IC), it throws "RESTART" keys.
The keys are catched by input-event-daemon, then the daemon reboots the system.
On boot, U-boot polls the I/O expander and won't boot until:

  • An external power source is connected to the board.

  • The capacitor charge is >90% (so it will last for the boot process, until the daemon will be started).

Once these requirement meet, U-boot will boot the system.

If you are using our Kernel and U-boot, but you are not using our Buildroot, make sure you have a daemon to catch the thrown keys.

Modifying the application

Kernel part

In order to remove the kernel part, remove "gpio_keys_polled" node from devicetree.
The devicetree path is: build/linux-imx/arch/arm64/boot/dts/freescale/imx8mn-compact.dts

U-boot part

The default configuration for the U-boot part is checking that an external power source is connected and the capacitor charge is >90%.
This is configured in the bootcmd environment parameter: check_power_connection 2;.
The argument "2" indicates that the extenral power connection and capacitor charge should be checked.
If you just want to check the power connection, change the argument to "1" check_power_connection 1;.
If you want to cancel the power check, you can delete the check_power_connection part from the bootcmd environment parameter.

Cover Removal

For removing the enclosure , please follow the below instructions:

  1. Remove 4 rubber feet (F) from screw holes in base.

  2. Remove 4 Enclosure self-tapping screw (D) tightened to Top cover bosses (E).

  3. Remove Top cover (C).

  4. Remove Front cover (A) and Rear cover (B).


Hardware interfaces

Please see below the features overview of the connector side of the Compact.

Print side connector overview of the Compact.

Boot Select

Before powering up the board for the first time it is recommended to select the boot media. In order to configure the boot media to MicroSD, please set the S1 switch to match the first option from the following table:

 

Switch 1

Switch 2

SD

ON

ON

eMMC

OFF

ON

Serial connection

Please connect the UART cable to the pins on connector J13 as shown in the above connector side picture under HW interfaces, then you can refer to Serial Connection for installing necessary serial connection software in Linux/Windows.

Once you have installed the necessary serial connection software, reset your device and you should be able to see the following:

  • In order to be able to log in, please insert ‘solidsense’ as username and ‘aiPh2eim’ as password.


List Of Supported OS

OS

 

OS

 

IMX8M Nano Compact - Yocto

Yocto


Build from sources

Support

Please follow our SolidSense Support Overview page.