RasPiComm Update

RasPiComm v3

I want to give you a short update about the status of the RasPiComm project.

We already have ordered parts for the first production batch of 1.000 RasPiComms. We expect all parts to arrive in 4 weeks, so the RasPiComm will be available in approximately 6 weeks.

RS-Components!
We are also had a conversation with RS-Components. We are very confident that they will add the RasPiComm to their product lineup! So if everything works out the RasPiComm will be available worldwide!

Raspberry Pi with RasPiComm

Raspberry Pi with RasPiComm

The RasPiComm will most probably get a distinctive subsite on Designspark.

I made some changes to the final board, most of them are minor layout changes.

I2C
The pull-ups for the I2C were removed since they are already present on the Raspberry Pi. I still have to check how the I2C pull-ups are with the RasPi rev2.

ESD Protection
I also made an important change to the RS-232 and RS-485 ports. I added TVS-diodes for protection which is a massive improvement in terms of stability.

Here are the specs of the ESD-protection:

RS-232 port:

  • 300 watts peak pulse power (tp = 8/20µs)
  • ‹40 watts peak pulse power (tp = 10/1000µs)
  • ‹Transient protection for data and power lines to
    • IEC 61000-4-2 (ESD) ±15kV (air), ±8kV (contact)
    • IEC 61000-4-4 (EFT) 40A (5/50ns)
    • IEC 61000-4-5 (Lightning) 12A (1.2/50µs)

RS-485 port:

  • 400 watts peak pulse power (tp = 8/20µs)
  • ‹Transient protection for asymmetrical data lines to
    • IEC 61000-4-2 (ESD) ±15kV (air), ±8kV (contact)
    • IEC 61000-4-4 (EFT) 40A (5/50ns)
    • IEC 61000-4-5 (Lightning) 12A (8/20µs)

43 responses to “RasPiComm Update

  1. Pingback: ความคืบหน้าของ RasPiComm | Raspberry Pi Thailand

  2. efe September 24, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Hey there do you have a price in mind for these boards yet ? Very excited about having these available and being able to place an order.

  3. aluders September 25, 2012 at 7:38 am

    This may be a stupid question to ask but can the rs232 port be used to control another device, with the raspberrypi, rather than opening a console to the raspberrypi?

  4. Andre Crone October 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Do you have the schematics of your latest version? I am very interested to see where you used the TVS-diodes. Are you going to publish any code examples? How, for example, can you use the RS485 bus?

  5. nashblackcat October 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I can believe I haven’t seen this project before! I have been looking for a working io solution for some RS485 temperature controllers. I think your shield would work. Also some folks have been asking around for 485 DMX support on the Pi and this might help too. How much do you think they will sale for?

    • Daniel Amesberger October 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      It should be about the same price as the gertboard. And the RasPiComm is already in production, it will be ready in a few weeks!
      I already thought about DMX support (I personnally control all the lights in my house with DMX), with this board it would not work easily because the MAX3140 does not allow this (quite unusual) baudrate of 250kbits. But the RasPiComm will be able to support DMX.

  6. nashblackcat October 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Can not believe I have not found your project sooner! Want to ask the cost of a kit? I have been looking for a good solution to interface some temperature/process controllers that use Modbus vis RS485. This seems to be a great solution! Also have a few friends who might like this to try to implement DMX15 via 485.

  7. nashblackcat October 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    WordPress on my phone is acting strange sorry for the double post as it did not show up till I made a second post.

  8. coolwater October 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Super Projekt!!!🙂 Kann man eigentlich über das I²C-Interface auch die Schaltzustände von Relais auslesen (ggf. über eine zusätzliche Hardware, die am I²C-Interface angeschlossen wird)? Wenn ja, was bräuchte man dafür?

    Big thx🙂

    • Daniel Amesberger October 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Danke😉
      Ja, klar kann man das machen. Wenn das Projekt genug Resonanz findet (also wir genug RasPiComms verkaufen) werden wir das gesamte Ökosystem ausbauen, Schalten und Regeln gehört da auf jeden Fall auch dazu und wir wollen auch günstige Platinen dazu machen. Wahrscheinlich aber eher über den RS-485 Bus, da I2C nichts für längere Leitungen ist. RS-485 kann dann auch bis zu 256 Platinen Ansteuern und das über bis zu 2km Leitungslänge sehr störsicher. I2C ist eher für IC zu IC Verbindungen mir kurzen Leitungen gut. Machbar ist das aber allemal. Im Grunde kannst du jeden Microcontroller einfach über die SCL und SDA Leitung verbinden und dann mit diesem kommunizieren.

  9. coolwater October 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Vielen Dank für die Info! Sobald raspicomm käuflich zu werben ist, werde ich mir ein paar (oder noch mehr) Exemplare sichern😉

    Ich würde gern programmtechnisch die Relais-Zustände eines Rundsteuerempfängers (zum Lastmanagement bei PV-Anlagen, Drosselung der Netzeinspeise-Leistung usw.) auslesen. Dieser Empfänger hat 3 Relais, also 6 Adernpaare. Der RPI müsste also auf der + Seite des Relais 5V schicken und schauen ob diese auf der – Seite wieder zurückkommen, also eine simple Durchgangsprüfung.

    Da am RS-485-Bus die Wechselrichter angeschlossen sein sollen, würde ich die Prüfung der Relais lieber über RS-232 realisieren, wenn für den I²C die Kabellängen (bis zu 20m) zuviel sind.

    Bin leider elektrotechnisch ein Laie, daher wäre für mich eigentlich nur eine fertige Lösung interessant bzw. die Auflistung der benötigten Komponenten, damit mir das jemand zusammenbauen kann😉 Wenn möglich halt ohne zusätzlichen Controller, denn der müsste ja dann auch noch programmiert werden…

    Hast du vllt. eine Idee?😉

    Danke!

    • Daniel Amesberger October 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Ich glaube jetzt weiß ich was du meinst. Du willst eigentlich keine Relais steuern sondern nur prüfen ob diese geschlossen oder offen sind. Das ist ganz einfach und geht ohne weiteren Bauteilen mit dem RasPiComm. Du kannst die Input-Leitungen verwenden. Auf dem RasPiComm gibt es einen 6-poligen Input Anschluss, die Eingänge sind 5V kompatibel, der Anschluss ist so aufgebaut: +5V, I1,I2,I3,I4,I5. Damit kannst du bis zu 5 Relaiszustände “auslesen”.
      Du verbindest einfach den +5V Anschluss mit den Schalteingängen der 3 Relais. Wenn diese schließen liegt 5V am Ausgang an, im offenen Zustand 0V. Die Ausgänge der Relais hängst du dann an I1, I2 und I3. Und mit der RasPiComm API kannst du dann jederzeit prüfen ob sich einer der Eingänge verändert hat. Input 1 ist dann 1 wenn das Relais 1 geschlossen ist und 0 wenn es offen ist, usw.

  10. coolwater October 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Es wird immer interessanter😉 Danke für die Auskunft! Kannst du mir noch sagen, welchen Stecker ich für den 6-poligen Inputanschluss brauche? Bzw. wo auf dem Board befindet sicher dieser Anschluss? Sehe außer RS232, RS485 und dem I²C-Anschluss nicht wirklich mehr…😉

    Freue mich schon, wenn das RaspiComm und die API verfügbar sind…..😉

    Danke nochmals!

  11. Robin October 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Hi There …

    Any progress on these boards? I really would like to use RS485 …where can we buy?

    • Daniel Amesberger October 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

      It will be available at http://www.rs-components.com. It is already in production and available soon.

      • Robin October 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm

        Oh RS😦 .. any chance it will also sell through Farnell? They are much easier to deal with for hobbyists. Anyway, I am looking forward to buying some, even if it has to be from RS. It looks a great little project🙂

        • Daniel Amesberger October 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

          I tried to talk to Farnell but they did not show as much interest as RS did. In fact they just replied to one e-mail with a couple of questions which I answered and I never heard back of them again😦
          Although RS is also very slow with responses. So yeah, there is a chance that they will be available through Farnell also but it all goes forward much slower than I wanted. I would also already have a price for you if they did respond to quesions😦

          • codeparc October 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

            Hallo Daniel,
            gibt es nicht auch noch andere Verteiler, die dafür in Frage kommen? Die Geschäftsgebarung von RS ist wirklich eine Zumutung. Vielleicht ist Adafruit oder eine deren Partnerfirmen in Europa dafür besser geeignet. Bei der relativ geringen Stückzahl wäre es wahrscheinlich besser den Vertrieb selbst in die Hand zu nehmen, schließlich gibt es außer ebay auch noch andere Handelsplattformen.

            • Daniel Amesberger October 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

              Selbst versenden kommt für mich nicht in Frage, ich komme nicht annähernd auf die Versandkosten wie RS oder Farnell, da braucht man große Verträge. Wenn ich versende muss ich den Aufschlag für die Transporteure zahlen damit Amazon, RS, Farnell und Co so billig liefern können, das wird ja alles auf die Kleinversender abgewälzt. Ausserdem hab ich sowieso schon eine 80 Stunden Woche, da kann ich nicht das auch noch machen.
              Adafruit hat leider gesagt dass sie am Vertrieb derzeit nicht interessiert sind da sie 50 neue Produkte in der Pipeline haben:/ Ja, es ist leider mühsam, aber RS und Farnell haben einfach ein weltweites Distributionsnetz mit dem ich anders nicht mithalten kann.

              • CodeParc October 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm

                Ok, ich verstehe das Problem, auch das mit Deiner Zeit. Aber andererseits, 80 Stunden? Da haben ja Unfallchirurgen und selbst Astronauten mehr Freizeit! An der “Baustelle” solltest Du wirklich was ändern.😉

                • Daniel Amesberger October 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

                  Ja, derzeit ist es heftig, aber wir machen halt in einer 3-Mann-Bude Custom Software Development, Embedded Development und nebenbei haben wir auch Geldverpackungsanlagen entwickelt (Konstruktion, Hardware und Software) die bei Großbanken pro Tag mehrere Tausend völlig individuelle Geldpakete vereinzeln und verpackt und sind mit diesem Automationsgrad unseres Wissens bisher die einzigen.
                  Aber es wird definitiv mal Zeit kürzer zu treten, ich kanns mir nur leider derzeit nicht leisten. Die Finanzkrise hat halt auch nicht gerade geholfen, da muss man als Kleinunternehmer hier eben etwas härter arbeiten als der Rest.

                  • CodeParc October 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm

                    So etwas habe ich mir schon gedacht, manches kann man eben nicht verschieben, sonnst verliert man Aufträge. Laßt Euch auf keinen Fall Eure Entwicklung stehlen, chinesische Kunden sind dabei besonders gefährlich, Taiwan ist dabei leider keine Ausnahme. Leute die sogar Schweißroboter mit Reengineering-Methoden kopieren schrecken vor nichts zurück.

  12. jcramptonsmith October 27, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Hey Daniel
    Great idea this raspicomms board, may i ask a few questions
    1. do you have an updated eta ?
    2. IS RS confirmed to sell it ?
    3.Can i use modify your design ? (as i need 2 x rs485 ports
    3. Are you aware if a direct replacement i can use to replace the rs232 chip
    thanks
    Justin, Sydney Australia
    p.s can wait till their ready

    • Daniel Amesberger October 27, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Hey Justin,
      here are the answers:
      1. I don’t have an updated ETA, I hope to have them ready at RS in two weeks. Sorry that I cannot tell you more, I’m really depending on RS here.
      2. Confirmed, yes and no. I have got a couple of “yes of course” over the phone and mail, but not a signed contract yet. But I keep bugging them🙂
      3. You can modify the design in any way you like.
      4. There is do direct replacement (in terms of pin compatibility) for the RS232 chip to switch to RS-485 that I’m aware of so you would have to change the PCB layout.
      Be aware that you have to take care of the direction control with RS-485, so you need extra logic. There are two chips from Maxim with auto-direction control (MAX13487E/MAX13488E) you could use. That would eliminate a direction control line (which is quite slow when controlled via the GPIO of the Raspi, been there, done that). You would then have two different interfaces for communicating with the two RS-485 ports (one via the API, the other via /dev/ttyAMA0)
      If I have some time to spare I could make a design with two MAX3140 chips, but the chips are quite expensive (USD 25.42 on Farnell Australia). It would probably be cheaper to use a SPI to dual-UART and two RS-485 driver. But then you’d need separate driver code apart from our API.

      May I ask why you would need two RS-485 ports? You can handle a lot of slave devices (up to 256) on one port. I always ask that kind of stuff to have all the use-cases ready for my next RasPiComm Plus.

      Daniel

      • jcramptonsmith October 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

        thanks for the reply Daniel, the reason why i need 2 ports is that the machine i’m connecting it to has 6 ports, 2 of which i need to use, for example “port 1” is the only port that i can send and receive data like (adding and subtracting credits) where as port 3 only sends metering data out data which is not available from port one, hence 2 ports needed both rs422 outputs. The other things i have to add are 3 push buttons,rtc, touch screen interface and card reader interface. the touch screen i’m using is a http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/120807794815?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
        its usb so should be easy to connect as is the smart card reader once i have a working design i can start production your design was almost perfect for my needs. so when your board is available i will try out and put a rs232 to 485 convertor on the serial port to do testing

        thanks for your time
        Justin

        p.s do you know anything about poe (power over Ethernet)

  13. coolwater November 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Any chance to get a more relieable release date?😉

    • Daniel Amesberger November 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      Well, we are getting closer. I’m sorry that this takes so long, I really am. But we had a good talk with RS last week at the Electronica in Munich, and finally have a “shortcut” to get the boards out quicker. Setting us up at RS simply takes to long, and we are doing it through another vendor until our account is set up. I’ll do a post next week on the status, we should be able to ship the boards then.

      • Markus Nikulski December 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

        Hi Daniel,
        any new about the RasPiComm availability? I was looking on the RS web site do some search as well checking the accessories form RasPi, but was failing to get you board. In addition I’m interested which display (I2C 0.96 OLED) you exactly have used which is visible in you picture.
        Thanks in advance
        Markus

    • Daniel Amesberger December 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Well, I already jumped the gun with release dates I hoped for, and I won’t do it again🙂 The process with RS is really slow, but the product is set up, has an article number and we are waiting for the order right now.

  14. Enno November 28, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I basically need a shield exactly like this, but with 4-wire RS485 (which the max3140 can handle). How difficult is it to ‘upgrade’ to four-wire RS485? Unfortunately a four-wire-RS485 als works as a two-wire RS485, but not the other way round….
    And the Controller I want to connect to, Requires a four-wire connection.

    • Daniel Amesberger December 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

      It is not really possible to do this upgrade with this board. You would need to rewire the MAX3140 to do that, that would change the board layout quite significantly.
      But you could of course use the layout we provide and make your modifications. There is a v2 planned for 2013 that would be capable of that.

  15. coolwater November 30, 2012 at 11:50 am

    “Next week” almost passed😉 Sorry for being so impatient but I really need raspicomm😀

    Thanks man🙂

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