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What components do I need (Flora, Fona)?
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What components do I need (Flora, Fona)?

by mgiles on Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:23 pm

Hello!

I'm completely new to circuitry and microcontrollers so apologies if I ask some stupid questions. I'm looking to make a small device which has cellular and GPS, a force sensor and a camera. The products I was looking at to create this include:

https://thepihut.com/products/adafruit- ... compatible
https://thepihut.com/products/adafruit- ... s-breakout
https://thepihut.com/products/round-for ... sistor-fsr
https://thepihut.com/products/mini-2mp- ... ry-pi-pico

I'm mainly stuck on how, or even if, I'd be able to wire all of this together and control it from the Flora. Also, if I've understood correctly, it's possible to power the Fona and Flora together through the same LiPoly battery? I'm also not sure how this would be wired.

Thank you!

mgiles
 
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Re: What components do I need (Flora, Fona)?

by blnkjns on Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:35 am

Maybe it is good to give us more insights in what you try to accomplish.
The Flora is a 32U4 board, best programmed from the Arduino IDE, yet still kind of low on RAM, so that will probably be a challenge with incoming data from the camera. Do you want to transmit that over cellular? SIM800 modules are GPRS modules, so even if you use the on board JPEG compression, it will still be pretty large for GPRS, which has uses as electricity metering communication, car SOS signals and such.
But if you want to do object detection, the resolution might be OK, but the processing power of the Flora is too small.

Power-wise I think it will work, the FONA has battery-charging and uses the 3.7V of the battery for the cellular modem, and I think it can power a 32U4 from the 3.3V pin, but that all depends on your NeoPixel usage.

blnkjns
 
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Re: What components do I need (Flora, Fona)?

by mgiles on Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:56 am

blnkjns wrote:Maybe it is good to give us more insights in what you try to accomplish.
The Flora is a 32U4 board, best programmed from the Arduino IDE, yet still kind of low on RAM, so that will probably be a challenge with incoming data from the camera. Do you want to transmit that over cellular? SIM800 modules are GPRS modules, so even if you use the on board JPEG compression, it will still be pretty large for GPRS, which has uses as electricity metering communication, car SOS signals and such.
But if you want to do object detection, the resolution might be OK, but the processing power of the Flora is too small.

Power-wise I think it will work, the FONA has battery-charging and uses the 3.7V of the battery for the cellular modem, and I think it can power a 32U4 from the 3.3V pin, but that all depends on your NeoPixel usage.


Thanks for your reply! I'm kind of trying to do what you described. I want a small device that can transmit a video stream over cellular (not necessary to be a particularly high fps or resolution, but still clear enough to see what's going on). Then separately the force sensor for taking other measurements, probably attached to the Fona (I think this would require a fixed resistor too?). If the Flora and Fona wouldn't be powerful enough for this, do you know of any other small alternatives?

mgiles
 
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:42 pm

Re: What components do I need (Flora, Fona)?

by blnkjns on Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:08 am

Why do you need cellular? It can eat up quite some bandwidth when transmitting video. What is the distance you need to overcome?

blnkjns
 
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Re: What components do I need (Flora, Fona)?

by mgiles on Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:36 am

I'm trying to prototype a device that can be taken out anywhere, without the need for a phone with it.

mgiles
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:42 pm

Re: What components do I need (Flora, Fona)?

by blnkjns on Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:04 am

If video transmission is needed, you have to go for a LTE modem (4G) and a decent plan to use with that, as you can easily consume a GB per day with such goals.
Something like this:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3998
But as far as budget goes, I think with these goals you can't beat an old phone. Look for 2013 models, that was the first wave of LTE equiped phones, yet they still came in small. You can find them for 20-30 bucks. The better "repairable" ones even allow removal of the display, so the remaining active components are really small.

blnkjns
 
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.