NOTE: Once the remaining backplanes are sold out, we will probably not order another batch. This means that if you still want some iC880A backplanes, you should order them while they’re still available 🙂
This is an adapter board to connect an IMST iC880A-SPI LoRaWAN concentrator board to a 40-pin Raspberry Pi (2B / 3B / Zero). It also gives you some ways to enhance and monitor your gateway. Current version: v2.1 (see v2.0 news post and v2.1 news post for details). Raspberry Pi / iC880A not included!
Note: This board is sold as a development kit (as a part of a full DIY gateway) and not a finished product. No certifications have been done, but every board is tested by us before shipping, to ensure it works!
Besides connecting the two boards, the PCB gives you the following additional features:
- Screw terminal for direct power input/output (5V)
- Screw terminal with on-board MP1584 step-down regulator (6.7-28V input, fixed 5V output). Great to connect a PoE-Adapter.
- Polyfuse and TVS diode to protect against voltage spikes
- Protection against accidentally reversed polarity
Sensors for monitoring
- Sensirion SHTC3 temperature / humidity sensor made in Switzerland (accuracy: ±2%RH, ±0.2°C)
- Microchip MCP3425 16-bit ADC to monitor input voltage
- Programmable button connected to GPIO (e.g. to shut down the Pi)
- Three programmable LEDs (Red/Yellow/Blue) connected to GPIO header
- 1 female pin header for serial communication (RX/TX)
- 2 female pin headers with pull-ups for I²C based sensors (SDA/SCL/GND/3.3V/5V)
- Full access to Raspberry Pi GPIO header
- MOSFET with flyback diode for connecting and regulating a 5V DC fan
- Mounting holes for Raspberry Pi 2B / 3B / Zero (two nylon spacers included)
- Open source hardware, full schematics provided with every order!
- KiCAD project available here under the TAPR Open Hardware License
More details can be found here: https://github.com/dbrgn/ic880a-backplane
- You can find the schematics here.
- Here is a quick guide on how to read the SHTC3 temperature/humidity sensor from the Raspberry Pi.
- To monitor your gateway, you can find Collectd plugins for the SHTC3 and the MCP3425 here.
- The LEDs are connected to GPIO pins 36, 38 and 40 (BOARD numbering system). The button is connected to GPIO pin 32 (BOARD numbering system). You can find an example script here.
- In case you want to use the MCP3425 ADC to monitor the supply voltage: Here is an example script. You can find a Collectd plugin on Github. And here’s a brand new Rust driver.
- Here is an example shutdown script (and sytemd service file) that allows you to shut down your Pi with the button.
We offer both untracked (non-insured) economy shipping and tracked (insured) priority shipping. We ship with Swiss Post only (UPS express delivery available on request for orders with 10 or more boards). All shipments are carbon neutral. For information on expected delivery times, see their document on carriage times. Note that sometimes processing at customs can cause additional delays (and possibly costs, depending on your country). We ship from Switzerland and our price does not include VAT.
Our Offer for Hackers and Makers
Are you part of a hackerspace, makerspace or some other community group and want to build a gateway for a non-commercial project that somehow benefits the public (e.g. a public gateway for The Things Network)? We want to support these use cases! Drop us an e-mail at email@example.com explaining your project to get the backplane 33% cheaper!
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or any general feedback. We’re also happy about reviews, just click on the “Reviews” tab above!
Thanks for your order! With it, you are supporting the efforts of our hackerspace to provide the infrastructure for noncommercial technical projects and to teach electronics and programming to kids and other people that want to learn 🙂
Mariusz (verified owner) –
I purchased the fully assembled version of the board and the quality is excellent. I had no problems connecting the ic880a to my Rpi3B. One change I would like to see is that pin 19 of the ic880a be brought out onto the backplane, maybe near the TX and RX pins so that a PPS signal from an external GPS module can easily be connected.
Great to hear that the board works for you! 🙂 And thanks for the suggestion, I created an issue on Github that I’ll consider for a future version: https://github.com/dbrgn/ic880a-backplane/issues/20
Jonas M. (verified owner) –
We have a Raspberry Pi based outdoor gateway using this backplane running for almost 2 years now, it works flawlessly! Being able to monitor the temperature and supply voltage is great, especially during hot summer days.
ludovic.fachaux (verified owner) –
Have the pps output is an added value 🙂
Thank you for the review!
I’m not sure if I understand you correctly, but in case the PPS output was a feature request: The backplane already provides an exposed PPS pad! You can find it in the lower right corner next to the serial connector.