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Connecting a Senquip telemetry device to the ThingsBoard
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Connecting a Senquip telemetry device to the ThingsBoard

Introduction

ThingsBoard is a sevice management, data collection, processing and visualization platform for IoT solutions. If this is your first experience with the platform we recommend to review what-is-thingsboard page and getting-started guide.

Senquip manufactures programmable telemetry devices such as the ORB-C1 that connects to any industrial sensor or system. Senquip devices can maintain connection with a third-party endpoint (via UDP, HTTP and MQTT), and the Senquip Portal at the same time. This allows for configuration changes and firmware updates to be made from the Senquip Portal whilst sending measured data to the ThingsBoard.

Senquip devices can connect to MODBUS, CAN Bus, current, voltage, frequency and many other sensor types. In this example, location, temperature, and CAN-bus data will be sent from a Senquip ORB-C1 to the ThingsBoard using MQTT.

Here is an image of a real life install using this data.

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Once you complete, the data will be shown on the following dashboard.

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A similar guide is also available as an application note from the Senquip website.

List of hardware and pinouts

ORB-C1-G image

Pin number Name Terminal block marking Application
1 Positive voltage in PWR+ Positive system power; either permanent or intermittent such as from a solar panel
2 Negative voltage in (ground) GND Negative system power or ground
3 Source 1 SRC1 Switchable output with current measurement for powering sensors such as 4-20mA devices
4 Ground GND Spare ground for sensor connection
5 Source 2 SRC2 Switchable output with current measurement for powering sensors such as 4-20mA devices
6 Serial in B / RX RS485B in RS485 mode and receive in RS232 mode
7 Serial out A / TX RS485A in RS485 mode and transmit in RS232 mode
8 Input 1 IN1 Analog or digital input with edge detect capability
9 Input 2 IN2 Analog or digital input
10 Output OUT1 Open collector output
11 CAN Bus High CAN H CAN bus high connection
12 CANBus Low CAN L CAN bus high connection

Senquip device configuration

In this guide, it will be assumed that the user has an account on the Senquip Portal, and that they have added a device to that account. It is also assumed that the device network is configured to operate over Wi-Fi or cellular. All device configuration described in the steps below will be performed on the Senquip Portal.

General device setup

  • [Step 1] Give the Senquip device a meaningful name (Setup/General/Name = “Demo Senquip Device”).
  • [Step 2] Configure the interval at which the Senquip device takes measurements and transmits as 5 seconds (Setup/General/Base Interval = 5).
  • [Step 3] Turn on the GPS peripheral and set it to measure on every base interval (Setup/Internal/GPS/Interval = 1).
  • [Step 4] Turn on the CAN peripheral and set it to measure on every base interval (Setup/External/CAN/Interval = 1). If this is the only CAN device on the network, select “Tx Enable” so that the Senquip device acknowledges the CAN messages.
  • [Step 5] Save your configuration by pressing the save button.

The General settings should now look like this.

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Configuring the ThingsBoard endpoint

Senquip devices can send to the Senquip Portal and a second endpoint at the same time. In this example, the ThingsBoard will be confirgured as the second endpoint, using MQTT as the transport.

  • [Step 1] Enable the MQTT endpoint (Setup/Endpoint/MQTT = Enabled).
  • [Step 2] Set the broker address (Setup/Endpoint/MQTT/Broker Address = “thingsboard.cloud:1883”).
  • [Step 3] Set the client address, we will use the unique device ID “AYCAN24V1” (Setup/Endpoint/MQTT/Client ID = “AYCAN24V1”).
  • [Step 4] Set the data topic (Setup/Endpoint/MQTT/Data Topic = “v1/devices/me/telemetry”).
  • [Step 5] Select a username to be used on the ThingsBoard, we have chosen “Senquip” (Setup/Endpoint/MQTT/Username = “Senquip”).
  • [Step 6] Select a password to be associated with the username, we have chosen “SenquipPassword”, we suggest you choose smething more secure (Setup/Endpoint/MQTT/Password = “SenquipPassword”).

The Endpoint settings should now look like this.

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Thingsboard configuration

It will be assumed that the user has an account on the ThingsBoard Cloud. All device configuration described in the steps below will be performed using the ThingsBoard Cloud.

Create a new device

  • [Step 1] Select the Device Group to which you would like to add the Senquip device. Open the group and use the “+” button to add a new device.
  • [Step 2] Give the new device a meaningful name, we are using the same name as chosen in step 1.1.
  • [Step 3] Give the device a short label that will be used on widgets such as maps, we have chosen “SQ1”.
  • [Step 4] Select MQTT as the transport type.
  • [Step 5] Press “Next:Credentials” to continue.

The new device settings should now look like this.

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Set the credentials

  • [Step 1] Select “MQTT Basic” as the Credentials type.
  • [Step 2] Insert the Client ID, User Name, and Password the same as in steps 2.3, 2.5, and 2.6.
  • [Step 3] Press “Add” to add the configured device.

The credentials should now look like this.

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Telemetry data

Senquip devices send data in JSON format as shown in the image below.

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Each measurement in the JSON packet has a key and a value. For instance, GPS latitude has the key “gps_lat” and a value of “-32.70245”. In this example, 5 CAN messages are being received, each with an identifier and value and so the CAN data in the JSON packet is nested with 5 individual CAN identifiers and values.

By selecting the device that we have just added to the ThingsBoard and pressing “Latest Telemetry”, we can see the telemetry arriving on the ThingsBoard. Notice how the ThingsBoard has automatically recognised the data in the JSON packet and has converted it into a table of keys and values. Notice also how the CAN data has been inserted as 5 rows of CAN identifiers and values.

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Viewing the data on a dashboard

We will now add the telemetry data to widegets on a dashboard.

  • [Step 1] Select a key from the latest telemetry and press “Show on widget”.

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  • [Step 2] Select a bundle of widgets from those available. For temperature, we will choose analog gauges.
  • [Step 3] Press “Add to dashboard” and select an available dashboard or create a new one. We will create a new one and call it “Senquip Demo”.

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  • [Step 4] Select additional keys from the telmetry data and associate them with widgets, each time adding them to the dashboard.
  • [Step 5] For some widgets such as the map widgets, multiple key values (gps_lat and gps_lon) will be required. Under the advanced settings, the Latitude and Longitude for the widget can be associated with the gps_lat and gps_lon keys.
  • [Step 6] The dashboard and widgets can be customised by changing colours, sizes, locations of widgets, the fonts of text and much more.

This is how the dashboard now looks.

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Next steps