What do you need:
- two CC1310 LaunchPads
- a power bank or Battery BoosterPack
- a Sharp LCD BoosterPack
We'll build a mobile kit to test the reception strength of the CC1310 radio. You can walk away from home with one of the LaunchPads and read reception strength. The other LaunchPad stays at home and sends test signals.
For this exercise, there's no prior knowledge needed. We'll use the existing programs and tools. It's a very beginner-friendly project.
What's the set-up?
We'll have one LaunchPad at home, connected to your computer. It will be our test signal transmitter.
The CC1310 on that board will continuously send test packets. A TI utility will do all that work for us.
The other LaunchPad is the receiver. We mount a Sharp LCD BoosterPack on top of it that displays the signal strength.
We'll also need a powerbank or Battery BoosterPack to make this a mobile device. We want to walk around with it.
We'll load the Out-of-Box firmware on this one - not even needed if you have a brand new LaunchPad.
Mobile Station: Receiver
The out-of-box firmware of the CC1310 LaunchPad is ideal for our use. It can act as transmitter or receiver.
We'll use it as a mobile receiver.
The out-of-box example displays signal strength and package count on a SHARP LCD BoosterPack.
You can use a cheap USB powerbank or a Fuel Tank BoosterPack as power source.
If you use a Fuel Tank BoosterPack, set the power selector next to BTN-2 to Extern.
Remove the 5V and 3V3 jumpers in the middle of the LaunchPad to switch off the LEDs and save some power.
If you use a powerbank via the USB plug, leave everything as is.
If you don't have a battery or SHARP LCD BoosterPack, you can also run around with the LaunchPad plugged into a laptop.
The laptop powers the Launchpad. Use a terminal program (PuTTY) to show the measurements on your computer screen.
If you have never programmed your CC1310 LaunchPad before, you are ready.
If you have loaded your own programs on it, here's the procedure to get the original firmware back:
What if you have overwritten the Out-of-Box firmware
If you want to re-load the Out-of-Box firmware (the project will be included in the next TI-RTOS release, but currently unavailable), you can do that by:
Power up the LaunchPad and press either BTN-1 or 2.
Click BTN-1 one time to select LR (Long Range)
Click BTN-2 a few times to navigate to the Start menu option.
Click BTN-1 to activate receive mode.
The LaunchPad will now wait for signals. Once our trnsmitter is activated, you'll see that it displays statistics.
Home Base: Transmitter
We can set up a working test transmitter in a few clicks. The only thing we need is a CC1310 LaunchPad and SmartRF Studio.
It doesn't matter what firmware is loaded to the LaunchPad. We will not use it.
Instead, we talk directly to the on-chip radio with SmartRF Studio - we bypass the main ARM controller.
The only thing we have to do is plug the other LaunchPad into your computer and start SmartRF Radio.
The LaunchPad will be detected and you can click the CC1310 button to open the CC1310's control panel.
Select the Long Range option (it's the 2nd choice, 625 bps).
In the lower half of the screen, check the Infinite Packet Count box.
Press the Start button in the right lower corner.
Your home base will now start transmitting packets. Look at the LCD screen on the receiver.
It will show package count and reception power.
You can walk around and check the range.
The results with the on-PCB antenna in Schaarbeek, Belgium (urban, light hilly area with brick buildings)
Frequency: 868 MHz
Speed: 625 bps
Transmit power: 14 dBm
range: 250m - after that I had a sudden drop-dead.
Point 3: -110dBm