I was super excited to get the new S3A7 IoT kits from Renesas. I went through the Smart Chef Demo with S3A7 Fast IoT Prototyping Kit - Quick Start Guide today.
As the S3A7 came pre-installed with the demo, booting the board was a simple matter of plugging it into a USB port on my computer.
##NOTE: You probably don’t need to flash the board
The Medium One guide suggests that you download Segger J-Link and flash your board as an optional step. You don’t need to do this. The board comes pre-installed with the Smart Chef Demo. Just plug it in and you’re good to go. If you do need to flash the S3A7, you use the Segger J-Link tools on Mac, Linux, and Windows. Download
Plug Board In
The board comes with a rechargeable battery. You can power the board from the battery, from the USB port of your computer, or from a phone charger. When you plug in the board, you should see the screen below. Press the blue button that says, Click here to setup the board
The board will enter Provisioning mode. You should now able be able to connect to the board as a WiFi Hotspot and point a web browser to 192.168.3.1. From there, you can configure the board inside the browser to connect to Medium One. Prior to configuring the board, you need to activate the smart chef demo.
Renesas IoT Sandbox
Once you activate the Smart Chef Demo for a Renesas IoT Sandbox account, you will receive three emails. The email you want looks like this:
You will need this information.
For most people this is the toughest part. Once you configure the board, everything else is easy.
You have three strategies to configure the board, access your email and this guide at the same time. You now need to have the email open or copy the contents to a text file using something like notepad. You will need to copy and paste the contents in.
Use one computer that is not running Windows 10 (Windows 7 works) that is connected to the Internet with WiFi. Copy the contents of the email to notepad and save it as a file. Leave notepad open. Leave this guide open in a browser tab. Connect your computer to the board with WiFi.
Connect your computer with Ethernet and use a secondary WiFi network interface to connect to the board
Leave this guide open on your desktop computer and use your mobile phone’s browsers to configure the board. With this technique, you need to open up the mail in another app or browser tab so that you can copy the API key and MQTT info from the email to the browser.
In my tests, Windows 10 did not connect to the board.
UPDATE: I can now connect from Windows 10 with the new binary.
Get the latest binary here
I used Windows 7, Android, Mac, and iOS successfully. Several people have had problems with iOS adding an extra space to the key. My son also ran into a auto-capitalization problem with Android.
My Windows 7 computer is connected to the Internet with Ethernet. I have a secondary WiFi USB adapter that I used to connect my computer to the board. Everything went fine on Windows 7 using Firefox. I copied each field from my email and pasted each field into the blanks in the web form.
A large number of people get stuck at this phase.
Troubleshooting Connectivity Problems With a Test WiFi Network
Ignore this section if you’ve got the board connected to the Internet and everything looks good.
This assumes that you can connect to the board to configure it. At this stage, you should be able to see the screen below. If you can’t see this screen, go back to the previous step.
Troubleshoot: S3A7 can’t connect to WiFi in Your Home or Office
In the picture of the s3a7 board screen below, I’ve entered an incorrect SSID. The SSID needs to be your office or home SSID. This is NOT the SSID of the board. In my case, I have a test router with a SSID of s3iot in my office. I have purposely used an incorrect SSID for the test.
The board will be stuck at the screen above. You will not get additional error messages. If the SSID or WiFi Password are incorrect, you will just see:
Connecting to SSID: name of ssid
If you’re still stuck, you can disable authentication from your router for testing.
When I rebooted the board by pressing the reset switch, the board was not able to connect to WiFi immediately. To get the test network up, I used a separate WiFi router and set up DHCP on a separate subnet. My primary office networking is on 192.168.1.0. I set up my Renesas S3 test networking on 192.168.2.0. I then connect the test router to the Internet using the primary router. You may not need this step. However, if you’re having connection problems, setting up a test network may help with debugging your network configuration.
To isolate the problem, I first used an open access point with no password. Once I verified that the board was connecting and getting out to the Internet and MediumOne, I then added WPA2-PSK encryption with AES. My router offered me the option of selecting Automatic for WPA and WPA2 as well as TKIP or AES. I forced WPA2-PSK (AES) and set my S3 Renesas board to use WPA2.
Troubleshoot: S3A7 Can’t Connect with MQTT
This assumes you’ve gone through the previous steps. At this point, you have this working:
- you can configure the S3A7 in provisioning mode
- the display on the S3A7 board will say, Connecting to SSID: and then Hostname resolved.
Your board is now stuck at Connecting to MQTT.
You will just see the message above. If you inputted an incorrect MQTT, there is no other error. It will just be stuck here.
To simulate the problem, I intentionally swapped the Project MQTT and the User MQTT IDs.
I ran additional tests with an incorrect API Key. Unfortunately, I’m getting the same error message. With the Connecting to MQTT screen, the problem could either be with the MQTT ID or the API Key section.
Wiring the AMS Environmental Sensor
There are two rows of pins on the AMS environmental sensor. Use only the pins on the top, the row on the same side as the sensor. This row has six pins.
From left to right:
Red -> Black -> Open -> Yellow -> White -> Open
Connecting Board to Internet and MediumOne (IoT Sandbox)
Once I configured the Renesas board with the new WiFi access point information for the test network, it registered it’s own IP and connected to the Internet.
After this, the Smart Chef Demo generally goes smoothly for everyone. There’s a look of joy and people get excited. If you’re stuck with the connection section, feel free to ask questions below and the community will try and help.
Getting Analytics Data From MediumOne (IoT Sandbox) Dashboard
Now, when I log into the Renesas IoT Sandbox, I get a nice stream of data.
A quick look at the data indicates that the sensors are working and that the IoT sensor data is getting into MediumOne.
It’s raining and a bit cold today in Palo Alto.
The last value table in the Renesas IoT Sandbox looks to be accurate.
The dashboard gauges also seem to work.
Account Usage Statistics
Under Setup -> Project Info, there are statistics on usage.
I’m automatically getting nice email alerts from my IoT application. The default alerts are a bit humorous and are a good example of showing triggers based on weather, online status, and time.
The mobile app installed and connected to the sandbox without any problems. I can now receive mobile alerts.
Write About Your Renesas IoT Adventure
We’d like your help writing about the new Synergy S3A7 IoT Fast Prototyping Kit. If you’d like to apply for a free loaner kit in exchange for writing about your impressions, please contact Jesse Casman (@jcasman) and provide basic information on your level of experience.
The GitHub repository only has the binary. We are in the process of getting the source code. We will make the source code available as soon as we get it.