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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Wireless Things are pleased to announce that as of Tuesday 17th March they have been acquired by 365Agile, the secure multi-purpose software platform, who have a large custom base within the UK social housing sector. 

This deal brings together Wireless Things’ secure two-way communication protocol, long range low power wireless sensor range, and 365Agile’s secure software to create an end-to-end Internet of Things (‘IOT’) solution. 

Combining this technology puts the company in a leading position to deliver a range of shrink-wrapped IoT solutions. 365Agile already has over 80 UK Social Housing customers and WirelessThings has 41 resellers over 20 countries with  50+million hours of run-time of its devices in the field.

The company’s strategy is to deliver a range of solutions including Environmental monitoring, Measurement of Electricity, Water, Gas usage and the ability to interface to any electrically operated device or system (smart plug, switch etc.) to a number of sectors.


Miles Hodkinson, CEO of Ciseco is quoted:
“Finally the reality of linking Humans to Devices to deliver a true IoT solution with the power and capability to transform service delivery is here. Our solutions will drive huge cost reductions whilst simultaneously improving customer service”


Tagged in: Wireless

I know these findings will be useful to some people. I've done the simplest of test (boot up to a promt) and written down the readings from my multimeter. To do anything accurate I'd need to get a scope out and do some longer testing, but hey something is better than nothing. Test was 5V regulated supply, basic multimeter, same stock Raspbian, HDMI plugged in and a Maplin wireless KB/Mouse dongle.

Model B 380ma

Model B+ 240ma

Compute Module 100ma

Conclusions: The USB/Ethernet uses more than the micro.

Posted by on in Uncategorized

I was keeping an eye on a thread on a Linked In forum. It had been started by a chinese manufacturer asking if anyone might be interested in selling thier Zigbee radios. I was not surprised that few people were eager to take up the offer. Many of you know us guys at Ciseco think Zigbee is too heavy for really long life battery powered devices, so although we created LLAP (lightweight local application protocol) on XBee's in the early days, we made the bold move to build our own radios for ultra low power. I'd always talked to people about Zigbee being ultimately doomed because I saw it did nothing "well". So when you read what happened below you'll see why I was utterly shocked!

A guy called Bhupender Virk posted "Zigbee is dead". I thought he was poking fun at the fast falling from grace standard so I posted "@BV - That's a bit harsh, don't you mean Zigbee is dying ;)"

I then looked at who Mr Virk is, here's his personal summary on Linked In "Leader in IEEE 802.15.4 IP Stack
Founder of ZigBee Standard for Wireless Networking. Previously Created and sold several companies. The latest in 2005 May. CompXs Inc. to Sequoia Capital. July 2008 Integration to SiLabs."




This week we began the 12 week Next Business Generation program. We are going to identify from all the things we do, which we are going to aim focused attention at that will scale best. It comes at a time when we have managed to raise over £140,000 this year to put towards CISECO's next big thing.

This'll come as a shock to many (it did us).

Ben came in on Monday saying he'd gone into business with two others to produce the MeArm. We wish him all the best with his new venture.

This means the position open for an exceptional Technical Writer to improve our documentation is available again. If you think you are up for a challenge,fun and success then please get in contact by phone with Will 0115 822 6333

Posted by on in Hardware

Some history.....last December Ciseco started shipping the XRF v2.0. On the XRF v2.0 is the SRF v1.3 which saw the removal of the on board chip antenna. There were a number of benefits derived from the change, which were all covered in Matt's post at the time. One of these was that the complexity and cost of the SRF was reduced and this was immediately reflected in the bulk price of the SRF. Unfortunately due to the high cost of supporting less experienced users of the SRF the single unit option was dropped. However with some added disclaimers and pleas for the inexperienced to purchase other products it is back in the store as of today in quantities of 1 and upwards!

With it back in stock and available to all and sundry for the sum of £9.99 excluding VAT you'll be wanting to get the best performance from this small surface mount module. There are a few ways to do this.

The first is to use an 8.2cm wire whip antenna. Add a hole on your PCB close to the surface mount landing pad of the SRF antenna and solder the wire whip in place. Wire whip antennas seem to be the most robust solution to the problem of an RF antenna. They are the least affected by the layout of the board the SRF is to be attached to and therefore best.

The second solution is to add a chip antenna. A chip antenna will usually require tuning to the PCB layout to get maximum range (impedance matching). This is really only an option you'll want to consider if you want to make a product of your project and you want maximum benefit for minimum cost. We'll be covering more on the design and tuning of chip antennas in future posts, and Matt has published an example of a chip antenna layout in the Ciseco Github. Tuning requires selection of the three components used with the chip antenna. This can be done by trial and error or carefully calculated using some meaty formulae. 

 Third would be to add a socket for a larger external antenna. However the experience within Ciseco says that a wire whip will often produce better results than one of these more expensive bits of kit (the ARF however does love the new rubber duck, you'll get close to 20db more)

For now my advice if you're using an SRF with your own board is to............whip it, whip it good!

Tagged in: Antenna SRF Wireless XRF

Posted by on in Hardware

Some of our customers have asked for an example on how it intergrate the Johanson Chip antenna diretly into their own PCB designs, now that we have moved away from a integrated chip antenna on the SRF (it's all because the overall performance is related to how well the host PCB is impedance matched, some people got great range others got poor range)....ever wished the laws of physics would bend? :)

I have just updated the Eagle Cad design for the SRF Shield and the XinoRF with our latest version, which shows using the SRF and chip antenna in one pcb.

I've also produced a very baisc example of the new RFµ footprint using the same chip antenna, you'll notice the few parts before the chip antenna, these are to impedance match the antenna to the SRF, I'll publish the parts values once I get a PCB to test out from Ragworm. 

We are currently working on the documentation to accompany this so there'll be much more data to come but I wanted to help those who wanted an example footprint as soon as possible.

I always start with a single 0 ohm resistor and then use the VNA (posh test kit) to help me tune the design to it's optimum performance, I suggest you start with a 0 ohm also


BTW: An 8.2cm wire connected to pad 1 usually gives good dependable performance and is a good thing to compare a chip design against using the RSSI test modes of ATNT3 & 4.

Tagged in: RFu XinoRF

Posted by on in Uncategorized

As part of the current Kickstarter campaign for the SRF-Shield we are releasing the full schematics and eagle cad files. We are also releasing the lastest XinoRF and Slice of Radio files.

Our aim when designing products is to make them simple enough to use, that a schematic is not really needed. But as we grow so does the level of experience our customers have.

We know some like to get in and know every little detail. In posting the designs for these three products we also hope it show you just how easy it is to integrate the SRF directly into your own PCB designs.
I've posted all the files to a new github repo here and if your not comftorble with using github you can also get them all in a zip from here(link)

There are PDF version of the schematics as well as the native eagle files each in there own directory. Click the pics below to go straight to the PDF's or click here to read more

b2ap3_thumbnail_R017---SRF-Shield-v1.0.jpgXinoRF v1.3 schematic


I'm just trying to put the finishing touches to a Kickstarter project to help lauch a new wireless shield for Arduino shaped boards. Called the SRF shield it has some unique features:

Has the same advanced switching circuit of our XBee shield that means no jumper flipping or unplugging when you do a normal sketch upload

Has an onboard chip antenna (upto 100m) but has also pads for adding a wirewhip, SMA or u.fl connector to get ranges upto 1000m

Support wireless sketch uploads direct from the IDE without any extra software, we are the only people in the world to offer this

It's £9.99 including VAT (that's about a quarter of what an XBee + adapter would cost)

It's just the kind of producet we hoped we could make (exceptional price and performance), it's all down to the growing number of people who love our radios that we are now making SRF's in such quantity we can achieve such a low price.

Thank you to every single one of our customers



Posted by on in Uncategorized

The Raspberry Jamboree 2014 is being held in Manchester on the 27th & 28th of February.

Miles and I will be there with a range of Ciseco products to show of and sell.

Due to the event we are out of the office for a few days and so forum registrations and question might not get processed or answered as quick as normal

Tickets are still available 


There is also a family Hack-day on Saturday 1st March which we are also attending 








Posted by on in Uncategorized

In the 2013 Postscapes Internet of Things awards, our Wireless Inventors Kit achieved:

  • People's Choice runner up in the “Best Open Source Internet of Things Product” category

If you have not got one of these very popular Wireless Inventors Kits yet, you will want to get one from our shop:http://shop.ciseco.co.uk/raswik


Posted by on in Uncategorized

Our Raspberry Pi Wireless inventors Kit is up for Open Source IoT product of the year. If you can spare 8 seconds, I'd be over the moon if you were to click the heart icon and vote for us?





Congratulations and huge kudos to Andy.  Here is a link to a great blog post on how he created a colour LLAP display.

As a new initiative to encourage people to build new and exciting ideas with our hardware, we are going to be giving back the cost of the our parts used in projects as credits in our store.

YEP, that's FREE hardware (but you have to write it up and do something original so we can reblog it)

Check out his project


More evidence that the IoT is one hot topic, excerpt from Gartner website

The Internet of Everything

The Internet is expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions. The problem is that most enterprises and technology vendors have yet to explore the possibilities of an expanded internet and are not operationally or organizationally ready. Imagine digitizing the most important products, services and assets. The combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything creates four basic usage models – Manage; Monetize; Operate; Extend. These four basic models can be applied to any of the four "internets” (people, things, information and places).  Enterprises should not limit themselves to thinking that only the Internet of Things (i.e., assets and machines) has the potential to leverage these four models. Enterprises from all industries (heavy, mixed, and weightless) can leverage these four models.

See the full document - http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2603623

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Because we are selling many more radios these days our buying power is gradually going up so we get better discounts. The SRF stick is now below £20 including VAT.  http://shop.ciseco.co.uk/srf-stick-868-915-mhz-easy-to-use-usb-radio/

We recently created bulk pricing on the SRF's and are looking to do what we can across the range in future. The XRF family remains (I believe) the best value radios, and competes with Digi, LPRS and others who sell similarly featured devices at 2 to 3 times the price.




Everyday Practical Electronics

Issue : 131101


... designed to be highly accessible, enabling anyone with basic computing skills to build wireless Pi projects. See: http: / / shop. ciseco .co.uk / resellers RPi programming challenge IIhe PA Consulting Group is challenging teams from schools and universities to put their technology skills, ingenuity ...


John Alexander video-ed my presentation in which I introduce and demo the Wireless Inventors Kit for the Raspberry Pi at the Cambridge Raspberry Pi Jam, on Saturday 21 September 2013. 

He was kind enough to put it on YouTube so you can check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYVLEBLn9IA&feature=youtu.be

Thank you John!







ZSL who own Whipsnade and London zoo recently won a £1/2 millon grant for a camera system that utilises our radios. Here's a link to an article in PC pro about it.

Poachers caught red-handed by the Raspberry Pi (PC Pro article)


The google global impact challenge site (original wildlife project)



Posted by on in Press

We spent a couple of days down at BBC headquarters (the fabled Television centre). We ran 3 different Internet of Things demos for Peter Day's show. Laura Grey the shows producer arranged everything.




Not mentioned in the show but on who we depended was Xively for the Temperature example and Esendex for the SMS alerts from the sandwich trolley,

The part on Ciseco is between 6 mins 34 and 12 mins 39



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