The IOTCRICKET from ThingsOnEdge.COM

thingsonedge.com

Of course we’ve all seen this form factor before – ESP8266 on a board with power and antenna, FLASH etc.. The ESP-12 is only one of many and now we have a new one…

The biggy here is that the IOT Cricket, I have it on good authority from Sylwester Bala from thingsonedge.com, is designed to run on AAA and AA batteries – and has a deep sleep mode consuming as little as 0.5 microAmp. You can probably imagine how long the battery lasts under those conditions.

The module comes with pre-installed software and can be OTA’d from a smartphone or APP.

That’s the claim – and now I have my hands on three of these devices to see what this is all about.

ThingsOnEdge approached me – nothing new there but maybe this is something out of the ordinary or maybe it is just because the company is based in the UK – I don’t know yet but I’m going to have a look. I have no axe to grind other than having these three samples – so I suggest giving this a second glance.

The product is still in the validation stage ( so that’s NEW, then), the company has been around sinced 2018 and they are a “small start-up”.

In a nutshell, they are going to provide 2 options: 1) Local 2) Cloud

Local: You won’t need Cloud at all to configure Crickets, the configuration will be done entirely locally on the Cricket module from the local network – this demand is mainly driven by hobbyists and DIYers

Cloud: As it is today there will be Cloud to configure Crickets remotely – this demand is mainly driven by companies and IOT solution providers

All sounds good to me. I’m pushed for time today but I’ll very soon give their modules a run to see what they do and how they perform. Supposedly we’re looking at 15000 events on 2 AAA batteries… MQTT and REST API support, status LED, RTC, temperature sensor, 3v3 out, ESP8266 running at 160Mhz… digital and analog input.. in fact, here’s a copy of their data sheet – if this pans out, I want MORE. MQTT back to Node-Red will float my boat.

Cricket

AND NOW – after a short break, fighting delivery and mobile phone companies – I’ve had a play. I’m running one of these boards on a single battery and simply checking temperature. I’ve made some suggestions for the future – more on that later – taking the weekend off.

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16 thoughts on “The IOTCRICKET from ThingsOnEdge.COM

    1. I want more already – I’m pondering use with a CR2032 as combined temperature and window sensor – could make a very slim item depending on battery life. I also suggested they need to be careful about pricing as it would not be hard to make a cheapo ESP12 board do the same thing depending on the regulator. This of course id good for those who don’t want to do much tinkering.

        1. just a guess but possible reason is the current spikes needed for radio xmission. A capacitor might solve that problem but it would likely need to be on the larger size.

    2. The trigBoard has a much wider application scope as it uses an ESP32 and exposes many more pins including I2C, SPI, PWM, extra ADC, 2 DACs. It does cost maybe 50% more, though. I think for simple sensors and single relays the IOTCricket looks a smart option and you have to admire the thinking behind it and the execution.

      When I first looked at the Cricket I did find, almost immediately, I wished it included I2C. Although on the 8266 it would have to be software driven. It really would make a huge difference to it’s capabilities and application.

      1. A single diode in series with the Li battery will give 3.5V at the top charge side(4.2V) but it will also effect the low side too. Sometimes that’s a good thing as Li batteries don’t want to be discharged below 3.0V. If the device will run on 2.3V or above then the diode/Li battery setup should work.

        A nice “feature” of the rPiZ/ZW is that it’ll run directly connected to a Li battery and stops operating at ~3.3v. Far better to have battery voltage monitored and messaged out but if not, shutdown will help protect the battery from damage.

      1. Seon has already prototyped a feather format board based on the ESP32-S2. His target price is the same as the Tinypico and it has even more potential, taking advantage of the S2 best bits and taking the power requirements/capabilities of the Tinypico. I’m sure that if he hadn’t had all the issues with his pick & place (a sage well worth following!) he would have released the new board by now.

        I have to say that we are lucky to have all these options and people pushing the boundaries for us. Ultra Low power, wide battery options with plenty of GPIO’s in an affordable format => Santas list is getting longer and longer.

  1. Pete,

    What’s the part number on the RTC chip? I’m wondering if it’s one of the newer models with a built-in rechargeable battery and MOSFET for switching the ESP on and off. It might also explain why they’re not breaking out the I2C …they’re using the ESP to reload the RTC alarm registers and don’t want other devices on the bus to mess things up.

    -John-

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