Firmware Modification


The emonTx, emonTH and emonPi all use an ATmega328p 8-bit AVR microprocessor. This AVR microprocessor is Arduino compatible. You may want to modify and re-compile the firmware for one of the following reasons:

  • Modify the firmware to add custom feature e.g support a new type of sensor etc.
  • Change the RF nodeID e.g. To use more than 2x emonTx V3 units (or more than 4x emonTH units) on a single network the nodeID’s must be set manually in the firmware since more nodeID’s are required than is possible to set using the on-board hardware DIP switches.

See Resources page for links to firmware repositories for all OpenEnergyMonitor units.


Example: Change emonTx V3 RF nodeID

The process of editing, compiling and uploading firmware is best explained with an example. In this example we will change the emonTx V3 node ID, this is useful if we want to connect more than 4x emonTx V3 units to a single emonPi / emonBase.

A USB to UART adapter is required to upload to emonTx / emonTH. Any 5v FTDI adapter can also be used.

Note: The method of compiling and uploading firmware is identical for the emonTx and emonTH. To upload firmware to the emonPi this can either be done by compiling locally then flashing .hex file (in the .pioenvs folder in the project dir if using platformIO) then using avrdue on the emonPi to upload (see emonPi avrdude upload script or compiling and uploading using PlatformIO directly on the emonPi (see blog post.

Using Arduino IDE

Either PlatformIO or Arduino IDE can be used to compile and upload the firmware. This example will use PlatformIO since we consider it the easiest method. If you wish to use Arduino IDE see Setting Up the Arduino Environment.

Using PlatformIO

PlatformIO is an open-source ecosystem for IoT development.

Cross-platform build system, IDE integration and continuous testing. Arduino, Espressif, ARM and mbed compatible.

platformio.org

See our blog post introducing PlatformIO.

1. Install PlatformIO IDE

PlatformIO IDE is built on Atom open-source ‘hackable text editor for the 21st century’ built by the GitHub. See PlatformIO IDE Install guide for more info.

Note: skip this section if your would prefer to use PaltformIO via it’s excellent command-line interface

These install steps have been tested to work on Linux, Mac and Windows.

If running windows: - Python will also need to be installed, see PlatformIO IDE install-guide * - USB to UART adapter windows drivers will need to be installed

Download PlatfomIO

The first time Atom IDE is opened after a few seconds PlatformIO will finish the installation and then display its home page.

Install PlatfomIO

Download PlatfomIO

2. Open emonTx Firmware
  • Download emonTx Firmware GitHub repo either via git clone or downloading the zip and extracting.
  • From the PlatformIO Home screen in Atom IDE choose Open Project (1)*
  • Navigate to the standard emonTx Firmware emonTxFirmware/emonTxV3/RFM/emonTxV3.4/emonTxV3_4_DiscreteSampling then chosen open
  • You should see the emonTx firmware files in the file-tree on the right-hand-side of the editor
3. Change node ID
  • Using the atom file-tree open src/src.ino this is the main emonTx firmware file
  • Change byte nodeID = 8; (currently line 128) to be a different number e.g. byte nodeID = 29;
    • 29 is recommended since this does not conflict with any other nodeID’s
    • Switching the DIP switch 1 on the emonTx will subtract 1 from the nodeID in the firmware e.g. 29 will be come 28 if DIP switch 1 = ON. See emonTx Setup for more info

*Note: The 433Mhz RF networks supports node ID’s in the range of 1-29, RF nodeID must be unique to each unit on the same network. A corresponding node decoder entry must be created for each node in emonhub.conf. See configuring EmonHub config

4. Compile Firmware
  • Once change has been made save then file then compile with PlatformIO by clicking Compile (2)
  • If this is the first time the code has been compiled PlatformIO will ask if you want to install all the required libs that are specified in platformio.ini. See PlatformIO library manager.
5. Upload Firmware
  • If code compiles successfully upload the firmware by clicking on Upload (3)
  • Note: A USB to UART cable is required to upload to emonTx / emonTH
  • After successful upload check nodeID has changed by viewing serial output, click Serial Monitor (4) and choose 9600 baud.

PlatformIO Command Line

PlatformIO works great from the commandline, follow these instructions to install and run platformIO from the commandline. See the excellent PlatformIO Quick Start Guide for more info.

1. Install PlatformIO via commandline

The easiest way if running Linux is to use the install script, this installs pio via python pip and installs pip if not present. See PlatformIO installation docs:

$ sudo python -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/platformio/platformio/master/scripts/get-platformio.py)"

2. Clone emonTx / emonPi repo

We’ll use the emonTx (V3 discrete sampling) as an example here but the steps are exactly the same for emonPi.

emonTx V3

$ git clone https://github.com/openenergymonitor/emonTxFirmware`
$ cd emonTxFirmware/emonTxV3/RFM/emonTxV3.4/emonTxV3_4_DiscreteSampling

emonPi

$ git clone https://github.com/openenergymonitor/emonpi`
cd emonpi/firmware

3. Compile with PlatformIO CLI

$ platformIO run

or shorthand for the lazy

$ pio run

4. Upload with PlatformIO CLI

$ pio run -t upload

The first time platformIO is run it will ask to install the required libraries and avr toolchain. The required libraries are defined in platformio.ini in the project folder.

4. View serial port with PlatformIO CLI

$ pio serialports monitor -b9600

For more PlatformIO commandline love see PlatformIO getting started