Getting Started XK07 and XK90 Kits

This guide is supported by a video, which you can view here.

From time to time we hold support workshops, details can be found on this page.

The XinaBox XK90 CubeSat kit is the XK07 kit with the CubeSat hardware interfaces added. The electronics and coding samples are identical, and as the XK07 kit has been around longer than the XK90, we refer to the XK07 kit in most circumstances.

The XK07 (XK90) is a XinaBox kit with two circuits:

  • A Flight Station, that can be remotely positioned or flown using balloons, drones, rockets or simply just located remotely.
  • A Ground Station, that receives live data from the Flight Station, show it on the OLED display, and uploads to the XinaBox DashBoard.

Follow the directions below to get your stations up and running.

Table of Contents

Flight Station:

xChip Function
CS11 Core for software processing
OD01 Optional: OLED display for debugging
SI0x IMU/Accelerometer Sensor (Either SI01 or SI02)
SW0x Weather Sensor (Either SW01 or SW03)
SL01 Light Sensor
SG33 Air Quality Sensor
SN01 GPS/GNSS Sensor
PB04 Double AA Battery Power Supply
RL0x LoRa Radio: RL01=434MHz, RL02=868MHz, RL03=915MHz
Antenna Matching antenna
SD Card Cleanly formatted SD Card. Max 32 Gb
Batteries 2x AA Batteries

Steps for preparing the Flight Station:

  • Download this file: UPDATE.bin
  • Assemble the above flight station hardware
  • If your SD card is not new, format using formatter from SDcard.org
  • Copy UPDATE.bin to the SD card. Insert SD card into CS11.
  • Don't power up yet

3D Frame for Flight Station:

Optional extra:

OD01: If you have a spare OD01 (OLED Display), you can temporarily add that to your Flight Station to see debugging messages. It is not needed normally, but it will help you/us to understand what is happening on the Flight Station. It is not recommended to fly with the OD01, as it is fragile.

OC01: You can optionally add an OC01 to the Flight Station. When the Flight Station is stationary, the OC01 will activate channel 1 and 2 for 1 second every 10 second. You can attach a buzzer to the one channel and an IR LED to the other channel, allowing you to easier locate the Flight Station by sound or by drone camera.

The OC01 powers a number of channels directly from the battery, which allows the OC01 to be used to heat/burn a burn wire/nichrome wire. While this feature is not implemented in the code, it could be used to release a balloon, parachute and other mechanical objects.

Batteries:

The Flight Station's current usage is ±155mA@3.3v. The best batteries for balloon flights considering the freezing temperature at higher altitude, is non-rechargeable/primary Lithium Batteries, such as ENERGIZER L91 Ultimate Lithium. They can tolerate -40ºF/C, and we have successfully used them down to -52ºC. Two of those can store 3000mAh@3v (~2500mAh@3.3v), allowing you for a 16 hour flight.

Ground Station:

xChip Function
CW01 Core for software processing and WiFi link
OD01 OLED display
IP01 Programmer and Power supply
RL0x LoRa Radio RL01=434MHz, RL02=868MHz, RL03=915MHz

 

Steps for preparing the Ground Station:

  • Install XinaBox Uploader (link to guide)
  • Assemble the above flight station hardware
  • Insert the flight station hardware into the USB port
  • Open XinaBoxUploader
  • Using the dropdown, select the “XK07” application
  • Click “FLASH
  • At provisioning fill in the form with WiFi SSID, WiFi secret,
  • Choose 868 MHz if you are in Europe and 915MHz if you are in the US. Both RL02 and RL03 can use both frequencies.
  • Power up the Ground Station, then power up the Flight Station.

Setup OwnTracks to track your XK07:

  1. Download OwnTracks to your iPhone or Android Phone: https://owntracks.org
  2. Scan the QR Code below and open the file in OwnTracks to configure your app.
https://github.com/xinabox/XK07/releases/download/OwnTrack/config.otrc

Retrieve data to your own Dashboard:

The data is uploaded to the XinaBox MQTT server, which give anonymous access to all data uploaded.
  • MQTT Server: mqtt.xinabox.cc
  • MQTT Port: 80 or 1883
  • MQTT Username/Password: n/a
  • MQTT Topic:  x/data/xk07/CHIPID
Replace CHIPID with the CHIPID of your CW01. You see the CHIPID on the OD01 on the Ground Station, on the XinaBox Dashboard and by selecting the higher level topic x/data/xk07/# and search for your device name in {"Unit Name":"your_device_name"}

JSON data from the MQTT Server:

The data from the MQTT server, as they show up on the XinaBox Dashboard, or as you retrieve them for your own Dashboard, comes as two different packages:
  1. Sensor Data
  2. Navigation (GPS) data

If you just want the sensor data, then simply unplug the SN01 from the Flight Station, and you will only receive one set of data. 


XK90 CubeSat

The XK90 is essential a XK07 kit with a pair of XK91 CubeSat interface connectors. The XK91 CubeSat interface consist of:

xChip Function
BS01e The main connector with the PC/104 interface
BS01w The support bracket, making a complete PC/104 formatted circuit.
MB01 Mechanical Backbone, that allows xChip to be bolted together

 

The CubeSat interface is pre-soldered for using the "I2C Payload" connection interface on the PC/104 interface. There are solder point option for using the "I2C System" bus instead. You will also find solder point for activating UART/Serial connection as well as 5v. 

Everything is documented in the XK91 Interface Control Document.

Troubleshooting

  • If your RL0x has switches on it then try to put all the switches in the "ON" position. These switches is for address selection allowing you to have more than one radio in your circuit (however this is not supported in the current firmware). Use a paperclip or something similar to move the switches. The switches might be covered by a protective (amber-coloured?) film. You can remove that.
  • If you having communication problem between the circuits, then try placing your ground station and flight station 9ft/3m apart, and make sure the antennas are parallel to each other.
  • If you get any messages relating to the almanac, then don't worry. The almanac is to try to get a GPS signal faster, but if the almanac is not downloading correctly over the internet, the SN01 will download directly from the sky ... it is just slower.
  • If you are not getting GPS signal, then take your flight station outside and make sure you have a 160º unobstructed view of the sky. The SN01, unlike your GPS on your smartphone, only uses the United States' Global Positioning System (GPS), and not Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), the European Union's Galileo nor Japan's Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). There are smartphone apps that will show you where on the sky you can see the GPS satellites, such as GPS Plan (https://apps.apple.com/app/gps-plan/id623849032)
  • You can also troubleshoot by connecting to the Ground Station: Connect the Ground Station via the IP01 (or IP02) to your computer. Open a terminal program, such as PuTTY for Windows or CoolTerm for Mac. In both cases, set the baud rate to 115200 and turn off RTS and DTR. You can also use the Serial Console in Arduino or any other serial monitor/consoles.