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Heath Raftery

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Everything posted by Heath Raftery

  1. NewieVentures, an electronic product development consultancy, is kicking goals and thus on the hunt for a talented electronics or embedded systems engineer. Join a small team to make a big impact. We turn ideas into products and no two weeks are the same. From our suite of Smart Parking devices to industrial power test rigs, you’ll get the opportunity to apply every facet of your technical knowledge while still exercising your vision and sense of value. Our particular speciality is in the Internet of Things and LPWANs, from PCB design to cloud infrastructure. We believe in life
  2. Fascinating project. You're really at the bleeding edge of Bluetooth so it would be beneficial to work directly with some techs from the Bluetooth SIG - I'm sure they would be very interested in having your project be a case study. BT Mesh is only 6 months old or so, so there wont be too many people doing what you're doing. Sounds like you've considered most of the parameters. A couple more: It's going to get really noisy where device density is high. Consider a scheme that disables relaying for nodes that have a lot of neighbours - if you keep the relaying nodes down so you have ju
  3. Yes, it is so often the case that the benefit of a capital purchase is not the presence of capital itself, but the impact of that capital if properly managed. In those cases it doesn't make sense for a customer to purchase something they have no relationship with. BMS customers don't want thermometers, they want efficient climate control. Smart Parking customers don't want an array of sensors, they want data. Farmers don't want to manage ultrasound sensors, they just want to know if their tank has run dry. If you sell a widget, then you're incentivised to sell more widgets, even if that's a no
  4. Newcastle IoT Pioneers is a free, rapidly growing meetup group established way back in 2016, for anyone operating in the Greater Newcastle region looking to derive some value from the Internet of Things. We meet monthly and last year we had a full calendar of presentations from the likes of Meshed, Thinxtra, Newcastle City Council and Schneider Electric, as well as IoT superstars Stuart Waite and David Goad. Today I'm putting the call out early to try to book in some presenters for the year's events. I know there's interesting stories from the trenches to be told but I don't know how to f
  5. So odd they never name the technology. Like they're keeping their options open or something. Interesting that at the same time Verizon and AT&T in the states are doing the opposite, focusing on Cat-M1 and snubbing NB-IoT in favour of unlicensed technologies instead: https://medium.com/@patburns/verizon-and-at-t-are-taking-a-pass-on-nb-iot-69edae3a053c
  6. At that scale you'd need a sensor network to monitor your sensor network.
  7. until
    December: The Rise of Things - Opportunities and Risks Our December event is on, usual time, usual place: 6:30pm, Thursday, December 7th, 2017. Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield. Upstairs function room - look for the staircase in the middle of the pub. This month I'm honoured to welcome David Goad, Fellow at the University of Sydney, IoT Strategy Consultant and author of "The Internet of Things from a Directors Perspective". David has kindly offered to lend us a little of his extensive experience advising entrepreneurs and enterprises on their IoT strategy. David will talk about
  8. Yes, Newcastle only at the moment. But now that we've run our first session the feedback has been very encouraging - we now have plans for expansion! Definitely supply and demand is a factor. Like all these trends the supply tends to overshoot the demand. But I think there's also a element of thin value. By which I mean the dominant marketing message is that coding = skill for the future and that code camps = coding competence. When you sell something predicated on those two shaky equivalences you only have a short period of time before people notice the emperor is wearing no clothes.
  9. Interesting. Because I have to remind myself every time, a quick reference for others: LTE Cat-1 10Mbps/5Mbps, full duplex, available Feb 2016 LTE Cat-M1 1Mbps/1Mbps, half duplex, available today? LTE Cat-NB 1 20kbps/60kbps, half duplex, who knows? All being LTE technologies, coverage should be similar to LTE, maybe even a bit better due to lower rates. FWIW, I'm participating in the Everything IoT HackLAB in a couple of weeks. Happens to be hosted at Muru-D in Sydney, and Telstra just announced they'll be bring provisioned Cat-1 dev kits.
  10. until
    October: The Australian Maker Movement and its IoT Impact Our October event is on, usual time, usual place: 6:30pm, Thursday, October 5th, 2017. Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield. Upstairs function room - look for the staircase in the middle of the pub. The Maker Movement is worldwide phenomenon that has put the creative and technical tools, once reserved for professionals, into the hands of amateurs and enthusiasts. And the results have been spectacular - inventions, businesses, creations of every scale have sprouted from the hands of the self-motivated and the curious.
  11. Heh, funny you should say that Tim. Cuts to the core of the motivation behind MiniSparx. The programming industry has been very successful in monopolising the mindshare of the tech/innovation industry. Definitely an important part, but I'm not convinced the world really needs that many people proficient in moving sprites in Scratch. You might get a rise out of my LinkedIn post: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6307121692179333120 FWIW, we'll be using the littleBits STEAM kits.
  12. That's terrific, thanks for sharing. I ran a community "What's a Smart City?" workshop a while back and put together a similar IoT style, sensor to dashboard kit for participants to experiment with. It was Grove/Arduino/Ubidots based, which proved to be a nice trade-off between simplicity and flexibility. But when I want to "get the point across" on the data collection/marshalling side of things, a Pi running NodeRED is my go to. There's a local mob here that do a STEM course called StarLAB. Currently in about 50 schools. Very similar approach to teaching Python in this case -
  13. Love it. All the idle cash in the world is desperate to not miss out on the next Airbnb, and has done a sensational job of monopolising the narrative of business success. Rocket speed growth, a trail of destruction, laptops in cafeterias, and more talking than doing. Let the trends be trends. There's no replacement for authenticity.
  14. until
    July: IoT Startups - Stories from the Frontline with Stuart Waite Our July event is on, usual time, usual place: 6:30pm, Thursday, July 6th, 2017. Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield. Upstairs function room - look for the staircase in the middle of the pub. I'm delighted to welcome Stuart Waite as our guest presenter. Stuart is the CEO of Timpani - a specialist IoT Consultancy. He's an investor, mentor and advisor to a number of IoT startups as well as being a board member of the IoTAA and running their startup workstream. Stuart is highly influential in and supportive of the Au
  15. until
    March: Sigfox with Thinxtra Our second meetup for 2017 is on, usual time, usual place: 6:30pm, Thursday, March 2nd, 2017. Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield. Upstairs function room - look for the staircase in the middle of the pub. We're fortunate to welcome Guy Langlois from Thinxtra, to Newcastle for the evening. Thinxtra are the national operators for the Sigfox low-power wireless area network (LPWAN). They've been rolling out coverage at a tremendous pace across New Zealand, Australia and most recently, Hong Kong. Guy will be bringing some exciting news for Newcastle
  16. until
    February: The IoT-enabled Automotive Future Newcastle IoT Pioneers is back! The festive break has been good to us, with lots of exciting developments to announce. The first event of 2017 is on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017, usual time, usual place (6:30pm, upstairs function room at the Stag & Hunter Hotel in Mayfield - look for the staircase in the middle of the pub). We managed last year to touch on just about all the major IoT verticals, except the fascinating world of smart vehicles. I'm very pleased to announce that the group's own resident automotive electronics expert, Norma
  17. At one point I swore myself off any engineering project that involved (1) wireless comms, (2) self-sufficient battery power or (3) sleeping microcontrollers. Some how I chose to launch a business right in the triple point that is IoT sensors. After losing a day today dealing with a maddening signal strength issue that popped up out of nowhere, I remember why I made that declaration!
  18. This is a terrific story. I hope you're planning to publish wider (perhaps somewhere on LinkedIn?). The story stands on its own two feet, but I'm especially drawn having marvelled at the Plexus/Green Brain system when trying to find an opening for my startup business. We went 80% the way towards developing a remote compost pile temperature monitor with many aspects in common with Plexus, but ultimately the project didn't go ahead. The path we have taken, that of Smart Parking, went live on Friday and your story rings home. We set out with a very simple goal - count cars as they enter
  19. So very true. But your willingness to share makes a huge difference. Many times we have developed a product to meet the expectations set by OEM marketing, using the information provided by the datasheets, with hard won expertise from decades of training, only to discover that we're the guinea pigs finding that the practical limitations fall short of the potential. As much as I love to jump on board the next great thing and develop on the latest technology, I've learnt to stay wary of anything that doesn't have a "community" around it. The power of the community is extraordinary, and
  20. That's the kicker for me - I worked for a long time on applications for mesh networks, and it was this gotcha that killed it. ZigBee (and the 6LoWPAN family) promised so much and battery-powered (periodic sleeping) mesh repeaters is actually part of the ZigBee spec. Turns out no manufacturer supports it because the practicalities of synchronising sleeping nodes in a reliable way to perform mesh networking without compromising energy consumption is just not feasible. For now, mesh is relegated to academic projects. If each node contributing to the mesh has to be powered/always on anyway, t
  21. until
    http://www.meetup.com/Newcastle-IoT-Pioneers/events/234665531/ The first Thursday of December falls on the 1st, when Newcastle IoT Pioneers will meet again at the cosy Stag and Hunter Hotel in Mayfield. Newcastle City Council have been extremely active in fostering the innovation community in Newcastle and recently took some very exciting steps towards nurturing the burgeoning IoT community. The council sees Newcastle transitioning from a primarily industrial base to one that boasts a broader diversity of economic foundations. Rather than backing any particular horse, the counci
  22. until
    The Newcastle IoT Pioneers group meets on the first Thursday of every month. We're looking for hustlers, hackers and hipsters in or around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie or the Hunter, who want to take advantage of IoT. Whether you're ready to show off your project or concept, or just keen to see what the buzz is about, drop in or drop us a line. November's meeting is at the Stag & Hunter Hotel in Mayfield. Pending confirmation this week, the topic this month is "Making solar power intelligent with IoT". All welcome, free to attend, and even some free finger food to follow the present
  23. Only just came across this community and am very impressed at the contributions so far! Lost a couple of hours just catching up... but time well spent.

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