The following image shows how Itron can provide end-to-end connectivity. Sensor data is delivered through the Network Platform to the Data Platform over CoAP and the Data Platform enables data access through REST APIs to back office applications. The IoT Edge Router can be run in three modes:
- CLIENT mode: Turns off Ethernet as being a DHCP server and turns it into a DHCP client so you can use your local Internet access
- EDGE mode: Edge mode using RF mesh as backhaul
- WAN mode: Replaces the AP or miniAP for backhaul over Ethernet
Each of the three modes are addressed in the diagram below. How you connect your IoT Edge Router depends on which mode you are using.
Working configuration scenarios
- Ipv4 modem replacement – limited to the range of 192.168.16.2 – 127 for network IP devices.
- Ipv6 modem replacement – in configured iot prefix /64
- WAN mode (including Milli devices) - provides mesh data backhaul to back-office software
- Client mode - ethernet acts as DHCP client for desktop development with connection to the internet
Current known limitations
- No software watchdog available.
- No OTA snap updates
- No Factory reset
- No ability to update the kernel image
- No ability to provide automatic NIC FW updates (can only update NIC FW using ssh & manual update)
- No ability to change IoTR Edge Static IP address or the DHCP Range in Edge mode. IoTR will have IP address 192.168.16.1 and is limited to network device IP addresses in the range 192.168.16.2 – 127.
- Limited web portal configuration options
- Limited remote SSH Access
- Limited ability to switch networks – requires manual configuration
- Launching ssnmode.confstat application to change modes via different terminals may output unusable info. Also various keyboard input issues related to this application.
- Alternate method to change mode if ssnmode.confstat is not performing as expected (due to keyboard or terminal display).
- Edit /var/snap/ssnmode/current/iotrswitch.conf file and change the desired mode.
- Then restart the service ($ sudo systemctl restart snap.ssnmode.ssnmode.service).
Using the IoT Edge Router Admin UI
The IoT Edge Router Admin UI includes the following four sections:
Displays device information for IoT Edge Router Linux and the IoT Edge Router NIC
- Distribution: Displays the IoT Edge Router Linux Distribution, which is Ubuntu 16.04 and the associated kernel version.
- SW Build Number: Displays the current software release flashed into the IoT Edge Router.
- NIC RF MAC: Displays the device MAC address.
- NIC FW Image: Displays the NIC firmware version.
- Start Word: The Start Word helps enable wireless communications for all Itron devices in the utility network. All devices in a specific Itron network (a master bridge and all associated slave bridges, for example) must share the same start word.
- Device Type: Displays the device type; this is 58, which corresponds to the IoT Edge Router integrated Linux device.
Allows the user to provision the IoT Edge Router NIC by setting the Network ID and the Country Code
- Network ID: Displays the Network ID, which uniquely identifies the network to which a node (NIC) belongs, and enables the intelligent endpoint to be detected, identified, and tracked among all endpoint devices. A device can communicate only with another device with the same Network ID. Every device is configured with a 16-bit network device ID, with allowance to have 65,535 unique network IDs.
- Country Code: Displays the country code, which is a unique identifier that describes the country of operation for the device. This code (ISO country code) identifies the unique features and restrictions available in a particular region.
All devices must have the same Network ID, Country Code, and Start Word in order to be part of the same network.
Allows the user to test IoT Edge Router connectivity by executing a network ping test
- Network Ping Test: Allows the user to run a ping test.
Allows the user to scan the mesh nodes
- Mesh NIC Scanning Results: Displays the IoT Edge Router scanning results.
- Mesh Milli Scanning Results: Displays all Milli5 HDKs scanned if Milli Mesh is enabled.
Setting up the Hardware
To connect and test the IoT Edge Router configured in Edge mode to the Itron back office, you will need:
- A MiniAP and the IoT Edge Router configured in Edge mode OR
- Two IoT Edge Routers
- One configured in Edge Mode
- One configured in WAN mode - this configuration provides data backhaul to back office software to connect any IoT Edge Router in Edge mode and any Milli Dev Kit.
Step 1: Setup MiniAP if you will be running in Edge Mode connecting through a MiniAP
- If you will be running in Client or WAN mode skip to Step 2.
- For Edge Mode Power on the MiniAP per Getting Started Guide.
Step 2: Power on the IoT Edge Router device
- Attach the antenna (provided in the IoT Edge Router Accessory kit).
- Connect the IoT Edge Router to an appropriate power supply (ensuring that the center pin from the power supply is positive). You may see a red glow from inside the IoT Edge Router.
Step 3: Configure the country code
- Because radio frequency assignment vary internationally, you need to verify or set the country for your IoT Edge Router depending on the intended deployment location.
- To verify or set the country for your IoT Edge Router:
- Connect your IoT Edge Router to a computer using a standard Ethernet cable, and set the IPv4 address to that ethernet interface on your computer to 192.168.16.2. Since the IOT Edge Router ships with an IP address of 192.168.16.1, you need your computer on the same segment but different IP address than the IoT Edge Router. Since the IOTR ships with an IP address of 192.168.16.1,
- Using a web browser, enter the IP address
192.168.16.1in the URL field.
- Wait briefly for the IoT Edge Router to boot up.
Note: Boot up takes about two minutes (including the time for the radio to power up).
- Select the appropriate country code from the Country Code dropdown list. Use the country codes described in the table in "IoT Edge Router Compliance Information" later on this page. These are based on the ISO Country Codes. The country code will be used to configure the device for the proper country frequency band.
- If needed, enter an alternate Network ID in the box. Note that, for Starfish Stage environment which is used by the Itron Developer Program, the Network ID needs to be 1711 (the default value for a new IoT Edge Router).
- When the browser's 'Waiting' alert box closes, the IoT Edge Router has been provisioned.
Note: if you are running in Edge mode and have already set up the miniAP or IoT Edge Router in WAN mode, then you should see the MAC ID for the miniAP or IoT Edge Router in WAN mode listed in the “Mesh NICs Scanning Results” field, as shown in the configuration screenshot below. This will be true only if both the IoT Edge Router and AP are on the same Network ID
Step 4: Set the Mode
- With a computer connected directly to the IOT Edge Router in step 3.2 above, use PuTTY with the host name set to 192.168.16.1.
Once the ssh window is displayed login using the following credentials:
- User: dev
- Password: starfish
By default, the IoT Edge Router is configured in Edge mode.
To change the configuration to WAN mode, use the following command:
If you are alerted in the command line that the window size is too small, increase stty windows using the following command:
dev@ssniotr:~$stty columns 100 rows 30
Note: Press F5 as needed to refresh this window.
To configure the IoT Edge Router in WAN mode
Update the contents of the configuration MODE window with WAN, arrow down to <RUN> and press Enter or Return.
Press F5 to refresh current settings. You should see that mode is WAN - inactive in red.
To configure the IoT Edge Router in EDGE mode
Update the contents of the configuration MODE window with EDGE, and press Enter or Return when the cursor points to <RUN>.
To configure IoT Edge Router in Client mode
Update the contents of the configuration MODE window with CLIENT, and press Enter or Return when the cursor points to <RUN>.
The on-board LED indicates the IoT Edge Router mode status for different modes as follows:
- EDGE mode: Solid RED
- CLIENT mode: Solid ORANGE (combination of RED and GREEN)
- WAN mode: Solid GREEN
- WAN-FAILOVER mode: Blinking GREEN (indicating the IoT Edge Router is trying to make WAN mode active).
To exit the ssnmode.confstat application, press F1.
Step 5: Connect to the Internet
- If you are running in Client or WAN Mode continue with Step 5 otherwise skip to Step 6.
- Connect an Ethernet cable from your IoT Edge Router to the device (typically a router or ethernet connection with DHCP server) you are using to communicate over the internet and power up the IoT Edge Router.
- Determine the IP address that has been assigned to the IoT Edge Router.
- If on a corporate network work with IT to determine the IP address.
- If it is a local router for which you have access and know the router's IP address you can use the local router admin tool. This can typically be accessed by entering the local router IP address in a browser. NOTE: the IoT Edge Router's MAC address will start with "00-13" if searching by MAC address.
- Enter the new IP address of the IoT Edge Router on the network into a browser. This turns on the IOT Edge Router's radio.
- After a few seconds the browser should bring up a diagnostic page which lets you see the country code, network ID, etc.
- After 30 seconds, check the status LED to confirm it is solid orange in case of Client Mode and solid green for WAN Mode. The IoT Edge Router continuously checks for WAN Mode every 30 seconds.
- Expect at least three minutes for the IoT Edge Router to register with the mesh network before a connection with the internet can be established.
Step 6: Verify Connectivity
- Log in to Unix shell account via the console by attaching USB keyboard and HDMI monitor to the IoT Edge Router (note: this version does not support the act of plugging in the HDMI cable after the IoT Edge Router is powered on. Plug the HDMI cable in first, then power-on/reboot the device).
via Ethernet by attaching your computer with a SSH terminal client to the IoT Edge Router using an Ethernet cable.
- Run sudo.ssnmode.confstat and press F5 again. The mode should display WAN - active, Edge - active, or Client - active in green.
- Verify connectivity by pinging a well-known host (such as one of Google's DNS servers,
18.104.22.168) from your device to the Internet.
- Verify DNS availability by pinging a well-known host (such as
google.com) from your device to the Internet.
- Confirm connection to the Itron Data Platform.
IoT Edge Router is now configured.
Once logged into the IoT Edge Router, you can use tcpdump to monitor traffic across the Itron NAN (on interface tun6 or, for IPv4 traffic only, on interface b4 or eth for the Ethernet side). You can also create shell scripts, Python scripts, applications, and so on.