Preserving Single-Use Temperature Loggers Out of Landfills — By Turning Them Into Dev Boards

Pseudonymous maker “arduinocelentano,” hereafter merely “Celentano,” has written a information to salvaging single-use provide chain temperature screens with a view to get well the surprisingly highly effective microcontrollers inside — turning them into reusable growth boards as an alternative of sending them off for recycling or into landfill.

“These small units are used to trace the temperature of delicate supplies (like medication, meals and so on.) throughout [its] transportation,” Celentano explains. “They’re normally single-use units and regarded to be e-waste as quickly as a cargo container is delivered. Sure, think about 1000’s of vehicles all all over the world delivering 1000’s of containers with implanted little items of {hardware} destined to change into a heap of e-waste simply after few days of working. I disassembled a number of samples and came upon that a few of them is likely to be reprogrammed and repurposed with a bit of little bit of reverse engineering.”

Celentano’s work focuses on the Q-tag, which upon disassembly turned out to have STmicroelectronics STM32L152 microcontrollers inside — boasting a versatile Arm Cortex-M3 core working at as much as 32MHz and ultra-low-power working modes together with a quick 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) providing as much as one mega-samples per second (MSPS) decision.

“To detect which [pin] is which, you’ll want a multimeter set to continuity mode and a datasheet to your MCU [Microcontroller Unit],” Celentano explains of the way to discover the Serial Wire Debug (SWD) required to reprogram the microcontroller and take away its inventory temperature-tracking performance. “Contact gently [the] MCU’s pin and a pad on the PCB along with your probes to detect whether or not they’re linked. A minimum of you’ll have to detect VCC3.3V, GND, SWDIO and SWDCLK pads to have the ability to program the microcontroller.”

As soon as the format is set, pins or wires will be soldered to offer a connection to a programming device — the STMicro ST-LINK, within the case of Celentano’s Q-tag boards. “If you end up certain that all the pieces works, it’s possible you’ll set up STM32CubeIDE or configure an open-source growth surroundings,” the maker provides. “Now you might have an reasonably priced growth board, and it’s as much as you to determine the way to use it. Perhaps it is likely to be potential to port Arduino to it and implement a USB bootloader or construct some custom-made HID gadget.”

The complete write-up is obtainable on Celentano’s web page.

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