Creating an IOT or MQTT Dashboard Using Thingsboard

mqtt-dashboard-iconThingsboard is an open source IOT platform for data visualization.

It is available for download and installation on your own hardware or as an online service for demonstration purposes.

In this tutorial we will configure a simple Dashboard to display data from sensors using MQTT and Python.



There are two sensors, a main door sensor and a main light sensor. Our final demo dashboard will appear like this

thingsboard-dashboard-finished

The first step is to create your own demo account by signing up here.

Once you have an account and have verified it you can login to thingsboard here.

Process Overview

  • Create device or devices
  • Assign device to Widget
  • Assign Widget to Dashboard
  • Add new widgets and edit as necessary

The diagram below illustrates the process:

Thingsboard-Data-ModelDevices

The first thing you need to create is a device.

Go to devices and click on the add device circle in the lower right hand corner

tihngsboard-add-device

You will need to give the device a name and add a description. Leave the is gateway box un-checked.

add-new-device

Click ADD when done.

Now click on the device card to edit the device, and then click the tick icon to display and edit the device properties.

thingsboard-device-edit

Each device is assigned an access token which is used by the device to identify itself to the thingsboard platform.

You will need to copy this access token for use in your MQTT client. You can do this using the copy access token tab.

edit-device-thingsborad

Or by clicking on the manage credentials tab

device-credentials

The access token you will use as the username in MQTT. There is no password.

The actual physical device is responsible for sending data to thingsboard.

All data is sent to the following topic id:

v1/devices/me/telemetry

Note: A device need not be a single device like a sensor as devices publish data as a JSON object.

The device client attributes can be used to manage the device, but these must first be populated by the client. We will not be using device attributes in this tutorial.

The device is now usable and can receive data.

If you follow the introduction on the thingsboard website they use a Javascript client and Node.js to send data.

In this tutorial we will send data using MQTT and a Python client.

Configuring The Python Client

We need to configure the following:

username= access token
password=”” #not used
broker=demo.thngsboard.io
topic=v1/devices/me/telemetry

We also need to package the data in a dictionary object and then convert it to a JSON encoded string to output

Here is my demo script (partial) that simply simulates a light sensor and a door sensor.

python-demo-script-thingsboard

The light is either on or off, and the door is either open or closed.

When I run the script this is what I see on the console.

Running-Demo-Script

To view the results on the device in thingsboard go the device telemetry tab.

thingsboard-telemetry-data

To visualize data from this device we need to configure a dashboard and a display widget.

We start by adding the device to a widget.

To add this device to a widget click on the check box next to last update time

thingsboard-add-device-widget

Now select the widget type (cards) and then use the small circles to select the card type, and then click add to dashboard.

thingsboard-select-widget-type

You can now add the widget to an existing dashboard or create a new dashboard.

thingsboard-add-dashboard

If you tick the checkbox to open the dashboard, when you click ADD the dashboard will open and display the widget.

thingsboard--dashboard

Adding A new Widget to the Dashboard

To add a new widget or edit the dashboard click on the edit (pencil) icon in the lower right corner of the dashboard.

When adding a new widget you first need to select the type of widget.

thingsboard-add-new-widget-select

Now you need to select a data source for the Widget.

thingsboard-add-new-widget-datasourceNow configure the datasource. In the example below our datasource is called house which is the name of the device we configured earlier and we select the main-light property. The Main-door property we added to our first widget.

thingsboard-new-widget-datasource-config

Now you can edit the card settings and change colour and fonts etc.

thingsboard-new-widget-edit

When finished the new widget appears on the screen.

thingsboard-dashboard-finished

As long as the edit icons are showing you can rearrange and edit widgets on the dashboard.

When finished click on the tick icon.

thingsboard-dashboard-edit-icons

Making the Dashboard Public

You can also make the dashboard public which makes it visible to everyone.

thingsboard-dashboard-public

Sending Test Data Using Mosquitto_pub Tool

You can send test data using MQTT and the mosquitto_ pub tool.
You need:

  • Your access token for the username -Ahwpx1r8fNNQbr9JILm3
  • Broker name demo.thingsboard.io
  • topic -v1/devices/me/telemetry
  • JSON Data -“{\”main-light\”:\”OFF \”,\”main-Door\”:\”CLOSED\”}”

Command shown below:

mosquitto_pub -h demo.thingsboard.io -u Ahwpx1r8fNNQbr9JILm3 -t v1/devices/me/telemetry -m "{\"main-light\":\"OFFs \",\"main-Door\":\"CLOSED\"}"

Sending Test Data Using cURL

You can publish data to Thingsboard using http and curl.

The thingsboard website give the various formats supported and example curl commands.

Unfortunately these didn’t work on windows until I escaped the quotes on the data keys and values.

The format I used was the simple format

{"key1":"value1", "key2":"value2"}

The data needs to be JSON encoded .

The ThingsBoard dashboard has two devices a light and door. The JSON data looks like this

“{, \”main-light\”:\”OFF \”,\”main-Door\”:\”OPEN\”}”

Notice I had to escape the quotes around the keys and values.

Here is a command example

curl-data-thingsboard

Video

I’ve also created a YouTube video covering the above which you can watch here.

Here is my demo test house dashboard that I created in the video tutorial. You can download the python scripts used in the video here.

References:

Related Tutorials:

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7 comments

  1. Hi Steve, thank you for this tutorial, it is very good.
    I have some experience with Thingboard, but I have a problem when I want to set up values from the dashboard with a widget, I use Knob Control from Control Widgets but it is not very useful, because it sends many values before you reach the value that you want.

    Do you have any idea how can I do ?

    1. I know what you mean. There is currently no way that I can see of preventing this unless you change the widget code. I haven’t tried doing that but hopefully will one day.
      You could catch it on the receive side but it depends on what you are sending it to.

  2. So It is already going. The problem was in writing data as a text. When I change in script data from On/Off to 1/0, chart is correct.

  3. Yeah, but when you run your demo script and you want state chart from this script you will nothing. At least I cant display any telemetry data:/

  4. Hello,
    first a I would like to say thank you. Your tutorial is a great.
    But now I have problem with creating chart from this data. When I create state chart I see nothing. So I think the problem will be in saving data to cassandra database, but in Timeseries table is all data.
    Can you help me with this problem?

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