Blinking the LEDs

At this point, your device software is running and you are connected to AWS IoT Core, sending messages, and ready to receive and act on messages from the cloud. In this chapter, you will subscribe to an MQTT topic, view the messages coming into AWS IoT Core, and send a message to blink your device LEDs. Since MQTT is a publish-subscribe protocol, you can subscribe and/or publish to specific topics. The policy that was set earlier in the registration script constrained the topics that the device can subscribe and publish to. This is critical for filtering, and potentially for security. Your device can only send or receive to topics that match the client Id, which in this case is the same as the unique serial number of the device’s secure element.

Subscribing via the AWS IoT MQTT client

The AWS IoT MQTT client in the AWS IoT Core console allows you to both view and publish MQTT messages. To start, go to AWS IoT console and choose Test to open the client view.

Choose test in AWS IoT console

In the Subscription topic field, enter # to subscribe to all MQTT topic names. The multi-level wild card topic filter is # and can only be used once as the last character of a topic filter. Once you press the Subscribe to topic button, you will see messages being sent from your device. The device is only allowed to publish messages to the topic beginning with <<CLIENT_ID>>/. This gives the ability for another subscriber (e.g. Cloud application) to filter topics for specific client devices, and can also be narrowed to be more specific topics (e.g. temperature reading of a specific device).

Blinking the LED

To start/stop the blinking of the LED bars on the sides of the M5Stack Core2 for AWS IoT EduKit reference hardware, we’re going to publish from the console’s AWS IoT MQTT client on a topic that the Core2 for AWS IoT EduKit is subscribed to. The subscription topic for the device will have the pattern <<CLIENT_ID>>/#. You can view the subscription topic on the device after it successfully subscribes to the topic. Additionally, you can view the client Id that’s been output on the host machine’s serial monitor.

In the Publish box, enter the command below, after replacing the «CLIENT_ID» text with your actual client Id that you just copied. Then press the Publish button:

<<CLIENT_ID>>/blink

Subscribing to messages and publishing with AWS IoT console MQTT client

Your device should now have the side bar LEDs blinking. To pause the blinking, simply press the Publish button again to publish to the same topic.

To exit the serial monitor, press CTRL + C.

Cleaning up

To optimize resources used and avoid unwanted possible AWS Cloud service charges, erase the flash on your device to get it ready for the subsequent tutorials. To erase the flash, you’ll need to be in a project that has already been built (such as the one you just completed), exit a running serial monitor that might block the port (press CTRL + C), and use the command:

pio run --environment core2foraws --target erase

On to the final chapter, the conclusion.


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