SBCs galore, (which makes up for last week)! Plus LoRa modules and other bits and pieces.
There’s not many things on Kickstarter that I included in my YouTube video, see below for extras I didn’t include.
So, first up on Kickstarter there’s an ArduECU, which is essentially a rugged waterproof case for an Arduino Uno and OBD board. It is a little expensive, but if you don’t want to hack around with soldering but want to hack your car, then this might be the thing. It also contains 9 digital outputs and 5 PWM outputs all MOSFET driven, and 9 digital inputs and 6 analog inputs which are 24 volt tolerant. Of course it’s Arduino IDE compatible because it’s just an Arduino Uno.
Simon Monk has a new Kickstarter called the MonkMakesDuino which is an Arduino Uno clone that has all pinouts running along one side to allow it to be slotted into a breadboard. It’s a neat idea to gain easy access to all the pinouts of the Uno.
This next one is designed to be a standalone touch interface. It contains a Wemos D1, which is based on the ESP8266, a Nextion USART display, LEDs, buzzer, GPIOs and runs off a 5 volt supply. Looks like a fairly decent little board.
Woohoo! Crowd Supply have an SBC in pre-launch. This one is based on the NXP LS1043, which is a quad core Cortex-A53 running at 1.6GHz, 2G DDR4 RAM, nice, 512MB NAND flash, SD slot, 5 GbE, 2x mini PCIe, M2, 2x USB3.0, running off a 12v DC supply. With all those network ports and no display, it’s obviously aimed at routers or gateways. Will be interesting once it goes live.
GumStix have added to their 96boards collection with a new board powered by an Intel Curie running the ARC-EM4 MCU. Apart from the inbuilt Bluetooth it also contains a 6DOF IMU, USB based FTDI, 96board compatible GPIO header and USB type C.
The Orange Pi guys have released yet another board called the Orange Pi 2G IoT. This new design has veered away from using the Allwinner SoCs and is using the RDA8810PL SoC from RDA Microelectronics. This SoC is aimed at mobile markets and contains 2G GSM, Vivante GC860 GPU, 256MB DDR2 RAM, SD slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, MIPI-CSI, LCD, USB2.0, a small amount of GPIOs. It’s an odd board. Similar to the Omega2 in it’s tiny RAM size so you’ll be pulling your hair out trying to get things to work in that small footprint, but looks interesting anyway. You can pick this up from AliExpress and also BangGood.
Do you want OTA updates for your Linux devices? Well, Mender has now released a production ready service to allow you to do this. It supports any Linux distro but is ideally optimized for Yocto Linux. A management service will allow you to update and deploy to your devices with the click of a button. This is a subscription service that starts at $99 for 100 devices, so not really aimed at the casual hacker.
Tindie has a few interesting bits and pieces.
The Lora Mini is a small module that contains a LoRa module and ATmega328P. Runs off 1.8 to 3.7 volts and of course consumes up to 80mA. A nice little self-contained module.
and if you want to power it from a USB port and have easier access to the GPIOs, then there’s this board.
I thought this little mini LiPo to 5v regulator was pretty neat. Contains a small buck converter capable of spitting out 600mA at 90% efficiency.
Another Tindie store from down under. This board contains the M10478 GPS module along with super cap and fits onto any Raspberry Pi model, although is the same footprint as the Pi Zero.
Or there’s another version of this board that contains an LSM9DSO 9DOF IMU and a BMP180 barometric sensor.
Great for dead-reckoning when GPS signals are unstable.
This small board contains the Cirrus Logic WM8524 stereo DAC which is accessible via I2S and runs off a 3.3v supply. So is not 5v tolerant.
AdaFruit, Seeed, SparkFun, DFRobot, DigiKey
Over at Seeed Studio there’s the pyboard on backorder. This one contains the STM32F411 MCU with micropython preloaded, USB, SD slot and 29 GPIOs all running off a 3.6 to 16 volt supply. Nice.
And if you don’t want to wait for my video on how to build a cheap LoRaWAN gateway you can pick up this expensive one from Seeed. It’s actually pretty decent with 10 channels, Grove ports and bridge to a Pi3.
AdaFruit have come out with a SAMD21 based Feather M0 Express. Like all the feathers has LiPo battery support. I’ve mentioned the SAMD21 before and it’s pretty neat; with 256KB flash, 32KB RAM, 6 UART engines and 20 re-configurable GPIOs.
They also have a Particle asset tracker based on Particle’s 3G 3 month data plan. Also contains Particle Electron, 1Ah LiPo, breadboard and weatherproof enclosure.
Or if you already have a Particle, you can power it using this shield which is based on the MCP73871 battery management chip. Also comes with 2Ah LiPo.
Over at AdaFruit they have a bunch of Qwiic modules, such as this IMU module based on the MMA8452Q,
a Qwiic Arduino shield with four Qwiic connectors,
and a Qwiic shield for a Particle Photon.
If you’re in need of a beefy, high torque servo motor then this one is capable of moving 40kg per cm, or 550 oz per inch, running off 7.4 volts and will need a supply capable of delivering a 9A peak current. This is a pretty beefy servo.
Over at Solarbotics, they have their SketchBoard, which isn’t new, I know, but I haven’t had it on my roundups yet.
It’s an Arduino Uno clone, with 5v or 3.3v logic tolerant inputs from 7 to 15 volt DC supply, and can deliver a stepped up 800mA 5 volts and 300mA 3.3 volts on-board. This is basically a beefier version of the Arduino Uno.
The Cheap Side
Over in China…
BangGood have a 32 channel servo controller board running off 4.2 to 7.2 volts and capable of driving 9G to 55G servos via a plain USB based UART. Don’t know what chip is driving this as they’ve gone and sanded them down.
There’s also a 26 channel version of the same board.
BangGood also have the Orange Pi NAS expansion board, which gives your humble Orange Pi Zero an mSATA interface, external SATA port, 2 more USB ports, mic, audio and composite video out and infrared. I have one of these sitting on my desk, so stay tuned for that review.
Then there’s the Orange Pi Win, which I mentioned in a previous roundup, but for those who missed it is an SBC that will eventually run Windows 10 IoT, once they complete their certification. It has the Allwinner A64, 1G RAM, SD slot, 4 USB 2.0, MIPI-CSI, MIPI-LCD, LiPo connector, GbE, WiFi and Bluetooth. There’s also space for an optional eMMC.
This is a cool board that allows you to power on or off your Pi via an on-board button or via infrared remote control.
and this board contains an I2C based 4 channel ADC capable of 16bit resolution at up to 860 samples per second. So is suitable for slow acquisition and high accuracy inputs such as temperature sensors.
Another pyboard clone, but this one has a faster STM32 MCU coming in at around the same price as the one from Seeed.
And a tiny ATmega32u4 board that’s about the same size as a USB connector. That’s pretty small. I also have a bunch of these that I’m keen to put to some use.
Another 8051 board! Nice. This one gives you all the bits needed to give you an idea of why people both loved and hated the 8051 MCU.
This cheap board combines an nRF51822 Bluetooth module and LIS3DH accelerometer together allowing you to pull in motion data over Bluetooth using a plain coin cell battery.
and over at DX.com there’s a 2.2″ TFT touch screen Arduino shield. It’s support all the common Arduinos and has an on-board SD slot, temperature sensor and 300mA capable regulator as most Arduinos aren’t capable of powering anything over 50mA.
Bits and pieces
A few bits and pieces that I didn’t include in my video.
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