MickMake Mail #10: GPS clock, ODROID-XU4Q, DigiSpark, and TronClub // News

Another MickMake Mail! This bag has the GPS clock, (from Tindie), ODROID-XU4Q and I hack around with the DigiSpark and TronClub from a previous MickMake Mail segment.


GPS clock (Tindie)

MMMail10-GPSclock1Nick Sayer has a store on Tindie that’s doing well. He sent me his fully complete GPS clock for review. A nice unit that will adjust for global DST rules and sync down to 100uS accuracy using a SkyTraq Venus838 GPS module. It also has a 1/10 second display and a 600kHz LED refresh rate. So would be great for time coding slow-mo video.

I was looking forward to checking this out, but alas it couldn’t obtain a lock. I’ve sent an email off to Nick and I’ll update on the resolution.


ODROID-XU4Q

MMMail10-ODROID-XU4Q1The ODROID-XU4 has been around for a while now, but HardKernel have just released a quieter version called the ODROID-XU4Q. So, I ordered one to tun some benchmarks of my own to see what the performance difference was like.
MMMail10-ODROID-XU4Q2MMMail10-ODROID-XU4Q3HardKernel claim that there’s a 16% slower result when running the sysbench benchmark at 2GHz and 6% for 1.8GHz. The quieter option is good for people wanting some peace and quiet, but may be an issue for the performance seekers.


ICstation DigiSpark

MMMail10-Attiny85-1DigiSpark was a Kickstarter some years ago, but thought I’d pick up a handful of them from ICstation since I haven’t tried them out yet.
MMMail10-Attiny85-2They’re all programmed with a default LED flasher program.
MMMail10-Attiny85-3MMMail10-Attiny85-4MMMail10-Attiny85-5And using the Arduino IDE is pretty straightforward. Just make sure you have the device disconnected first, then hit the upload button and once you’re prompted chuck it onto the USB.

MMMail10-Attiny85-6MMMail10-Attiny85-7So, I uploaded my own LED flashy code. Very simple and straightforward.

Just be careful of GPIO P2 & P3 – these are tied to the USB +/- pins. So if you have something driving these pins high or low it’ll stop you from flashing the ATtiny.


TronClub

MMMail10-TronClub01TronClub sent two packages to review last year. With my busy schedule I only managed to get around to reviewing it.
MMMail10-TronClub02It’s a fairly complete package. I tried out building one of the projects from the advanced kit.
MMMail10-TronClub05MMMail10-TronClub06You’ll get given an access code that you punch into the website, (once you’ve created your account).
MMMail10-TronClub07They provide you with around 20 tutorials for you to get your hands dirty and the explanations are concise and clear. The only issue is that the web page is very long and takes a while to load up. They need to re-visit their website and make it a bit more stream-lined.
MMMail10-TronClub08So, I thought I’d tackle a quick project and see how it went.

MMMail10-TronClub10You’ll need to download CrossPack, which is a good alternative to the Arduino IDE. It doesn’t have a fancy GUI, but this is an advanced kit! Who needs that?
MMMail10-TronClub11MMMail10-TronClub12Flashing was all fairly easy. No issues there. And the end result all worked without issue. If you’re interested in joining a monthly electronics club, this one looks pretty decent.


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