This week's Weekly Roundup we're seeing wireless devices, a handful of the usual robots, FPGA boards, the new Orange Pi boards and the results of the HackADay 2016 competition.
KickStarter has a few interesting things this week.
First up on Kickstarter is another Software Defined Radio. It contains a 5W transceiver for CW, SSB, AM and FM transmission. It runs off 13.8V DC at 2A and supplied USB power for an Arduino or any other low powered board.
If you're in to LoRa then the Marvin looks like a good development board. The onboard ATmega32u4 is programmed via a USB port and also contains Grove compatible sensor ports and the MicroChip RN2483 LoRa module.
Now this is a cool idea. This Kickstarter provides common resistor and capacitor values in a breadboard friendly format. No more long dangly resistor and LED leads anymore.
I might back this one, looks good.
UPDATE: This campaign creator was also on IndieGoGo with a failed delivery. One to avoid in future!RedBear
have some upgrades on Kickstarter. They have a BLE module, the Nano2 and the Blend2 all based around the upgraded nRF52832 bluetooth module.
The BLE module provides all the expected GPIOs from the Nordic module, whilst the Nano2 has a lot less.
The Blend2 has a Cortex-M3 MCI and the newer Nordic bluetooth module.
So you have just got your 3D printer all setup and functioning, but annoyed at that USB cable? The Borlee 3D Printing Box is one way of solving that problem. It can connect to any 3D printer supporting Gcode and then you connect via WiFi.
You could probably DIY your own based on a Raspberry Pi, but if you don't want to fiddle, then this might be the go.
I'm always a big supporter of the underdog trying to make a go of something. The ChickBot is one of those. It is another DIY build your own robot that you can attach a Pi Zero, Arduino or even a BBC micro:bit to and get it to do all sorts of robotic things.
Sixfab have an interesting IoT shield for the Pi. They have 4G/LTE, 3G and GPRS shield as well as GPS and XBee. They're releasing them as Open Source and OpenHardware, (whatever that means)…
Well… I think far too many people tout the OpenHardware logo too often. We'll see if they actually come up with the schematics.
OK, the Vufine+ isn't really a Maker thing, but would be cool to hack it. It has an HDMI input and sits on any standard glasses giving you a… sort of… heads up display. Would be great to attach a CHIP
And it looks so stylish! Wow.
Nothing really new and interesting on IndieGoGo this week.
On The Interwebs
If you missed it on HackADay
, the 2016 hackaday competition winner was announced!
The Dtto modular robot, which came about by meeting a need in disaster situations. The can link up into a long chains and can traverse some fairly rough terrain using worm like movements. They can also join up to move like spiders. Cool!
Other entries were a…
A high accuracy tilt sensor
An imaging dome that uses reflectance transformation
A printable robotic hand
and the Mechaduino.
Then we have the PYNQ Z1 board. Ever wanted to get into FPGAs? Well this little board contains the Zynq XC7Z020
MCU, which contains a dual-core CortexA9, and and Artix7
It also has onboard gigabit ethernet, standard Arduino headers micro SD, and HDMI out and also in!
The Artix7 is a great FPGA for someone just starting out and contains 1.3M gates, or 215000 logic cells, 740 DSP slices and can support up to 6.6Gb/s transceiver speeds.
This is cool and I think I need to review this one!
You all probably know about the Orange Pi
. Well now there's the Orange Pi Zero. A tiny little SBC that contains the Allwinner H2
which is a quad core CortexA7 running at 1.2GHz, up to 512M RAM, 100M ethernet with PoE, USB 2.0, OTG, and WiFi. All for under $7 US. Nice!
Then there's the Orange Pi PC 2!
Which contains the Allwinner H5 which is a quad core Cortex A53. The first 64bit Orange Pi! and also 1G RAM, IR, USB, gigabit ethernet, CSI, HDMI, etc, etc.
Seems I'm going to busy for a while reviewing all these boards before Christmas.
And on Tindie.
Sometimes you just run out of GPIOs don't you? Well the TCA9538
is an I2C based GPIO expander. Giving you an additional 8 GPIOs. The great thing about this? It can support 3.3 or 5v logic levels so if you are requiring logic level converters then it'll be cheaper to just get one of these.
In need of a relay board? This one contains headers to slot in an ESP or Arduino or any device that speaks I2C. Gives you 8 mains rated relays in a compact board.
The D-duino is another ESP8266
board, but this one contains a 1.3 OLED display.
And they also have a Grove shield for the D-duino giving you all the Grove thingy possibilities.
The Power DAC module contains the MCP4921
which is bi-phasic DAC supposedly capable of delivering true AC waveforms.
Or there's an LTC1661
2 channel DAC which is Digilent PMOD
or a 4 channel 24bit ADC using the LTC2492
which is also PMOD
Then we have this cool ultrasound imaging processing module. Pretty expensive, but if you want to get into ultrasound this might be the thing.
You will, of course, need a whole bunch of extra stuff to get it going, but there it is.
AdaFruit, Seeed, SparkFun
A few things from Seeed, but not much from AdaFruit and SparkFun.
Over at Seeed
there's a new Raspberry Pi GPS module. Well, it can talk either USB or UART so you could attach it to anything with a UART port.
Comes with an external antenna connector and has 22 tracking channels.
Remember the Speech Recognizer in one of my earlier Weekly Roundups
? Well, Seeed now have it in kit form. It contains a whole stack of Grove ports and a few Grove modules such as RTC, MP3, and IR.
An alternative to the RedBear
BLE module is this one, which is cheaper than the Kickstarter and you'll get it quicker. Contains all the usual stuff such as BLE, CortexM4F MCU, 512K flash and 64K RAM and a bucket load of GPIO options.
The Mini Spy Camera over at AdaFruit
is a simple and cheap module capable of taking low res videos and photos. Control is via a one wire interface and files are stored on an onboard SD card.AdaFruit
seem to have plenty of the new ESP32 in stock. Grab a couple while they're available.
And if you have plenty of money growing on that money tree in the backyard, just pluck off a couple of notes and get yourself an Othermill Pro which can mill almost anything you want. PCBs, plastics, wood and light metals.
Over at SparkFun
there is a Lilypad e-textiles sewable kit which contains everything you need to get started into e-textiles.
And over at DigiKey
there's a fairly expensive, but complete Cypress Semiconductor based Cortex-M0+ evaluation board.
Or if you're in to Echelon Corporations LonWorks
then this is a handy USB to LonTalk adaptor. LON is used extensively in building automation controlling things like lighting and HVAC.
DigiKey also have an evaluation board for the AtTiny817
, which isn't yet supported under the Arduino IDE
so you'll have to use the Atmel Studio IDE
The Cheap Side
A bunch of cheap and interesting things from China.
Banggood have an alternative to the 5 megapixel Pi camera with a standard MIPI-CSI interface.
There's also a cheap high precision radio frequency test kit which… oh ok… doesn't really say how accurate it is. Oh well.
A cheap WeMos motor shield capable of controlling two motors up to 15V and 3.2A max!
Hmmmm. I might get some of these and see just how they cope with those ratings.
I suspect I'd see some blue smoke.
This is a cool DC step down module that has an LED display. Input voltage range between 4.5 and 40 volts with an output voltage adjustable between 1.25 and 37 volts at up to 3A.
Banggood also have the Orange Pis The Orange Pi Lite…
…the Orange Pi Plus 2E…
… and the Orange Pi Plus H3.
If you're into FPV, then over at Elecrow you can pick up a fairly cheap brushless motor, which seems fairly decent, but YMMV for reliability.