Weekly Roundup #46 – New Maker Products // News

Seems there’s a new Information Technology video out! Wonder if it’ll be funny? Speaking of Information Technology, Weekly Roundup #46 is here with a couple of new SBCs, interesting gossip and a bit of clowning around.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3H9F5NWZoY&w=640&h=360]



WR-NMP46p1First up on KickStarter is the xaVNA. This is a Vector Network Analyzer, which are normally fairly expensive, but this one is for around US$200, almost halving the price of the PocketVNA. Has a frequency range of 140MHz to 3.5GHz, with some decent dynamic ranges for the price. Runs off a 500mA/5V supply with Windows Linux and Mac O/S supported.

Laser System 3D

WR-NMP46p2OK, not really a Maker Product, but thought this was cool. It’s essentially a real life light sabre, without the issue of cutting your fingers off. Not sure how it works, but looks like they are pushing out steam or smoke out of the end so the laser can reflect. Alas this campaign was cancelled before I published, so you’ll just get to see it here.


WR-NMP46p3Now, this is something to keep you awake at night. It’s a DIY kit with a 4 axis servo frame allowing you to create a reactive robot face. Can track movement and stare at you ominously from the other side of the room.

Gamebuino META

WR-NMP46p4The original Gamebuino was launched 3 years ago. Well, now they’re back with an updated version. This one runs the SAMD21 Cortex-M0+, with a 80 by 64 pixel RGB display, 900mAh LiPo, multi-channel sound playback and SD card. They have made available all the GPIOs from the SAMD21 and have open-sourced everything. Nice.

24pin BASIC controller

WR-NMP46p5This is a simple Kickstarter with not much info, but claims to be a super-set of the Parallax BASIC stamp. No idea what the MCU is, but they mention it’s an ARM based one. If Bruce is reading this page, then I suggest adding a lot more detail on this campaign. That would attract a lot more people.


Atom X1

WR-NMP46p6Seems that the latest war in the electronics Maker market is making things as small as possible.

IndieGoGo has a campaign for the Atom X1, which they claim is the world’s smallest Arduino board. Back in Weekly Roundup #31 there was the uDuino which came in at 12mm squared. Alas this one is almost 15mm squared. So, the claim is still with uDuino. Sorry guys! However, it is the first smallest SAMD21 based board out there and due to the size only pushes out 9 of the 26 GPIOs the SAMD21 is capable of.



WR-NMP46p7Over at CrowdSupply there is yet another Michael Welling product in pre-launch called the BeagleWire. It’s a BeagleBone cape with on-board Lattice iCE40HX FPGA, 32MB RAM and 4 PMOD & 4 Grove ports. All schematics and software are fully open, which is nice to see, and there’s a comprehensive wiki on it over at elinux.org.


PUREmodules Kit

WR-NMP46p8Over at GroupGets they have the PUREmodules Kit which has been around for a while now. This is an nRF52 based board with 3DOF IMU and temperature sensors. Runs off a coin cell battery and can be OTA programmed via the Arduino IDE. It also supports Wirepas and HomeKit. Nice to see.

Hamamatsu C12666MA Breakout

WR-NMP46p9This C12666MA breakout board is currently on sale at the moment, which is a MEMS spectrometer. Good for if you’re in to fluorescence spectroscopy as that sort of test gear normally ends up costing a bucket load. Note, however, that this MEMS sensor is actually a product End Of Life.

$1 ESP-32S

WR-NMP46p10And if you’re looking for a cheap ESP-32S, then GroupGets has them for $1 each. What’s the catch? You can only buy one at a time and shipping costs a lot. So for me it’s pointless as it’d cost 5x than getting it elsewhere.