Weekly Roundup #47 - New Maker Products // News


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Despite desperately needing a haircut and a shave, the Weekly Roundup is here. This time we have lots of SBCs. Really a whole bucket load and a couple of other interesting things.


Crowd Funding

KickStarter

A few interesting things on Kickstarter this week.

The Thunder Board

Similar to the Tindie EMP sensor from Weekly Roundup #46. This one is based on the AS3935 lightning detector and an Arduino Mini Pro Low Power.

High Resolution Portable DAC Amplifier

Looking for a high resolution portable DAC? This one has a 1.5Ah LiPo claiming 7 hours of acquisition using an AK4490 DAC, which is capable of pushing out 768kHz, 32bit, 2 channel audio from an Atmel SAM3U1C and what looks like a Xilinx XC2 FPGA.

NeuroBytes

This one is interesting. It's a modular biological nervous system simulator based on Open Source Hardware. Comes in kit form and teaches the concepts of neural networks without any coding. Comes with a swag of sensors, motors and brains to simulate your next robotic overlords.

Plusboard

Plusboard looks interesting. It's a prototyping system based on a breadboard that allows you to transfer the components easily over to strip-board. It's not quite clear how they do that, but looks promising. It has a built in power supply, adjustable from 3.3 to 30v, so can accommodate almost every small circuit.

$9 Libre Computer Board

The SBC Wars are still going strong. This time a volley has come from the Libre Computer guys. This board comes in the now standardized Pi form factor and they have three variants.

  • For US$9 you get an Allwinner H2+ SoC, 512MB RAM
  • For US$19 you get an Allwinner H3 SoC, 1GB RAM
  • For US$29 you get an Allwinner H5 SoC, 2GB RAM All boards mirror everything that you have on the Pi2. No WiFi or Bluetooth, but they have an additional eMMC connector.

GameShell

If you're in to retro gaming, then GameShell looks good. It's a portable, modular gaming thingy. The main board is based on a quad-core Allwinner R16 with 512MB RAM and SD slot and access to a bunch of GPIOs. There's also modular components such as a 2.7” TFT display, keypad, battery and speakers. Not only can you play a lot of the old retro games, but you can create your own games using a variety of languages and IDEs.

The Faircode License

This one is interesting. It's an initiative to create a flexible licensing system for developers based on the MIT license. It essentially allows you to open source your software with a restriction placed on commercial entities having to pay royalties for use. The campaign was created to cover the cost of legal fees. Let's see how this one goes.

Pi PCB quick connect clip

If you've ever designed production test board, then you'll be familiar with pogo pins. This Kickstarter is a simple one allowing you to connect to a Pi GPIO header using a pogo pin clip.

IoT platform for Machine Learning

Another IoT platform, this one based on what looks like the ESP32, but this one looks to be fairly complete. They're not only offering all the hardware, like sensors and drivers, but a cloud based API that you can use to connect to other services like IFTTT, Zapier, Mailgun and Twilio.

PIXEL

Another LED flashlight kit. Not only does it have all the usual high brightness LEDs and USB chargeable LiPo, but this one has an on-board ATtiny85, so you can control the 32 RGB LEDs any way you want.

DevDuino

DevDuino isn't the sensor board that has been selling on Seeed Studio for some time, but another breadboard solution. Based on the ATmega32U4 it also contains an SSD1306 based OLED, header for WiFi or Bluetooth module, SD slot, RTC and 17 GPIOs with LED logic level display.

LEDTwee

Now this is a cool idea. If you've ever done any hand soldering of SMT, then you'll probably back this one straight away. SMD LEDs are a bugger to solder and getting the right orientation can be a pain.


KickStarters not in the video

4zerobox

A python-programmable modular tool to develop Industrial IoT solutions that solves interfacing issues with PLCs and IoT cloud services

Modular & Enterprise IoT Development Kit

This Kit includes Hardware,IoT Platform & User App/Dashboard needed to quickly build any IoT solution right from Scratch to Production

Pip

Unleash your creativity! Invent, tinker and make with real code and hardware. Powered by Raspberry Pi. For ages 8 to gamer

Pi18650 DUAL BATTERY HAT

Double the power… Double the capacity… Use two 18650 Li-Ion batteries to power you Raspberry Pi

eowave quadrantid swarm

The Quadrantid Swarm encourages you to explore sound design and music with a direct and inspiring set of synthesis and sequencing tools

raspiPRENDE

Diableco have a campaign up for some Pi goodies. The main Pi hat has power control, expanded GPIO with PWM control and there's also some I2C breakouts with buttons, LCD and sensors.

AGILE

Agile is an IoT gateway designed around the Pi and contains a hat allowing you to bolt on Xbee or LoRaWAN modules.

USB Headphone DAC

A small board based on the PCM2706, so can drive a set of headphones easily.

Oboo Clock

A clock radio based on the Omega2! Nice. Has gesture input and integrates with Google Home, Alexa and IFTTT.


IndieGoGo

Over at IndieGoGo, there's nothing of interest… Unusual? :-D


Crowd Supply

But CrowdSupply is cooking with gas.

PulseRain M10

Not sure where they came up with the name PulseRain M10, but I'm sure it's a long story. This is another FPGA dev board based on one of the Altera MAX10 FPGAs that have a ridiculously long name. The exciting thing about this board is that it has a Soft-Core, 8051 based MCU clocked at 96MHz with support for the Arduino IDE. There's also a Silicon Lab Si3000 Voice CODEC, SD slot and JTAG. It all fits into the standard Arduino form factor, so you of course don't have access to the hundreds of GPIOs that this FPGA offers. It would be nice to include a header pushing out a lot more of these GPIOs.

SYZYGY Brain-1

The SYZYGY Brain-1. How do you say it “scissor G”?

Anyway, it's yet another FPGA board based on the Xilinx Zynq SoC. So that means you get all the ARM Cortex-A9 goodness bundled up with an FPGA. Has 1G RAM, GbE and 4 headers pushing out 112 GPIOs. Nice!

Pi/104

This is a fairly simple board that contains a Pi CM3 DIMM socket in a PC104 form factor. Pushes out everything that the CM3 module has to offer, along with 59 GPIOs, but has an additional USB bridge and can run off a wide 8 to 36V DC supply.

REFLO

The REFLO is a reflow oven for your PCBs. Complete with iOS app. I guess, if you back it and it doesn't work you could always use it as a Pizza oven.

XTRX

Ooh! Another SDR transceiver, but this one is in a mini PCIe form factor. It runs the Lime Microsystems LMS7002M and Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA giving you a tuning range of 30MHz to 3.8GHz and a sampling rate of 200Ksps to 120Msps.

Haasoscope

Back in Weekly Roundup #36 we saw the Haasoscope. This is an open source, open hardware DSO for around US$99 based on the Altera MAX10 FPGA giving you four 125Msps, 8bit, 60MHz bandwidth channels with the option to move to two channels at up to 250Msps. There's also an additional 9 high res / low bandwidth channels at 12bits and 1Msps as well as 22 high speed GPIOs, 16 I2C, JTAG and an SPI interface connecting to an OLED. There's been a fair amount of talk about this over at the EEVBlog forums, essentially comparing the bandwidth to dollar ratio. I reckon it's a pretty decent DSO for the price.


Crowd Supply not in the video

ALio Proto Board


GroupGets

Nothing new on GroupGets this week, sadly.


Honorable mentions

IoD-09

Over at 4D systems they have released a new 0.9” TFT HMI called the IoD-09 that has an on-board ESP8266. Has on-board SD slot and all the GPIOs are broken out. Only US$20 too! Might pick one up.

Debug Board Splittable Isolator

Over at HackADay there's a project up for a USB to UART bridge, but this one is based on the MAX12931 which provides excellent galvanic isolation. This means it electrically isolates the USB side from the serial side, so you won't have noise from your PC injected into your device, or the device won't kick back any high voltages to your PC.

HackADay Supercon

Of course the HackADay super conference was on last weekend and they've put up a lot of the talks that happened. So go check out the HackADay YouTube channel.

BPI M2 zero

The Banana Pi guys have come out with a challenger to the Pi Zero W. Called the Banana Pi M2 Zero, it has the same footprint and all the same goodies as the Pi Zero W, but has an additional RF connector, reset and power buttons, and runs the Allwinner H2+. The one good thing about this SoC is that it can push out 4K HDMI. So, it's a pretty good competitor to the humble Pi.

Zybo Z7

Over at Digilent they are jumping on the SBC bandwagon and have released a Xilinx Zynq-7010 based board called the Zybo Z7. There's two flavours; the Z7-10 with one SoC and the Z7-20 with two SoCs. Both boards have 1GB RAM, 16MB SPI flash, SD slot, GbE, HDMI and GPIO headers coming from the FPGA.

NanoPi Fire2A

The Friendly guys have come out with two new boards. The first one called the Fire 2A; which is based on the Samsung quad-core Cortex-A9 S5P4418 SoC and 512MB RAM, …

NanoPi Fire3

… and the Fire 3, which moves to the octo-core Cortex-A53 S5P6818 with 1GB RAM. Both boards have GbE, SD slot, DVP interface, USB, RTC, standard GPIO header and they have inventively replaced the AXP288 PMIC with an STM32 MCU to manage power states. So, the STM32 will be able to power up and shutdown the main SoC. Nice.

WAND-PI-8M

WandBoard have come to the party with three new SBCs based on the quad-core Cortex-A53 i.MX8M SoC.

  • The Lite has 1G DDR4 RAM and 4G eMMC,
  • the Pro has 2G DDR4 RAM and 8G eMMC,
  • and the Deluxe has 2G DDR4 RAM and 16G eMMC. All three boards have GbE, USB3.0, Pi compatible 40 pin GPIO, USB-C and the Pro and Deluxe have WiFi & Bluetooth.

IMX7 96 SBC

novtech in conjunction with Arrow Electronics have produced an SBC called the iMX7 96. Not only is it 96boards compliant, but it runs the NXP i.MX7 SoC, with 512M RAM, SD slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB2.0 and runs off a 8 to 18V, 3A DC supply. It has some pretty decent low power modes able to get down to 250uW in standby.

Waveshare CM3L

Waveshare have come out with a Pi CM3 base-board that breaks out everything possible from the module. It also has a DS18B20 1-wire IC, USB to UART, 10bit 38Ksps, 11 channel ADC, 16bit 2 channel DAC, RTC and Arduino compatible headers.

RetrOrangePi 4.0

Even though the website says it's “coming soon”, you can actually fetch the latest version of RetrOrangePi. If you already have version 3.0.1, then you can upgrade by downloading and running the “ropi4.sh” script from the RetrOrangePi website.

Linux support in Arduino Create

If you haven't used Arduino Create before, it's a cloud based IDE that allows you to program your Arduino devices, without having to download and update an IDE on your PC. Support has now been added to include Linux. So you can update your Linux devices as if they were an Arduino device. Nice.

ODROID-MC1

The HardKernel guys are finally selling their ODROID-MC1 cluster. This contains 4 ODROID-XU4S boards, heatsink and fan. So, for US$220 you get a 32 core, 8G RAM cluster. The have also published several getting started guides for a Docker Swarm and build farm.

Pine H64

Interestingly, the Pine64 guys seem to be looking at producing yet another SBC. This time based on the Allwinner H6. It'll contain 1, 2 or 3G RAM, GbE, SD slot, RTC, WiFi, Bluetooth and mini PCIe connector. Looks promising.

STM32L4+

ST Micro have come out with a new ultra low power MCU series called the STM32L4+. This new MCU can drop down to 20nA with 5 wakeup pins and no RTC or 43uA per MHz. That's a seriously low quiescent current. There's several different models providing TFT and MIPI-DSI interfaces.


Maker Shops

Tindie

Over at Tindie, there's a bunch of cool things.

ULTiMBus

We saw the ULTIM8x8 back in Weekly Roundup #29 on Crowd Supply. Well, this simple board allows you to connect 3 ULTIM8x8 RGB LED boards together into one unit without soldering.

WiFi deauther V2.0

The WiFi deauthor is a small device that initiates the deauth attack on a WiFi network. Well now it's at version 2.0 and has better LiPo charging control, faster power on and a better 2dB antenna.

PowerBrick 2.0

PowerBrick looks like a decent power supply. It comes in kit form and provides two regulated outputs that provide two selectable voltages either 5v or 3.3v at 5A peak or 4A continuous. It also has reverse pins so you can mount it on to a breadboard and a USB power connector to power SBCs.

Raspberry Pi 2G Cellular Hat

Here's a fairly cheap 2G mobile hat for a Pi based on the Neoway M590E 2G module. Access is over serial port.

VB-IoT1

This board seems to have the lot. Running the iMX233 SoC as the main CPU, it also has an ATmega328, and SIM900 GSM module, 64M RAM, SD slot, 46 GPIOs coming from the iMX SoC, 8 from the SIM900 and 16 from the ATmega328. Runs off a 6 to 12v DC supply and can charge a LiPo from solar panels.

ClosedCube BME680 Environment

The BME680 is a pretty decent I2C sensor. It contains temperature, humidity, pressure and gas sensors all in one package. This board has a small buck converter and logic level converter, so can handle 3.3 or 5v logic levels and DC supply.

All-ST Motion Sensor Breakout Board

Pesky Products has made a 10DOF IMU board that is the next step up from the MPU9250. This one contains several ICs providing much lower current draw, faster measurements and lower jitter.

uSD breakout

This micro SD breakout is similar to another on Tindie, but has standard 0.1” spaced headers instead.

Button Sized RFM 69 Wireless Node

This small board has an ATmega328P and RFM69 RF transceiver module powered off a coin cell battery. It also has a temperature, humidity and light sensors as well. Firmware delivered supports OTA programming and also MySensors.

2017 Hackaday Superconference Badge

Did you miss the HackADay superconference? Missed out on one of the Superconference badges? Well, pick one up on the Tindie HackADay store.

Ladybug Flight Controller

With this board you should be able to retro fit it to any quadcopter that uses brushed DC motors. Runs an STM32L4 as the brains and has an MPU9250 9DOF IMU, MS5637 barometer and EM7180 motion co-processor providing 10DOF fusion output. This board should be pretty stable and I think I might just order one of these as I have a quadcopter that has a pretty basic RC remote.

BluChip Plus

BluChip Plus is a pretty tiny Bluetooth 5.0 breakout board. I think it's the smallest nRF52832 based board I've seen so far.

Micro SD Card .WAV Player AVR AtTiny85

This is cool. Someone has created a WAV audio player using an ATtiny85. Can handle 16bit, stereo, 48kHz WAV files. No idea on the SD card size limit, but pretty cool anyway.


AdaFruit, Seeed, SparkFun, DFRobot, DigiKey

And from the major shop-fronts …

Airspy HF+

… there's something for the Hammies over at ITead with their Airspy HF+, which is an SDR for the HF and VHF bands. Capable of frequencies from DC to 260MHz, it has some decent SNR specs for the price.

TF Mini LiDAR

Seeed Studio have their cheap Mini LiDAR, which is capable of detecting objects from 300mm to 12m. Interfacing is over UART and runs off a 5v supply.

OBD-II CAN-BUS Development Kit

They also have an OBD CAN-BUS dev kit that can work at up to 1Mb/s. Access is over plain UART.

ATSAMD09 Breakout with seesaw

Over at AdaFruit they have their ATSAMD09 breakout board with seesaw firmware.

Adafruit MiniBoost 5V @ 100mA Charge Pump - AP3602A

and their MiniBoost charge pump giving you a 100mA, 5v DC supply from a 3v input.

Digital Power Meter - 6.5V to 100VDC

and they also have their digital power meter that's capable of handling 6.5 to 100Vdc at 20A.

Arduino MKR1000

Over at SparkFun they have the Arduino MKR1000 in stock, which is based on the ATSAMW25 SoC and includes LiPo battery management.

RockBLOCK 9603

Or if you're in to satellite comms, the RockBLOCK 9603 allows you to send short messages using the Iridium SatComm service. It's an expensive unit, but allows you communicate anywhere in the world. Of course you'll also have to pay for line rental, which is around US$13/month for the basic service.

SparkFun Motor Driver - Dual TB6612FNG

SparkFun also have their TB6612 based motor driver breakout allowing control of two motors at up to 3.2A peak. Runs off a 2.7 to 5.5v supply while the motors can be driven up to 15v.

Dual Digital Potentiometer

A digital pot is a handy thing to have around. DFRobot have a breakout for a dual 100K ohm digital pot. Runs off 3.3 to 5v supply with the 8bit wipers being able to change within 1mS. Access is over SPI.

Audio Shield For DFRduino M0

This shield is designed for DFRobot's M0 and contains the Wolfson WM8978 audio processor as well as dual 3W amplifier, mic and SD slot. Capable of decoding 3D surround sound and also has a programmable notch filter.

Thunderboard™ Sense 2

DigiKey has the Thunderboard Sense 2 in, which is an IoT dev kit from Silicon Labs. Runs the Wireless Gecko, which is a multi-protocol radio with an ARM Cortex-M4 core and also has temperature, humidity, pressure, hall effect, IMU and light sensors. Also has an integrated J-Link debugger.

LF-EVDK1-EVN FPGA Modular Video Platform

Yet another FPGA dev kit. This one from Lattice and is aimed at video processing. Running off a 12v DC supply it has two MIPI-CSI-2 connectors and an ECP5-85 FPGA for image signal processing.

TMCM-1111-StepRocker-Servo Stepper Controller

This is the Rolls Royce of stepper driver boards using . A bit expensive, but can drive 2-phase bipolar steppers with selectable current from 500mA to 2.8A off a 10 to 30v DC supply. Has some complex motor control such as S-shaped ramps, stall guard and chop syncing.

BoostLynx™ Boost Converters

GE have some decent boost modules. These ones on DigiKey can push out 16 to 54v DC at 2A from an 8 to 16v DC input. You can pick them up from around US$20 a pop.

Pololu Dual G2 Motor Driver Shield 18v22 for Arduino

Over at Pololu they have a bunch of high power DC brushed motor drivers. This one designed for an Arduino has a dual H-bridge allowing a 6.5 to 30v operating range and they claim it can handle up to 22A without a heatsink.

Pololu Dual G2 Motor Driver Shield 24v18 for Pi

Or this one designed for a Pi, capable of handling up to 18A without a heatsink.


Honorable mentions

A few bits and pieces that I didn't include in my video.

Worldwide STEM by Meeper

Meepers are remote-control, programmable vehicles and motors, with a free Controller App that make your brick blocks come alive!

PLUTO

The first SLA 3D printer, that really fits on your desktop

Migo

Portable, Internet-Enabled, Industrial Quality Migo is the perfect printer for you. Just plug it in and play! From $149

Kit-A-Month soldering subscription

Love soldering? This three-month soldering subscription will keep you busy with new kits each month

Routakit M

The Routakit M series is our new lineup of desktop CNC machines offering high levels of cutting power and extreme precision

PEDDY

Here we go again. Another pet entertainer robot, apparently … “PEDDY is your pet's complete entertainment solution that enables real-time two-way video call and video/music playback” Woohoo!

RTS Hot End for 3D Printers

New Hot End for 3D Printers featuring all metal, 1.75mm or 3mm, 500C capability, quick change between nozzles and sizes.

GEIO

Battle with your friends: GEIO’s embedding AI and FPS gives you an immersive experience in a virtual war zone that exists in reality.

Weaver

The first desktop printer with 50 micron laser spot - impressive details and smooth finishes for makers, artists, jewelers, dentists

Dorna

An affordable industrial grade 5-axis robotic arm with open source software and firmware. Defining a new standard in consumer robotics.

VIT 3D printer

Co-create with us the VIT 3D printer to revolutionize the way people 3D prints with High Quality laser sintering technology

Inception X1

Open Source, high performance, reliable, large format desktop 3D printer, combining exceptional quality with unmatched affordability.

Gomer

Gomer: A friendly robot powered by soft robotics and SDK make it the most versatile home robot ever.


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