This week’s Weekly Roundup is chock full of SBCs and I’m not going to mention that word that flags my videos with YouTube as being inappropriate.
First up on Kickstarter …
Dave Jones from EEVBlog has an upgrade on his popular multi-meter. In conjunction with UEI Test Instruments he’s added some really cool features missing from multi-meters such as Bluetooth and SD card. So, you’ll be able to log measurements over time to the SD card. The mobile app can also view several multi-meters at once and display a pretty little graph for you.
Fantastic! Not only that, but it has a 15v diode test voltage, Low Burden voltage, VA power measurement, .05% accuracy, auto-hold and bar graph display running a hackable STM32 off 4 AA batteries. He’s releasing it as OpenHardware and OpenSource.
This next campaign is for the Siguino which is a board running an ATmega328P and SFMR10 SigFox module. It also has FTDI and GPIO header pins, temperature, light and 9DOF IMU sensors powered from a single coin cell battery. The creator claims an uptime of 6 months sending messages every 15 minutes or 1 year sending daily.
Another Pi hat. This one allows you to setup a cheap full-duplex intercom over Ethernet. It has relay outputs for control of 12v devices, input buttons and camera interface allowing you to setup a device to device, or device to internet intercom. You can also configure it to work with existing PBXs allowing you to setup a phone to device intercom. Nice.
This next one was sent to me by one of my Patrons, (thanks Mike!). If you already own a PiZero, then you can upgrade it to effectively a Pi3 with this docking hub. It breaks out the PiZero audio and also has a USB hub providing an additional 5 USB ports, a Realtek 100MbE chip and on-board power supply. Connectivity is via pogo-pins, so no soldering required. I’m not completely sold on this one. It’s a good idea, but for the price tag of AU$68 I could get a Pi3.
This next one is for an optically isolated USB board. If you’re hacking around with your own PCBs, then I’d strongly suggest looking into one of these. I’ve already had one computer die on me due to USB and power related issues.
It had to happen! For those really lazy people you can now pickup a game playing robot that attaches to your Nintendo 3DS.
The PiTalk is up on Kickstarter. This is a board that converts your Pi into a fully fledged mobile phone. Has on-board LDO for power, Quectel UC15 mobile module and breaks out audio and USB. You can use it for voice calls, SMS and data connections. Nice.
Working with PCBs can be a fiddly business. I often use BluTak to hold things steady while probing, but this next one looks cool. The PCBite connects magnetically to a base plate and has a spring clip that can stabilize PCBs. There’s also a flexible wire probe with magnetic base, so you can keep probes connected freeing up your hands.
Rabid Prototypes are back on Kickstarter with the Neutrino 3.0. This one contains the SAMD21, which is essentially an Arduino Zero, but in a small 36 by 18 mm package. It breaks out all the good stuff from the SAMD21 and the pre-flashed firmware will work with the Arduino IDE or it also has on-board SWD for programming without the Arduino IDE.
Gameduino is back on Kickstarter. Version 3 of this Arduino shield now has an FT810 graphics processor which is backwards compatible with the FT800. It delivers 4x more power, allowing 30 FPS compressed video playback on a 480 by 272 LCD touch screen.
ExControl is an industrial PCB with a socket for the Arduino MKR PCB series. It has 7 digital inputs and 7 digital outputs that are isolated, 8KB EEPROM, DS2331 RTC and the extension board adds another 8 inputs and 8 outputs all rated at 12v.
If you ever need a high precision voltage reference, then this DIY kit will provide a steady 5v at +/- .005 volt resolution from two AA batteries. Note he has said that fresh batteries are required to maintain that resolution.
This next one is a little late for your Christmas LED lights. It’s a board designed around 6 of the Meanwell LDD-H driver modules which are DC to DC converters. Allows you to drive up to 84 LEDs at 1.5A with a maximum rating of 375W and allows PWM control over the 6 channels.
Patrick Thomas Mitchell is back with his 25th Kickstarter. This one is a simple RFID Arduino shield. From what I can see, instead of a dedicated RFID chip, he’s using a PIC MCU running off Aplus flash to emulate the RFID comms. Interesting.
Next up on Kickstarter the LattePanda guys are back. They must have seen my gag on shoe-horning OSX onto a LattePanda and taken it seriously as there’s now a campaign for the LattePanda Alpha and Delta.
What makes these the ultimate Hackable computer?
Well, first of all the Alpha runs an Intel i7 Core M3 CPU, which is exactly the same as the latest MacBook and the Delta runs the Celeron N4100. They also have on-board 64 or 32G eMMC, 8 or 4G DDR4 RAM, two M.2 ports, GbE, WiFi, Bluetooth, up to three graphics outputs over HDMI, eDP and touch display, USB-C, 3x USB3.0 ports, RTC, microSD slot, audio jacks and an ATmega32U4, (Arduino Leonardo), pushing out 50 GPIOs all in a small footprint that is smaller than an iPhone Plus.
The Alpha is up for US$289 and the Delta for around US$130.
Holy Cow Batman!
I was almost not going to bother checking on IndieGoGo, until I found …
… the Renegade SBC from Libre Computer. They have three models all housed in the familiar Pi form factor running an RK3328 SoC, GbE, USB2.0, USB3.0, eMMC socket, SD slot, IR receiver and all the usual GPIOs. The three different models give you either 1, 2 or 4GB DDR4 RAM.
Over at CrowdSupply there’s the IQ Drone in pre-launch. This is a motor with integrated controller which claims to bring professional grade motor control to your drones. It provides features such as anti-cogging, reduced motor vibration, sinusoidal and trapezoidal commutation, which gives you efficiency or increased power, freewheeling, braking and other cools things. Comms is over serial, DShot or standard PWM.
And there’s nothing new on GroupGets this week.