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
Pokit is back again!
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.
Nvidia are offering the Jetson TX1 at a discounted price for developers for US$199. All you have to do is sign up and provide a blood sample to get access to the limited, “one unit only per person” price. OK, maybe not blood sample, but close enough.
Over at HackADay, they are running a Coin cell competition, with three categories.
The Lifetime Award for the longest running project.
The Supernova Award for the most interesting project.
and the Heavy Lifting Award for anyone who can lift a piano with a coin cell. Lifting a piano?
This next one I picked up from LinuxGizmos
. It's a board made by a company called VAMRS
. VAMRS? I think you pronounce it like farmers, but with a V. It's an RK3399
based SBC with 4G DDR3 RAM, 8G eMMC, SD slot, GbE, USB3.0 ports, 40 pin Pi GPIO header and a 314 pin MXM
connector pushing out a whole lot more.
It's designed to slot into the fantastically named Excavator, which has has two HDMI ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, GbE, and PCIe interfaces.
The Friendly guys
have released another SBC called the NanoPC-T3 Plus. Like the previous version it runs the same Samsung SoC, but now has 2G DDR3 RAM and 16G eMMC and gains an extra USB port. Apart from that, everything else appears the same.
This next one I picked up from CNXsoftware
, which is a new SBC from iWave Systems
. Based on the almost Pi form factor, it runs the dual or single core Cortex-A7 Renesas RZ/G1C
and has 512MB DDR3 RAM expandable to 2G, 8G eMMC and all the usual I/O stuff, except it has an additional 40 pin and 20 pin header on top of the standard Pi GPIO header. All powered off a 5v, 2A supply from one of those micro USB connectors.
Over at MyIR, they have released an US$18 module based on the i.MX6 UL
. Breaking out on the 1mm pitch castellated edge connectors are 140 pins of GPIO goodness, but this new module gives you WiFi capabilities. Nice option if you want to be able to run a WiFi enabled Linux in a tiny package, but I've heard that MyIR documentation isn't that good. So Caveat Emptor.
Google released the Tensorflow
earlier in the year, which brings vision machine intelligence to the Maker. Well now, for only US$45 you can pre-order a kit from [EDIT:
AdaFruit, DiGiKey and] Micro-center
containing a Pi bonnet running the Movidius MA2450
processor, camera, lens, piezo, buttons and bits of cardboard to make your own standalone box. All you need is a Pi Zero W
and you can build your robot army in no time.
And not to be out-gunned, Amazon have just released the AWS DeepLens, which is another machine learning device with a 4MP camera and an Apollo Lake series Intel SoC. So pretty grunty. It provides a fairly similar lineup to Google's Tensorflow
, but runs Amazon's version of FreeRTOS
Amazon has a version of FreeRTOS
? Yup, they certainly do. They've gone and taken FreeRTOS
and added in enhancements such as AWS Cloud
connectivity, security and OTA programming. FreeRTOS
runs on pretty much all MCUs these days and good to see these sorts of enhancements being made available.
Over at Reddit there's a post about the demise of the RK3288
. This is pretty interesting as the RK3288
has been around for only 4 years, has started to run on boards such as the TinkerBoard
and only just started to gain some decent support for it. Is this true? Who knows? So far the only pointer is this Reddit post and nothing else.
The Armbian guys
are busy with releases and there's now a minor point release of version 5.35, which actually adds in support for a whole lot of SBCs.
Boards such as NanoPi Duo
, Orange Pi R1
have stable releases, while experimental support has been added for Le Potato
, NanoPi NEO 2
, Orange Pi Zero Plus
and Zero Plus 2
. It also runs mainline kernel version 4.13 and an updated Uboot. Nice! So, if you want an image that works on a whole stack of boards go and fetch Armbian
Over at Tindie there's just a few things …
This kit is a solar tracker that contains an Arduino, servo motors, laser cut wood, and sensors. So all you need is a screwdriver and PC and you're set.
Here's another USB power meter. Runs the ATSAMD09
with OLED display. It has a voltage resolution of 100uV up to 10v and then 1mV resolution up to 25V with a 100uA current resolution. Can display voltage, current and power.
You might just get this delivered before Christmas if you're quick. It's a Pi hat that shifts voltages for the WS2812 Neopixels.
If you're looking for a fairly stable 1GHz clock. This 1GHz GPS disciplined clock generator
is pretty cheap. It can also be set for several other frequencies up to 10MHz, but no indication of the accuracy.
Back in Weekly Roundup #43
and also in MickMake Mail #21
there was the LoFive
. Well, now Michael Welling
has put it up on Tindie
. You can also pick it up from GroupGets as well
Looking to get into SigFox
? This castellated breakout board runs the Wisol WSSFM10R2
and also comes with 2 years free access to the SigFox network
It's a 3.3v system and connectivity is over plain old UART.
Back in Weekly Roundup #26
there was the ESP8285
module on BangGood. Well, this Tindie store has a breakout board for them.
Good to see another Ozzie Maker. The Labrador was a CrowdSupply
funded board that provides a 2 channel oscilloscope at 750Ksps, waveform generator and logic analyzer as well as a multi-meter capable of measuring voltage, current, resistance and capacitance. So, it's not the world's fastest scope, but certainly cheap and reliable.
You've probably seen the ad for this next one by Dave Darko
? There you go! Go and get one.
Back in Weekly Roundup #40
there was the Retroball on Kickstarter
. Well, now it's up on Tindie. It's a DIY kit allowing you to build your own game of pong. Oh, look! He's another Ozzie Maker!
Another clock generator board, but this one is based on the Silicon Labs Si5331A, which is capable of generating clocks from 2.5KHz to 200MHz on 8 separate channels. Access is over 3.3v logic I2C.
The same Tindie store also has a video DAC board, which converts 24bit RGB pixel data to an analog video signal. Supports up to 180MHz pixel clock rate over PAL or NTSC on composite, S-video or VGA. Runs off a 5v supply with 3.3v logic.
HackaBLE is another board based on the nRF52832
Bluetooth chip. Has all the usual goodies such as reset button and LDO, but comes in at a tiny 18 by 28mm castellated package.
If you're in to retro kit, then one of these is damn handy. It's a shield that allows you to program 28 pin DIP EEPROMs
. Useful for updating some of the more recent hacked cartridges you can get these days.
AdaFruit, Seeed, SparkFun, DFRobot, DigiKey
Over at AdaFruit they have a breakout for the UDA1334
I2S stereo DAC. Logic levels and power can be either 3.3 or 5v and is capable of 96kHz at 24bit resolution.
Beam is an end to end pluggable LED matrix that talks I2C back to a 3.3 or 5v micro. You can connect up to 4 of them together to give you 480 LEDs. After that I figure the power demand would be too high.
If you're looking to build a board with a USB Type-C connector, I found this chip from STMicro. It'll manage USB Type-C power sources or devices with a programmable 600mA power switch. Essentially, if you want to power your device from USB Type-C, then get one of these.
Over at Pololu there's a number of step up/down voltage regulators with fixed and variable voltage outputs from variable voltage inputs. They're all essentially the same board based on the S9V11 series switching regulator, but with different components.
A few bits and pieces that I didn't include in my video.
A mini powerwall! “Portable mini Powerwall station with multiple input by power adapter, car adapter charging.”
Something for when your powerwall fails. “The Electric Candle powers on as soon as you open the lid. The light waits until it is dark before turning on. Powered by AA battery.”
Another “High quality, affordable 3D printer.”
And another “Portable, multi-tool, biodegradable, and battery powered.”
Teach your kids Cobol! No, wait… That's Cobl.
“Educational tools for students who want to expand their coding skills and parents that want to give them interesting coding lessons”
Something from down-under! “Meet the robot that helps every child learn coding and AI”
“Let kids learn to code just by playing. No need for a screen, a keyboard or literacy. Kids will program a robot, create music and art!”
And another robot, which looks suspiciously like an Android with a 3D printed case. “With a robotic body we transform smartphones into social robots and use them as a tool for education.”
“The HANSY1010 is a Hybrid Mono/Duophonic Synthesizer. A Digital Brain with an analog heart”
Another “add some more USB ports to your Pi Zero” thing.
WiFi Module+Cloud+Apps+APIs means complete ecosystem on one platform. Run ML algorithms on sensor data with a click. Quick & Easy!