Weekly Roundup #50 – New Maker Products // News

The first Weekly Roundup after Christmas! I have an incredibly messy desk and we’re already seeing an explosion of SBCs hitting the market. There’s also voice recognition, RF and other cool bits.

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Isolated USB to UART
JuiceBox Zero
Quokka FPGA IoT Controller
The Little Buddy Talker
Console/GUI Ether to Serial Bridge
ServoShock 2
Tomu is live
Z-turn Board XC7Z020
USound loudspeakers
Maker BlockChain
Spectre & Meltdown – old news
Coin Cell challenge winners
RDA5981 new cheap WiFi chip
Talking Pi
LinuxGizmos SBC survey
Espressif Audio Mic HDK
Orange Pi Lite2
Orange Pi One Plus
TinkerBoard S
Popcorn Hour
Banana Pi AVS Dev Kit
Firefly ROC RK3328
GRiSP-base board with SD Card
TPS62740 breakout
TinyFPGA expansion
MCP2515 CAN Bus Shield
Sumo Robot Controller
MiCa 7688
Cohesion3D Mini Laser Upgrade
HiKey 960 4GB
DepthEye 3D
GrovePi Zero
Raspberry Pi Zero WH
SGP30 Air Quality Sensor Breakout
SmartFusion 2
MLX90632 – IR thermometer
AMG8833 – GridEye
MP6500 Stepper Driver
FT5121M High Torque Servo


First up on Kickstarter …


WR-NMP50p1… there’s another gamepad thingy. We’ve seen a lot of these in the past, but this one uses a Pi ZeroW for the grunt work and comes with a 480×320 touch display, speakers and lots of buttons you can mash which are accessible from an 32. Power is from two 18650 batteries that can be charged via USB.
The kit comes with 3D printed grips and laser cut acrylic case.

Isolated USB to UART

WR-NMP50p2And another we’ve seen plenty of these in the past as well. This one is essentially an isolated USB to UART bridge using an FT231 and Si8642. Operates from 2.5 to 5v logic levels with isolation rating up to 2.5kv.

JuiceBox Zero

WR-NMP50p3And there’s also been plenty of Pi based power management boards. The JuiceBox Zero is another one designed for the Pi Zero. It has status LEDs, on/off switch, LiPo charging via USB and low battery shutdown. From what I can see on the PCB, it seems to conform to the Pi standard for powering via GPIO.

Quokka FPGA IoT Controller

WR-NMP50p4The Quokka FPGA is the first FPGA board for 2018 and also another Ozzie Maker. This board runs the 50MHz clocked Altera Cyclone IV FPGA with 6,000 LE and pushes out 40 GPIOs, with 4 dual channel, 10bit ADCs, Hbridge driver and WiPy socket running off a 5 to 24v DC input.
His website has some fairly comprehensive documentation. So looks good.

The Little Buddy Talker

WR-NMP50p5Do you want to add voice capabilities to your Arduino? Patrick Thomas Mitchell is back with another campaign that does just that. The Little Buddy Talker is a pretty tiny board that provides a 254 word vocabulary, spoken in a female English voice. Access is over SPI.
Think I might pick up a couple of these.

Console/GUI Ether to Serial Bridge

WR-NMP50p6This next one is something with a specific use-case. It’s an Ethernet to GPIO bridge that allows you to connect to UART TTL, RS485, nRF2401 and even a 2 channel ADC and DAC. Access is over standard telnet and can handle up to 6.5Mbps.

ServoShock 2

WR-NMP50p7Want quick and easy control over a bunch of servo motors? The ServoShock2 allows you to control up to 12 servos and 18 digital outputs using a Sony DualShock 4 controller. Buttons and joysticks can be mapped using pre-configured mappings and since it’s an Arduino shield you can read the controller status via SPI.


Only one new thing on Crowd Supply this week…

Tomu is live

WR-NMP50p8Back in Weekly Roundup #49 I mentioned the Tomu. Well, now it’s live on Crowd Supply and seems to be creating some waves.
Since it’s a Cortex-M0 board that fits within the footprint of a USB port, it’s unobtrusive and handy enough just to leave in all the time.
I’ll be picking up a couple of these.


Z-turn Board XC7Z020

WR-NMP50p9Over at GroupGets there is round 2 of the Z-turn board. If you want to get a decent FPGA board fairly cheaply, then this is a good option as there’s free shipping on this one.