This week’s Weekly Roundup we have GPS & GSM modules, battery management, SBCs, the usual Robots, (again), and a desktop laser cutting machine.
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KickStarter is a bit more lively this week.
In my previous Roundups you might have seen two similar stepper motor controllers to this one. The HDrive has all the same features as the others, however it is accessible via ethernet. You can control it via web interface or they have example code in Matlab and C giving you precise positioning, and kinematic controls over speed and torque.
The Badgerboard is a small board containing an ATmega32u4, LoRa module, LiPo battery management, and temperature & humidity sensors.
The Voccell DLS is a desktop laser cutting and engraving machine able to cut and engrave pretty much anything you want. It contains a 50w water cooled Co2 laser, that you can upgrade to 70w. Able to cut up to 12.7mm thick material.
If you’ve ever been stuck trying to access an RS232 device then this is a handy breakout for your breadboard toolbox. It’s simply a TTL to RS232 logic level converter, but in a handy breadboard format.
The uTracker is a nice ultra low power board with onboard GSM900 and GSM1800 GPS and GSM modules, accelerometer, microSD, reed switch and a picoPower Atmel chip able to drop down to 19.5uA.
Can be powered from USB, QI, or solar cell.
The Dashbot is a cool idea. It essentially places voice recognition in your vehicle and from then on who knows what you will do with it?
Contains a microphone array and built-in noise cancelling so it’ll pick up the most nervous speaker.
There’s also an expansion pack with OBD port to access all your vehicle’s internals. All powered by the CHIPpro.
What are you waiting for?
If you’ve ever had moisture issues with your 3D prints then this Kickstarter is a storage case for your filaments that’ll both protect and feed filament out of it.
The AE modular is modular analog synthesizer. It gives you a control over all aspects of the synth, with attack, delays, filters, etc. A nice little kit if you want to play around with analog sounds.
Hey! Another 3D printer! No wait, this one is a UV based printer which claims high accuracy and able tp print even the most complicated structures.
The concept is simple: A UV bulb will shine through an LCD screen and “set” the resin material whilst the object is moved up layer by layer. They claim 40 micron resolution.
A great concept. No wonder why they are almost 500% funded.
So, you have these old light switches and you want to be able to control it from the Internet? The SwitchBot contains an armature that is capable of controlling most mechanical switches and buttons. Runs off a Lithium battery for up to 2 years worth of button mashing over Bluetooth and comes with an open API.
What a cool idea! Why hasn’t anyone come up with this before?
And then we have IndieGoGo…
… you guessed it robots that inspire you to do pushups the wrong way…
… or just sit there looking a little lonely. Poor guy. I feel sorry for him being left alone like that…
… and a Smart Toaster. Er OK. Moving on…
On Crowd Supply there’s a pre-launch of a Arduino Zero compatible dual motor driver…
… and one that I missed earlier was a small 5 or 3.3 v output buck converter designed to attach directly to a 9V battery. Capable of pushing 500mA out.
This is great if you want an easy and quick portable solution for your project.
This is a great E-paper shield kit that can be soldered directly to any Teensy. Controls a 208 by 112 pixel display via SPI.
This one I’ll support as I have a couple of projects in mind. So stay tuned for a review and tutorial on this one.
AdaFruit, Seeed, SparkFun, DFRobot, DigiKey
Speaking of ePaper. Once it’s back in stock AdaFruit will have a Pi Zero ePaper display at 128 by 96 pixels which of course works on any Pi …
… and a breakout board for Platinum RTDs, (Resistance Temperature Sensor). These are more stable and precise temperature sensors, but are also particularly sensitive. Measuring only 100 ohms at 0 Celsius means they need a fairly stable amplifier.
I know at least one of my Patreons will be interested in this one. The AI7688H from Seeed is an OpenWRT based SoC comparable to the ESP8266 in almost every way except with better power management, and is programmable via Python, Node.js or C.
Tindie and others
As usual Tindie has a mish mash of new stuff.
So, you have your Teensy 3.5 or 3.6? Chuck one of these CAN bus adaptors on so it can speak to your Vehicles CAN bus.
and while you’re at it get one of these Teensy GPS modules. Both of them together will allow you to create a nice vehicle tracking system.
If you are in need of a multi-cell battery management board then this one will manage up to 5 Lithium Ion cells. It’ll balance cells, and protect against all the usual issues you’ll see. Great for small electric vehicles.
This little breakout board contains the LTC2991 chip, which allows you to monitor voltage and current on 8 inputs. The 14bit ADC will give you around 3mV accuracy on a 5v input. It’s a tiny chip so not designed for high currents.
In need of a JTAG or SWD module? This one is compatible with most IDEs such as Eclipse, OpenOCD, and CrossWorks and even appears as a USB flash drive on your PC. So you can do simple things like drag and drop reflashing of your device.
April Brother on Tindie have an LTC4054 based battery management breakout designed to attach to their ESPea boards.
You will have heard about Particle. Well now the Particle guys have teamed up with the Raspberry Pi foundation. You can now get a Particle Pi starter kit that contains a Pi 3, and a bunch of sensors to help you get started coding up and using Particle Cloud.
Geniatech have always been known for their set top boxes, but now they’re entering into the SBC wars. It’s a Linaro 96board clone based on the Snapdragon 410 with the standard 60 pin LInaro expansion headers.
So far I haven’t seen anyone selling it yet.
The Cheap Side
On the cheap side of town we have…
The new Banana Pi M2 Ultra is here and available on AliExpress, although I haven’t seen it available elsewhere. This new SBC has extra features such as the Allwinner R40, up to 64G eMMC, 2G DDR3 RAM, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi. Of course contains all the usual HDMI, SATA and other ports of the previous M2.
Or you can pick up the Banana Pi M64 from AliExpress, which was their first 64bit SBC running the quad-core Cortex-A64.
… a DIY wireless charging module from Bang good claiming to be QI compatible.
An AI-thinker A7 based module with onboard GPS, GSM capable of voice calls and SMS. Note that GSM will be phased out in most countries soon, but a cheap module still if you want just the GPS.
Or you can pick up a cheap GPS module that also supports GLONASS and BeiDou. Can provide location data at 10Hz sample rates and spits that out at all the supported baud rates.