This week’s roundup we have conference badges, 3D printers, audio boards and a bunch of new SBCs.
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First up on Kickstarter …
There’s a DIN Rail mountable enclosure for the Raspberry Pi. It’s not just a plastic case, but also contains a expansion slot, RS485 and RS232 transceiver, small prototyping area, a bunch of opto-isolated GPIOs and a 5v 2A power supply, which is powered from mains. Nice unit if you’re getting serious about home automation.
The DACBerry AMP is a small board that provides I2S audio and either a 6W or 20W amplifier. It uses the PCM5102 chip which is capable of 192kHz at 24bit and can fit onto any Pi you have.
This next one is a small project aimed at STEM education that comes in kit form. It contains a small DC water pump, power supply, breadboard and a bunch of other things for kids to learn how to annoy their parents even further. Note; this kit doesn’t contain the Raspberry Pi.
If you’ve ever been to any conferences, especially those that involve electronic Makers, you’ll have noticed that everyone is upping the ante with creative name badges. Well, you can get this one which contains a Freescale KW01 MCU running at 48MHz with ChiBIOS real-time O/S installed, 12bit DAC, 320x240 TFT touch display, 4G SD, buttons, LEDs and a 815MHz RF chip so you can play a multi-player game with opponents.
There’s also this one, which is based on the Rigado BMD-300 SoC, which is based on the nRF52832 Bluetooth chip, nRF52 Cortex M4F, 128x128 LCD, and a few sensors. Well, seems the old days of scribbling your name on a sticky note are gone.
Continuing the gaming theme; you would have seen this one a while back. They’ve taken the classic game of Pong and made it into a coffee table, where the bat and ball are moved around by magnets and simulates the original game pretty well, but before you get too excited, check the price tag.
Another blast from the past. This small board provides a MIDI interface that emulates the sounds of the original Nintendo video game console. This one is the second iteration of a successful Kickstarter last year.
A small change of pace with the Snapmaker, which is an all metal 3D printer that you can also attach laser engraving and CNC cutting heads. It’s a modular design to cut down on shipping costs and comes with touchscreen control and their own Snap3D printing software. It’s capable of 50 micron resolution on a 125mm cubed heated bed that they claim levels automatically.
For $300 US it seems to be a pretty solid printer.
For 119 euros you can pick up the Niryo One, which is a 6 axis robotic arm that talks over Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth or USB to Android or iOS phones and even has an inbuilt web app. Runs off 12v 7A DC supply and contains a Pi3 and Arduino Mega. It claims 500 micron repeatability, so can’t be used for things like pick and place, but has a number of different heads such as grippers, electromagnet, vacuum pump, pen holder and DC motor.
I’m back is back with a bolt on board that will convert your old analog camera into a digital one using a PI, Arduino, Omega2 or whatever you have lying around. If you have an old camera and interested in photography this looks pretty good. The other thing that’s good is the big improvement over his last campaign video, which was pretty horrible. Good to see he’s back again.
Joto looks like a fun product, but I think it’s a little too pricey. For 165 British pounds you get an internet connected whiteboard that you can send messages to. Great idea, but too expensive for me. Looks like I’ll have to publish a video on how to do it yourself much cheaper.
Nothing interesting on IndieGoGo or CrowdSupply this week,
, but here’s a bunch of new SBCs on the market and a couple that will be launched soon.
Connect Tech have come out with several carrier boards for the Jetson TX1 and TX2 called the Cogswell, Spacely and Sprocket.
- The Cogswell has 5 GbE ports with PoE designed for vision analysis.
- The Spacely has 6 MIPI-CSI and connectivity to Pixhawk Autopilot board.
- and the Sprocket is a tiny carrier that just fits the Jetson board.
All of them come with a bucket load of GPIO options.
Aaeon will soon be releasing the Rico-3288 SBC, which runs the Rockchip RK3288 quad core ARM Cortex-A17 at 1.6GHz, 16G eMMC, 2G DDR3 RAM, SD slot, GbE, Mini-PCIe and dual LCD and HDMI. Looks like an interesting board, but I’m betting the price tag will be around the $150 US mark.
Hot on the heels of the Up2, there will be a smaller footprint board called the Up Core. For the 66mm by 56mm size they are packing in a quad core Intel x5-Z8350 at 1.6GHz, 4G DDR3, 64G eMMC, HDMI, eDP, 2 MIPI-CSI, WiFi, Bluetooth, RTC, USB2.0 and USB3.0 all running off an expanded 4A 5v DC supply. This one will be a screamer and I’m looking forward to reviewing it.
Then FriendlyElec or FriendlyARM have a new update on the NanoPi Neo, called the NanoPi Neo 2. Contains all the same bits as the original Neo with Allwinner H5, 512M DDR3 RAM, USB 2.0 and SD slot but now has GbE. It’s still a headless SBC, but bang for the buck is pretty good. I’ll be reviewing this one soon so stay tuned.
The humble Orange Pi has now joined up forces with Canonical to build an Orange Pi App store based on Ubuntu Core to allow people to download apps called snaps. This is a good move for Orange Pi, and opens up a lot more options for IoT development.
Speaking of Orange Pi, we now have a new board called, inventively, the Orange Pi Zero Plus 2. This one abandons the H2+ in favor of the H3 and also adds in HDMI and a newer WiFi chip based on the Ampack AP6212.
This means no more iffey WiFi.
Tindie has a few interesting things.
This small GPS tracker runs off 3.7 to 5 volts and can log all GPS data to an SD card. One of those things you just set and forget.
This small board has an ESP8266 on-board along with LiPo battery management. The creator claims to be able to run it for 17 hours from a 3Ah LiPo.
SlushEngine Model D is a step up from the Model X, but can control 7 steppers, three of them at 20A and four at 5A running off 9 to 35 volts. That’s a fair amount of kick and would be suitable for CNC machines.
If you want to debug your SAMD11 MCU, then this is another alternative to the official debugger. Supports most of the CMSIS-DAP tools such as edbg, OpenOCD, and IAR, but not Atmel Studio.
This is another blast from the past. The RC2014 is a Z80 based computer. If you have used the Z80 at all you’ll know about its limited memory space. This is a module that’ll page in additional memory on demand for your RC2014, thereby increasing the effective memory space.
Sometimes you just need a device to sit outside and run forever. This board is based on the RTL8710, but also has solar power battery charging for a LiPo. It also contains a Bosch BME280 sensor with temperature, humidity and pressure.
This is another board with solar power battery charging, but is designed for the Pi Zero. It also provides additional GPIOs, USB port, ethernet socket and RTC. This board is the outcome of a successful Kickstarter in 2015.
The D-duino-32 is pretty much the same as the D-duino with a small OLED, but this one uses the ESP32 instead of the ESP8266.
AdaFruit, Seeed, SparkFun, DFRobot, DigiKey
ITead have an ultra-low power WiFi module which is based on the ESP8285. Supports all the WiFi modes at data rates up to 460kbps.
This Arduino Zero compatible board can act as a gateway to Sensebender sensors. Contains a SAMD21 at it’s core with SD slot and USB and can interface to nRF24L01 or RFM69 radios.
The BeagleBone Blue is the same as a the BeagleBone Wireless, except is targeted towards robotics. Contains the Octavo OSD3358 SiP, 4G eMMC, SD slot, USB, 10DOF IMU, WL1835MOD based WiFi, 2 cell LiPo battery management and can control 8 servos and 4 DC motors up to 4A. You can also get it from Mouser if it’s out of stock at Seeed.
You can also get an RFM95 and RFM98 LoRa module from Seeed, which are pretty nice LoRa transceivers consuming only 10mA in operation at up to 300kbps.
The Aster Watch looks interesting. It runs a MediaTek MT2502D Bluetooth module with 240 by 240 colour LCD, on-board microphone and a bunch of GPIO options all running off a standard 3.7v LiPo.
AdaFruit have a small distance range finder that’s capable of sensing from 5mm to 50mm at a 400Hz sample rate. Nice.
SparkFun have their TeensyView in, which is a 128x32 monochrome OLED add-on for your Teensy based on the SSD1306 chip. Can be used on any of the Teensy 3 series of boards.
and they also have in stock the BeagleBone Black Wireless.
The Cheap Side
Over at BangGood there’s a fairly decent solar panel charging controller capable of 20A at 12 or 24 volts with lightning, over voltage and over charge protection.
and a QI wireless charging board capable of spitting out 1.5A at 5 volts.
and this board provides a LiPo backed 5 port hub designed to attach to your Raspberry Pi. Uses a 1.8Ah battery, but lacks any power management. So you can’t shutdown when the battery gets low.
and similar to last week’s learner kit. This one has a bunch of stuff that would cost more if you were buying it separately.