Weekly Roundup #34 - New Maker Products // News

YouTube video: Weekly Roundup #34 - New Maker Products // News

This week’s Weekly Roundup is super quiet, but there’s a couple of STEM campaigns, interesting tools and a new SBC from one of the fruit shops.

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Crowd Funding


Over at Kickstarter there’s …


… a third hand that can fit into a PanaVise base. This one is different in that it has these metal bits sticking out that you can use to hold SMD components or probes and you can mount several clamps at right angles.

qualMeter XT

qualMeter is back with an extension that will upgrade your qualMeter. It gives you the ability to upgrade the firmware and also allows you to test your RJ45 or RJ11 cable for Ethernet and phones.

Raspberry Pi / Commodore 64c frame

If you’re in to Retro computers, then this campaign allows you to upgrade a Commodore 64 chassis with a Raspberry Pi and joystick and keyboard PCB. It is a decent non-destructive way of mounting everything into an old chassis.


Surprisingly, IndieGoGo has something interesting for Makers.


The Vinci is another motion sensing board that has a Cortex-M0, 6 DOF accelerometer, SD and LiPo battery management. There’s also a stacking header allowing you to add on modules, but they only have the one which is a GPS module. However, it is a little expensive at 99 euros.

Crowd Supply

Over at Crowd Supply …


ERASynth had gone live, which is an SDR with on-board ESP8266 and Atmel ATSAM2X8 MCU. There’s two models; The ERASynth which operates between 10MHz and 6GHZ and the plus which operates from 350kHz to 15GHz. You can access via USB or WiFi and also has a 10MHz reference signal input option.

Honorable mentions

E31 & E51 Coreplex RISC-V Processors

If you really want to get into some hacking, then you can now download the OpenSoC based RISC-V for a variety of FPGAs. They offer the 32bit E31 and 64bit E51 Coreplexes which can be downloaded onto most FPGAs such as the Digilent Arty board. However, to get it, you’ll need to sign a very lengthy “Developer Program Agreement”, which according to LinuxGizmos has the words “confidential” or “confidentiality” mentioned 31 times.

Google AIY Projects

Hot on the heels of Google’s Assistant announcement have launched AIY Projects with the goal to make human to machine interactions more like human to human. They’re starting to release a bunch of reference kits that can be used to replace buttons, dials and displays, or replace smartphone apps controlling devices. The first reference design is the Google Voice kit, which gives you everything you need, minus the Pi, to connect to Google Voice. If you want to get one free, then pick up the latest MagPi magazine.

Yeah, I know how that’s going to go down. It’ll be a repeat of the Pi Zero incident.

Banana Pi M2+ H2+

And The Banana Pi guys have released yet another board to confuse the heck out of us all. This one is called the “Banana Pi M2+ with H2+ instead of H3”. I know, it’s a long name, but we’re talking about marketing here and you can’t argue with that.

The only difference is that this one has… er… well… an H2+ instead of H3 SoC.


If you’re really desperate to have the best of both world’s, then the VolksPC guys have released the VolksPC O/S which runs both Debian and Android Marshmallow at the same time on your ODROID-C2. It’ll cost you $15 US, but a pretty good thing if you get sick of dual-booting.

Maker Shops


Tindie is also light on, but there’s a few cool things.


Like this interactive ruler, with on-board buttons, simulated logic gates, flip-flops, counters and LEDs all running off a standard CR2032 battery. Pretty cool if you want to experiment with basic logic gates.

8-Channel I2C Repeater/Multiplexer

There’s also an 8 channel I2C multiplexer which is useful in the situations where you have devices with clashing I2C addresses.


This small board is actually really cool. It allows you to insert two SD cards and write encrypted data to both. It means that you need both SD cards to read the data. This is useful in the situation where you want to have a very simple reliable way of protecting sensitive data. No passwords are required, but simply relies on both SD cards being physically present.

LoRaLem RN2483

This PCB allows you to solder up an RN2483 LoRa module, Arduino Pro Mini and GPS module all powered from a LiPo. Useful if you want to collect LoRaWAN location performance data.


This is yet another Cortex-M3 based board, but this one breaks out 40 of the 72 GPIOs available from a CY8C256 MCU. Can be configured to support either 3.3 or 5 volt logic and runs off a 9V DC input.

Mountable I2C Tactile Buttons

and this small board provides two LED backlit tactile buttons accessible via I2C.

AdaFruit, Seeed, SparkFun, DFRobot, DigiKey

7.0'' Nextion Enhanced HMI

Over at ITead they have a 7" TFT Nextion HMI in stock, which is a smart display designed to take out all the hard work of building an interactive touch display. Contains SD card, RTC, 32MB of flash and a 7" 800x480 TFT touch display.

JustBoom Digi Pi Hat

This Pi Hat has some decent audio kick to it. Contains a Cirrus Logic Audio chip providing a 192kHz, 24bit DAC accessible over I2S or it can also be used standalone.

12V DC Motor 350RPM with encoder

DFRobot have a 350rpm 12V DC motor with on-board gearbox and quad encoder. The 43:1 metal gearing ratio will give you an effective 1 degree resolution.

Adafruit METRO M0 Express

Nice to see more SAMD21 based products hitting the shelves. AdaFruit have an Arduino compatible board using the SAMD21G18 giving you an expanded 25 GPIOs, (which are 3.3 volt logic levels), 2MB SPI flash and running off a 7-9 volt DC supply. Has the UF2 bootloader installed, so it presents itself as a plain USB storage device. Just copy a file over to program.

Spectacle Boards

SparkFun are making a big Spectacle with this next one. They are a series of boards based on the SAMD21 MCU and allow easy connectivity using a TRRS cable to various modules. The “Director Board” controls all the action and connects to modules such as the “Inertia”, “Motion”, “Audio”, “Button” and “Light” boards. Another good option if you want to get into the SAMD21.

FEETECH Mini Servo FT1117M

Pololu have a small metallic geared servo that has the same footprint as a regular servo. Runs off a 6 volt supply and can move 3.5kg per cm.

The Cheap Side

Over in China there’s nothing of interest… Er OK…

Honorable mentions

A few bits and pieces that I didn’t include in my video.

Beebot Kit





The EduExo is a simple enough campaign that aims to teach the concepts of exo-skeletons. Contains a 3D printed arm exo-skeleton, small motor, force and EMG sensors and an education kit.


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