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Posts Tagged ‘ble’

Macchina M2 is an Open Source Hardware OBD-II Development Platform for Your Car (Crowdfunding)

March 10th, 2017 10 comments

ODB-II Bluetooth adapter and head-up displays to monitor and diagnose your car have been around for a while. I actually got two models to use with a Toyota Avanza and Torque Lite app, but never managed to make it work with my phone. Macchina M2 board is doing much of the same thing and more, as it is open source hardware, and supports more communications protocols including GPS, WiFi, 3G/LTE,  BLE, and Ethernet using XBEE boards.

M2 with Xbee Cellular Board

Macchina M2 specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex M3 processor @ 84 MHz (also used on Arduino DUE) with 96 KB SRAM, 512KB flash
  • Storage – micro SD card socket, 32KB EEPROM via I2C
  • USB – 1x micro USB port (USB device or host mode)
  • Wireless XBee Socket – For Bluetooth LE, WiFi, GSM, 3G, LTE,
  • I/Os
    • 6x automotive level I/O pins to control 12V devices (Examples: relays, fans, lights, etc) OR act as analog input (like temp sensor)
    • 2x channels of CAN, 2x channels of LIN/ K-line, J1850 VPW/PWM, single-wire CAN interfaces for maximum car compatibility.
  • Misc – 5x user LEDs, 1x RGB LED
  • Power Supply – 5V@ 3A, [email protected] amps for connecting add ons
  • Dimensions – 56.4mm x 40.6mm x 15.7mm

Once you’ve done the hardware setup – very easy with the ODB-II connector, and a little bit more difficult under the hood -, you can hack your car away, programming it with the Arduino IDE to gather RPM, speed, diagnostics data, etc…. This will also allow you it to tune it, or even control it remotely, for example starting it with a mobile control app. If you don’t want to program the board, ELM327 emulation will allow support for popular apps such as Torque for Android, or Dashcommand for iPhone, Android, and Windows App. The developers also uploaded some video tutorials on YouTube, some guides can be found on M2 Wiki, and one of the member of the team wrote a book called “The Car Hacker’s Handbook“.

Macchina M2 launched on Kickstarter a few weeks ago, and the project has already raised over $90,000, surpassing its $25,000 goal. Rewards start at $45 with M2 interface board only, which requires you to add your own MCU/CPU board, but most people will be interested in the $79 pledge to get a complete Macchina M2 board including the Atmel SAM3X board. Shipping is free to the US, but adds $15 to the rest of the world. Deliver is scheduled for July 2017.

Thanks to Thomas for the tip.

New 96Boards IoT Edition Boards Showcased at Linaro Connect 2017: BlueSky IE and WRTNode IE

March 9th, 2017 10 comments

Linaro Connect Budapest 2017 is taking place this week in Hungary, and during George Grey – Linaro CEO – keynote, he provided a status updates for the Linaro group, addressed some of Linaro’s criticisms from members and the community, and unveiled two upcoming boards compliant with 96Boards IoT edition both running Zephyr OS, and adding to BLE Carbon board announced last year.

Click to Enlarge

The first board is BlueSky IE board with the following key specifications:

  • SoC – RDA Micro RDA5981A ARM Cortex-M4 Wireless MCU with 64KB ROM, and 32KB cache
  • System Memory – 485KB SRAM. It’s unclear if that’s only the on-chip SRAM, and there’s also some external PSRAM added.
  • Storage – 8Mb NOR flash 802.11 b / g / n HT20 / 40 mode
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with support for  HT20 / 40 modes
  • Crypto security hardware

The second board is WRTnode IE:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT7697 ARM Cortex-M4 wireless MCU @ up to 192MHz with 64KB ROM, 353 KB SRAM
  • Storage – 4Mb NOR flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE
  • Crypto security hardware

Neither boards are available now, and Linaro and their members must still be working on them before the launch. There’s currently very little information about RDA5981(A) MCU except on some Chinese websites, but you’ll find many more resources for Mediatek MT7697. Mr Grey also demo’ed Orange Pi i96 board announced last year with an Ubuntu distribution developed by Shenzhen Xunlong Software.

Linaro also announced four new members with Acer joining the Linaro IoT and Embedded (LITE) Group, Guizhou Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology Co., Ltd (HXT Semiconductor) & Fujitsu Limited coming to the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG), with the latter also joining as founding member of the LEG High Performance Computing Special Interest Group (HPC SIG), and Google joined as a Club member.

You might be interested in watching the keynote with all those announcements, and to be more up-to-date with Linaro’s progress.


If you are in a rush, you may prefer flicking through the keynote presentation slides instead.

Raspberry Pi Zero W Adds WiFi & Bluetooth, Sells for $10

February 28th, 2017 36 comments

The first Raspberry Pi was launched 5 years ago on February 29, 2012, and the Raspberry Pi foundation has made an habit of announcing new products on the anniversary of the board. This year is no exception, as the foundation has just announced Raspberry Pi Zero W, based on the popular Raspberry Pi Zero, but potentially much more useful, as they added a WiFi and Bluetooth LE module to the board.

Raspberry Pi Zero W specifications:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 processor @ 1GHz with VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB RAM
  • Storage – microSD slot
  • Video Output – mini HDMI port and composite video (via 2 unpopulated  pins)
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 (same Cypress CYW43438 wireless chip as Raspberry Pi 3 Model B)
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port, 1x micro USB port for power only
  • Camera – 1x CSI camera connector
  • Expansion – Unpopulated 40-pin HAT-compatible header
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 65mm x 30mm x 5mm

You’ll get the same operating support as Raspberry Pi Zero, and other Raspberry Pi boards with distributions such as Rasbian.

They’ve also launched a case for RPI 0 / RPi0 W boards with three interchangeable lids:

  • One with an aperture and mounting point for a camera
  • One with an aperture to let you access the GPIOs
  • A blank one


You can purchased Raspberry Pi Zero W (Wireless) for $10 via one of the global distributors (Pimoroni, Adafruit, The Pit Hut, and Canakit), as well as some local distributors. Many are selling starter kits instead of the board only.

Thanks to hmartin for the tip.

Compulab IOT-GATE-iMX7 is an NXP i.MX7 IoT Gateway for Industrial Applications

February 28th, 2017 2 comments

CompuLab has introduced IOT-GATE-iMX7 compact fanless IoT gateway and industrial controller built around the company’s CL-SOM-iMX7 system-on-module, and offering Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and Zigbee connectivity.Compulab IOT-GATE-iMX7 gateway specifications:

Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

  • SoC –  NXP i.MX 7 dual ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 1GHz with ARM Cortex-M4 core @ 200Mhz, 2D graphics engine
  • System Memory – Up to 2GB DDR3L-1066
  • Storage – Up to 32GB on-board eMMC + micro-SD socket
  • Connectivity
    • Dual Gigabit Ethernet
    • Dual band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
    • Optional 3G cellular module via mini PCie socket
    • Optional ZigBee NXP JN5168 module
  • Display – DVI up to 1920×1080 using a HDMI connector
  • Audio – 3.5mm jacks for stereo line out, stereo line in
  • USB – 4x USB2.0 host ports, type-A connectors
  • Serial – 1x RS485 / RS422 port, RJ11 connector; 1x RS232 port, ultra-mini serial connector; 1x serial console via UART-to-USB bridge, micro-USB connector
  • Expansion
    • mini-PCIe socket, full-size
    • embedded I/O header with up to 1x UART, 1x SPI, 1x I2C, 12x GPIO
  • Power Supply – Unregulated 8V to 24V via power barrel; support for PoE (powered device)
  • Dimensions – 108 x 83 x 24 mm ( Aluminum housing)
  • Temperature Range – -40C to 85°C

IOT-GATE-iMX7 ships with Debian Linux pre-loaded, and the company can provide a full Linux Board Support Package (BSP) with Linux kernel 4.1.15, Yocto Project file-system and U-Boot boot-loader. The gateway also supports run mainline Linux, upstream Yocto Project and FreeRTOS BSP.

 

Click to Enlarge

In case you’d rather provide your own enclosure the SBC-IOT-iMX7 single board computer is also available. Both the gateway and SBC have a 10-year availability.

IOT-GATE-iMX7 price starts at $107 for volume orders, and SBC-IOT-iMX7 at $85. You’ll find more details, including pricing for options, on IOT-GATE-iMX7 product page.

22€ Olimex ESP32-EVB ESP32 Development Board Features an Ethernet Port and Relays

February 10th, 2017 3 comments

We already have a good choice of ESP32 development boards, but none of the ones I’ve seen make use of the Ethernet MAC interface found in Espressif ESP32 SoC. Olimex has changed that with their ESP32-EVB featuring ESP32-WROOM32 module as well as one Fast Ethernet port and two relays.

Olimex ESP32-EVB specifications:

  • Wireless Module – ESP32-WROOM32 module with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth LE
  • Wired Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 port
  • External Storage – micro SD slot
  • Relays – 2x 10A/250VAC relays
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin GPIO female header (2.54mm pitch)
    • UEXT connector for sensors and modules
  • Misc – 2x user buttons
  • Power Supply
    • 5V power jack
    • LiPo charger and step up converter allowing ESP32-EVB to run from LiPo battery

The company still have to write software samples, and do some testing to make sure the board work before going into mass production. Once everything is cleared, the board will be sold for 22 Euros.

Samsung Introduces Artik 530 IoT Module & Development Kit with WiFi, BLE, and Zigbee/Thread

February 9th, 2017 No comments

Samsung unveiled Artik 1, Artik 5, and Artik 10 IoT modules & development board families in 2015, but since then they dropped the Artik 1 family, and instead launched Artik 0, Artik 5, and Artik  7 modules and boards late last year. More recently the company canceled the more powerful Artik 1020 development board, but the Artik project is still going on, as they’ve just added Artik 530 module & development kit to their Artik 5 family.

Artik 530 Module – Click to Enlarge

Samsung ARTIK 530 module specifications:

  • SoC – Unnamed Quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with a 3D graphics accelerator
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC v4.5 flash
  • Connectivity – Dual band SISO 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 LE + Classic, 802.15.4/Zigbee/Thread, 10/100/1000M MAC (external PHY required)
  • Other Interfaces and peripherals
    • Camera – 4-lane MIPI CSI up to 5MP (1920×1080 @ 30fps)
    • Display – 4-lane MIPI DSI and HDMI 1.4a (1920×1080 @ 60fps), or LVDS (1280×720 @ 60 fps)
    • Audio – 2x I2S audio input/output
    • Analog & digital I/O – GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, USB host, USB OTG, HSIC, ADC, PWM, I2S, JTAG
  • Security – Secure point to point authentication and data transfer
  • Power Supply – PMIC with on-board bucks and LDO
  • Dimensions – 49x36mm

Artik 530 module block diagram – Click to enlarge

Samsung did not make it easy to find which operating system is running on their modules, but after reading a few pages in the getting started guide, I found out the module should be running Fedora. The Wiki shows Fedora 22 with Linux 3.10.93, but they have upgraded to Fedora 24 since then. The product brief however includes more details about the BSP which including drivers for wireless community, multimedia, and other systems peripherals and interface, as well as power management code and security with secure boot, Artik cloud authentication API, and a crypto library based on OpenSSL.

Click to Enlarge

Since the module is not exactly convenient to use without baseboard, most people will likely start with Artik 530 developer kit with the “Interposer board” with an ARTIK 530 module, a “Platform board” that attached under the Interposer board with extra interfaces (MPI DSI/CSI, audio jack), an “Interface Board” with two female header to easily connect external hardware, and two wireless communication antennas.

Artik 530 Development Kit

You can optionally also get a MIPI camera board and/or a sensor board. The boards are described on details in what’s in the box part of the documentation.

Artik 530 module can be purchased for as low as $42.35 in quantities on Digikey or Arrow, while the developer kit goes for $189 and up, also on Digikey or Arrow.

Via Tizen Experts

$99 Ping is a Tiny GPS Tracker that Works with Bluetooth and Cellular Connectivity (Crowdfunding)

February 6th, 2017 6 comments

Ping GPS Tracker is really small, last several months on a charge, and works with GPS, Bluetooth, and Cellular (GSM/EDGE or HSPA/UMTS) connectivity. It helps you track kids, pets, bags, keys, bicycles, cars or anything that may be lost or stolen using your iOS or Android smartphone.

Ping GPS Tracker Potential Use Cases

Ping GPS tracker specifications:

  • Connectivity
    • HSPA/GSM module + embedded 3G module
    • Bluetooth Low Energy module
    • GPS + GLONASS module
  • Sensor – 3-axis accelerometer
  • Misc – Inset tactile button for check-in & SOS, LED activity indicator
  • Battery – 300 mAh custom lithium ion battery good for about 3 months
  • Dimensions – 34 x 34 x 12 mm (PMMA silicone & elastomer materials)
  • Weight – About 30 grams
  • Waterproof – Up to 10 meters

You’d use GPS + cellular connectivity when you are far from the tracked asset, and Bluetooth to locate it when it’s close. A button allows for your kid to send a signal (short press) when they’ve reached destination, or an SOS message (long press) in case of issue.

The app will list all your tracked assets with estimated remaining battery life, you can click on the one you want to check out, and it should show on the map a short time later. One feature that appears to be missing is geofencing, which can be useful if a kid or an older person, for example suffering of Alzheimer, go beyond the limit you  defined on the map. The project is popular so maybe they’ll add it if people request it.

Ping GPS tracker has recently been launched on Indiegogo, and the project has raised over $300,000 so far. A $99 pledge should get you the tracker with a clip attachment, a charging cable, and one year free service with Cellular connectivity included for the US, Canada, and Mexico. If you want coverage outside of North America, you’ll need to add $10 extra at activation time for coverage in 157 countries for one year. After the first year, you’ll need to spend $3 per month to pay for cellular connectivity. Shipping is free to the US, but adds $20 to $30 to the rest of the world, and delivery is scheduled for July 2017.

There are also such tiny GPS trackers with SIM card support on Aliexpress for $30 and up, such as TKSTAR LK106, but the ones I found don’t work with an app, lack Bluetooth, and battery life is limited to 5 to 10 days.

Categories: Android, Hardware, Video Tags: 2g, 3G, ble, cellular, gps, indiegogo

ESP32-WROVER-KIT Devkit Supports Espressif ESP32 Modules, Includes a 3.2″ LCD Display

December 30th, 2016 5 comments

Yesterday Olimex wrote a blog post informing us that ESP32-CoreBoard was back in stock, one the many ESP32 boards launched late this year, but still hard to get. The company also mentioned they’d have limited quantity of the new ESP32-WROVER with JTAG and LCD display together with the picture below.

esp32-wrover-esp32-lcd-kit

ESP32 is quite more powerful than ESP8266 so it makes sense to have an ESP32 development kit with an LCD display. A quick DuckDuckGo search led me to ESP-WROVER-KIT Getting Started Guide, where we can find more details including the overall specifications:

  • Compatible with ESP-WROOM-32 and ESP32-WROVER modules based on ESP32 dual core Tensilica L108 processor clocked at up to 240 MHz with WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity
  • Storage – Micro SD slot
  • Display – 3.2″ LCD display connected via SPI
  • USB – 1x micro USB port
  • Expansion
    • 8-pin UART header
    • 6-pin SPI header
    • 48-pin header for I/Os and camera interface (standard OV7670 camera module supported)
  • Debugging – JTAG through USB interface (FTDI FT2232HL) or 14-pin header
  • Misc – CTS/RTS jumper; power selection (EXT or USB); RGB LED; boot & reset (EN) buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V DC input; 5V to 3.3V LDO chip
  • Dimensions – 85.2 x 79.0 mm
ESP-WROVER-KIT Block Diagram - Click to Enlarge

ESP-WROVER-KIT Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The rest of the getting started guide explains how to configure jumpers to set the power source, serial flow control, and JTAG. It also shows how to access the serial console with a typical 115200 8N1 connection, as well as compile and load a simple hello program with ESP-IDF SDK in Windows and Linux.

Image Source: HackerBoads

Image Source: HackerBoards

Beside the development kit itself, I also discovered the new ESP32-WROVER module with the same feature as ESP-WROOM-32 plus an extra 32Mbit pSRAM chip and an external antenna connector.

esp32-wrover

ESP32-WROVER Photo via ESP32 Twitter Account

The kit should be available in January based on Olimex’ blog post, but we don’t have any pricing info yet.