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Posts Tagged ‘development board’

Wio GPS is a $40 Grove & Arduino Compatible Bluetooth 3.0 + GSM/GPRS + GPS Tracker Board

April 21st, 2017 No comments

After Wio Link and Wio Node boards, Seeed Studio has added a new board to their Wio (Wireless Input Output) family with Wio GPS board based on Microchip SAMD21 Cortex M0+ MCU for Arduino compatibility, and Mediatek MT2503 ARM7 processor for GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and 2G (GPRS) connectivity.

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Wio GPS board specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip ATSAMD21G18A-MU ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM
  • Wireless SoC – Mediatek MT2503 ARM7EJ-S processor @ 260 MHz
  • Storage – micro SD slot (shared with nano SIM slot)
  • Connectivity (built-in MT2503 in Quectel MC20 module)
    • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3.0 with SPP Profile and HFP-AG Profile; u.FL connector for external antenna
    • Quad band 2G GSM/GPRS  with u.FL connector for external antenna and nano SIM card slot
    • GNSS – GPS + BeiDou + QZSS with u.FL connector for external antenna
  • Audio – Speaker footprint (+/-), 3.5mm AUX jack with mic and stereo audio
  • Expansion – 6x Grove Connectors (2x Digital, 2x Analog, 1x UART, 1x I2C)
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and firmware update
  • Misc – RGB LED, GSM power button, reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, 2-pin JST 1.0 header for battery
  • Dimensions – 54.7mm x 48.2mm
  • Weight – 45 grams; antennas add 9 grams

While you can already do much of the things achieved with Wio GPS using an Arduino board, and corresponding GPRS/GPS shields, Seeed Studio’s board offers a more compact solution, and access to over 180 modules via the grove connectors. The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE, and in due time a Wiki will be setup showing how to get started with the board.

Wio GPS Board with tis three antennas (GPS, Bt, GSM) is available for pre-order for $39.90 on Seeed Studiofor pre-order for $39.90 on Seeed Studio, and shipping is scheduled for June 1st. The company also plans to released an 4G /LTE version in Q3 2017.

$6.90 Wemos LoLin32 ESP32 Development Board Comes with 4MB Flash, Lithium Battery Support

April 21st, 2017 3 comments

Wemos – the company behind the cool Wemos D1 mini ESP8266 board – has now launched its first Espressif ESP32 development board with LoLin32 equipped with ESP-WROOM-32 module with 4MB flash, a micro USB port, and a battery header.

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Wemos Lolin32 specifications:

  • Wireless Module – ESP-WROOM-32 based on Espressif ESP-32 dual core processor @ 240 MHz with 4MB flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth LE
  • I/Os
    • 26x digital I/Os
    • 12x analog inputs
    • UART, I2C, SPI, VP/VN, DAC
    • 3.3V I/O voltage
    • Breadboard compatible
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming/debugging
  • Power – 5V via micro USB + battery header for Lithium battery (charging current: 500mA max)
  • Dimensions – 5.8 x 2.54 cm
  • Weight – 5.8 grams

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The board is not compatible with Wemos D1 mini (34.2 x 25.6 mm) and shield, but offers a more powerful solution with Bluetooth LE, battery support, and more I/Os. The Wiki is still work-in-progres, and there’s no that much information on the page yet.

Wemos LoLin32 can be purchased for $6.90 + shipping ($8.66 in my case) on Aliexpress.

Via ESP32net twitter

Want a Free Banana Pi M2 Ultra Board? Upload a 2 Minutes Video about Your Allwinner Experiences and Plans

April 20th, 2017 34 comments

Banana Pi  BPI-M2 Ultra is a development board powered by Allwinner R40 quad core processor with a native SATA interface, as well as Gigabit Ethernet. If you are a developer, and would not mind getting a free sample, Allwinner is giving away boards to people uploading a 1 to 2 minutes video to YouTube.

The rules are detailed below:

Dear Developers of the World,

Allwinner Technology would like to thank you for your outstanding contribution to our open source community and invite you to join our video-shooting program. Please cover the following topics in your video:

  • Who are you and why did you choose Allwinner in the first place?
  • What did you do with your Allwinner powered development board?
  • What are your expectations for Allwinner’s latest open source platform, the R40?

It needs to be:

  • Shot in a video resolution of 720p or above
  • 1-2mins in length
  • Submitted between Apr 20th 2017 and May 1st, 2017

Please upload your video to Youtube and then send the link as well as your contact phone number, post code and address to [email protected] so that we can send you our latest R40 development board as a thank you gift.

The videos will be used both to get feedback, and in some cases they may be used in promotion materials. The video should preferably be in English, but I assume if you shoot it in your native language with subtitles in English, it’s also OK.

Arduino MKRFOX1200 Board Combines Microchip SAM D21 MCU with Sigfox Module in MKRZero Form Factor

April 19th, 2017 3 comments

Arduino MKRFOX1200 is the first official Arduino board to feature LPWAN technology thanks to a Microchip ATA8520 Sigfox module combined with a Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ micro-controller, all that in the same form factor as MKRZero or MKR1000 boards.

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Arduino MKRFOX1200 specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex-M0+  MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM
  • Connectivity – Microchip AT8520 Sigfox module operating @ 868 MHz with 2dB “GSM” antenna connected to u.FL connector
  • 2x 14-pin headers for I/Os:
    • 8x digital I/O
    • 8x external interrupts (0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, A1 -or 16-, A2 – or 17)
    • 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC)
    • 1x analog out (10-bit DAC)
    • 12x PWM pins ((0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, A3 – or 18 -, A4 -or 19)
    • 1x UART, 1x SPI, 1x I2C
    • 3.3V operating voltage
    • DC Current per I/O Pin 7 mA
  • USB – 1x full speed micro USB device and embedded host
  • Misc – Reset button, LED
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB or VIN pin
    • 2x AA or AAA batteries good for up to 6 months (connected via green screw terminals)
  • Dimensions – 67.64 x 25 mm
  • Weight – 32 grams

Since the Sigfox module is limited to 868 MHz, the board can only be used in Europe, Africa, and Middle East. You’ll get 2-year free subscription to Sigfox network with the board (for up to 140 messages per day), as well as free access to Spot’it geolocation service that allows you to track the board without GPS or any extra hardware. How well that works will depend on the coverage in your area, and I could not find no accuracy information allowing us to compare it to GPS. Just like other Arduino board, MKRFOX1200 is fully open source hardware, and can be programmed with the Arduino IDE. You’ll find the full documentation in the Getting Started Guide.

Official Arduino boards are usually fairly expensive compared to the competition, but I find Arduino MKRFOX1200 to be pretty good value at 35 Euros (Select European website) considering you also get 2-year of Sigfox network access, and geolocation tracking.

RDA Micro RDA8810 Android SDK with Linux & U-boot Source Code for Orange Pi 2G IoT Board Released

April 18th, 2017 22 comments

Orange Pi 2G IoT board was released a couple of weeks ago, shortly followed by Android and Ubuntu images, but since it was not based on Allwinner, but an RDA Micro  8810PL processor, we did not have any source code so far, which can be a real problem for a development board… Shenzhen Xunlong has now managed to upload a 6.7GB Android SDK to MEGA, with the link published via Orange Pi Resources page.

MEGA has a download limit which depends on how much traffic they get at the time, and after 5.3 GB download,  I was asked to register for a PRO account, or wait for four hours before resuming the download. If you want to avoid this limit for any large MEGA download, you can run megadl instead. That’s what I did in Ubuntu 16.04 (remember to escape any special characters with \):

Once the download is done, none of the files have extension, but the first file is a gzip compressed files, while others are just raw data, so I concatenated all 6 files into a gzip file before uncompressing it, at which point I realized it was a tar file too:

The company has made it unnecessary difficult for that part, but I was finally successful, and that’s what the content of the SDK looks like.

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The Android SDK  relies on Linux 3.10.62, and I’ve been told while the Android part is quite poor, the Linux part looks better, even though the version is not quite the latest. U-boot source code is also included, and part of the 2G modem code can be found in the modem directory.

I got the news through ParrotGeek1 who plans to rebase the code to Linux 3.10.105, and release a Debian image. He has setup a RDA8810 github account with the Linux kernel. So you’ll have to be patient, or join the fun to get a better Linux image. There’s no clear roadmap for Orange Pi 3G-IoT or 4G-IoT based on other RDA Micro processors, but that would certainly help motivating a few more people if such boards were planned.

PocketBone Board Based on Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP Fits into an “Altoids Smalls” Mint Tin Box

April 17th, 2017 5 comments

Last year, Octavo Systems introduced OSD3358 System-in-Package (SiP) that includes Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358 processor, 256MB to 1GB RAM, a PMIC and an LDO into a single package. Since then the SiP has been found in BeagleBone Black Wireless and BeagleBone Blue, and at the time of launch there was also some development around PocketBone, a tiny open source hardware Smalls mint tin sized board based on OSD3358, which is smaller than a CHIP board, but a little bigger than NanoPi NEO board.

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There’s now been some progress with prototypes of the board manufactured with the following specifications:

  • SiP (System-in-Package) – Octavo Systems OSD3358 with TI Sitara AM3358 ARM Cortex-A8 processor @ up to 1 GHz,  PowerVR SGX530 GPU, PMIC + LDO, and 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • USB – 2x micro USB port one for power, one OTG port
  • Expansion – 10-pin header (unpopulated) with SPI, I2C, UART, GND, and 3.3V signal
  • Misc – Power & reset buttons
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; 4-pin header for 3.7 LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – ~54mm x ~33mm (fits in Altoid Smalls mint tin box).

The first version of the board was designed with Eagle, but the schematics and PCB layout have been redesigned with KiCad open source software instead, and all hardware design files are released under CERN Open Hardware License v1.2. The boards should be able to run any distributions that works on BeagleBone Black derived boards such as Debian, Angstrom, Ubuntu, etc…

PocketBone is not for sale yet, but if you are interested you could fill out a survey, which could either end-up starting a group buy, or – if there is more interest than expected – a crowdfunding campaign. More details about the project can be found on its hackaday.io page.

Mirabook is Laptop Dock for Smartphones, Development Boards (Crowdfunding)

April 17th, 2017 5 comments

Motorola Lapdock may have been ahead of its time, as laptop docks for smartphone are back in vogue with products like NexDock, and Apple could soon launch their own iPhone laptop dock. Another option is Miraxess Mirabook laptop dock with a 13.3″ display, and a battery lasting up to 24 hours, that works for smartphones, development boards, and HDMI TV sticks thanks to its USB type C port.

Mirabook specifications:

  • Display – 13.3″ IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution (non-touch, except if they raise $2 millions…)
  • Audio – Speakers, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Video Output – HDMI port
  • Storage – SD card slot
  • QWERTY keyboard & multi-touch trackpad
  • USB
    • Integrated USB type C cable to connect to phone, board or HDMI TV stick
    • USB type C port to charge the Mirabook battery
    • 2x USB type A host port
  • Battery – TBD capacity good for 24 hours while charging your phone
  • Dimensions – 320 x 220 x 15 mm
  • Weight – 1 kg

The solution relies on SlimPort to provide video & audio over USB as it works for many products, and does not require as much (CPU) resources as DisplayLink. The latter will however be considered as a stretch goal if the campaign raises over $300,000.

The company explains that “convergence” operating systems such as Windows Continuum, Samsung DeX, Auxens Oxi OS, or Remix Singularity, are particularly well suited for the Mirabook, as they provide a desktop experience when the phone is connected to a larger display. They also mentioned Leena OS which I had not come across before, and works on any Android 4.2 or greater smartphone with a free version supporting multi-window, web apps, and a browser, and a Pro version  adding some extra features like a native PDF reader, and the possibly to put icons on the desktop.

The project has launched on Indiegogo with Miraxess aiming to raise at least $50,000. A $180 Early bird pledge should get you a Mirabook, while the retail price after the Indiegogo campaign is expected to be $299. Shipping will add around $15, and delivery is scheduled for December 2017.

Via Liliputing

MAXOAK K2 Laptop Power Bank Review – Part 2: Tests with Laptops, Phones and Development Boards

April 15th, 2017 7 comments

MAXOAK K2 is a large capacity (50,000 mAh) power bank designed for laptop with ~20V and 12V outputs, but it can also charge USB devices thanks to its 4 USB ports. Since I’ve already checkout the device and specifications in the first part of the review, I’ll report results from my tests with the power bank in the last couple of weeks.

Since the power bank had some charge, more exactly between 50 and 75% (2x LEDs on, 1x LED blinking, 1x LED off), I decided to start by charging my phone, Vernee Apollo Lite, which is equipped with a 3,180 mAh battery. So I connected the phone to one of the two 5V/2.1A USB port, together with USB Charger Doctor to monitor voltage and current, and with 50% charge, the phone would draw around 5.07V @ 1.15 A. Note that the voltage and amperage will change depending on battery charge level, and other parameters.

That worked, but since the phone comes with a fast charger through its USB-C port, a full charge normally takes 1 hours, while a charge with the power bank, or any other 5V/2A power adapter will take 3 to 4 hours. Switching to one of the two 5V/1.0A ports, it would charge at 5.07V @ 0.97A. I could charge the phone 6 times in total until the power bank’s battery was completely depleted. If we can extrapolate from a fully charged power bank that means between 10 and 12 charges for the phone. I’d normally charge the phone when the battery level was between 5 to 25%.

Then I recharged the power bank connecting the provided 16.8V/2.5A power supply, and it took a little over 7 hours for a full charge.

Next up, I connected CHUWI LapBook 14.1 laptop that takes 12V input. None of the 14 connector adapters provided with the power bank worked, so I had to use a connector adapter from my own power adapter kit in order to be able to plug the power bank cable into the DC jack of the laptop.

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I could charge the laptop from 10% to 100% in about 3 hours and 20 minutes, which is about the time it takes to charge with the laptop power supply. There were still 4 LEDs on or blinking after charging, but shortly after it went to three, which would mean the laptop could be charged 4 times with the power bank. However, since the laptop’s battery has a capacity of 9,000 mAh @ 7.4V (66.6Wh), you should be able to charge it around 2.5 times with the 50,000 mAh @ 3.7V (185 Wh) power bank. Once the laptop is fully charged, the power bank will turn off automatically, as it should.

Most laptops have 19V to 20V power input, so I also tested an old Dell Inspiron normally powered by a 19.5V power adapter. The battery of the laptop does not work anymore, and I could not find a working replacement, which means we only use it when connected to the mains. It would be interesting to see whether K2 can power the laptop, and also be used as a UPS for “battery-less laptops”. Again I had to take a connector adapter from my own kit, as the ones provided with the power bank would not fit. Once I connect the laptop to the 20V/3A output of the power bank, I could start the laptop, but it complained about the AC adapter and battery, most probably because the battery is missing.

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No problem, I just press F3 key to carry on, and the laptop could boot to the Windows desktop. I could also charge the smartphone at the same time, but note that you can use both 12V and 20V based on the user’s manual.

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To stress test the power bank a little, I loaded Aida64, and run the stability test to draw more power, and I let it run for 45 minutes, and there was no problem at all to use the laptop. I also simulated several power failure during while Aida64 was running, by connecting and disconnecting the 16.8V/2.5A power adapter for the power bank, and no problem. That looks all good for that use case, especially since in summer and during the rainy season we frequently get power failures at home, most of the time micro-power failures, i.e. that just last a few seconds or even less.

Finally, I checked whether it could be used to power multiple development board via its four USB ports. So I connected a Raspberry Pi 2 board and NanoPi NEO 2 board + USB hard drive to the 5V/2.1A ports, and lower power Mediatek LinkIt Smart MT7688 Duo, and Onion Omega2+ WiFi boards to the 5V/1A ports.

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I pressed the power button on the power bank, and all four board could start with issue. Later I connect the power supply to the power bank, and simulate a power failure. After disconnecting power from the mains, the boards would still run (good), after reconnecting it the mains, all 4 USB ports would turn off (bad). I tried again with only one board connected the USB, and the same result, so the USB ports are turned off when you connect the power bank to the mains. I tried again but connecting the Dell laptop to 20V and my phone to one of the USB ports, and the laptop keeps running when I insert the power supply, but my phone stops charging. The only way to restart charging is to press the power button. The first time, it will turn off all port, including the 20V port supplying my laptop, and the second time it will power at all. Note the kind of behavior you want if you are running a device without battery from the power bank. Nevertheless, it’s not exactly the main purpose.

The power bank also has over current and under-current cut-offs which may need to be taken into account:  20V > 4.5A; 20V < 200 mA;  12V < 150 Ma; 5V < 70 mA. I have not attempted a teardown of the power bank, since I could not find an obvious (and non-destructive) ways to do so.

MAXOAK K2 laptop power bank is sold for $135.99 on Amazon US, as well as eBay. You may also be able to find more info on maxoak’s website.