A First Look at ESP32-LyraTD-MSC Audio Mic HDK with Baidu DuerOS Assistant

February 18th, 2018 1 comment

Earlier this year, Espressif Systems had unveiled their ESP32-LyraTD-MSC Audio MiC HDK (Hardware Development Kit) which features an ESP32-WROOM module, a 4-mic array DSP, 3 microphones, an audio jack, and various I/Os. I received the board a couple of weeks ago, and while there’s no public information released yet, the company provided me with ESP32-LyraTD-MSC User Guide in English. Eventually, I’d expect Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to be supported, but in the meantime I had to leverage my (lowly) Chinese language skills to get started since the kit is pre-loaded with firmware connecting to Baidu DuerOS voice assistant. ESP32-LyraTD-MSC Unboxing The kit came in a bland Espressif Systems carton box. Inside the package, I could only find one kit comprised of two boards. The bottom board read ESP32_MicrosemiDSP_Mainboard-V1, and does not show much apart from marking for connectors, headers and the power switch. While the top comes with eight buttons (Vol +, Vol -, Mode, Boot, RST, Rec, Play,…

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STMicro Introduces Two STM32 Discovery Kits with 2G/3G or 4G LTE-IoT Cat M1/NB1 Connectivity

February 17th, 2018 No comments

Embedded World 2018 trade fair will take place on  on take place on February 27 – March 1 in Nuremberg, Germany, and we’re starting to see some company announce new products and solutions for the embedded market. STMicro has just announced their showcase their very first cellular development kits at the event, based on a display-less variant on their 32L496GDISCOVERY Discovery board with cellular add-on boards: P-L496G-CELL01 Discovery kit with with a 2G/3G modem P-L496G-CELL02 Discovery kit with with an LTE-IoT Cat M1 (eMTC) / NB1 (NB-IoT) / 2G model Now the company has not started designed their own cellular modem, but instead relying on QUECTEL modems. Both kits share most of the same specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32L496AGI6 Arm Cortex M4F [email protected] 80 MHz with 1 MB Flash, 320 KB RAM in a UFBGA169 package On-board memory – 8 Mbit PSRAM On-board + external storage – 32 KB I2 C EEPROM with OTP page preloaded with board ID and…

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WCH CH341 USB to Serial Chip Gets Linux Drivers to Control GPIOs over USB

February 16th, 2018 17 comments

USB to serial chips are often used as a debug interface either directly on the target board, or via a dedicated debug board. But some models have extra pins exposed, and one of those is WCH CH341, which also includes I2C & SPI interfaces and up to 8 GPIOs. But software support for those extra pins is not currently built-in into the drivers found in Linux mainline, and you’d also have to find a board that breakout the relevant pins. It turns out there are few of things including “CH341A ALL IN 1 USB to SPI/I2C/IIC/UART/TTL/ISP serial adapter” board going for $10 shipped on Aliexpress, and which Zoobab successfully used to control 6 (out of 8) GPIOs over USB. The board comes with a USB board to connect to your computer, several header for I2C, UART, SPI, some LEDs, and jumper to select I2C/SPI or UART mode and voltage (5V/3.3V). The board is recognized differently whether you use I2C/SPI or…

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Categories: Hardware, Linux Tags: driver, gpio, i2c, Linux

CYCPLUS A2 is a 3-in-1 Device Combining Power Bank, Air Pump and Flash Light

February 16th, 2018 5 comments

Sometimes I come across some products that do not seem to make any sense. I had that exact feeling when I first discovered CYCPLUS A2, an air pump with a battery, and a flash light to top it out. But as I read more about it, this 3-in-1 gadget may indeed be useful to cyclist, since it offers a convenient way to inflate tires, provides backup power for your smartphone, as well as a backup light in case the one on your bike gets broken for instance. CYCPLUS A2 specifications: Display to set pressure and check status Buttons to adjust settings and turn on/off light Maximum Pressure – 150 PSI / 10.3 BAR / 990 KPA / 10.5 kgf/cm2 Inflation Time – Car: 8 minutes; road bike: 2.5 minutes; mountain bike: 2 minutes; basketball: 30 seconds Light – 80 lumen USB – 1x micro USB port for charging, USB type A port for charging mobile devices Battery 500mAh @ 12.8V…

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Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: power

Wibeee Power Monitoring Device Plugs right into Your Home’s Circuit Breaker Box

February 16th, 2018 8 comments

We’ve covered several smart plugs or switches capable of monitoring electricity consumption and displaying results right in a smarphone app, or computer’s web browser with products such as Sonoff S31 or Broadlink SP2 WiFi smart sockets, or Sonoff POW switch. Those work for individual plugs, but if you want to cover your full house, you’d need several of those, and in some case it may not be so convenient as no plugs may be available for example for lights or air conditioner. Smilics Technologies has come up with an easier method, although less granular, thanks to their WIBEEE device that clips to your fuse / circuit breaker box using DINZERO “clip-on” technology, and available in single and  three phase models. Main features: Voltage Range – 85 to 265 V AC @ 50 ~ 60 Hz with 2% accuracy + variation in range of use depending on temperature, humidity, etc… Current Range – 500mA to 65A with 2% accuracy + variation…

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Onda V18 Pro (Allwinner A63) 2K Tablet Review – Part 1: Unboxing, First Boot, and Antutu 7 Benchmark

February 15th, 2018 8 comments

Announced last June, Allwinner A63 is the latest tablet SoC from the company, with a quad core Cortex A53 processor and a Mali-T760MP2 GPU capable of driving 2K displays. One of the first tablet to feature the SoC is Onda V18 Pro with a 10.1″ 2560×1600 high resolution display, 3GB RAM, 32 or 64GB internal storage, and the capability to play 4K H.265/H.264/VP9 videos (obviously downscale to the display resolution). I was interested in checking it out, and GearBest sent me a sample of the 32GB flash version. I’ll do a two part review, starting with unboxing, and first boot where I’ll run CPU-Z and Antutu, before publishing the rest of the review in a few weeks once I got to use it more and performed more tests. Onda V18 Pro Unboxing The tablet comes is a white “V-series” box, Onda likely uses for all their VXX tablets.They just differentiate between models with a sticker, in my case reading “Dark…

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JGAURORA A5 Review – A Large Build 3D Printer That Works (Mostly) Out of the Box

February 15th, 2018 10 comments

Karl here and today we are going to look at the JGAURORA A5. I specifically asked Gearbest for this printer. Features and specs looks good. Not to mention that you can go from opening the box to printing in 20 min. Nice large build volume of 305 x 305 x 320mm. Color touch screen. Filament runout sensor. Power Fail feature. Power Fail is so nice. I have lost some long prints due to power going out. I have not lost any for filament because I have always been conscious of it but it’s nice to have peace of mind. The A5 has an assisted leveling feature that is nice. When using this feature there are 5 point that it will go to. One in each corner and one in the center and you adjust the bed. It saves a little time and I believe is standard feature in Marlin now. This is quite a popular printer and has been reviewed…

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Categories: Hardware, Testing Tags: 3d printing, jgaurora, review

Qualcomm Snapdragon X24 LTE Cat 20 Modem Supports up to 2Gbps Download Speed (in Theory)

February 15th, 2018 1 comment

Qualcomm can already achieve peak download speed of 1.2 Gbps over 4G cellular network in Snapdragon 845 processor thanks to its Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, but the company has been working on an even faster modem with Snapdragon X24 modem support LTE Cat.20 download speed of up to 2 Gbps. That’s even faster than Gigabit Ethernet, at least in theory, as with all wireless technologies you can only achieve the maximum throughput in the lab, and upload speeds will be lower – but still decent – at up to 316 Mbps. You’d also have to find a Telco that can handle such speeds. Qualcomm X24 cellular modem specifications: LTE Category – 20 Downlink Features 7×20 MHz carrier aggregation Up to 4×4 MIMO on five carriers Maximum 20 spatial streams Full-Dimension MIMO (FD-MIMO) Up to 256-QAM Peak Download Speed – 2 Gbps Uplink Features Qualcomm Snapdragon Upload+ 3×20 MHz carrier aggregation Up to 2x 106Mbps LTE streams Up to 256-QAM Uplink…

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