NapCat Smart Video doorbell review – A battery-powered dual-band WiFi video doorbell with AI features

NapCat WiFi video doorbell review

NapCat R112 is a 5MP video doorbell with dual-band 2.4/5GHz WiFi, AI features such as human and package detection, 2-way audio, and no subscription. It’s waterproof – rated IP65 – so it can be used outdoors, and powered by either a built-in battery or traditional wires. The company sent me a sample of the Napcat R112 for review. I’ll check out the camera in battery-powered mode only in this review, install it on the wall close to the gate of my house, and use the Napcast Android app to access the camera and answer calls. Napcat video doorbell unboxing The retail package shows a photo of the (white) base station and (black) camera and lists some of the main features such as a wide-angle camera, dual-power option, on-device human detection and package monitoring, and dual-band WiFi. There’s no monthly fee to pay to use the device after purchasing it. The […]

ESP32-based CNC controller board targets pen plotters and lasers, runs FluidNC open-source firmware

FuildNC ESP32 CNC controller

FluidNC “TMC2209 Pen/Laser CNC Controller” is an ESP32-based 2-axis CNC controller that runs FluidNC open-source firmware and takes up to two TMC2209 stepper drivers to drive pen plotters and laser engravers ESP32 wireless modules have been used in a range of 3D printer and CNC controllers for years with boards such as Grbl_ESP32 CNC breakout board, Phi MainBoard 5LC 3D printer controller, and the Makerbase MKS DLC32 board we found in TwoTrees TS2 laser engraver and TTC 450 CNC router running MKS-DLC32-FIRMWARE open-source firmware.  The FluidNC TMC2209 Pen/Laser CNC Controller offers yet another option and a different open-source FluidNC firmware that is an evolution of the firmware for the aforementioned Grbl_ESP32 that also happens to work on the MKS DLC32 board… FluidNC “TMC2209 Pen/Laser CNC Controller” specifications: Wireless module – Espressif Systems ESP32-WROOM-32E ESP32 dual-core microcontroller 4MB flash 2.4 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity, built-in PCB antenna Storage – MicroSD […]

Cincoze DS-1402 modular embedded computer review – Part 1: Specs, unboxing, teardown, and first boot

Cincoze DS-1402 Industrial Computer Review

Cincoze has sent me a sample of the DS-1402 modular embedded computer for review. The system is offered with a range of 12th Gen Alder Lake-S or 13th Gen Raptor Lake-S processors and features various expansion options with two PCIe slots, two CMI module slots, a CMF module slot, and three MEC (mini PCIe) module slots. The review sample is equipped with an Intel Core i9-12900E 16-core Alder Lake-S processor, 64GB DDR5 memory, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and an NVIDIA GTX1630 graphics card inserted into one of the PCIe slots. The company also fitted the embedded system with two CMI modules on the front panel with four GbE (Intel I210) RJ45 each. Cincoze DS-1402 specifications When we first wrote about the Cincoze DS-1400 series in 2022 only 12th Gen Alder Lake-S processors were available, but the company has now added 13th Gen Raptor Lake-S processors to the list of options. […]

JieLi Tech AC6329C4 is a 35 cents Bluetooth 5.0 microcontroller

JieLi Tech AC6329C4 Bluetooth 5.0 MCU

JieLi Technology AC6329C4 is an ultra-cheap microcontroller with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and several I/Os including some for motor control that sells for just 35 cents on  LCSC in single units, or 25 cents per piece for 1K+ orders. The microcontroller features a 32-bit RISC core clocked at 96 MHz with 73KB SRAM, and up to 4Mbit (512KB) flash. The 16-pin (SOP16) package offers plenty of multiplexed interfaces including USB 2.0, ADC, PWM, I2C, SPI, UART, and in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) encoders. AC6329C4 specifications: CPU – 32-bit RISC CPU @ 96 MHz with Cache – 8KB I-cache 2-way, 1KB R/O cache 1-way 64x Vectored interrupts 8x Levels interrupt priority Memory – 73KB data RAM Storage – 4Mbit flash (another part called AC6329C2 comes with 2Mbit flash) Bluetooth CMOS single-chip fully-integrated radio and baseband Compliant with Bluetooth 5.0+BR+EDR+BLE specification Bluetooth Piconet and Scatternet support Meets class2 and class3 transmitting power requirement […]

Apple’s Embedded Swift programming language supports ESP32-C6, Raspberry Pi RP2040, STM32F7, nRF52840 microcontrollers

ESP32-C6 Apple Swift

Apple has released a beta version of Embedded Swift that notably works with Espressif ESP32-C6 wireless RISC-V microcontroller, and the company also built a Matter sample based on ESP-IDF and ESP-Matter SDKs. Embedded Swift is not limited to the ESP32-C6 and supports other microcontrollers from STMicro, Raspberry Pi, Nordic Semi, etc… Apple Swift programming language is mostly designed for mobile app development, but we’ve also seen it being used on Mad Machine’s SwiftIO board powered by a 600 MHz NXP i.MX RT1052 Arm Cortex-M7 crossover processor and the tiny SwiftIO Micro launched a few years later. The company has now decided to create a subset of the Swift programming language better suited to microcontrollers simply called Embedded Swift that’s currently working on STMicro STM32F746, Raspberry Pi Pico, nRF52840, and ESP32-C6. The “Go small with Embedded Swift” presentation at WWDC 2024 shows how to get started with Embedded Swift using Espressif […]

Meles RISC-V credit card-sized SBC is powered by T-Head TH1520 quad-core SoC

Meles credit card-sized RISC-V SBC

Shenzhen Milk-V Technology’s Meles SBC (single board computer) is powered by a T-Head TH1520 quad-core RISC-V processor and offered in a credit card form factor similar to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B layout. The board is quite more powerful with a 2.0 GHz quad-core SoC equipped with a modern GPU, a 4K capable video encoder and decoder, and a 4 TOPS NPU. The board also features gigabit Ethernet, a WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 module, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 2.0 video output, MIPI CSI and DSI interfaces, and a 40-pin GPIO header. Meles specifications: SoC – Alibaba T-Head TH1520 CPU Quad-core RISC-V Xuantie C910 (RV64GCV – Vector Extension version 0.7) processor up to 2.0 GHz Low-power Xuantie E902 core GPU – Imagination BXM-4-64 GPU with support for OpenGL ES3.0/3.1/3.2, OpenCL 1.1/1.2/2.0, Vulkan 1.1/1.2; 50.7GFLOPS DSP – Xuantie C906 audio DSP @ 800 MHz VPU Video Decoder H.265, H.264, […]

$20 Zigbee & Z-Wave mPCIe module targets Home Assistant gateways

Mixtile Zigbee Z Wave mini PCIe module

Mixtile’s “2-in-1 Zigbee & Z-Wave mPCIe module” is a relatively inexpensive way to add Zigbee and Z-Wave connectivity to a Home Assistant server without having USB dongles sticking out of the server and taking some of its spare USB ports. The module is compatible with any computer, gateway, or SBC with a spare mini PCIe socket featuring a USB 2.0 interface such as Rockchip RK3568-powered Mixtile Edge 2 Kit gateway. You’ll also need some way of mounting the antennas after connecting them to the IPEX-1 antenna connectors on the module, the Edge 2 Kit comes with multiple antenna holes. Mixtile 2-in-1 Zigbee & Z-Wave mPCIe module specifications: Wireless MCUs Silabs EFR32MG24 Arm Cortex-M33 @ 78.0 MHz with 256 kB RAM, 1536 kB flash Radio Frequency – 2.4 GHz (802.15.4 radio) TX Power – up to +19.5 dBm RX sensitivity – -105.4 dBm at 250 kbps Protocols – Zigbee, Matter, Thread […]

Argon ONE V3 M.2 NVMe case for Raspberry Pi 5 brings all ports on one side, full-size HDMI ports

Argon ONE V3 M.2 NVMe case

The Argon ONE V3 M.2 NVMe case for the Raspberry Pi 5 is an update to the Argon ONE M.2 case for the Raspberry Pi 4 that brings all ports of the Raspberry Pi 5 on one side and features full-size HDMI ports instead of the micro HDMI ports on the Pi 5 SBC. Debashis has just written about the Waveshare Pi5 Connector Adapter board that connects to the micro HDMI and USB-C ports of the Raspberry Pi 5 to bring them alongside the other ports and features two full-size HDMI ports. It’s a good idea, but it lacks an enclosure. The Argon ONE M.2 NVMe case does something similar with an enclosure and supports for NVMe SSD drives. Argon ONE V3 M.2 NVMe case key features: SBC – Compatible with Raspberry Pi 5 Storage – M.2 NVMe SSD via Key-M socket connected to the Raspberry Pi 5 PCIe connector; […]