How to Make a Cheap Single Channel Gateway with an ESP32 LoRa Board

ESP32 to ESP32 LoRa Communication

Actual LoRaWAN gateways based on Semtech SX1301 concentrator  can be pretty expensive,  and even if you take a LoRa gateway design based on Raspberry Pi for indoor placement or experimentation, price is still around $200. A much cheaper way (~$70)  is to use a single channel LoRa gateway, which as the name implies only support one channel, which limits the number of nodes, and forces you to set the nodes at the same frequency as your gateway. Those are not really suitable for commercial offerings, but if you manage your own gateway and nodes that should be usable. If you only plan to implement a network with a dozen nodes or so, you could even use much cheap ESP32 LoRa board like the ESP32 LoRa 1-Channel Gateway sold on Sparkfun for $29.95. Hardware specifications: Connectivity WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE via ESP32-WROOM-32 module with integrated PCB antenna LoRa @ 868 / 915 MHz with Hope RFM95W LoRa modem controlled via …

Pocket Science Lab (PSLab) is an Open Source Hardware Electronics Lab

Last Saturday I created a virtual schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2018 where I listed some of sessions relevant to myself and hopefully regular readers of CNX Software, but due to scheduling conflicts one talks did not make it to the list: “Pocket Science Lab – An Open Source Hardware for Electronics Teaching & Learning” by FOSSASIA. The project is also referred to as PSLab, and aims to  “create an Open Source hardware device that can be used for experiments by teachers, students and citizen scientists to learn and teach electronics”. It looks interesting enough so let’s have a closer look. The project  is inspired by the earlier expEYES project that combines with Raspberry Pi or other Linux platform to create an electronic labs, and the work by the Open Science Hardware community. PSLab key features and specifications: MCU – Microchip PIC24EP256GP204 16-bit microcontroller @ up to 70 MHz with 32KB SRAM, 256KB flash Wireless Connectivity – Footprint …

Forlinx OK5718-C Development Board is Powered by TI AM5718 Cortex-A15/M4 processor

TI AM5718 Development Board

Forlinx Embedded Technology (Forlinx) has just launched a new development board for indsutrial applications with audio and video processing requirements.  OK5718-C development board features Texas Instruments AM5718 Sitara SoC with a single Arm Cortex-A15 core, two real-time Cortex-M4 cores, a dual PRU, and a TI C66x DSP core. OK5718-C development board consists of a carrier board and FET5718-C SoM with the following specifications: FET5718-C System-on-Module SoC – TI AM5718 Sitara Arm Cortex-A15 processor @ up to 1.5GHz, C66x DSP @  750MHz, dual-core Arm Cortex-M4 @ 213MHz, dual core PRU @ 200MHz, PowerVR SGX544 3D GPU,  Vivante GC320 2D GPU, IVA-HD video accelerator subsystem (H.264, MPEG4, MPEG2, VC1) System Memory – 1GB DDR3L Storage – 8GB eMMC flash Board-to-board connectors for interface with baseboard – 320–pin exposing USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0, HDMI 1.4a, LCD RGB, 10x UART, 1x QSPI, 2x CAN, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, etc… PMU – TI TPS659162RGZR Supply Voltage – 5V Dimensions – 70 x 50 mm (12-layer PCB) Carrier …

Tranquil PC’s AMD Ryzen Embedded Mini PC Supports Up to 4 Displays

AMD Ryzen Embedded Mini PC

AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 processor family was introduced  last February, but if you’d wanted to buy a Ryzen Embedded mini PC today, you’ struggle to do so at least for a retail model. One option is to get an UDOO Bolt V3/V8 development board together its metal case and assemble the mini PC yourself.  The solution was launched on Kickstarter however, and will only start shipping in December 2018 if everything goes according to plans. If you’d rather get a Ryzen Embedded mini PC a little earlier,  Tranquil PC’s Mini Multi display PC may be an option with a choice of three Ryzen embedded V1000 processors, a fanless design, and support for up to 4 independent displays. Transquil PC’s mini multi-display PC Basic/Advanced/Advanced+ specifications: SoC Basic – AMD Ryzen Embedded V1202B, 2C/4T @ 2.3 / 3.2GHz, TDP: 12W-25W Advanced – AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B, 4C/8T @ 2.3 / 3.6GHz, TDP: 12W-25W Advanced+ –  AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B, 4C/8T @ 2.3 …

Acer Aspire 3 A315-41G (AMD Ryzen 7 2700U) Laptop – Installing Ubuntu 18.04 and “Hidden” M.2 SSD Socket

Acer Aspire 3 A315G-41 Ubuntu 18.04

Everyday I’m using a tower PC running Ubuntu 18.04 to take care of this blog, but when I travel it’s obviously not so convenient, so a few years ago I bought an  Acer Aspire E5-421G laptop powered by an AMD A4-6210 processor with 4GB RAM, 512GB HDD, and a 14″ display. I installed Ubuntu on the laptop and it works, but with 4GB RAM, it’s not always usable while multitasking. For example I can run Thunderbird and Firefox, but if I ever make a Skype call for example, the system becomes unusable, and I have to close one of the programs. Tasks like video editing are also quite slow on the machine. So since I’m going to travel in a few weeks, I decided I needed a new laptop. My requirements were 8GB RAM,  SSD and HDD support, a 15″ display, the ability to run Ubuntu 18.04, and possibly a processor with a performance close to the AMD FX8350 processor …

Embedded Linux Conference Europe & OpenIoT Summit Europe 2018 Schedule

Embedded Linux Conference OpenIOT Summit Europe 2018

The Embedded Linux Conference & OpenIoT Summit 2018 took place in March of this year in the US, but the European version of the events are now planned to take place on October 21-24 in Edinburg, UK, and the schedule has already been released. So let’s make a virtual schedule to find out more about some of interesting subjects that are covered at the conferences. The conference and summit really only officially start on Monday 22, but there are a few talks on Sunday afternoon too. Sunday, October 21 13:30 – 15:15 – Tutorial: Introduction to Quantum Computing Using Qiskit – Ali Javadi-Abhari, IBM Qiskit is a comprehensive open-source tool for quantum computation. From simple demonstrations of quantum mechanical effects to complicated algorithms for solving problems in AI and chemistry, Qiskit allows users to build and run programs on quantum computers of today. Qiskit is built with modularity and extensibility in mind. This means it is easy to extend its …

LicheePi Nano is an SD Card Sized Linux Board Powered by Allwinner F1C100s ARM9 Processor

Linux Board SD Card Size

Before Allwinner launched their popular A10 Cortex A8 processor earlier this decade, the company had Allwinner F-series ARM9 processors found in E-ink readers, vehicle multimedia systems, audio products and so on. I would not expect a new board based on of those processors in 2018, but LicheePi Nano looks to be exactly that with an Allwinner F1C100s processor, a form factor roughly the size of an SD card, and support for RGB LED displays. LicheePi Nano board specifications: SoC- Allwinner F1C100s ARM926EJS processor clocked at up to 900MHz System Memory – 32MB DDR integrated into SoC Storage – Micro SD card, and optional 8M SPI flash (unpopulated in the photo above) Display I/F – 40-pin RGB LCD FPC connector supporting 272×480, 480×800, 1024×600 and other resolutions resistive and capacitive displays Video Decoding – H.264 / MPEG up to 720p I/Os via 2.54mm pitch through holes and 1.27mmm pitch castellated holes SDIO for WiFi module 2x SPI, 3x TWI (I2C),3x UART 1x …

Check for Spectre, Meltdown, and L1 Terminal Fault Vulnerabilities with Spectre-meltdown-checker Script

Spectre Meltdown Foreshadow Checker

Yesterday, we wrote a little bit about the new speculative execution vulnerability known as L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF) or Foreshadow, and a reader – MHSadri – pointed to an interesting script that checks for all three speculative execution vulnerabilities, and runs in Linux and BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFlyBSD)  across multiple architectures: Intel x32, AMD64, Arm and ARM64. Other architectures will also work, but mitigation reporting may not be correct. So I tried it on my own machine, a computer running Ubuntu 18.04 on an AMD FX8350 processor. Installation is easy:

The developer recommends to check the script manually first, just for security sake. You can have two way to run it: either directly inside your OS, or via docker which may be a better idea since it would not be able to mess with your system especially I had to run it with sudo to avoid permission issues. Here’s the full output while running the script in a terminal …