PSLab Electronics Lab Board is Now Available for $65

PSLab Electronics Lab

Pocket Science Lab (PSLab) is an open source hardware USB board that aims to bring electronics labs to the masses, as it can act as an oscilloscope, voltmeter, programmable voltage and current source, logic analyzer, or signal generator when connected to a PC or mobile phone. This is not professional equipment, and instead designed for STEM education. When we first covered the board in August, it was still in development, but I’ve just found it is now listed and in stock on Seeed Studio for $64.90. FOSSASIA and OpnTec are the organization behind the board’s development. Here’s a reminder of PSLab board main specifications: MCU – Microchip PIC24EP256GP204 16-bit microcontroller @ up to 70 MHz with 32KB SRAM, 256KB flash Wireless Connectivity Footprint for ESP8266 module (ESP-12E) for 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (on bottom of board) Bluetooth extension slot 4-Channel, up to 2MSPS Oscilloscope 12-bit Voltmeter. Programmable gain. Input ranges from +/-10mV to +/-16V 3x 12-bit Programmable voltage sources: +/-3.3V,+/-5V,0-3V 12-bit …

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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 the sessions relevant to myself and hopefully regular readers of CNX Software, but due to scheduling conflicts one talk 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 – …

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Microchip Offers Free PIC16F18446 8-bit MCU Development Boards

MPLAB-Xpress-PIC16F18446

Microchip announced several PIC and AVR microcontrollers with “Core Independent Peripherals and Intelligent Analog” in February with respectively PIC16F18446 family of microcontrollers, and ATmega4809 megaAVR microcontrollers, with the latter to be integrated in the next generation of Arduino boards. The company is now organizing a promotion for their PIC16F184xx product family where they give away a PIC16F18446 MPLAB Xpress evaluation board! Key features of PIC16F184 micro-controllers: High-precision 32 MHz internal oscillator 7 to 28 KB Flash program memory 512 bytes to 2 KB of SRAM 12-bit ADC with computation (ADC2), up to 24 channels 5-bit DAC eXtreme Low Power (XLP) with sleep currents down to 50 nA IDLE and DOZE low power modes Memory Access Partition (MAP) Device Information Area (DIA) Signal Measurement Timer (SMT) Hardware Limit Timer (HLT) Windowed Watch Dog Timer (WWDT) Peripheral Pin Select (PPS) Peripheral Model Disable (PMD) Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) Two comparators Numerically Controlled Oscillator (NCO) Zero Cross Detect (ZCD) On-chip temperature sensor 10-bit PWMs …

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EasyVolts USB Dongle Outputs 0-24V DC, Exposes UART, GPIO/PWM, RS-485 Signals

A while ago, I wrote about USBminiPower, a USB power supply with 3.3V, 5V, and one variable DC output up to 14.3V adjustable with a rocker switch, and equipped for a 4-digit LED display showing current intensity and voltage. But recently, I was made aware of another USB power supply – EasyVolts USB dongle – that supports 0 to 24V DC, and also exposes either UART pins, or RS-485 signal, plus two GPIO/PWM pins. EasyVolts specifications: USB – 1x USB port for power, communication Power Supply function: Input voltage: 5V from USB port Output voltage: 0-24V Max output current: 1A Max output power: ~2.4W (e.g. 24V/0.1A; 3.3V/0.55A) Voltage resolution: <50mV Current resolution: <2mA I/O expansion 4- pin to be used as UART (Tx/Rx) or RS-485 + 2x GPIO/PWM UART – speed: 300-230400 bit/sec; resistance of Tx/Rx pins: 300 Ohm PWM – Base frequency: 240kHz.; frequency division configuration: 1-65535; duty cycle resolution: 0.5%. Logic levels – 3.3V When the device is …

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Think Silicon Ultra Low Power NEMA GPUs are Designed for Wearables and IoT Applications

When you have to purchase a wearable device, let’s say a smartwatch or fitness tracker, you have to make trade offs between user interface and battery life. For example, a fitness tracker such as Xiaomi Mi Band 2 will last about 2 weeks per charge with a limited display, while Android smartwatches with a much better interface need to be recharged every 1 or 2 days. Think Silicon aims to improve battery life of the devices with nicer user interfaces thanks to their ultra-low power NEMA 2D, 3D, and GP GPU that can be integrated into SoCs with ARM Cortex-M and Cortex-A cores. The company has three family of GPUs: NEMA|p pico 2D GPU with one core 4bpp framebuffer, 6bpp texture with/out alpha Fill Rate – 1pixel/cycle Silicon Area – 0.07 mm2 with 28nm process Power Consumption – leakage power GPU consumption of 0.06mW; with compression (TSFSc): 0.03 mW NEMA|t tiny 2D & 3D GPU with one to 4 cores …

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Getting Started with MPLAB Xpress Board and Online IDE

Microchip launched MPLAB Xpress online IDE and board earlier this year, and as part of the launch they offered 2,000 free boards. I joined the program and received my board. The keyword for the board is “Xpress”, as you should be able to get started in mere minutes thanks to the operating system agnostic online IDE that works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. That also means you don’t need to install any other tool. All you need is a web browser. MPLAB Xpress Board Let’s start by quickly checking out the package, board, and offline documentation. Once you open the package, you’ll get the board, a folded sheet of paper for the schematics, and some information on the package itself with the pinout diagram, and a quick start guide explaining that the board acts as a mass storage device, and all you need is a web browser for programming it. The part has two parts: “Application” and “Programmer”. …

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$15 Microchip Curiosity Development Board Supports 8-bit PIC Microcontrollers

I’ve just found out Microchip had introduced Curiosity development board a little while ago, in order to let students and others experiment with their 8-bit PIC DIP MCUs, and including MikroElectronika Mikrobus footprint, an interface for Microchip RN4020 module to add Bluetooth Low Energy, as well as other headers and some extra features like buttons, and a potentiometer. Microchip Curiosity board specifications: MCU – PIC MCU socket for 8, 14, and 20-pin micro-controllers with PIC16F1619 pre-installed. Expansion mikroBUS Click Board footprint Microchip RN4020 Bluetooth Module Footprint USB – USB mini-B connector Misc – Master Clear Reset button, potentiometer, LEDs, mTouch button, push button Power Supply 5V via USB 9V using an external power supply (footprints only) 3.3V to 5V external power supply via TP3 and TP4 pins Dimensions – N/A There are over 160 MikroElektronika Click boars on the market now, but only seven are listed with code samples for Curiosity board. Documentation includes a Quick Start Guide, product brief, …

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Microchip Introduces $11 RN2483 & RN2903 LoRa Modules and $70 LoRa Evaluation Kits for IoT & M2M Applications

LoRa is one of those long range low power WAN standards used for the machine to machine (M2M) and Internet of things (IoT) applications. I already featured a Semtech Lora module here with a line-of-sight range of up to 20 to 30km, and the company has just partnered with STMicro to deploy LoRa solutions, but today, I’m going to have a look at Microchip Lora modules and development kits that I discovered in the company’s Micro Solutions Nov/Dec 2015 publication. The company has launched two modules for the European and North American markets with respectively RN2483 LoRa 433/868 MHz R&TTE Directive Assessed Radio Modem and RN2903 915 MHz North American modem. Apart from the different frequencies, both modules have similar features: On-board LoRaWAN Class A protocol stack Tx/Rx Power RN2483 – 40 mA (14dBm, 868MHz) Tx, and 14.2 mA Rx @ 3.6V RN2903 – 124 mA Tx max, and 13.5 mA Rx @ (2.1 to 3.6V) ASCII command interface over UART …

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