$79 Digilent OpenScope Open Source Multi-function Programmable Instrument Works over USB and WiFi (Crowdfunding)

Digilent OpenScope is an open source, portable, multi-function programmable instrument used for capturing, visualizing, and controlling analog and digital signals, that works with your smartphone or computer over USB or WiFi, and it can also be used in standalone mode as a development board, like you would use an Arduino or Raspberry Pi board. OpenScope MZ key features and specifications: MCU – Microchip PIC32 MZ (MZ2048EFG124) MIPS Warrior M-class micro-controller @ up to 200 MHz with 2048KB flash, 512 KB RAM External Storage – micro SD slot Wireless Connectivity – WiFi module USB – 1x micro USB for power and programming over FTDI Programming / Debugging – micro USB port, programming header Expansion – 30-pin Fly Wire connector with: 2x scope channels with 12 bits @ 2 MHz bandwidth and up to 6.25MS/s sampling rate 1x function generator output with 1 MHz bandwidth and up to 10MS/s update rate 10x user programmable DIO pins up to 25 MHz update rate …

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GR-LoRa is a Reverse-Engineered Open Source Implementation of LoRa PHY

LPWAN standards such as LoRa or Sigfox allow you to transmit data over long distance, at ultra low power (up to 10 years on a AA battery), and for free if your use your own network (P2P or gateway), or a few dollars per years if you go through a network provider. The low cost is possible since those standards rely on 900 MHz ISM bands, meaning nobody has to pay millions of dollars to the government to obtain a license fee. Matt Knight looked at LoRa, and while Level 2 and 3 of the protocol (LoRaWan) has public documentation, Level 1 (LoRa PHY) is proprietary and the standard is proprietary. So he decided to reverse-engineer LoRa PHY using Microchip RN2903 based LoRa Technology Mote and Ettus B210 USB software defined radio, and software packages and tools such as Python and GNU Radio to successfully deliver GR-LoRa open source “GNU Radio OOT module implementing the LoRa PHY”.  He presented his work …

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ELLO 2M is a DIY Computer with a Keyboard, a 7″ Touchscreen Display and a Prototyping Area (Crowdfunding)

The traditional way to play with electronics is to get a board (e.g. Arduino), a breadboard to wire components & sensors to the board, and a computer for programming.  ELLO 2M combines all that into a single piece of hardware with a 7″ touchscreen display, a Microchip PIC32 micro-controller board, a solderless prototyping area made of PGA sockets, and a keyboard. ELLO 2M hardware specifications: MCU – Microchip PIC32MX470 32-bit micro-controller @ 120 MHz with 128kB RAM (512kB RAM in the ELLO 2M “hacker” versions) Extra System Memory – Optional on-board serial non-volatile data RAM Storage – 3x micro-SD cards (one permanently built-in and two for removable storage); internal serial FRAM Display – 7″ LCD touch-screen panel with 800×480 pixel resolution Audio – Small speaker and buzzer Keyboard – Replaceable QWERTY keyboard Connectivity – 2.4GHz RF communication module with simple communication protocol Expansion – Expansion receptacle, electronic prototyping space with up to 1156 holes Misc – Real-time clock Battery – …

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Microchip Introduces MPLAB Xpress Cloud-based IDE and MPLAB Xpress Evaluation Board

Microchip has just launched MPLAB Xpress online IDE with some of the most used features of the company’s MPLAB X IDE, as well as a free – in limited quantities – MPLAB Xpress evaluation board based on a PIC16 micro-controller. Let’s get through the development board specifications first: MCU – Microchip PIC16F18855 MCU with 14KB flash, 1KB SRAM, 256 bytes EEPROM USB – micro USB port for power and programming Expansion Headers Unpopulated mikroBUS header supporting one of 180 Click boards Unpopulated 2x 14-pin header with GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART, ADC, etc… Misc – Reset button, user button, potentiometer Dimensions – N/A Playing with hardware is always more fun, but if you just want to evaluation the online IDE, you don’t even need the board. Visit MPLAB Xpress Code Examples page, load one of the example, possibly log-in if you want to save changes to the 10GB free online storage that comes with a myMicrochip account, and you’ll be able …

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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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GroBotz Interactive Robot Project is Made of Easy to Assemble Smart Blocks (Crowdfunding)

GroBotz makes me think of Lego applied to robotics. The project consists of modules such as motors, sensors, buttons, switches, or cameras that snap together in order to create a robot on wheels, games, toys, a musical instrument, or whatever idea you may have, and the hardware is then programmed using a graphical user interface. A Raspberry Pi board is used for the brain of the robot, and Microchip PIC MCUs for the smart blocks. The software is programmed in C# using Xamarin, the user interface is based on Unity, OpenCV is used for image processing, and during development a plastic part where printed with Makerbot, and schematics and PCB layout designed with CadSoft EAGLE. The company has now come up with a number of modules as shown in the picture below. Your robot can then be controlled over Wi-Fi with GroBotz app which works on Windows, Mac OS, iOs, Android and Linux devices. The software provide a “wire editor” …

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Prpl Non-Profit Organization to Work on Linux, Android, and OpenWRT for MIPS based Processors

In what looks like an answer, albeit fairly late, to Linaro, the non-profit organization working on open source software for ARM based SoCs, a consortium of companies composed of Imagination Technologies, Broadcom, Cavium, Lantiq, Qualcomm, Ingenic, and a few others, has funded Prpl (pronounced Purple), “an open-source, community-driven, collaborative, non-profit foundation targeting and supporting the MIPS architecture—and open to others—with a focus on enabling next-generation datacenter-to-device portable software and virtualized architectures”. The Prpl foundation will focus on three key objectives: Portability – To create ISA agnostic software for rapid deployment across multiple architecture Virtualization & security – To enable multi-tenant, secure, software, environments in datacenter, networking & storage, home, mobile and embedded Heterogeneous Computing – To leverage compute resources enabling next generation big data analytics and mining Initially there will PEG (Prpl Engineering Group) to take of the following projects for 4 market segments (datacenter, network & storage, connected consumers, and Embedded & IoT): Linux –  Optimizations for enterprise, home …

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Microchip Unveils chipKIT Wi-Fi Development Board and Motor Control Shield

Microchip Technology has just announced two new boards by Diligent, part of its Arduino compatible chipKIT ecosystem: chipKIT WF32 board featuring a PIC32 MCU and a Wi-Fi module, and chipKIT Motor Control Shield for servos, steppers, and DC motors. chipKIT WF32 Development Board Board specifications: MCU – Microchip PIC32MX695F512L micro-controller (80 Mhz 32-bit MIPS, 512K Flash, 128K SRAM) External Storage – Micro SD card connector Wi-Fi – IEEE 802.11 b/g via Microchip MRF24WG0MA WiFi module USB – USB 2.0 OTG controller with A and micro-AB connectors for debugging and programing. 43 available I/O pins with 12 analog inputs Misc – 4x user LEDs PC connection uses a USB A > mini B cable (not included) Power – 7V to 15V input voltage (recommended), 3.3V operating voltage, 30V input voltage (maximum), 0V to 3.3V analog input voltage range Microchip has also released an embedded cloud software framework to create Internet of Things (IoT) applications with the board. There supposed to be a …

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