Ai Thinker enters the NB-IoT LPWAN market with EC-01 modules (Sponsored)

AI Thinker NB-IoT Modules

As we all know, 2G and 3G cellular networks are gradually being sunset, and NB-IoT has been formally incorporated into 3GPP standards. The LPWAN industry has ushered in new development opportunities for the Internet of Things market. Ai-Thinker has recently released three NB-IoT series modules: EC-01/EC-01F/EC-01G. The NB-IoT series modules are equipped with the EC616S chip platform, which is an ultra-low-cost, ultra-low power, ultra-high integration NB-IoT SOC chip, fully supporting the 3GPP R13/R14 NB-IoT standards with up to 159 kbps uplink. What are the benefits of the new modules? Better signal, more spectrum Better performance (equipped with EC616S) Ultra-low power consumption, stable and reliable connectivity I/O expansion, feature-rich module Check out the comparison table between AI Thinker NB-IoT modules part of the EC-01 family below. Ai-Thinker NB-IoT series modules adopt an SMD package that is convenient for mass production at the factory, and can use AOI to do the SMT […]

$16 ESP32-A1S ESP32 Audio Development Kit Comes with 2 Microphones, Audio Jacks & Headers

Espressif ESP32 WiSoC can be integrated into various applications, and earlier this year Espressif Systems released ESP32 LyraTD MSC Audio Mic HDK (Hardware Development Kit) which I could test with Baidu DuerOS using Mandarin. Since then the company released the ESP-ADF Audio Development Framework that beside Baidu DuerOS, now supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you don’t need to speak or learn Chinese to use the kit! 🙂 Another ESP32 audio board was the similarly named ESP32-LyraT, and now we have at least more more option with Seeed Studio selling ESP32-A1S WiFi + Bluetooth ESP32 audio development kit for $16.90 on their store. ESP32-A1S ESP32 audio development kit specifications: Wireless Module A.I. Thinker ESP32-A1S module based on ESP32 dual core Tensilica CPU clocked at up to 240MHz with 520 KB SRAM, and 8MB on-module PSRAM 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE Storage – Micro SD card slot up […]

Designing a 3D Printed Jig to Flash Firmware to ESP8266 based Light Bulbs

Karl here. I have to say that my favorite part of 3D printing is designing things from scratch. Recently a reader was asking about a way to flash a lot of Ai Lights on a project he was working on. I suggested 3D printing a jig that pressure fits pins. He didn’t have a printer, and we exchanged contact information and he sent me one of the lights and some pogo pins from Amazon. Design in Fusion 360 I started by taking a picture of the light to get my pin placement. I set a scale by measuring a known distance then printed and tested. It took about 3 iterations to get them to line up in real life. Keep in mind camera lenses distort reality and knew It would take a couple times. I would just let a few layers print then stop and line everything up. I had […]

$12 AI Light ESP8266 based WiFi RGB Light Bulb Supports MQTT via ESPurna Open Source Firmware

AI-Thinker is famous in the maker world for their ESP8266 modules, but they’ve also recently launched a WiFi RGB light bulb that sells for about $12.5 and up on eBay and Aliexpress. Some people noticed, and bought samples online, including Xose Pérez (aka Tinkerman), ESPurna open-source firmware developer, who could confirm ESP8266 was used in the light bulb, did some investigations, and eventually added the light bulb into ESPurna, which means it can be managed using MQTT or a web interface. AI Light looks very similar to Philips Hue, but comes with WiFi instead of Zigbee. AI Light “M1636” key features: RGBW LED E27 bulb with 16.7M colors Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi Encryption – AES Voltage Range – 110-240V LED Power – 5 watts WiFi Power Consumption – ≤0.3W Temperature Range – -5~45degree Humidity – ≤80% Certifications – FCC, CE, ROHS If you’re going to use the stock firmware, […]

433/868/915 MHz LoRa Modules Are Now Selling for $6 and Up

Market forecasts for the Internet of Things promise billions of connected device in the years to come, but this won’t happen when LPWAN  connector sensors cost $50 or more, so prices will have to come down. I’ve been told that one company is working on a WiFi + LoRa module that’s going to sell for $5 to $6 sometimes in 2017, but in the meantime, it’s possible to get some LoRa modules for less than $10, albeit limited to 433 MHz frequency not the more common 868 MHz (EU) and 915 MHz (US), thanks to products such as AI-Thinker Ra-02 module. Ra-02 specifications: Chipset – Semtech SX1278 low power long range transceiver Radio 433MHz frequency (420 to 450 MHz range) +20dBm – 10mW constant RF output vs. V supply; up to 300 kbps bitrate Supports FSK, GFSK, MSK, GMSK, LoRa and OOK Modulation Mode 127dB RSSI wave range. I/Os – […]

ESP32 Updates – ESP32-S Module Replaces ESP3212, ESP32 DevBoards for Sale, Arduino & NodeMCU Support

There have been some developments with regards to Espressif ESP32 in the last month since my post about upcoming ESP32 development boards. First ESP3212 module is no more, and has been replaced with ESP32-S module with about the same features, but it’s not pin-to-pin compatible, so the new module won’t work with older breakout boards made for ESP3212. ESP32-S is now out of stock on Seeed Studio, but you’ll find it on IC Station, Banggood, and others shops. One good news is that it’s now easier to buy – or at least pre-order – ESP32 development boards, although stock may still be an issue, as the platform is very popular. If you live in the US, you can now backorder “Sparkfun ESP32 Thing” for $19.95. ESP32 board can be powered by either a micro USB power supply or a LiPo battery, and exposes close to 30 I/O pins. ESP32 developer […]

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