UNI-T UT353 is a $15 Lightweight Sound Level Meter

Since some of the products I review come with a fan, I checked some sound level meters a couple of years ago, but since they were a little too expensive for my limited use, I skipped for the time being. However, while browsing some promotions or new arrivals on DealExtreme, I’ve come across UNI-T UT355 “Noise Detector Decibel Noise Tester” which sells for $15.56 including shipping. UNI-T UT353 mini sound meter specifications: Noise Levels & Accuracy – 30 to 130 dB with 0.1 dB resolution, +/- 1.5 dB accuracy Sample rate – Fast: 125ms; Slow: 1 second Measurement features – MAX/MIN, Data hold, overload indication (OL) Display – 1.64″ LCD display with backlight Buttons – Power, FAST/SLOW selection, MAX/MIN/normal selection, HOLD/BL for data hold (short press) or turning on/off the backlight (long press) Power Supply – 3x AAA batteries; 5 minutes auto power off Power Consumption – Active: < 40 […]

Allo Sparky Audio Kit Combines an ARM Linux Board with Amplifier, Audio DAC, Reclocker and Capacitance Multiplier Boards

Last year I wrote about Allo Sparky SBC Linux and Android development powered by Actions Semi S500 quad core Cortex A9 processor, which mostly differentiates itself from the competition by the many add-on boards for audio, VoIP, and IoT (WiFi+Bluetooth+Zigbee ). While most of development boards are manufactured in China, Allo company is based in India, and all boards are manufactured there, which could be a benefit to Indian readers who want to avoid potential custom issues with other boards. The company has shipped me their complete audio development kit, and I’ll first check out the hardware, before taking time to experiment with the kit in a few weeks or months… I could find 6 different boards in the kit, which I detailed below, as well as a 5V/3A power supply with AU and EU adapter,  a micro USB adapter, a micro SD card apparently pre-loaded with Ubuntu 12.04, a […]

ReSpeaker WiFi IoT Board is Designed for Voice Interaction (Crowdfunding)

More and more devices are supporting voice interaction nowadays from your smartphone to devices like Amazon Echo, but so far, I had not seen development boards specifically designed for that purpose, and that’s exactly what Seeed Studio ReSpeaker board does by combining audio capabilities, WiFi connectivity, and I/O headers. ReSpeaker Core board specifications: WiFi Module – Acsip AI7688 Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n module based on Mediatek MT7688 MIPS SoC Storage – micro SD card slot USB – 1x micro USB port for programming and power Audio – 3.5mm AUX port, WM8960 audio codec, 2-pin header for external speakers Expansion – 2x 8-pin expansion headers for I2C, GPIO and USB 2.0 host connected to MT7688, built-in microphone. MCU – Atmel ATMega32U4 @ 16 MHz Misc – 12x RGB LEDs, 8x touch sensors, 3 push buttons Power Supply – 5V DC Dimensions – 70mm diameter Weight – 70 grams The board runs OpenWrt, […]

Music802 Linux Audio & IoT Board is Powered by Atheros AR9331 SoC (Crowdfunding)

When Link Card evaluated processors for a Linux audio IoT board, they considered candidates like Allwinner H3 and Ralink RT5350, but eventually went with Atheros AR9331 due to cost, simplicity, features, and power consumption reasons for their Music802 board based on LC930 system-on-module. Music802 board specifications: SoC – Atheros AR9331 MIPS 24K WiSoC @ 400 MHz System Memory – 64MB DDR2 Storage – 16MB SPI Flash Audio – Cirrus Logic WM8960 Codec; 2x 3.5 mm jacks for Line IN and headphone; optical S/PDIF output; on-board microphone Connectivity – 2x 10/100M Ethernet ports (WAN & LAN), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with 1x IPEX antenna connector USB – 1x USB 2.0 host, 1x micro USB port for power only Debugging –  3-pin 2.54mm pitch header for serial console Expansion – 16-pin 2.0mm pitch header for GPIO, UART, I2C, etc.. Misc – Power, system, and 2x user LEDs, 1x reset button, 1x power switch […]

Updating Star Cloud PCG02U to Ubuntu 16.04 with WiFi and HDMI Audio Support

I completed my review of PCG02U Ubuntu TV stick a few days ago, and I was quite satisfied with the device, but since Ubuntu 16.04 was released last month, I thought it might be fun to upgrade to the latest version of Ubuntu. I’m go through the complete steps including building a new kernel for HDMI audio, and the drivers for WiFi, but you should be able to install Ubuntu 16.04 for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail processor with the image made by Linuxium and a USB stick. Star Cloud PCG02U OS Support and Warranty Before I go through the instructions, you may want to read the conditions on MeLE’s Aliexpress PCG02U page. They meant Ubuntu 14.04 instead of 14.0.4, but the important part is that if something goes wrong trying alternative OS, you may lose your warranty. Upgrade Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04 Upgrading from one LTS version to […]

Wintech SCT-R225 Plays and Converts Cassette Tapes and FM/AM Radio to MP3 on micro SD and USB Drives

Just last week, I wrote about a standalone vinyl to MP3 recorder, but another Japanese company has now launched a cassette tape and FM/AM radio player that can also record to MP3 on micro SD cards or USB flash drives. Wintech SCT-R225 specifications: FM/AM radio tuner with retractable antenna Cassette tape player Audio – Speaker and microphone, headphone jack Digital storage – 1x USB host for USB flash drives, 1x micro SD slot Misc – Control buttons Power supply – 100V AC to 6V DC power adapter or 4x AA batteries Dimensions – 188 x 36 x 98 mm Weight – ~ 406g without batteries One downside is that if you want to record FM radio to MP3, it would have to be recorded on a tape first, then from the tape to MP3. The tape to MP3 conversion also handles silence detection in order to record each song on […]

Phonoclipper PT-300 Plays Vinyl Discs, Records them to MP3 on USB Drives or SD Cards

If you are old wise enough to have a vinyl record collection, a Japanese company called Bearmax (or Kumazaki-aim in Japanese), has designed Phonoclipper PT-300 vinyl disc player and recorder that may make you want to listen your old songs again, or digitize them to MP3. PT-300 is powered by four AA batteries or 5V via USB, consumes about 3 watts, and output audio to a single 3W speaker, but you can also connect better speakers via two RCA audio connector. The top of the device features a small display, and control buttons. The vinyl drive system plays discs at 33 rpm or 45 rpm, and uses a sapphire needle. You can convert your vinyl records to MP3 files @ 128 Kbps on the SD cards (up to 8GB) or USB driver using the port on the side. The device measures 290 x 115 x 95 mm, and weights 950 […]

HDMI Audio in Linux is Now Working on Cherry Trail mini PCs, OpenELEC 7.0 Image Released

Since Intel has decided not to officially support Bay Trail and Cherry Trail processors in Linux, and focus on other priorities, people who have tried to use HDMI audio in Linux with mini PCs or TV sticks based on the processors have always had issues. There’s a workaround for Bay Trail mini PCs with Linux 3.16 kernel, but so far I’ve never seen a Cherry Trail system working with HDMI audio in Linux. Luckily, Pierre-Louis Bossart has been working on support, and Piotr kasprzak has tried HDMI audio support with OpenELEC 7.0 and a patched Linux Kernel 4.5.1, and confirmed it to be working on Tronsmart Ara X5 Plus and Wintel 10 Pro mini PC powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor. This can also be verified in the kernel log with dmesg:

If you want to try it yourself, you can download the OpenELEC image with the modifications. If […]

UP 7000 x86 SBC