Openterface Mini-KVM is an affordable KVM-over-USB device (Crowdfunding)

Openinterface Mini-KVM

Openterface Mini-KVM compact, open-source hardware KVM-over-USB device with HDMI and audio inputs which connects over a USB-C port to the host computer. We’ve seen quite a few low-cost KVM-over-IP solutions based on single board computers over the years, but the Openterface Mini-KVM is quite different (and cheaper) as a plug-and-play and network-independent KVM-over-USB device that establishes a direct HDMI and USB connection between the host computer and the target device. It supports many of the same features as KVM-over-IP solutions except for some features such as ATX support found in the PiKVM v4 Plus or the Pi-Cast KVM with an expansion board that allows the target device to be turned off and from the host device. Mini-KVM (model LIG03D01) specifications: Control method – KVM-over-USB Video capture – Up to 1920×1080 @ 30 Hz with under 140ms latency through HDMI or VGA (the latter requires an add-on VGA-to-HDMI cable) Audio capture […]

Sonocotta’s ESParagus “Media Center” is a series of ESP32-based, open-source audio streamers (Crowdfunding)

Louder ESParagus

ESParagus Media Center is a line of audio streamers from Sonocotta, all powered by an ESP32 microcontroller module. It includes the ESParagus HiFi MediaLink, Loud ESParagus, and the Louder ESParagus. The ESP32-based audio centers can be used to power old stereo speaker systems that lack streaming capabilities. They are completely open-source, consume little power when not in use, and boot up in seconds. The ESParagus Media Center products are based on the ESP32-WROVER microcontroller module with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and an onboard PSRAM chip. They are fitted with an external Wi-Fi antenna and the top-end model – the Louder ESParagus – is fitted with a W5500 LAN chip for Ethernet networking. All three ESParagus Media Centers run squeezelite-esp32 firmware which supports Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay, and Logitech Media Server. Integrations with Home Assistant are possible and can be useful for multi-room configurations. The Louder ESParagus is quite similar to […]

ESP32-C6-Bug WiFi 6, Bluetooth LE, and 802.15.4 board takes a PoE Ethernet shield (Crowdfunding)

ESP32-C6 PoE board

We’ve already covered a range of ESP32-C6 boards, but none supporting Ethernet and PoE so far, and the ESP32-C6-Bug board brings that to the table thanks to the Esp32-Bug-Eth shield with a W5500 Ethernet chip, an RJ45 jack and a PoE power module. Like other ESP32-C6 devices, the little board supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth LE 5, as well as Thread and Zigbee through its 802.15.4 radio, but it also integrates some other interesting features such as castellated holes for easy soldering on a carrier board and support for LiPo batteries with built-in battery charging and protection circuits. ESP32-C6-Bug board specifications: SoC – ESP32-C6FH4 MCU cores 32-bit RISC-V core @ 160 MHz 32-bit RISC-V core @ 20 MHz low-power coprocessor can run tasks even when the main system is in deep sleep state Memory – 512 KB SRAM Storage – 4 MB Flash Wireless – WiFi 6, Bluetooth LE 5, and […]

NRFICE is a Bluetooth FPGA board in the Arduino UNO form factor (Crowdfunding)

nrfice fpga board

The NRFICE FPGA is a Bluetooth FPGA board designed for edge computing and IoT applications. It is built upon a combination of the dual-core nRF5340 Bluetooth SoC and the Lattice ICE40UP5K FPGA. The ICE40 UltraPlus is a low-power, high-performance FPGA for edge computing and artificial intelligence projects and the nRF5340 is a Bluetooth 5.3 SoC that supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Bluetooth Mesh, Thread, NFC, and Zigbee. Through the Nordic nRF5340, NRFICE can load a project directly into the iCE40 FPGA, bypassing the usual extensive toolchain setup. This enables a new class of FPGA development, where bitstreams can be hosted in the cloud, selected by a user on their phone, and loaded wirelessly to the board. It features a built-in J-Link OB for easy debugging and programming without the need for emulator dongles and is similar to the previously covered Segger emPower evaluation board in this regard. This board supports […]

Ovrdrive USB is an open-source, privacy-oriented USB flash drive that can self-destruct (Crowdfunding)

Ovrdrive USB flash

We have previously covered the Tillitis Tkey, an open-source security key in a USB-C case but the Ovrdrive USB stick is not a security key. It is a simple, plain USB flash drive with a special security feature. It will appear completely blank unless you plug this drive in three times in quick succession. The Ovrdrive flash drive is aimed at journalists in repressive areas and security researchers but may be useful to other security and open-source hardware enthusiasts. As for how it works, the Ovrdrive has two identical circuits connected to the ATtiny24A microcontroller that controls the rapid plug-in functionality. When the flash is plugged in, the microcontroller powers on, and the CHG1 node goes high, charging C3 through D2. The pin will remain high for a while and then slowly discharge via R1 and body resistance. C3 and the identical C14 will remain high through power cycling/a quick […]

Tangara is a portable, open-source music player based on an ESP32 MCU (Crowdfunding)

tangara music player outside

Tangara is a portable music player that is out to make MP3 players cool again. With an iPod-inspired design and an ESP32 module at its core, Tangara presents an open-source and nostalgic way to listen to your favorite music and podcasts. The ESP32-WROVER-E at the core of the music player is the main microcontroller but it also features a co-processor, a Microchip SAMD21, which is responsible for USB communication and power management. We have covered the ESP32-WROVER-KIT, a development kit for the ESP32-WROVER and ESP-WROOM-32 line of modules with a JTAG interface and an LCD. The Tangara music player can output audio through a 3.5mm headphone jack or Bluetooth, although Bluetooth is currently limited to the default SBC codec. Tangara is the brainchild of Australian tech company Cool Tech Zone and is aimed at the portable media player community at large. This is reflected in many of the design choices […]

Wiser wireless-to-serial kit eases the debugging and programming of embedded devices (Crowdfunding)

WiSer wireless to serial kit

WiSer is a wireless-to-serial communication kit comprised of a USB dongle (WiSer-USB) and a USB TTL debug board (WiSer-TTL) – both built around an ESP32-S2 microcontroller – that allows users to establish a P2P wireless connection between a host computer and a development board or sensor. It works like a typical USB to TTL debug board except it operates over WiFi, and it’s especially useful to debug code, update firmware, log data, or transfer files without a USB cable or even a Wi-Fi router since the connection to peer-to-peer.  It looks especially useful when the host and DUT are too far apart, and my review samples are often on another table around 1.5m from the nearest USB port of my laptop, so I could see some use for it myself… WiSer specifications: Wireless SoC – ESP32-S2 Wi-Fi (and Bluetooth) microcontroller USB – 1x USB Type-C port providing a virtual serial […]

The Boondock Echo is an internet-connected ham radio powered by the ESP32-A1S devkit (Crowdfunding)

Boondock Echo front

The Boondock Echo is an open-source, internet-backed recording and playback device for two-way devices. It can denoise, transcribe, translate, and send emails on hearing keywords/call signs. It is a low-cost solution for timeshift radio communication that enables users to monitor frequencies and record audio from a connected radio. Captured messages are uploaded to a server and transcribed using OpenAI. On the cloud server, the audio messages also pass through some DSP (digital speech processing) algorithms for noise reduction and volume normalization to enhance their clarity and usability. The Boondock Echo is aimed at amateur radio operators and first responders in remote areas and during emergencies, situations where traditional two-way radios tend to be unclear and unreliable. Multiple devices can be linked together to form a ‘dockpack’ and monitor/record multiple frequencies at once. Boondock Echo specifications: Mainboard – ESP32-A1S (ESP32 Audio Kit) running at up to 240MHz Expansion Board – Boondock […]