ELLO LC1 – A 2mm thin DIY “computer” based on Microchip PIC18 8-bit MCU

ELLO LC1 2mm thin DIY computer

We often write about business card or credit card-sized boards, but it’s only true for 2D dimensions, as most boards are over a centimeter thick, with possibly the thinnest we’ve covered being the Khadas Edge2 SBC that’s just 7mm thick. So Kn/vD took it upon himself to build a DIY computer that was really about the size of a credit card, and came up with the ELLO LC1 based on a Microchip PIC18 8-bit microcontroller, featuring an integrated display and keyboard, and powered by a coin-cell battery. It’s just 2mm thin. ELLO LC1 specifications: MCU – Microchip PIC18 (PIC18F47Q83-I/PT) 8-bit microcontroller with 13KB RAM and 128KB flash, out of which 64KB are reserved as user file storage Display – 20×4 character text panel (Display Visions EADOGM204N) Keyboard – 48x touch panels on the PCB Expansion – 12-pin unpopulated header for debugging (ICSP) and GPIO expansion Misc – Power button Power […]

$60 Raspberry Pi Mini Tower NAS kit takes one M.2 SATA SSD

Raspberry Pi Mini Tower NAS kit

Last year, Michael Klements made a nice-looking DIY Raspberry Pi 4 mini server with an OLED information display and a 52Pi UPS Plus module with 18650 batteries. It also included the company’s Ice Tower module for cooling, but if you wanted one you had to make your own with a 3D printer and a laser cutter. 52Pi appears to have noticed and liked the design, as they created something similar with the Raspberry Pi Mini Tower NAS kit taking one M.2 SATA SSD instead of using the UPS module. There are also a few tweaks to the mechanical design with the OLED display at an angle for easier reading. 52Pi Raspberry Pi Mini Tower NAS kit features and content: Designed for Raspberry Pi 4 SBC (not included) 3D printed case plus acrylic covers for each side 52Pi Ice Tower for cooling 2x 0.96-inch 128×64 I2C OLED displays (but only one […]

Making a DIY 10.1-inch All-in-One PC out of AMR5 Ryzen 5 gaming mini PC

Ryzen 5 mini PC all in one computer

Hey Karl here. The first thing I need to do is thank the manufacturer of the brand Ace Magician for sending over a unit of their AMR5 gaming mini PC to more or less play with. I did a tiny bit of benchmarking along the way. This is the last time you will see the system in this state 😀 Story time. I have been really wanting a Steam Deck. But we purchased a Nintendo Switch about a year ago and it has barely been used. As soon as my son picked it up he asked why it was so laggy and has shown very little interest in it. So that got me worried about purchasing essentially a one-trick device. There have been a couple of good attempts at a DIY Steam Deck and I wanted to experiment with a small form factor. I went into this with a general […]

Ortur LU2-10A 10W laser module issues and measuring laser power

Ortur LU2 10A laser module review

Karl here and I will keep this short for you. First I will share my experience installing an upgrade module for the Lasermaster 2 Pro, the Ortur LU2-10A. The LM2Pro came with a 5.5w laser module and this upgrade brings the power up to approximately 10w optical power. Spoiler, I am not happy with the kit. [Update (CNXSoft): The company has put us in direct contact with Ortur engineer, and they’ve promised to help us fix the issue. We’ll update the post if/once it is resolved] The Ortur LU2-10A kit comes with a very simple adapter board that appears to do two tasks. 1 is to adapt wiring, and 2, inject additional power for the higher power laser module. It looks like the board will adapt to a lot of different connection types. I followed the instructions and the first time I plugged everything in the laser came on full […]

Up2Stream HD DAC wireless audio streaming board supports Airplay 2, aptX HD (Sponsored)

Up2Stream HD DAC

Arylic has offered Up2Stream audio receiver modules for DIY wireless speakers since 2018, and their latest module, the Up2Stream HD DAC board supports modern audio features such as Qualcomm aptX HD and Apple Airplay 2. Equipped with a high-performance ESS 9038Q2M audio codec, the wireless audio streaming board delivers 1:1 high-fidelity lossless 192khz/24bits audio output, offers dual-band WiFi, a range of audio input & output ports, and supports services such as Spotify Connect & Tidal Connect making Arylic’s 4Stream app optional. Up2Stream HD DAC board specifications: Analog Audio DAC – ESS 9038Q2M Stereo RCA  output AUX input header Digital Audio Optical S/PDIF output, coaxial S/PDIF output, 1:1 up to 24bit / 192kHz Digital input header AUX input header Audio formats – FLAC, MP3, AAC/AAC+, ALAC, APE, WAV Connectivity Ethernet port Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 4 Bluetooth 5.0 with support for aptX HD Streaming Protocols – AirPlay 2, DLNA, UPnP, Spotify […]

Retro-style computer features 5-inch round display, Framework laptop motherboard

Ubuntu 22.04 retro computer round display

After completing a DIY Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W handheld PC earlier this year, Penk Chen has designed another, rather odd but cool-looking, DIY computer. The “Mainboard Terminal” is a retro-style computer with a round display powered by the mainboard found in Framework modular laptop. The computer has been tested to work with Ubuntu 22.04 out of the box with just a few configuration tweaks for the display, but other operating systems should also work considering the mainboard is based on an Intel Core  i5-1135G7, i7-1165G7, or i7-1185G7 Tiger Lake processor. There are four main off-the-shelf electronics components: Framework laptop mainboard ($399 and up) OLKB Preonic Keyboard MX Kit V3 key ($140) 5-inch round LCD with 1080×1080 resolution plus its HDMI adapter board (550 RMB = about $82) So most of the work consisted in designing the enclosure, and Penk released the STL design files on Github under an MIT […]

DIY SBC cases and SBC Case Builder tool based on OpenSCAD

DIY ODROID-H2 SBC case

Since you can’t always rely on single board computer (SBC) vendors to provide a case to match your needs, some went the DIY route. Willy Tarreau designed some laser-cut enclosures with Inkscape for various SBCs, while hominoids went a step further by developing the “SBC Case Builder” tool to automatically generate various types of 3D printable enclosures using OpenSCAD. Willy designed five similar enclosures for Khadas VIM3/VIM3L, FriendlyELEC NanoPi Fire3, SolidRun Clearfog Base networking SBC, Libre Computer AML-S805X-AC (aka “La Frite”), and AAEON UP Board. All cases are available in Inkscape SVG format, and Willy accepts contributions for other boards. You’ll need a laser engraver or CNC router to cut out those enclosures. Hominoids’ SBC Case Builder project attempt to automatize enclosure generation for SBCs using SBC Model Framework written in OpenSCAD. Work has focused on ODROID boards so far, but it should work for other vendors too. The parameters […]

SmartKnob View is a DIY haptic input knob with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity

SmartKnob View

Soon after writing about RoenDi rotary encoder with a built-in color display, readers pointed me to SmartKnob View, a similar-looking project but featuring an ESP32 module for WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, plus software-configurable end-stops and virtual detents. The latter is enabled through a brushless gimbal motor paired with a magnetic encoder to provide closed-loop torque feedback control. Just like RoenDi, SmartKnob View comes with a 240×240 round color display but adds tactile feedback so you can change the menu when pressing the display. SmartKnob View specifications: Wireless module – LilyGO Tmicro32 Plys based on ESP32-PICO-V3-02 WiFi and Bluetooth LE SoC (May be changed to ESP32-S3-MINI-1 to enable USB HID support, once Arduino core supports it) Display – GC9A01 1.28-inch 240×240 round LCD covered by a 39.5mm watch glass on rotor Motor – BLDC gimbal motor, with a hollow shaft for mechanically & electrically connecting the LCD USB – 1x USB […]