Giveaway Week – NanoPi R5S router

NanoPi R5S review

It’s that time of year… CNX Software giveaway week! For the 9th edition, we’ll have seven items to give away, five that I will send myself, and two that will be sent directly from two companies that accepted to add their own products to the giveaway. We’ll start the giveaway with NanoPi R5S router based on Rockchip RK3568 SoC with 2 GB DDR4 RAM, 8GB eMMC flash plus an M.2 socket for NVMe SSD, two 2.5GbE Ethernet ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as HDMI 2.0 video output and two USB 3.0 ports.   I reviewed the NanoPi R5S router with OpenWrt and Ubuntu 20.04 “FriendlyCore”, but I had to call this a “preview” since 2.5GbE was far from optimal, sometimes only a little faster than with a Gigabit Ethernet link. But I can see the company has released new images, including one based on the latest OpenWrt 22.03, […]

RISC-V design challenge – Get a free board, RISC-V chips, and cash prizes

A little while ago, I wrote about WCH CH32V307 32-bit RISC-V MCU that was found in a board with eight UART ports that could be controlled over Ethernet or USB, and the company has released some source code to use the board while inviting the community to submit pull requests to the project. But now WCH, RT-Thread, LCSC, and EasyEDA have joined hands to launch the RISC-V design challenge where the companies will provide a free board or two RISC-V chips to selected participants, as well as cash prizes with up to $1000 offered to the best projects. The companies have prepared 300 boards and 200 chips for this contest. All you need to do to get a chance to get either one CH32V307V-EVT-R1 development board or two CH32V307 RISC-V microcontrollers is to enter your contact and project details in this Google form by April 30, 2022. The conditions are […]

Giveaway Week 2021 winners announced!

Giveaway Week 2021 winners

Giveaway Week 2021 is now over, and I’m ready to announce the winners. This year, CNX Software was joined by Rakwireless and Shenzhen Xunlong Software, as I did not have enough hardware to send out. I also had planned to give away Crowbits Master Kit, but when I realized the ESP32 module had a battery, I would have had to ask $100 just for shipping, plus having the risk of messing things up, since I’ve never sent devices with batteries with the new regulations. Nevertheless, the void was filled thanks to the generosity of Rakwireless who offered a solar-powered LoRa GPS tracker, and Shenzhen Xunlong Software who proposed an Orange Pi R1 SBC with a plastic enclosure. Let’s go through the list of winners located in four continents with Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania represented: NanoPi R2S gateway – Jason, CANADA WisBlock Kit 2 LoRa-based GPS Tracker with Solar […]

Giveaway Week – Foscam SPC IP Camera

Foscam SPC review

The last prize for Giveaway Week 2021 was going to be Crowbits Master Kit ESP32 based educational kit. That’s until I realized there’s a battery inside the ESP32 module, and only more expensive shipping options like DHL or FedEx would be available. So I looked into my treasure box and found the Foscam SPC camera. It’s a 4K security camera with built-in human detection as well as a spotlight, hence the SPC naming, to be able to record color nighttime videos. As you might expect, there’s no battery inside, and that means you’d need a PoE injector, or rely on the included power adapter for power. I reviewed Foscam SPC with the Android app and ONVIF, and it worked pretty well. The spotlight does its job recording clear, colorful videos at night. The package still includes all accessories and quick setup guide as shown below. To enter the draw, simply […]

Giveaway Week – Arduino Sensor Kit Base

Arduino Sensor Kit Base

Day 6 of giveaway week 2021 will be for the Arduino Sensor Kit Base, a large board with six Arduino modules with Grove connector plus an Arduino shield with Grove connector. You could use it directly on top of an Arduino UNO or compatible to have a massive shield with multiple modules connected with Grove cable, or you could break it out into smaller modules as you see fit. The kit ships in a protective carrying plastic case with six Grove cables to connect the six Arduino modules to the Grove shield in the middle of the board. I told Seeed Studio I would not have time to review it, but they still sent it to me last December. So I’m here with a kit that I’m probably never going to use so better just give it away. You can enter the draw by simply leaving a comment with your […]

Giveaway Week – Bluetrum AB32VG1 RISC-V board

Bluetrum AB32VG1 RISC-V audio board

The next prize for our once-in-a-year giveaway week is Bluetrum AB32VG1 RISC-V development board based on Bluetrum AB5301A MCU. The board is designed for Bluetooth audio applications as well as general-purpose applications and comes with Arduino headers for expansion. A USB Type-C cable is also included for power and programming. I tested the RISC-V board with RT-Thread open-source operating systems, and let’s say it was quite challenging because development tools need to be improved, but RT-Thread developers are committed to providing a better experience to developers. What’s important is that in the end, after some efforts, I managed to blink an LED and play some music through a pair of speakers connected to the 3.5mm audio jack, and the USB port for power. At the time of review, there was no Bluetooth sample, and a quick look at the documentation shows it may not be available just yet. If you’d […]

Giveaway Week – Orange Pi R1S Kit

Orange Pi R1 Plus Black ABS Case

Day 4 of giveaway week will be another product sent directly from the manufacturer, as Shenzhen Xunlong Software agreed to send an Orange Pi R1 Plus kit for free to a randomly selected winner. Just like the FriendlyELEC’s NanoPi R2S we’ve offered earlier this week, Orange Pi R1 Plus comes with a Rockchip RK3328 processor and dual Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 1GB RAM.  The kit also includes a plastic enclosure. While I did not have the opportunity to test the board myself, James Dawson did, and found both Ethernet ports to achieve close to Gigabit Ethernet speed, with the processor delivering decent performance.  Software-size, Shenzhen Xunlong Software provides Ubuntu, Debian, OpenWrt, and even Android images on the resources page, but some people also managed to run the Armbian image for NanoPi R2S or RockPi E boards. To enter the draw simply leave a comment with your country and whatever […]

Giveaway Week – Maker Pi Pico board

Maker Pi Pico First Boot

If you have not played with Raspberry Pi Pico board, here’s an opportunity, as the third prize of our giveaway week is the Maker Pi Pico board fitted with the Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU board, and providing easy access to I/Os with headers and Grove connector, plus a buzzer, an audio jack, and a MicroSD card socket for people needing storage. I reviewed the Maker Pi Pico board with CircuitPython, and it was more convenient than the bare Raspberry Pi Pico thanks to the reset button and an LED is assigned for each I/O. You could also add an ESP-01 module for WiFi connectivity since there’s an 8-pin header for that purpose. The CNXSoft signature on the back of the board clearly brings infinite value to the board. It’s just like an NFT, except it’s real ;). If you don’t think so, you could always use some alcohol to wipe […]

UP maker boards