Getting Started with Onion Omega2+ LEDE WiFi IoT Board and Expansion Dock

Onion Omega2 LEDE (OpenWrt fork) WiFi board is powered by Mediatek MT7688 MIPS SoC, targets IoT projects, and sells for as low as $5. There are actually two versions: Omega2 with 64MB RAM, 16MB flash, and Omega2+ with 128MB RAM, 32MB flash and a micro SD slot. Onion sent me the latter for review, together with an expansion dock that allows powering up the board though USB , and adds a USB host port, an RGB LED, buttons, and access to GPIO via a female header. In this quick start guide, I’ll start by taking some unboxing pictures, and then report my experience following the documentation to configure the board, blink the RGB LED, and control a LED on a breadboard using a GPIO from the header. Onion Omega2+ Unboxing I received the two boards in their respective package, and which are both stored in anti-static bags. Let’s check Onion […]

Getting Started with NanoPi NEO Development Board – Ubuntu Core Firmware

NanoPi NEO is an exciting ARM Linux board due to the power it packs into its small size, and its low price starting at $7.99. It’s made by FriendlyARM, and since I’ve read some people had never heard about the company before, I’d like to point out it has been providing development boards well before the Raspberry Pi board was launched, with products such mini2440 based on a Samsung ARM9 processor introduced around year 2010. Anyway, I asked the company if they were willing to send 2 samples for review, as I plan to remove the USB & Ethernet port on one of them. Instead I got a 4 boards and accessories, so I’m going to start reviewing the board by writing a quick start guide, showing how to setup it, and check out the Ubuntu core provided by the company. If you are a fan of armbian made Debian […]

DIGIO-128 Board Adds 128 GPIOs to Your Development Board

If you run out of GPIOs on your board, the easy way is to add an I2C GPIO expander, but those are normally limited to 8 or 16-channels, so  Land Boards decided to create a board with 8 IO expanders making it a 128 channel IO expander that works on Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, Arduino, and basically any boards with an I2C hardware or software implementation. DIGIO-128 board specifications: 8x Microchip MCP23017 16-bit I/O expander for up to 128 GPIOs Communication Interface – I2C host interface with 100/400 KHZ operation; 4-pin host interface connector (Ground, Power, Clock, Data) 8x 20-pin 2.54mm pitch connectors with 16 I/Os, 2x VCC, and 2 ground 2x 4-pin interrupt connectors Data Storage – Microchip 24LC024 2K EEPROM with board info. 3.3V or 5V operation Dimensions – 95 x 95 mm You can find out to use the board in the Wiki for code for Raspberry […]

Status of Orange Pi Boards GPIO Support

Yesterday, one person asked me to make a video showing GPIO control on Orange Pi 2 mini on YouTube, and since I have just completed a post about Orange Pi camera, I thought it might be fun to check GPIO support too. This post focuses on Allwinner H3 boards, but the instructions and status should be very similar for Allwinner A20 and A31s versions. One of the first things you want before starting playing with GPIOs is the expansion header’s pinout chart, and I could not find any until I had the idea to check for schematics, which are available on Orange Pi resources page. I downloaded the schematics for Orange Pi 2, which should be the same as for Orange Pi 2 mini as the only difference is the lack of WiFi module. Orange Pi PC is a little different, and the schematics are nowhere to be found, but […]

Add GPIOs to Windows, Linux, Android Computers and Devices with FTDI USB Adapters / Breakout Boards

It’s possible to to add GPIOs to your computer, (openWRT) router, or Android tablet using some FTDI USB dongles that expose I/Os. On operating systems based on Linux, including Android, you can use the GPIO sysfs interface (/sys/class/gpio) to easily control GPIOs from the command line, and in some cases Rx, Tx, CTS, .. pins can also be used as GPIOs. Zoobab has tried it with various FTDI USB adapters, and Oneping OP-1010 breakout board based on PL2303 HDX chip, and the results are mixed, but it could worth a try. There are currently patchsets ([1] and [2]) awaiting acceptance to mainline kernel that will enable GPIO support for these USB devices, but in the meantime you need to patch the kernel yourself, and then enable the relevant options in the kernel config for example “USB_SERIAL_PL2303_GPIO” or “USB_SERIAL_FTDI_SIO_GPIO”. The first patch is for PL2303 chips, and the second for FT2xxx/FT4xxx […]