A neat way to add a reset button to Raspberry Pi Pico

Raspberry Pi Pico Reset Button Soldered

The Raspberry Pi Pico is a nice little board, but if you program in C language, you’d need to disconnect the micro USB cable each time you’d like to flash the UF2 firmware. That’s not convenient and could damage your board over time.  The Raspberry Pi Foundation even decided to write a blog post explaining how to add a reset button to your Raspberry Pi Pico using a breadboard circuit. Here’s what it looks. That works but you may want to use that breadboard for another circuit, so the reset button takes space. Another solution is to program with a Raspberry Pi board and use SWD mode to upload code using the debug port, instead of using mass storage (BOOTSEL) mode. I’ve also found out that most baseboards for the Pico board will include a reset button. But this morning, I’ve come across another solution that looks pretty neat. The image above is courtesy of a tweet from Timon who […]

iPod Classic given new life with Raspberry Pi Zero W & Spotify

iPod Raspberry Pi W Spotify

Guy Dupont got a bunch of 2004, fourth-generation iPod Classic MP3 players from his mother-in-law, and instead of playing MP3 files on the media players, he decided to repurpose one with a Raspberry Pi Zero W to be able to stream music from Spotify over WiFi. The resulting project is called sPot (ess-pot), and looks just like an original iPod, but it’s a Linux device that can stream/search via Spotify with a UI written in Python and based on the original iPod experience. But apart from the enclosure, and the original “click wheel” there’s not much left from the original design. Besides the Raspberry Pi Zero W SBC and iPod enclosure, the sPod includesAdafruit Mini LiPoly/LiIon USB Charger and PowerBoost 1000 Basic boards for charging and power management,  a 1,000mah,3.7V rechargeable li-ion battery, vibration motor discs For haptic feedback, a 2-inch Adafruit TFT display, and a few other components, wires, and cables which you can find the project’s page on […]

FOSDEM 2021 Online February 6-7 – Hardware, Embedded & IoT talks

FOSDEM 2021 Online

FOSDEM is an open-source developer event that takes place on the first week-end of February every year in Brussels, Belgium. Every year except this year, as due to COVID-19 restrictions, FOSDEM 2021 will take place online like most events these days. The schedule has been up for some time, and today I’ll look at some of the interesting talks mostly from the Embedded, Mobile and Automotive “virtual devroom” but also other tracks. Saturday, February 6, 2021 13:00 – 14:00 – From Reset Vector to Kernel – Navigating the ARM Matryoshka Long gone are the times of executing the OS in-place from memory-mapped flash upon reset. A modern SoC now comes with complex mask ROM firmware, with driver, filesystem, protocol and crypto support for loading… yet another bootloader. In his talk, Ahmad follows this chain of bootloaders until the kernel is started, stopping along the way for RAM setup, peripherial initialization, runtime services and other interesting sights. Getting acquainted with the […]

Mini replica of DEC PDP-11 computer runs 2.11 BSD UNIX on ESP32 SoC

ESP32 PDP-11 mini replica

The relatively popular Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-11 16-bit minicomputers started selling in the 70s, and were still available in the earlier 90s. While being stuck in Europe due to COVID-19 restrictions, Jeroen Domburg (aka Sprite_tm) decided to design a tiny replica of a DEC VT102 PDP-11 terminal based on ESP32 wireless SoC and running 2.11 BSD UNIX through SimH PDP11 emulator. Jeroen had to do significant work to make SimH works on ESP32 however, with notably the need to optimize the memory footprint: Obviously, ‘just port SIMH to an ESP32’ is a bit of a understatement for the effort that was needed. Even while SIMH is a pretty nice program when it comes to not using any unique APIs, it still is a system developed for a full-blown workstation and assumes RAM is cheap and plentiful. In order to get it running on an ESP32 and still have some memory left we can use as RAM for the emulated […]

Ender 3 Pro 3D printer in late 2020 – Build and first prints

Ender 3 Pro review 2020

Karl here. How does the Ender 3 Pro 3D printer stand up in late 2020? The short answer is pretty well. With just a few minor gripes it is a solid printer. According to All3dp the Ender 3 Pro came out in September 2018. Over 2 years ago. It is the successor to the most popular 3D printer: the Ender 3. I usually don’t do any research so I won’t be influenced by other reviewers but I did in this case so I could see what the differences are between the Ender 3 and Pro versions. It has been upgraded to a Meanwell power supply. Better mainboard layout. Wider extrusion for the bed to ride on, which should make the bed more stable. If you have done any research on 3D printers I would say it is impossible not to have heard about the Ender 3. With its low price, print quality, and community support I can see why it […]

Tigard is an open-source FT2232H board for hardware hacking (Crowdfunding)

Tigard FT2232H board hardware hacking

There is plenty of cheap 5V or 3.3V USB to TTL debug boards used to access the serial console and/or program boards, but FTDI FT2232H based Tigard open-source hardware board does much more than that as it supports multiple protocols, multiple voltages for hardware hacking & debugging. The developer explains Tigard can be used as a drop-in replacement for dozens of other hardware tools based on FTDI chips and includes native support OpenOCD, FlashROM, and more. Tigard board specifications: Main chip – FTDI FT2232HQ dual high-speed USB to multi-purpose UART/FIFO IC Primary port dedicated to UART including access to all flow control signals Secondary port shared among dedicated headers for SWD, JTAG, SPI, and I²C USB – USB 2.0 Type-C (480 Mbps) port I/Os 9-pin UART header Qwiic I2C connector 8-pin SPI & I2C header 8-pin JTAG header 10-pin Cortex debug header 14-pin logic analyzer (LA) header to observe device-level signals Directional level-shifters for 1.8 to 5.5 V operation Misc […]

NODE Mini Server V3 Transforms Raspberry Pi 4 Into a Server or Mini PC

NODE Mini Server V3 Enclosure

Hardware hacker NODE has had a busy month starting with the announcement of Zero Terminal V3 modular Raspberry Pi Zero W powered handheld PC, and now he’s just showcased NODE Mini Server V3 that transforms a Raspberry Pi 4 into a compact server or mini PC. The project brings all ports to the same side in a similar fashion as Argon One enclosure through the use of custom adapter boards, but also enable easy integration of USB SSD drives, easier access to the MicroSD card socket, and support for fanless or dual-fan cooling. Besides the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, NODE Mini Server V3 includes the following components: HDMI Micro HDMI Male Component. “Wedge Type” as this HDMI connector on Aliexpress. HDMI Type A Connector (47151-1001) USB Pololu USB 2.0 Type-C Connector Breakout USB-C Male Plug Breakout Board Male USB 3.0 Plug (692112030100) Female USB 3.0 Connector (48405-0003) Storage USB3 to mSATA SSD Adapter (Smooth Underside) Male USB 3.0 Plug (692112030100) […]

CANTact Pro Open-source USB to CAN Device Enables Car Hacking (Crowdfunding)

CANTact Pro USB-to-CAN Device

The Controller Area Network (CAN) serial communication bus allows microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other without a host computer. It’s especially used in automotive applications where various components (dashboard, ABS, air conditioner, and other sensors) may need to communicate with each other, but it has also found its way into robots, industrial control systems, and avionics. CANTact Pro is an open-source USB to CAN device that can help you debugging or hack components inside a car or other vehicle. The tool features two CAN Interfaces and can be controlled from Windows, Linux, or Mac OS computers. CANTact Pro key features and specifications: CAN Interfaces – 1x CAN/CAN-FD/SWCAN (Single Wire CAN), 1x CAN/CAN-FD; Both via DB9 connectors Host Interface – USB 2.0 device port Misc – 4x LEDs Safety – Isolation between CAN and USB Power Supply – 5V via USB port CANTact Pro works with Windows, macOS, and Linux with USB drivers, command-line interface, and Python, C/C++, and […]