BotFactory’s Squink Prints and Assembles Electronic Circuits in Minutes (Crowdfunding)

When you design a circuit board, you first draw the schematics, then the PCB layout, and when you are happy with the result, output Gerber files, and send them to a company who will make a board for you. The last step usually takes a few days, and when you get it back the board may not work as expected, and you have to modify the PCB layout again, and request new boards, further delaying your project. Some students of NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering realized this issue, when only one out of eight teams managed to complete a EEG project on time mainly due to production delays as manufacturers took about 10 days to make and ship back the board. So some of them came together with one of their professor created BotFactory company and came up with Squink, a personal electronic factory, powered by the BeagleBone Black, that […]

$120 Raspberry Pi Bundle with LCD Display, Expansion Boards, Cables, and Accessories

Yesterday, Element14 has announced Wolfson Audio Card for the Raspberry Pi which adds multiple audio inputs and outputs to the low cost ARM Linux board, as it has been widely reported in the blogosphere.  I’ve just mentioned it in case you missed it, as instead I’m going to write about a bundle with the Raspberry Pi Model B, lots of expansion boards, cables, and accessories  such as a power supply, or a remote control that can be purchased for $120. It may not be useful if you only have a specific project in mind, but if you want to play around and interface with lots of different hardware, or even offer electronics lessons, it could be interesting. The complete kit includes: Raspberry Pi Model B with 512 MB RAM. Acrylic Case for RPi  (not shown above) Expansions boards and modules: DVK511 Expansion Board with headers, jumpers, LEDs, and potentiometer 2.2″ […]

Intel Bay Trail Z3700 Series Overview, Benchmarks, Hardware, Documentation and Linux Support

After seeing the discussion about ARM vs x86 (Bay trail) for the future Dragon Pyra open source game console, I’ve realized many people, including myself, do not know about the different resources available to develop hardware and software for Intel Bay Trail SoCs for tablets such as Atom Z3740 and Z3770, so I decided to have a look. Intel Atom Bay Trail Z3700 Series Overview Intel Z3600 series and Z3700 series are respectively dual core and quad core Bay Trail-T SoCs for Android and Windows 8 tablets. There are 4 quad core models: Z3740, Z3740D, Z3770, and Z3770D, and 2 dual core processors: Z3680 and Z3680D. The dual core versions are reserved for Android only, and there’s no product page on Intel for now, so I’ll focus this post on Z3700 series only. I have no idea what the “D” in Z3740D is for, except it;’s not related to Desktop, […]

Fritzing Open Source Software Designs PCB Layouts from Breadboard Drawings

Earlier this year, I’ve tried Gumstix Geppetto, a web-based application that let you easily design and order boards. You can just add some building blocks in Chrome browser, connect them, and you’re ready to order a PCB. However, the setup fee of $1999 reserves it to businesses. Don’t worry If you’re just a hobbyist as Fritzing, an open source software supporting Windows, MacOS and Linux, allows you to draw breadboard connections, and automatically route the schematics, and the PCB layout. You can then export the gerber files, or order directly from Fritzing Lab. The software is not exactly new, but it’s the first time I’ve come across it. I’m using Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit, so let’s download, install and run the corresponding version:

I’ve decided to connect an LED on the breadboard, and control it with an Arduino Leonardo board to try the software. Alternatively, you could also play around […]

Freescale i.MX 6 TV Dongle Schematics, PCB Layout, and Application Notes

We already had the source code for Freescale i.MX6 HDMI TV dongle, and some work has been done on the Linux front by imx6-dongle community to make Ubuntu work on Hi802 and GK802 mini PCs. Today, I’ve just found out Freescale has also released the hardware files and some application notes for their HDMI TV dongle reference platform (MX6x_HDMI_DONGLE). There are 2 files for download: hdmi_dongle_hardware_design_package.rar.zip – Hardware files for i.MX 6 mini PC app_note.rar.zip – Zip file with some hardware application notes Let’s have a look at the hardware design files: wifi_rtl8192ce.zip – Schematics in PDF and DSN (OrCAD) format, gerber files, BoM and manufacturing files for the Wi-Fi module. bom_hdmi_dongle_revb2_20130116_1500.xls – Bill of materials for i.MX 6 HDMI dongle pcb_hdmi_dongle-revb2-20130116_1700.rar – PCB layout (.brd) and gerber files sch_hdmi_dongle_revb2_20130116_1500.rar – Schematics for i.MX6 mini PC in PDF and DSN formats. We also have three application notes: AN4397  Common Hardware […]