Texas Instruments Tiva C Series Connected LaunchPad Unboxing and Quick Start Guide

Texas Instruments Tiva C Series TM4C1294 Connected LaunchPad is an evaluation kit for the Internet of things with a Cortex-M4 MCU (Tiva TM4C1294), an Ethernet port, and USB interfaces for power and debugging. At $19.99 including shipping via Fedex, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get devices online. I’ve purchased one via TI e-Store, and already received it. I’ll post some pictures of the kit, go through the Quick Start Guide, and provides links to resources to go further. EK-TM4C1294XL Connected LaunchPad Unboxing I’ve received the kit in the package below with feature a QR Code linking to http://www.ti.com/launchpad, as well basic specifications (refer to my previous post for specs), list of tools (Code composer studio, Tivaware, Keil, IAR…) and package content. In the box we’ve got the board itself, a retractable Ethernet cable, a USB to micro USB cable for power and debugging, and Connect LaunchPad Quick Start […]

Texas Instruments Tiva C Series TM4C1294 Connected Launchpad Sells for $20

There are now many ultra low cost MCU development kit selling for $15 to $25 such as STMicro Discovery Board, but for this price, they’ll usually just feature the MCU, a micro USB, pin header, maybe and maybe some sensors, and they usually lack any form of connectivity, at least without extra hardware. With Tiva C Series TM4C129 Connect Launchpad, Texas Instruments brings a board that can be used for IoT application out of the box thanks to the addition of an Ethernet port. The board sells for just $19.99, which means you could easily make something like a connected 4-relay control system for about $25. Connected LaunchPad evaluation kit specifications: MCU – Texas Instruents TM4C1294NCPDT ARM Cortex-M4 @ 120MHz with floating point, 1MB Flash, 256KB SRAM, 6KB EEPROM, Integrated 10/100 Ethernet MAC+PHY, data protection hardware, 8x 32-bit timers, dual 12-bit 2MSPS ADCs, motion control PWMs, USB H/D/O, and many […]

$79 Atmel ATSAMA5D3 Xplained Arduino Compatible, Open Source Hardware Board Powered by SAMA5D3 ARM Cortex-A5 Processor

A few days ago, at Embedded World 2014, Atmel has unveiled ATSAMA5D3 Xplained evaluation board based on SAMA5D36 ARM Cortex A5 micro-processor with 256 MB DDR2, 256 MB flash and numerous ports and expansion connectors, that targets industrial automation, networks, robotics, control panels and wearable applications. Atmel is one of the rare companies that provides support for the latest long term kernel (3.10) and mainline for their embedded solutions, and their latest board is fully open source hardware. Let’s have a look at the board specifications: MPU – Atmel SAMA5D36 Cortex-A5 Microprocessor @ 536 MHz System Memory – 2GBit DDR2 (Micron) Storage – 2GBit Flash (Micron), SD/MMCPlus 8-bit Card slot, 1x Micro SD Card 4-bit slot footprint (meaning not soldered) Connectivity – 1x Ethernet 10/100/1000M, 1x Ethernet 10/100M USB –  1x micro USB Device connector, 2x USB Host connectors Debugging – 1x 6-lead 3V3-level serial port, 10-pin J-TAG connector Expansion […]

BroadLink SP2 Wi-Fi Smart Socket for iOS and Android Adds Support for Energy Monitoring, Motion Sensing

Broadlink SP1, a low cost Wi-Fi smart socket released last year,  allows you to control your electric appliance with your mobile device running iOS or Android. You could turn it on or off, set timers, and so on. An updated model is now available, Broadlink SP2, that adds energy monitoring to the features found in the previous model, to track your historic and live power consumption on your smartphone or tablet, as well as a motion sensor to automatically turn off the lights, for instance, if you are away (Auto Home / Auto Away feature). The hardware specifications are very similar to SP1 except it’s using a case made of polycarbonate plastic instead of ABS, and the device is a bit bigger: Material – PC Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n Power Plug – Three flat-pin plug (Australia type) Voltage – 100~265V @ 50-60 Hz Output Current – 10A Output Power – […]

Alps Electric Magnetic Field Sensor Measures 1.15 x 1.15 mm, Software Algo Adds Gyroscope Function

I’m really impressed with the recent miniaturization of boards and components. Back in the days (in 2012), many people were amazed at the credit card size of the Raspberry Pi ARM Linux computer. Since then, we’ve seen many other ARM Linux board with similar or even smaller sizes, and on a broader scope, many smaller and smaller hardware and components: Olimex launched OLIMEXINO-85S Arduino compatible board about the size of a micro SD Card, eConais unveiled WiSmart EC19D Wi-Fi module measuring 8×8 mm, Freescale recently announced Kinetis KL03 Cortex M0+ MCU measuring 1.6 x 2.0 mm in its smallest package, etc… Today, I’ve come across another tiny chip, the world smallest magnetic field sensor by Alps Electric that measures only 1.15 x 1.15 x 0.56 mm. Height does matter too. It’s about 60% smaller than previous product by the company, but only slightly smaller than Asahi Kasei Microdevices’ AK09911C which measures 1.2 x […]

Yeelight Blue and Yeelight Sunflower Bluetooth Low Energy and Zigbee Smart Light Bulbs for iOS and Android

When it comes Smart light bulbs, which can be dimmed and made to change color, the most popular product must be Philips Hue, using the Zigbee protocol, which you can control via iOS and Android devices though a Zigbee gateway, and costs about $60 on Amazon. Alternative have started to show up such as iLumi Bulbs, with Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (BLE) technology, that you can control with recent iOS and Android 4.3+ device without the need for a gateway, but with a price starting at $89. If you’re looking for cheaper alternatives, you’d have to turn to Chinese companies such as Yeelight which provides both Bluetooth LE and Zigbee light bulbs, respectively called Yeelight Blue and Yeelight Sunflower. Yeelight Blue does not require a gateway, but you’ll need a smartphone or tablet that supports Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. Recent iOS 5.0+ devices should support it. If your Android device […]

DIY Farm & Garden Automation with Arduino and APDuino Project


You would like to start to grow your own vegetables but you don’t really have enough place and/or time to take care of your garden. No problem! Just go vertical and automate your garden with an Arduino Mega, an Ethernet shield, and lots sensors and valves. That’s basically what Rik Kretzinger, who grew up on a Christmas tree farm, and has a major in horticulture, has done at his home. This whole system use a farming technique called aquaponics, mixing aquaculture (raising fish in tanks) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water), and except planting and harvest, is mostly automatized. The hard part is to set it up. The firmware is based on APduino “Internet-of-growing” open source project that runs on Arduino Mega to gather data from sensors (humidity, temperature, pH, light…) and control the valve. Rik’s system also upload data automatically to Xively cloud so that he can monitor his […]

Meet Freescale Kinetis KL03, the Smallest Ever ARM MCU

Last year at Embedded World 2013, Freescale announced Kinetis KL02, an ARM Cortex M0+ MCU measuring just 1.9 x 2.0mm. Customer must have complained that it’s not small enough, as the company has just unveiled Kinetis KL03 MCU, 15% smaller or 1.6 x 2.0 mm, at Embedded World 2014. Just like its predecessor KL03 targets space-constraint IoT applications such as ingestible healthcare sensing, portable consumer devices, remote sensing nodes, and wearable devices.   Kinetis KL03 MCU features include: 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core, 1.71-3.6V operation Bit manipulation engine for faster, more code-efficient handling of peripheral registers 8 to 32 KB flash memory, 2 KB RAM, 8K ROM with on-chip boot loader High-speed 12-bit ADC Internal voltage reference for high ADC accuracy High-speed analog comparator Up to 22 GPIOs with pin interrupt support Low-power UART, SPI, I2C (high speed) Low power wake up Secure real time clock Timers for a broad range of […]

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