Orange Pi 800 Keyboard PC – A Raspberry Pi 400 alternative powered by Rockchip RK3399

Raspberry Pi 400 Keyboard PC alternative

There’s now a Raspberry Pi 400 alternative with the Orange Pi 800 Keyboard PC that offers a very similar design, but it is powered by a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core Cortex-A72/A53 processor. Like the Raspberry Pi model, the Orange Pi 800 comes with 4GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0, two USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port, but it also adds 64GB on-board flash storage and features one full-size HDMI port capable of 4Kp60 resolution plus a VGA port, instead of two micro HDMI ports. Orange Pi 800 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 cores up to 1.8GHz, 4x Arm Cortex-A53 cores up to 1.4GHz, and an Arm Mali-T860MP4 GPU System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 64GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Video Output HDMI 2.0 port up to 4Kp60 VGA port up to Full HD resolution Audio 3.5mm […]

T-Watch-Keyboard-C3 with ESP32 “watch”, ESP32-C3 keyboard looks like a miniature PC replica

LILYGO Watch Keyboard C3

T-Watch-Keyboard-C3 is a device that looks like a miniature PC replica comprised of an ESP32-C3 powered keyboard, and the TTGO T-Watch ESP32 programmable device with a 1.54-inch touchscreen display. The LilyGo TTGO T-Watch ESP32 programmable touchscreen display has been around for a while, and the company used to provide an accessory keyboard based on Microchip ATSAM20 Cortex-M0+ microcontroller that has now been replaced with ESP32-C3 WiFi and Bluetooth RISC-V microcontroller to create the T-Watch-Keyboard-C3 devices pictured below.   T-Watch-Keyboard-C3 specifications: TTGO T-Watch MCU – ESP32-D0WDQ6 dual-core microcontroller @ 240 MHz with WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 4.x with 520KB SRAM Memory – 8MB PSRAM Storage – 16MB QSPI flash Display – 1.54-inch LCD screen USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming via CP2104 USB to TTL chip Sensor – 3-axis accelerometer Misc – Power button, RTC Dimensions – 40 x 38 x 20 mm Weight – 43.19 grams […]

ESP32 board with rotary encoder gets 2-key keypad shield

T-Encoder ESP32 keypad rotary encoder

LILYGO TTGO T-Encoder, a round-shaped ESP32 board with a built-in rotary encoder, has gotten a shield with a 2-key keypad based on WCH CH552 8-bit microcontroller. Launched several months ago, the TTGO T-Encoder is a USB-powered rotary encoder with ESP32 microcontroller offering WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and now, you can build a keypad with rotary encoder thanks to T-Encoder shield that features two mechanical switches and keycaps with RGB LED backlight.   Since we missed it at launch, let’s check out the tiny TTGO T-Encoder board specifications first: System-in-Package (SiP) – Espressif ESP32-PICO-V3-02 with MCU – ESP32 Xtensa dual-core 32-bit Xtensa LX6 microcontroller up to 240 MHz, 448 KB ROM for booting and core functions, 520 KB SRAM for data and instructions, 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 BR/EDR + LE connectivity Memory – 2MB SPI PSRAM Storage – 8MB SPI flash Dimensions – 7×7 mm Antenna – Ceramic […]

ShaRPiKeebo handheld Linux computer based on Raspberry Pi Zero (2) W ships with a LoRa radio (Crowdfunding)

Raspberry Pi Zero portable Linux computer with LoRa

Morpheans ShaRPiKeebo is a portable Linux computer based on Raspberry Pi Zero W or Zero 2 W SBC that reminds me of the Allwinner R8 powered PocketCHIP handheld computer that was introduced in 2016, and was quite popular (for a niche product) at the time. The ShaRPiKeebo comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard, a daylight-readable screen, and Wi-Fi & Bluetooth connectivity, but also adds a 433 MHz LoRa radio that should make it usable as an off-the-grid communicator. Just like PocketCHIP, the ShaRPiKeebo can be used for system administration, retro-gaming, pen testing, STEM education, and all sort of maker projects. ShaRPiKeebo specifications: Supported SBCs via 40-pin GPIO header – Raspberry Pi Zero W, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, and (maybe) compatible SBCs like Radxa Zero or Banana Pi M2 Zero Display – 2.7- inch SHARP memory display (LS027B7DH01) with 400×240 resolution, low-latency, low-power Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 4, Bluetooth 4.2 […]

Use your favorite laptop keyboard with the Techlabz Keybox (Sponsored)

Techlabz Keybox

The Techlabz Keybox allows you to re-use your favorite laptop keyboard over USB or Bluetooth. The solution support laptop keyboard from Dell, Asus, Apple, HP, Chromebook, and most other brands on the market. This is how it works. After disassembly of your laptop, or purchasing a replacement laptop keyboard, you can place your keyboard into the provided case, connect it with the provided FFC cable, and use it as a standalone USB or Bluetooth keyboard. Alternatively, you could also place it on top of your laptop palm rest and use it in lieu of the keyboard there. Techlabz Keybox features: Host interfaces USB Type-C port Bluetooth 4.1 LE + EDR Sensor – Ambient Light Detector Battery – 250 mAh/~1Wh battery The Techlabz Keybox also comes with a USB-A to USB-C adapter, a Keyboard Interface Adapter (KIA), an FFC Cable to connect to Keybox from the KIA, a  keyboard case, some […]

Mini keyboards launched with ESP32-C3 or Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU

Tiny Keyboards Raspberry Pi RP2040 or ESP32-C3

Last week, when I saw LilyGO T-Keyboard based on ESP32-C3, I didn’t think much of it and did not expect many people to be interested, so I skipped it. But earlier today I also noticed Solder Party launched a very similar-looking product – the BB Q20 Keyboard with Trackpad – based on Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU. So after all, it might be worthwhile to look into those mini keyboards for makers. LilyGO T-keyboard Hardware specifications: SoC – ESP32-C3 single-core RISC-V processor with Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 LE connectivity Display – 0.99-inch TFT color LCD QWERTY keyboard Battery – 400mAh built-it battery Power Supply – 5V via USB port Dimensions – 6.9 x 5.3 x 1.7 cm The company promotes it as a mini Bluetooth keyboard for iOS and Android smartphones, as well as Windows machines, but also has plans to make it work with their T-Echo LoRa messaging hardware.  […]

Raspberry Pi RP2040 gains an extra USB port through PIO’s (programmable I/Os)

Raspberry Pi RP2040 USB PIO

The Raspberry Pi RP2040 specifications only list one USB 1.1 Host/Device hardware interface, but developer’s Sekigon Gonnoc decided to leverage the microcontroller’s programmable I/Os (PIO) to add an extra USB port that also works in host or device mode. While the C library is still supposed to be a work in progress Sekigon implemented full-speed (12 Mbps) and slow-speed (1.5Mbps) host, full-speed device, USB hub, and multi-port support. There’s even a demo with three “Pico Pico USB” keyboards acting as USB hubs and HID plus a wireless mouse to show the results. The implementation uses one PIO for the USB transmitter using 22 instructions and one state machine and another PIO for the USB receiver using 31 instructions and two state machines, as well as one 1ms loop timer for the host, and one PIO interrupt for the receiver. You’ll find the code to implement the extra USB port on […]

RAKwireless introduces 16 new WisBlock modules with LoRaWAN, NFC reader, etc…

Wisblock LoRaWAN & NFC Reader wireless modules

RAKwireless will add new modules to its WisBlock IoT modular system every quarter. Last July, WisBlock family welcomed 14 new modules, and in September 2021, RAK11310 Raspberry Pi RP2040 LoRaWAN core was introduced together with a new baseboard and various sensor modules. This time around, the company launched 16 new Wisblock modules with two wireless modules, one adding LoRaWAN to an ESP32 core module, the other acting as an RFID and NFC card reader, as well as six sensor modules, and eight “interface” modules ranging from barcode scanners to keypads. WisBlock Wireless modules RAK13300 WisBlock LPWAN module based on Semtech SX1262 transceiver extends the communication abilities of the RAK11200 ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth LE module with LoRa / LoRaWAN. RAK13600 WisBlock NFC Reader enables reading and writing of NFC tags like RFID cards and other NFC enabled devices using NXP PN532 chip. WisBlock Sensor modules RAK12013 WisBlock Radar Sensor – […]