The Axon platform offers WiFi & LoRa IoT messaging in a compact form factor (Crowdfunding)

Axon Board

Qortex (Amine Mehdi Mansouri) has developed the WiFi & LoRa IoT messaging platform to allow devices to communicate wirelessly via serial messages. The solution also includes a wireless serial port and 4 digital outputs. The tiny Axon board is based on ESP8266 WiFi SoC and can be augmented with a LoRa module for a longer range, and the solution integrates with the Axon cloud for data visualization in the cloud. There’s also a HAT expansion board for Raspberry Pi compatibility. Axon board specifications: Wireless module – ESP12-S ESP8266 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 module USB – USB Type-C port for power and programming via CP2102 Expansion – 2x 6-pin header with GPIOs, UART, 5V, 3.3V, and GND Misc – Status LED, Reset button, USB/MCU (UART) selection switch Power Supply 5V input via USB-C port 3.3V/600mA LDO PTC fuse, reverse polarity protection, ESD protection Dimensions – 30 x 25 mm The board can be programmed with Python (MicroPython?), plot graphics with Matlab, […]

Crowbits Master Kit Tutorial – Part 2: ESP32 intrusion scanner and visual programming

Crowbits Intrusion Scanner

I started Crowbits Master Kit review last month by checking out the content, user manual, and some of the possible projects for the ESP32 educational kit including a 2G phone and a portable game console. For the second part of the review, I’ll go through one of the lessons in detail, namely the intrusion scanner to show the whole process and how well (or not) it works. Let’s go to Lesson 5 directly, although I’d recommend going through the first lessons that provide details about the hardware and visual programming basics using Letscode program, which is basically a custom version of Scratch for Crowbits The user manual introduces the project, explains it is to detect intruders, and lists the learning goals as we’ll learn how to control the servo and play music on the Crowbits kit. Kit Assembly But first, we’ll have some assembly to do, in a similar way that’s we’d assemble a LEGO robotics kit. Each assembly step […]

Minima is a tiny Arduino Zero compatible module with SAMD21 MCU (Crowdfunding)

Minima Arduino Zero Module

We’ve covered a fair amount of compact Arduino Zero compatible boards based on SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ microcontroller over the years including Exen Proto, Wemos D1 SAMD21, or Seeeduino XIAO with the latter being the smallest of them all at just 23.5 x 17.5 mm. All those boards come with a USB port (Micro USB or USB-C) by default that makes it easy to work with, but may not be ideal to integrate into projects or final products. That may be why Hamish Morley designed the Minima Arduino Zero compatible module with a size even smaller than the XIAO board at 19.8 x 16.6 mm, and the USB interface exposed through 4 pads instead of a connector. Minima specifications: Microchip SAMD21G18A 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ 48 MHz with 256KB of flash storage, and 32KB of SRAM Expansion – 24x castellated pads (2.54mm pitch) with 18 GPIO pins, including 5x analogue capable, plys PWM, SPI, I2C, UART Misc – Reset button, Tx/Rx […]

BLUETTI EP500 is a power bank & UPS for home appliances (Crowdfunding)

Bluetti EP500

Many people are using a power bank to extend the battery life of their mobile device(s), and there are also laptop power banks which higher capacity and support for 12V and/or 19-20V besides the usual 5V. But BLUETTI EP500 & EP500Pro go up a notch as the systems aim at powering multiple home appliances or be used as UPS in case of power failure, or whenever you need to use tools or appliances away from the mains. BLUETTI EP500 & EP500Pro specifications: Control system based on Texas Instruments C2000 dual-core Arm+DSP real-time microcontroller AC Rated Power EP500 – 2000W (peak 4800W less than 500ms) EP500Pro – 3000W (peak 6000W less than 500ms) Power Input EP500 600W max, 100-264V AC via AC input – Charging time around 9 to 10 hours 1,200W max via PV input or T500 input (55-145V DC, 20A) – Charging time around 5 hours with solar panels in optimal conditions EP500Pro 3,000W max via AC input – […]

Raspberry Pi case embeds 192 programmable LEDs, speaker, microphone, and sensors (Crowdfunding)

LumiCube Raspberry Pi LED Enclosure

Most Raspberry Pi enclosures are designed to protect your board from dust, provide easy access to ports, and in other cases, ease the installation of hard drives or SSDs. But Abstract Foundry’s LumiCube does much more, and just calling it a case or enclosure is an understatement, as while it does house a Raspberry Pi, it also comes with 192 programmable LEDs placed over 3 panels, a speaker, a microphone, as well as several optional motion & environmental sensors, and a small 2-inch LCD display. LumiCube specifications: Acrylic base 3x RGB LED panels with 64 programmable LEDs each Audio – 2W speaker and microphone Display (optional) – 2-inch 320×240 IPS screen for system parameters or other info (e.g. sensor data) or images. Note that it can now show the Raspberry Pi desktop Sensors (optional) – Light & gesture sensor, BME280 temperature, humidity and pressure sensor, BNO055 IMU (accelerator and tilt sensor) MIsc – Optional buttons Compatibility – Raspberry Pi 3 […]

Raspberry Pi CM4 Carrier Board comes with RS485/Modbus, CAN, 1-wire interfaces (Crowdfunding)

CM Hunter

Another day, another Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier board. Just like the TOFU carrier board, CM Hunter carrier board for Raspberry Pi CM4 targets industrial applications, but in a different way, as it focuses on industrial communication protocols with Galvanically-Isolated RS485/Modbus, 1-Wire, CAN 2.0B, and together with more common interfaces like Ethernet, HDMI, USB, etc… CM Hunter specifications: Supported systems-on-module – Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 / 4 Lite Industrial communication Interfaces  Isolated RS485/Modbus (Profibus compatible) based on Texas Instruments ISO1410 controller Isolated CAN 2.0B based on Microchip MCP2515 controller and MAX14879 CAN transceiver Isolated 1-Wire via Maxim DS2482 I2C bridge Storage – MicroSD card slot Video  Output – HDMI 2.0, optional 3.5-inch or 4-inch 480×320 LCD display with resistive touch connected over SPI Networking – Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port and optional 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 plus Bluetooth 5.0 LE USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port used to flash eMMC on Raspberry Pi CM4 module Expansion […]

Crowbits magnetic blocks for STEM Education work with Arduino, Micro:bit, ESP32, and Raspberry Pi (Crowdfunding)

Crowbits magnetic electronics blocks

Elecrow develops and manufactures electronics products for the maker market, and in recent years entered the STEM education market with products such as CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 education laptop that I reviewed last year. The laptop integrates plenty of electronics modules, and students can learn Scratch visual programming as well as Python programming with the educational software running on the laptop. The company has now launched Crowbits magnetic electronic blocks for STEM education, and compatible with Arduino, ESP32, Raspberry Pi, and Micro:bit boards. There are over 80 programmable electronic magnetic modules and Lego bricks, with three different sizes ( large, middle, and small modules) of different colors with blue used for power control and logic control, green for output, yellow for input, and orange for advanced programming. Out of the 80+ modules, around 30 can be used without programming at all. Elecrow provides 5 kits to let users learn basic electronics and programming knowledge, namely the Hello Kit designed for […]

AmpliPi – A Raspberry Pi-based whole house audio amplifier (Crowdfunding)

AmpliPi Raspberry Pi Whole House Amplifier

Micro Nova has put together an open-source, whole-house audio amplifier called AmpliPi based on Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+. It is capable of streaming four independent sources to 6 stereo output zones, expandable to up to 36 stereo output zones through daisy-chained extender units. AmpliPi specifically supports inputs from four networking streaming sources including AirPlay, Pandora, Spotify, and DLNA, as well as four analog RCA inputs for your media appliances. AmpliPi key components and features: Controller Board Carrier board fitted with Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ and PCM5102A & CM6206 audio DACs. It also communicates over I2C with the STM32 MCU on the Preamp board (see below) to control the muxing and amplification systems. Interfaces 10/100M Ethernet port HDMI 1.4 output 2x USB 2.0 ports, plus one internal USB port Service and console ports for maintenance and/or debugging. Preamp Board Board equipped with a 6×4 audio matrix switching system and volume control network that is managed by an STM32F030 Arm […]