Pironman review – A Raspberry Pi 4 enclosure with M.2 SATA, safe power off, RGB LED strip, and more

Pironman review

SunFounder Pironman is a Raspberry Pi 4 enclosure inspired by Michael Klement’s DIY Raspberry Pi 4 mini server with an OLED display and ICE Tower cooling solution, as well as some improvements such as an aluminum alloy and acrylic enclosure, support for an M.2 SATA SSD, a power button for safe shutdown,  an IR receiver, and an RGB LED strip. The company sent me a Pironman kit without Raspberry Pi 4 for review. I’ll check the package content, go through the assembly, software installation, and testing of the unique features listed above. Pironman unboxing Some of the main specifications are listed on the side of the package. The enclosure comes fully disassembled with the Pironman board, metal and acrylic panels, RGB LED strip, OLED display, heatsink, fan, adapters, flat cables, screws, standoffs, and so on. The top of the Pironman board (JMS580-V1.8) comes with a JMicron JMS580 USB 3.2 Gen […]

LEGO brick with Raspberry Pi RP2040 runs Doom

LEGO Brick Raspberry Pi RP2040

James Brown (aka Ancient) has built a tiny computer inside a LEGO brick with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller and a 0.42-inch OLED display. And yes, it runs Doom. So finally, the LEGO minifigures have access to a computer suitable for their size :). James did not post a lot of information to reproduce the build by yourself, but he still released the “uGrey” code, written in Micropython, to display greyscale on a monochrome OLED. We can learn from the design in a mesmerizing video (embedded at the end of this post) showing how he made a Raspberry Pi RP2040 computer fit into a LEGO brick. The tiny design is comprised of five main boards/modules: Raspberry Pi RP2040 module The micro USB module Two side modules with other components A 0.42-inch OLED display with 72×40 resolution (SSD1306) Since soldering the four modules together by hand only would be really challenging, […]

1.51-inch transparent OLED display works over GDI or SPI interface

transparent oled display

We’ve seen transparent, see-through displays at least since 2010 for retail applications, and over the years, these types of transparent displays or variants have made it to consumer devices like smartwatches and notch-free smartphones. But I don’t think I had ever seen transparent displays for the maker market, and DFRobot Fermion is 1.51-inch transparent OLED display with 128×64 resolution that is connected to the host MCU via SPI or GDI (General Display Interface) interface. Fermion specifications: 1.51-inch transparent OLED display with blue pixels based on SSD1309 driver Resolution – 128×64 (transparent part: 128×56) Display interface – 8-bit 68xx/80xx Parallel, 3-/4-wire SPI, I2C Adapter Interface – SPI, GDI Operating Voltage –  3.3V Dimensions Screen Size – 41.92 x 27.08mm Display Area – 35.05 x 15.32 mm Pixel Pitch – 0.274 x 0.274mm Pixel Size – 0.254 x 0.254mm Adapter Size – 18 x 28mm/0.71 x 1.10inch Temperature Range – -40~70°C There […]

DSTIKE ESP32 Watch Development Board Comes with OLED or TFT Display

DSTIKE ESP32 Watch Development Kit

In recent months several Espressif ESP32 watches have started to show up including TTGO-T wristband and Watchy with an e-Ink display. This morning, I’ve come across another option with DSTIKE ESP32 watch development kit that offers a choice of black & white OLED display or color TFT display, and has apparently been around for about a year. DSTIKE ESP32 watch devkit specifications: SoC – ESP32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 processor with Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0/5.1 connectivity Storage – MicroSD card Display (one or the other) 1.3 OLED I2C display (SH1106) TFT color display with 240 x 240 resolution (I2C + 2 I/O) Expansion – 10-pin header with TX/RX, GPIO 17 & 16 (I2C), SVP/SVN, GPIO 25 & 26 (DAC), GND, and 3V Misc – Power switch, navigation buttons, reset & flash buttons, buzzer, WS2812b RGB LED,  “highlight LED” (backlight LED maybe), charging status LED Battery – 600 mAh battery Dimensions […]

Obniz ESP32 Board is Programmable in JavaScript from the Cloud (Crowdfunding)

ESP32 WiFi / Bluetooth boards are now commonly supported by the Arduino IDE, and alternative firmwares are also available to program them using JavaScript (e.g. Espruino), or MicroPython. But if are familiar with JavaScript / Node.js, and don’t want to flash your own firmware, Obniz board could be an option. The board exposes 12 I/Os programmable from the company’s Cloud service, and features a OLED display used to show your program information, or a QR code to easily program the board from your smartphone’s browse once a WiFi connection has been setup. Obniz hardware specifications: Wireless Module – ESP-WROOM-ESP32 based on  ESP32 dual core 802.11 b/n/g WiFi + Bluetooth LE WiSoC Display – 128×64 OLED display I/Os 12x I/O pins each configurable as GPIO, ADC, UART, SPI or I2C (no specialized pin, each can handle those functions) Up to 1A drive per I/O to control motors 3.3 or 5V selectable […]

This TTGO Board Combines ESP32, LoRa Radio, and OLED Display for just $10

Just one year ago, it would cost around $15 to $20+ to get an ESP32 board, that is if you were lucky/fast enough to order one one before it went out of stock. Since then, availability is no longer an issue, and you now can get an ESP32 development board for as low as about $7, or even around $4 during promotions. Today, I was made aware of another board sold under the “TTGO” brand, that includes not only ESP32 WiFi and Bluetooth SoC, but also a (433 MHz) LoRa radio, and an OLED display. Price? Just $10 plus shipping ($1.75 here). TTGO ESP32/LoRa board specifications: WiSoC – Espressif ESP32 Storage – 32MB on-board flash (or maybe just 16MB?) LoRa Semtech SX1278 with u.FL connector + 433MHz antenna (N.B.: Antenna must be connected during use or the Semtech chip could be damaged) Sensitivity” ~ -148dBm; output power: +20dBm Display – […]

MXCHIP AZ3166 IoT Developer Kit is Designed to Work with Microsoft Azure

MXCHIP is a Shanghai based company designing and manufacturing WiFi IoT modules such as EMW3165, which has now made a development board based on their EMW3166 STM32+ Cypress module – called MXChip AZ3166 – specifically designed for Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. MXChip AZ3166 board specifications: Wireless Module – EMW3166 WiFi module with STM32F412 ARM Cortex M4F MCU @ 100 MHz with 256KB SRAM,1MB+2MB SPI Flash, Cypress BCM43362 WiFi chip Display – 128×64 OLED display Audio – Audio codec, built-in microphone, and 3.5mm heaphone jack Sensors – Motion sensor,  magnetometer, atmospheric pressure sensor,  temperature and humidity sensor Expansion – Finger extension interface with 25 external I/O pins including GPIOs, I2C, I2S, UART, ADC, Reset, 3.3V, and GND Debugging – DAP Link emulator USB – 1x Micro USB port for power, programming, debugging Misc – 2x user buttons;  1x RGB light; 3x working status indicator; IR emitter; Security encryption chip Power Supply […]

FriendlyELEC Mailbag: NanoPi NEO OLED Starter Kit, NEO Station NS-120B, and NanoPi K2 Multimedia Kit

FriendlyELEC will send me some review samples from time to time, and normally I just ask for one item, but they aways send a bunch of their products instead. This time I asked for a NanoPi NEO NAS Kit v1.2 to play with, but I got clearly more than what I asked for… Let’s start with the box at the top. It contains “NanoPi NEO complete starter kit” selling for $29.99for $29.00 with the following items: NanoPi NEO board NanoHat OLED Heatsink and thermal pad kit Akuminum housing a Mico USB cable A micro SD card pre-loaded with NEO OLED Ubuntu firmware. Three buttons, and screws It’s actually not fully complete, as you’d need to provide and solder your own male headers to NanoPi NEO board. I did not have time for soldering that day, but the final results should be really neat based on pictures from their website. If […]

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