USB add-on boards leverage Raspberry Pi Zero test pads, USB Gadget mode

Raspberry Pi Zero W connected to PC

I’ve just come across a few USB boards that take advantage of the Raspberry Pi Zero (W) test pads to add one or more USB Type-A ports to the board without soldering. The first one is “Catda Raspberry Pi zero WH USB expansion board” which I found on Banggood for $9.99. It’s a kit that ships with a USB Zero plug expansion module, an acrylic “isolation protection cover”, an acrylic transparent light diffraction protection cover plus M2.5 screws and nuts for mounting it to the Raspberry Pi Zero WH board, but it should work any Raspberry Pi Zero including the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W board since it relies on pogo pin to connect the four test pads for USB data and power, and those are in the same position for all Pi Zero boards. You can then plug it into a laptop or computer to power the board […]

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS to leverage zswap to run on Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB RAM

Raspberry Pi 4 2GB Ubuntu 22.04

Canonical used to recommend Raspberry Pi 4 with at least 4GB RAM to run Ubuntu Desktop, but Ubuntu 22.04 LTS should run more smoothly on the Raspberry Pi 4 2GB as the company has enabled zswap by default to allow the Linux operating system to run better on systems with less memory. Canonical explains that zswap is essentially a compression tool. When a process is about to be moved to the swap file, zswap compresses it and checks whether the new, smaller size still needs to be moved or if it can stay in your RAM. It is much quicker to decompress a ‘zswapped’ page than it is to access the swap file so this is a great way of getting more bang for your buck from systems with smaller amounts of RAM. The good news is that you don’t even need to wait for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS to come […]

Raspberry Pi CM4 Nano industrial mini PC supports wide temperature range, 12-18V DC input

Raspberry Pi CM4 Nano industrial mini PC

If you ever wanted a mini PC similar to Raspberry Pi 4 but working within a wider temperature range and supply voltage, as well as a few extra features, the Raspberry Pi CM4 Nano industrial mini PC with a metal enclosure might be worth looking at. Based on the EDATEC CM4 Nano carrier board, the mini PC supports Raspberry Pi CM4 with up to 8GB RAM, 32GB storage, optional WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0, and offers one HDMI port, a flat cable HDMI + Touchscreen connector, Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 3.0 ports and more. It works in settings with -25 to +60°C ambient temperature and offers a 12-18V DC input. EDATEC (Raspberry Pi) CM4 Nano specifications compared to Raspberry Pi 4 SBC: The company uses the Raspberry Pi OS image for the board plus a Board Support Package (BSP) specific to CM4 Nano to support extra features like the RTC: […]

Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier board comes with 5x SATA, 4x GbE, 2x HDMI, RS-485 interfaces

Axzez interceptor Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier board

We just wrote that Wiretrustee carrier board for Raspberry Pi CM4 with four SATA interfaces was canceled and made open-source hardware a few days ago, but the Axzez Interceptor carrier board is offering a solution that is somewhat similar with 5x SATA ports and designed for NAS, NVR, IoT, and Managed Switch applications. The Interceptor Carrier Board for Raspberry Pi CM4 notably includes two 4Kp60 capable HDMI ports, 5x SATA ports, 4x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 4x USB 2.0 interfaces, RS-485, and is powered via an ATX-24 connector, with a Mini-ITX adapter in the works. Axzez Interceptor specifications: Compatible SoM –  Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Storage Support for 5x SATA HDD/SSD via JMicron JMB585 PCIe to SATA controller Supports software RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 or 10 HDD sleep/standby Video Output – 2x full-size HDMI 2.0 connectors (4Kp60) Networking – 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports via Realtek RTL8367RB switch; programable […]

Year 2021 in review – Top 10 posts and statistics

cnx software happy new year 2022

As per tradition, we’ll look back at what happened during the year in the last post, and see what 2022 may have in store, plus the usual statistics from CNX Software website. The biggest story of 2021 has to be the worsening of semiconductors shortages with extremely long lead times, prices of some components going up multiple folds, constant complaints on Twitter about availability and prices. I think I even saw a website, hopefully misconfigured, showing an estimated availability of a specific STM32 MCU in 2037. This also gave rise to opportunities and board redesigns, with MotorComm Ethernet chips replacing some Realtek chips in SBCs such as NanoPi R2C and  Orange Pi R1S Plus LTS, and CH9102F showing up as a replacement for CP2104 in some IoT boards. We also got some interesting Arm processors, but sadly the high-expected Rockchip RK3588 got delayed by another year, although it’s getting really […]

Mico – A USB microphone based on Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU

Mico Raspberry Pi RP2040 USB Microphone

Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller has found its way into Mico, a compact USB microphone with a PDM microphone providing better quality than cheap USB microphones going for one or two dollars or even 5 cents shipped for new Aliexpress users. The project started when Mahesh Venkitachalam (Elecronut Labs) was doing audio experiments with Machine Learning on the Raspberry Pi, and found out USB microphone dongles were extremely noisy with poor (distance) sensitivity, so he completed the project with a high-quality I2S microphone instead. He then had the idea of making his own USB microphone and found out Sandeep Mistry had already developed a Microphone Library for Pico, so he mostly had to work on the hardware that’s how Mico Raspberry Pi RP2040 USB microphone came to be. Mico specifications: MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller @ up to 133 MHz with 264KB SRAM Storage – 128Mbit […]

Raspberry Pi UPS HAT takes two 18650 batteries (Crowdfunding)

UPS HAT for Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi UPS solutions have been available for years with products like PiJuice Zero, PiVoyager, or LiFePO4wered/Pi+. But the team at SB Components has designed another UPS HAT for Raspberry Pi with a holder for two 18650 batteries. The HAT is designed for 5V operation up to 2.5A, connects with the Raspberry Pi SBC through the I2C bus from the 40-pin GPIO header, and is equipped with a 0.91-inch OLED for information display. UPS HAT for Raspberry Pi specifications: Power Input – 8.4V/2A via DC jack Power Output – 5V up to 2.5A through LDO chip (GPIO header and 2x USB ports) Display – 0.91-inch OLED Host interface – I2C Misc – On/Off switch Battery support 18650 Lithium battery (not included) via holder for two batteries Battery reverse indicator Charging and voltage monitoring via TI INA219 I2C chip Battery voltage balancing with Hycon HY2213 Battery protection IC (Hycon HY2120) Dimensions […]

Phased out Raspberry PI CM4 quad SATA carrier board becomes open-source hardware

Wiretrustee open-source hardware

Wiretrustee carrier board for Raspberry Pi CM4 was unveiled about one year ago with four SATA connectors to help people build their own 4-bay NAS. Unfortunately, the company decided to discontinue the project due to the semiconductors market situation. The good news is the board is now open-source hardware with all resources shared publicly including the Allegro schematics and PCB layout, Gerber files, 3D models for the heatsink, and case designs for 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives. All files are available under “CERN Open Hardware Licence Version 2 – Permissive”. Here’s a quick reminder about the Wiretrustee board specifications: Supported SoM – Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and 4 Lite Storage 4x SATA 2.0 via Marvell 88SE9215 (PCIe 2.0 x1 to 4 6Gb/s SATA ports, no HW RAID) MicroSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60 Networking – 1x Gigabit Ethernet port USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports […]

MIOT IoT modules