Next Thing Has Released Software and Hardware Files for the $9 CHIP Computer

Next Thing CHIP computer powered by Allwinner R8 module, also referred as “the $9 computer“, had a very successful crowdfunding campaign having raised over $2,000,000 from nearly 40,000 backers. When launching an electronics products on a crowdfunding campaign, many companies claim their device will be open source, only to disappoint once the perks actually ship, and Next Thing made the same promise, except they appear to have delivered as shown in their latest update “Holy C.H.I.P! It’s C.H.I.P!!!” showing the first production samples, and providing links to hardware design files for the Alpha version, as well as buildroot, U-boot and Linux source code. All resources can be found on, but let’s check what they’ve released so far. Hardware design files on Github include: A Bill of Materials (BoM) Schematics in PDF and DSN formats PCB Layout in BRD and PNG format Pinouts for U12 and U14 connectors Mechanical files […]

Radxa Rock Pro / Lite Development Boards are Now Open Source Hardware

Many projects claim to be “open source hardware” (OSHW) after they’ve released the schematics in PDF format, and source code. But the definition of OSHW has a few more requirements, which is practise means you’ve got to release schematics and PCB layout in the native format, not only in PDF, as well as the gerber files, and the bills of materials. Open Source Hardware can also truly be useful, if you can source the components. and for example, Broadcom BCM2835 processor might be impossible to procure, especially in small quantities, and that makes the Raspberry Pi unsuitable as an open source hardware platform. Existing companies / associations dedicated to OSHW include Arduino,, Olimex, etc.., and today Radxa has joined the club by releasing all hardware designs files for Rockchip RK3188 based Radxa Rock Pro and Lite development boards (2014 version) under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This […]

Rockchip RK3288 Android 4.4.2 SDK and Schematics Released for Firefly Board

Firefly-RK3288 development board was first announced in July. I still don’t have news about availability nor pricing, but the T-Firefly website launched yesterday. They seem do have a nice Wiki, but unfortunately everything is currently in Chinese, except when you go to the download page. You’ll find firmware upgrade_tool for Linux and Windows, the USB drivers for rooting and firmware update, firmware images (Android 4.4.2, Ubuntu 14.04, and dual boot), the board schematics (PDF), and Android KitKat 4.4.2 SDK with U-Boot, Linux, and Android source code, some documentation, XBMC apk (no source) with H.265 hardware decode support for MP4, MOV and MKV container formats. The SDK is available on Bitbucket. I planned to test it, but unfortunately my network connection is very slow (and unstable) to this server, and I failed to retrieve it with git clone. The company also posted the build instructions in Chinese in their website, but […]

EasyEDA is a Web-based Schematics Capture, Simulation, and PCB Layout Tool

I recently watched a video showing AllWinner R&D, and I noticed although most (all?) software engineer run Ubuntu in the PC, the hardware engineers all relied on Windows based EDA tools for schematics capture and PCB Layout. There are already Linux-based tools such as Kicad, which appears to be good for new projects, but importing existing projects can be an issue. An alternative to operating system dependent EDA software suites are web-based tools. I’ve already tried Fritzing which allows to draw circuits on breadboard, convert these to schematics and PCB layouts, and order the PCBs. It looks pretty good for its purpose, but it’s limited to mostly simple designs, and AFAIK can’t be used to replace an EDA suite. That’s where EasyEDA comes into play.  It’s a web-based tool where you can draw schematics, perform simulation, and create PCB layouts for your project, either keeping them private, or sharing them […]

AMLogic S802 / M802 Android 4.4 SDK, Documentation and Reference Schematics Are (Almost) Available

We’ve seen in the past AMLogic sometimes pushes some updated GPL software releases on their Open Linux website. So I went to have a look a few days ago, and to my surprise they already had instructions to download and build Android 4.4 for AMLogic M802 (Tablet) and S802 (STB), “user’s guides”, as well as links to reference schematics for the tablets… Nice!!! I started with 4.4_ReleaseInfo for “Mbox” (S802), which explains how to get the SDK release on 2014-01-27 (kk-amlogic-20140127):

Unfortunately the joy stopped right there, as you need to send your SSH public key to your representative. I’ve just done that, and sent an email to support [at], and mbox-android [at] on Sunday, and I have yet to gain access. I’ve found the “mbox-android” email in from Mbox page (similar to screenshot above) in a field right of “reference schematics” column, which has been removed […]

Rockchip RK3066 Android 4.2.2 HDMI TV Stick SDK Leaked

About 10 days ago, Android 4.2.2 SDK for MK908 (RK3188) HDMI TV Stick was leaked, and now, I’m reporting another leak, this time for the Android 4.2.2 SDK for the Android TV Boxes based on the older Rockchip RK3066 dual core processor. The files were first found on an FTP server, but one of Freaktab members uploaded a compressed image of all files, RK3066_R-BOX.7z (3.2GB) to The content of the SDK directory comes with a bit of documentation, AVC and VP8 encoding and decoding demos, and the SDK itself as a 3.2GB tar. I’ve haven’t download the file yet. If you switch to the parent directory, you’ll find more documentation such as several datasheets and RK3066 technical reference manual, hardware files (Schematics, PCB layout, BoM), and some manufacturing files. If you go up to the parent directory, you’ll also find an A20 directory with AllWinner A20 Android SDK (homlet […]

DIY Stripboard/Veroboard Enclosure for Raspberry Pi (Part 2)


Following up my previous post entitled “DIY Modular Stripboard / Perfboard Casing for Raspberry Pi (Part 1)” where I explained how I created an modular enclosure made of perfboard, or the overall concept, I’ve now designed two “smart” sides for the enclosure: a 16-LED stripboard side, and a 5V relay stripboard side. Today, I’ll detail how I’ve done this, with details about electronics, soldering, assembly, the Linux distribution (built with Yocto), as well C programs, HTML page, and (CGI) shell scripts used to light up the 16 LEDs, and control a standard 220V lamp with a relay via my phone’s web browser. 16-LED Stripboard Top Schematics, Soldering, and Testing I had decided to design the top board of the enclosure with several LEDs, 3 LEDs on both side, and a Raspberry fruit (6 red LED) and 2 leaves (4 green LED) in the middle. Before getting started, I did some […]

Freescale i.MX 6 TV Dongle Schematics, PCB Layout, and Application Notes

We already had the source code for Freescale i.MX6 HDMI TV dongle, and some work has been done on the Linux front by imx6-dongle community to make Ubuntu work on Hi802 and GK802 mini PCs. Today, I’ve just found out Freescale has also released the hardware files and some application notes for their HDMI TV dongle reference platform (MX6x_HDMI_DONGLE). There are 2 files for download: – Hardware files for i.MX 6 mini PC – Zip file with some hardware application notes Let’s have a look at the hardware design files: – Schematics in PDF and DSN (OrCAD) format, gerber files, BoM and manufacturing files for the Wi-Fi module. bom_hdmi_dongle_revb2_20130116_1500.xls – Bill of materials for i.MX 6 HDMI dongle pcb_hdmi_dongle-revb2-20130116_1700.rar – PCB layout (.brd) and gerber files sch_hdmi_dongle_revb2_20130116_1500.rar – Schematics for i.MX6 mini PC in PDF and DSN formats. We also have three application notes: AN4397  Common Hardware […]

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