NapCat Smart Video doorbell review – A battery-powered dual-band WiFi video doorbell with AI features

NapCat WiFi video doorbell review

NapCat R112 is a 5MP video doorbell with dual-band 2.4/5GHz WiFi, AI features such as human and package detection, 2-way audio, and no subscription. It’s waterproof – rated IP65 – so it can be used outdoors, and powered by either a built-in battery or traditional wires. The company sent me a sample of the Napcat R112 for review. I’ll check out the camera in battery-powered mode only in this review, install it on the wall close to the gate of my house, and use the Napcast Android app to access the camera and answer calls. Napcat video doorbell unboxing The retail package shows a photo of the (white) base station and (black) camera and lists some of the main features such as a wide-angle camera, dual-power option, on-device human detection and package monitoring, and dual-band WiFi. There’s no monthly fee to pay to use the device after purchasing it. The […]

ESP32-based CNC controller board targets pen plotters and lasers, runs FluidNC open-source firmware

FuildNC ESP32 CNC controller

FluidNC “TMC2209 Pen/Laser CNC Controller” is an ESP32-based 2-axis CNC controller that runs FluidNC open-source firmware and takes up to two TMC2209 stepper drivers to drive pen plotters and laser engravers ESP32 wireless modules have been used in a range of 3D printer and CNC controllers for years with boards such as Grbl_ESP32 CNC breakout board, Phi MainBoard 5LC 3D printer controller, and the Makerbase MKS DLC32 board we found in TwoTrees TS2 laser engraver and TTC 450 CNC router running MKS-DLC32-FIRMWARE open-source firmware.  The FluidNC TMC2209 Pen/Laser CNC Controller offers yet another option and a different open-source FluidNC firmware that is an evolution of the firmware for the aforementioned Grbl_ESP32 that also happens to work on the MKS DLC32 board… FluidNC “TMC2209 Pen/Laser CNC Controller” specifications: Wireless module – Espressif Systems ESP32-WROOM-32E ESP32 dual-core microcontroller 4MB flash 2.4 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity, built-in PCB antenna Storage – MicroSD […]

ThingPulse Pendrive S3 ESP32-S3 USB stick comes with 128MB of storage and a capacitive spring button

ThingPulse ESP32-S3 Pendrive spring button

The Pendrive S3 is an ESP32-S3 development board in a USB stick enclosure with 128MB of flash memory and an unusual capacitive touch button. The Espressif ESP32-S3-MINI-1 module on the board integrates an Xtensa dual-core 32-bit LX7 microprocessor with support for 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 (low-energy). The device features a capacitive touch button that can be used to trigger actions by touching the enclosure. The capacitive button isn’t visible on the exterior of the device, which helps the device maintain a low profile. You may be interested in Dani Eichhorn’s article on how he came up with the idea of using a spring for the capacitive touch button. The Pendrive S3 stick can be used as a BadUSB device for hacking and penetration testing purposes. With the aid of SuperWiFiDuck, it can perform keystroke injection attacks. All scripts can be managed and controlled wirelessly via a web interface, and […]

How to repair/replace a WiFi antenna in a mini PC

Insert WiFi Antenna Mini PC

In this short tutorial, we’ll show how to repair/replace a WiFi antenna in a mini PC. We’ll use GEEKOM A8 Mini PC as a test device because one of its WiFi antennas is attached to the top plastic cover, and it may potentially get damaged when the user opens the case to change or upgrade the SSD or memory sticks. This happened to us during the teardown of the GEEKOM A8 mini PC as shown in the image below.  While WiFi still works with one antenna, the performance is quite better when two antennas are connected so we decided to repair the mini PC. We asked a few local shops, but they would only sell WiFi modules with antennas and none would just sell the antennas themselves. But luckily, such WiFi antennas can easily be purchased online in pairs. The first time, we purchased a WiFi antenna pair from Shopee […]

PiWings 2.0 is a tiny drone based on Raspberry Pi Pico and ESP8266 WiFi module (Crowdfunding)

PiWings 2.0 Raspberry Pi Pico drone variants

SB Components’ PiWings 2.0 is a small drone combining a Raspberry Pi Pico with an ESP8266 WiFi module (ESP-12E) for wireless connectivity, and designed for STEM education and drone enthusiasts. The PiWings 2.0 board supports up to six motors and four servos, includes a 6-axis IMU for auto-leveling, and features I2C, SPI, UART, and GPIO expansion ports for custom sensor and/or actuator support. The drone itself is offered with three, four, or six rotors. PiWings 2.0 key features and specifications: Microcontroller board – Raspberry Pi Pico with Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Cortex-M0+ microcontroller, 264KB SRAM Wireless module – ESP-12E (ESP8266) WiFi module for iBus support Motor Drivers – 6 channels (3A DC) Servo Motors – 4 channels USB – 1x micro USB port (on Raspberry Pi Pico) Expansion – I2C, SPI, UART, GPIO ports Sensor – On-board 6-axis IMU (MPU6050) for auto-leveling Misc – 4x RGB LEDs Power Supply 3V […]

M5Stack CoreS3 SE cost-down ESP32-S3 IoT controller features a 2-inch touch display, a microSD card slot, a speaker, two microphones

M5Stack CoreS3 SE ESP32-S3 IoT controller

The M5Stack CoreS3 SE, also called M5CoreS3 SE, is a cost-down version of the M5Stack CoreS3 IoT controller based on the ESP32-S3 wireless microcontroller with a 2-inch capacitive touch display, a microSD card slot, a USB-C port, a speaker, two microphones, and one Grove connector for expansion. The M5Core S3 SE loses the DIN Base so the associate features are gone and DIN rail mounting is not possible by default anymore. That also means the M5Stack CoreS3 SE controller is about twice as thin, and the color is also different (medium grey vs black grey). Major internal changes include the removal of the camera and the three sensors found in the original model. M5Stack CoreS3 SE specifications with highlights in bold and strikethrough showing differences against the CoreS3 model: Wireless MCU – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3FN16R8 CPU – Dual-core 32-bit Xtensa LX7 microcontroller with AI vector instructions up to 240MHz, RISC-V […]

LILYGO T-Camera-Plus-S3 – An ESP32-S3 powered dev board with night vision camera and touchscreen display

LILYGO T Camera Plus S3 ESP32 S3 Camera Development

The LILYGO T-Camera-Plus-S3 is an ESP32-S3 development board designed for building smart home devices, monitoring systems, and other connected projects. The board features a 1.3-inch TFT LCD and the option to choose from OV2640 or OV5640 camera modules. The T-Camera-Plus-S3 can be considered an upgrade from the T-Camera S3, which was introduced in 2022. The upgraded features include a 1.3″ SPI TFT LCD (240×240), a microphone with MAX98357A codec and external speaker support, support for a micro SD card, a battery connector, and many other features. Previously we have written many different types of ESP32-S3-based boards like the Waveshare ESP32-S3-Matrix, ESP32-S3-Tiny board, and Unexpected Maker NANOS3 feel free to check those out if you are looking for unique ESP32 boards. LILYGO T-Camera-Plus-S3 specification ESP32-S3-WROOM-1 wireless module SoC –  ESP32-S3R8 dual-core Tensilica LX7 microcontroller @ 240 MHz (Note: this SKU is not listed in the official ESP32-S3 datasheet) with 2.4 GHz 802.11n […]

Dusun DSGW-130 smart home controller fits into an 86-type junction box

DSGW 130 Zigbee Touch Screen Control Panel

The Dusun DSGW-130 smart home controller is a Rockchip PX30-powered, touch-enabled control panel designed to fit into an 86-type junction box. It runs on Android 11 and can connect to your home network using Wi-Fi and Zigbee, similar to the SONOFF NSPanel Pro. The only glaring difference I can see from the specifications is that the DSGW-130 has a few extra features like more storage, a wired network connection, RS485, and support for newer 5GHz Wi-Fi, which the SONOFF doesn’t have. We’ve also written about other similar controllers, like the SONOFF NSPanel, and reviewed the SONOFF NSPanel Pro with Zigbee and the CAM Slim WiFi camera. Check them out if you’re interested in similar products. Dusun DSGW-130 smart home controller specifications SoC – Rockchip PX30 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor with Arm Mali-G31 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC 5.1 flash Display – 4-inch capacitive touchscreen color TFT display with […]

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