Pi-Hole Kit is a Raspberry Pi based Ad Blocker

If you don’t like getting tracked or see ads, it’s normally easy enough to install an ad blocker plugin in your web browser. But if you want to save some resources on your computer(s) and/or prevent online ads on other devices – including TVs – on your local network, it’s possible to do so via an external device / router using software such as Pi-Hole that can be installed on a Raspberry Pi board (or other Linux machines) in order to filter ads before they even get to your computer. This would normally require you to get your own hardware, enclosure, flash the firmware on a board, and install Pi-Hole yourself. That should easy enough for most regular readers of this blog, but there’s no an option for less tech-savvy user, as Pi Supply and Pi-Hole have partnered to launch the Pi Hole Kit with everything in one packages and already setup. The kit contains the Pi Hole box, a …

96Boards GPS Mezzanine is the First Add-on Board part of 96boards Community Mezzanine Initiative (Group Buy)

96Boards hardware development platforms support add-on boards called Mezzanines, and you’ll find a bunch of them on 96Boards website. Most are designed and manufactured by companies, but in order to bring more (individual) open source hardware developers on-board, the 96Boards Community Mezzanine initiative was launched to bring industry representatives and community members together. The idea is to encourage people to submit their KiCad/Altium 96boards’ mezzanine designs to the github repository, and the manufacturing costs of the most popular designs can be lowered  by offering them through GroupGets group buying platform. The first of those boards to be launched is 96Boards GPS Mezzanine with the following specifications for the R1 board: Adafruit Ultimate GPS Module PA6H_1103854 – 66 channel w/10 Hz updates MTK3339 chipset -165 dBm sensitivity External u.FL antenna connector Fix and PPS signals brought to down baseboard Expansion – USB UART breakout,  breakout headers for I2C, SPI, GPIO, and power lines Misc – GPS Fix LED, prototyping area, CR2032 …

XU4Q Retro Gaming System Runs ODROID GameStation Turbo, Sells for $150 and Up

One of the use case for little Arm Linux boards is retro gaming thanks to open source projects like RetroPie, RetrOrangePi, Lakka, and others. To get a complete & usable system, it’s possible to purchase console kits, enclosures, or even complete game consoles running one of such emulators. This morning I’ve come accross another option, as Ameridroid is now taking pre-order for XU4Q Retro Gaming System for $149.95 and up. As it name implies, the console is based on ODROID-XU4Q, the fanless version of ODROID-XU4 board, which with its Exynos 5422 octa-core processor and 2GB RAM will be much more powerful than Raspberry Pi 3 boards, and most other boards on the market. The kit also includes OGST Gaming Console, GameSir G3w analog joystick controller, a power supply, and a 16GB microSD boot media flashed with ODROID Game Station Turbo based on Debian. If you already own an ODROID-XU4(Q) board, power supply, and one or more game controllers, you could …

Sens’it Discovery is a Sigfox IoT Solution with 6 Sensors

Sigfox has just launched Sens’it Discovery, which they describe as a “end-to-end IoT solution, which aims to accelerate the adoption of the IoT (Internet of things) among business and technical professionals”. The solution is comprised for Sens’it 3 device with 6 sensors, sensit.io application, and Sigfox connectivity. Sens’it 3 hardware specifications: MCU – STM32 micro‑controller  Connectivity TI CC1125 radio transceiver Sigfox Ready class 0U Frequencies – 868 to 869.7 MHz, 902 to 908 MHz, or 923.2 MHz (TX) / 922.2 MHz (RX), or 920 to 925 MHz depending on region Transmit Power emission – 14 dBm ERP (RC1), 22 dBm ERP (RC2), 10 dBm ERP (RC3), 22 dBm ERP (RC4) Sensors Thermometer (HTS221) – -40 to 120°C / Accuracy ± 0.5°C Humidity (HTS221) –  0 to 100 / Accuracy ± 3.5% rH (20 to +80% rH) Accelerometer (FXOS8700) –  ±2, 4, 8 g / Accuracy 0.244, 0.488, 0.976 mg Magnetometer (FXOS8700) –  ±1200 μT / Sensitivity 0.1 μT/LSB Light (LTR329) –  …

Intel NUC Kit NUC7PJYH Review – An Intel Gemini Lake Pentium Silver J5005 Barebone Mini PC

When Intel released their latest NUC Gemini Lake mini PCs they prioritized cost over performance. As a result the processor they chose for the ‘Intel NUC 7 Essential’ mini PC is somewhat underwhelming. Fortunately they released another model in the series, the rather misleadingly named ‘Intel NUC Kit NUC7PJYH’ which is is actually a ‘barebones’ mini PC just needing a stick or two of RAM and an SSD for storage. It contains an Intel Pentium Silver Processor J5005 SOC which is a quad core processor bursting up to 2.80 GHz together with a slightly more powerful Intel UHD Graphics 605 processor that is capable of 4K support at 60Hz. Visually it is no different to the Celeron NUC reviewed earlier in that it is physically small consisting of an approximately 4.5″ square case about 2″ tall with a distinctive front panel that includes the power button and a couple of USB ports with the rest of the ports including two …

AsteroidOS 1.0 Released – An Open Source Linux OS for Wear OS Smartwatches

We first discovered AsteroidOS, a Linux based open source operating system working on some Android Wear (now Wear OS by Google) smartwatches, in early 2016 while looking at FOSDEM 2016 schedule. The project and community have since grown to support more watches,  and a company even tried to launch an AsteroidOS smartwatch (sadly unsuccessfully), but development kept going, and now the very first stable release is out with AsteroidOS 1.0. Some of the highlights of the release: AsteroidOS 1.0 features and apps: phone notifications, an agenda, an alarm clock, a calculator, a music remote control, settings customizations, a stopwatch, a timer, and a weather forecast app. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sync with Android phones using AsteroidOSSync app. Supported hardware LG G Watch, LG G Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R Asus Zenwatch 1, Asus Zenwatch 2, Asus Zenwatch 3 Sony Smartwatch 3 Software emulator for testing and development. Community supported watchfaces 20 languages supported so far: Chinese, Czesh, Danish, Dutch, …

YC-CDA19Q is an 8-Port Quick Charge 3.0 Capable USB Charger with a Display Showing Power Consumption

USB charger doctor is a cheap and easy way to monitor the voltage and current from a USB 2.0 port or charger, but you may have more than one device to monitor, and USB 3.0  type C ports as well as fast charger are now quite common, so it may not be suitable for all situations. Bakeey YC-CDA19Q USB charger hub could be an interesting power monitoring device with 7 USB ports, including one supporting Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging, and an extra USB type C port. Specifications: 8x USB Ports 7x USB type A ports including 6x red USB 2.0 port up to 5V/2.4A each 1x blue USB port supporting QC 3.0 (3.6-6.5V/3A, 6.5-9V/2A or 9-12V/1.5A) 1 USB type C port up to 5V/3A Max Power – 40 Watts (5V/8A) Display – LCD display showing – real-time current and voltage, active charging ports, and charge status Power Supply – 100-240V 50/60Hz power adapter Dimensions – 138 x 75 x …

Wi-Fi EasyMesh is a Standard for WiFi Mesh Networking

WiFi EasyMesh

It’s been possible for add multiple WiFi routers and/or WiFi repeaters in order to provide good coverage in a house / building for years, so this required some manual configuration. So in recent years, companies came up with WiFi mesh networking solutions that do very much the same, but are easier to setup, and – as I understand it – mostly plug-and-play. Some examples are Google WiFi router or eeRo Pro WiFi system,  but apparently so far every company would do their own proprietary WiFi mesh implementation, so you would not be able to mix brands for such features. That’s why the WiFi Alliance worked on, and now announced Wi-Fi EasyMesh, an industry standard  for “simple to use, self-organizing, smart Wi-Fi networks”. Key benefits listed by the organization: Flexible design – Allows for best placement of multiple APs providing extended coverage Easy setup – Delivers automatic device on-boarding and configuration Network intelligence – Self-organizing and self-optimizing network collects information and …