Spare TV Box Board Sold for MXQ-4Q / MXQPro DIY Repairs

Spare TV Box board

Once somebody asked me if spare TV box boards were available for purchase since his TV box died after a few months, and he wanted to repair it himself without having to purchase another complete TV box. Usually, such boards are not sold, except maybe on Alibaba, where you may or may not have to purchase in quantities. So I basically told him it would be hard to find, and buying a new or second hand TV box would be a better option. But I was recently made aware that at least one seller was offering spare TV box boards for MXQ-4Q and MXQPro on Aliexpress for $20.61 shipped in order to let people repair their boxes themselves. If your goal is to repair a TV box, I can only think of two reasons for buying a spare TV box board: saving money and/or reducing electronics waste. MXQ-4Q and MXQPro TV boxes are already cheap devices based on Rockchip RK3229 …

MUJA Touch Sensitive Gamepad Sticks to the back of Smartphones (Crowdfunding)

Gaming on smartphones has given rise to various accessories including smartphone gamepads, and smartphone docks to connect USB keyboard and mouse. MUJA is yet another Bluetooth gaming accessories that sticks to the back of your phone and offers four touch sensitive zones enabled 6 fingers operation once you include your two thumbs taking care of handling the control on the touch screen display of the phone itself. MUJA smart touchpad specifications: Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 up to 10 meters range Buttons – Four touch sensitive areas 17 suction cups to stick on back of smartphone (compatible with 4.7″ smartphone or larger) Battery – 450 mAh good for about 36 hours of playtime, 56 hours in standby Dimensions – 133 x 68 x 5.4mm Weight – 59 grams Certifications – PSE, telecom, FCC ,CE, RoHS You’ll just need to install MUJA app for Android or iOS on your smartphone with supports over 100 mainstream games, and allows you to map keys …

GL-USB150 OpenWrt Microrouter Looks Like a USB Flash Drive

GL-USB150 Microrouter

There are plenty of small low cost routers capable of running OpenWrt, including the TP-Link WR703N or Marstek MPR-N9 model which we covered several year ago. GL.inet also made several tiny routers that ended up being supported by OpenWrt, including their GL-USB150 microrouter that looks like a USB flash drive, but is really an Atheros AR9331 router that can be powered by any USB ports. GL-USB150 microrouter specifications: CPU – Qualcomm QCA9331 (Atheros AR9331) MIPS processor @ 400MHz System Memory – 64MB DDRII Storage – 16MB NOR Flash Connectivity – 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi up up 150Mbps transmission rate Power input – 5V/1A via USB port Power consumption – <1W Dimension – 82x24x11mm Weight – 10 grams There’s no Ethernet port, no extra USB port to add 3G/4G connectivity, and the microrouter can either be accessed wirelessly when connected to a power bank, or via Ethernet over USB when connected to a computer. GL-USB150 microrouter is mostly sold as an OpenVPN …

Amlogic S922X Cortex A73/A53 Processor Benchmarked

Amlogic S922X Benchmarks

Amlogic S922X is an upcoming hexa-core processor with four Cortex A73 cores and Cortex-A53 cores mostly designed for devices running Android TV P, but it could also become potentially interesting for development boards and other products like Arm laptops. There aren’t any products available for purchase, but some results appeared on Geekbench in recently showing Droidlogic galilei board with a 6-core processor from Amlogic which has to be Amlogic S922X processor. There’s also g12b_w400 with a 6-core processor from Amlogic, but that’s A311D. So Amlogic S922X benchmarks report 1212 points for the single-core score, and “only” 3,133 points for the multi-core score. The base frequency in “Droidlogic galilei” board is 1.80 GHz, but 1.90 GHz in g12b_w400 “A311D” platforms. Strangely enough, the single core score is only 9xx in the latter. It’s very likely the maximum frequency drops when all four Cortex A73 cores are under loads, as the multi-core score does not scale. Let’s compare those score to Amlogic …

Qihua CQH6 SoM – A Better Alternative to Raspberry Pi Compute Model 3+?

Allwinner H6 SoM

The Raspberry Pi Foundation just launched the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ for $25 and up with Broadcom BCM2837B0 processor offering better thermals than BCM2837 processor. As is often the case, this post generated some insightful comments from the smart readers of CNX Software, and they pointed out some of the shortcomings of the module such as the lack of Ethernet support that would be required for cluster use cases for example. You can also add a USB to Ethernet chip to the carrier board, but that’s not ideal, and instead someone linked to Qihua CQH6 system-on-module powered by Allwinner H6 processor and sold for 158 RMB ($23.5 USD) or 199 RMB ($29.65) for respectively 512MB RAM/4GB flash and 1GB RAM/8GB flash configurations. Qihua CQH6 module specifications: SoC – Allwinner H6 quad-core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.8 GHz with Arm Mali-T720MP GPU System Memory – 512MB, 1GB or 2GB DDR3L RAM Storage – 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB eMMC 5.1 …

PineBook Pro Linux / BSD Rockchip RK3399 Laptop Coming Up for $200

Pinebook Pro

Pine64 announced the Pinebook laptop in 2016. The ultra cheap ($89 and up) laptop was based on Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor coupled with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and a 11.6″ or 14″ display. It was never meant to be a replacement for your current laptop due to the low end specifications, but you could still use it to tinker with Arm Linux or *BSD, as a lightweight portable terminal, etc… Pine64 made several announcements in a single blog post right before FOSDEM 2019 where they’ll showcase some of their upcoming products including the Pinephone development kit that’s use to develop software for the upcoming Pinephone open source phone, PineTab *BSD/Linux-only tablet with  Allwinner A64 SoC, and an 11.6″ display like Pinebook laptop, a retro gaming case compatible with Rock64 and Rock64Pro boards, an open source IP camera based on Allwinner S3L processor,  Pine H64 Model B (Allwinner H6) board with Rock64 form factor, Rock64 Rev.3 with some …

MXCHIP EMW3060 WiFi IoT module sells for less than $2

MXCHIP EMW3060

Over the last few years, we’ve seen several Arm based WiFi IoT modules trying to compete with Tensilica based ESP8266 including Pine64 PADI IoT Stamp and Air602 WiFi IoT modules with similar functionalities and price (around $2) as the Espressif modules. I have not seen many projects with any of those Arm based wireless modules, likely because Espressif Systems software ecosystem is mature, and it’s hard to compete for new entrants. Nevertheless there’s a new Arm WiFi IoT module, not based on Cortex-M core, but instead, MXCHIP EMW3060 is equipped with an older ARM9 core, 256KB RAM, and 2MB flash, and sells for just $1.79 on Seeed Studio in single quantity. The price further drops to $1.55 per unit if you order 50 pieces or more. MXCHIP EMW3060 WiFi IoT module specifications: SoC ARM9 core clocked at 120 MHz System Memory – 256KB SRAM Storage – 2MB flash Connectivity – 2.4GHz radio, 802.11 b/g/n WiFI, HT/40, support Station, Soft AP, …

Kodi 18 “Leia” Released Ahead of FOSDEM 2019

Kodi 18 Leia

As one should have expected based on the abstract of the upcoming Kodi presentation at FOSDEM 2019, Kodi 18 “Leia” has just been released a few days before the 2-day open source developer event. It’s been nearly two years since the release of Kodi 17 “Krypton”, and it took a little longer than initially expected for Kodi 18 to become stable enough for an official since there have been so many changes including half a million lines of code added by 36 open source developers, close to 10,000 commits for almost 9,000 changed files. Some of the improvements in Kodi 18 include: Retroplayer gaming with support for gaming emulators, ROMs and game controls. Digital Rights Management (DRM) decryption support to play subscription content Improved Music Library with better filtering, faster API access, and more Live TV improvements including support for new back-ends like Zattoo, Teleboy, and Sledovanitv.cz, as well as enhanced EPG and PVR support among other things. Binary addon support …