Olimex Launches NB-IoT DevKit Based on Quectel BC66 Module for 19 Euros

Olimex NB-IoT Devkit BC66

There are three LPWAN standards currently dominating the space LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, and Sigfox. In a recent presentation, Olimex explains NB-IoT (aka LTE Cat NB1) offers several advantages over LoRaWAN and Sigfox which include: Higher speeds of up to 25.5 kbps (UL/DL) Single GSM base station can handle up to 100 000 NB-IoT nodes Single GSM base station can cover up to 10-100km range in rural environments, and 1 to 10km in urban settings Lasts up to 10 years on a Lithium 3V battery if less than 200 bytes are sent per day The main disadvantage they listed was operator dependence, as you rely on the operator for coverage, and anything related to connectivity. In Bulgaria in particular, they found out it was not easy to get an NB-IoT SIM card activated, and the operator may shut you off without notice. For reference here in Thailand, last time I checked I could not buy a SIM card for evaluation with my …

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Arduino MKR WAN 1310 LoRa Board Gets HW Security, Longer Battery Life and a 2MB SPI flash

MRK WAN 1310

Two year ago Arduino launched MKR WAN 1300 board powered by Arduino Zero compatible Microchip Atmel SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU and a Murata CMWZ1ZZABZ LoRa module based on Semtech SX1276 and STMicro STM32L microcontroller. The company has now announced a new improved LoRa board – MKR WAN 1310 – with lower power consumption thanks to a new battery charger , a 2MB SPI flash  which enables data logging and other OTA (Over-the-Air) functions, and a crypto chip that can securely store credentials and certificates. Specifications: MCU – Microchip Atmel SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash (8KB for bootloader) External Storage – 2MB SPI flash Digital I/O Pins – 8x digital I/Os, 12x PWM, UART, SPI, and I2C, 8x external interrupts Analog Pins – 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC), and 1x analog output (10-bit DAC) DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA LPWAN connectivity Murata CMWZ1ZZABZ LoRa module …

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BASIC Compiler & Programming on Arduino Zero Boards (Crowdfunding)

BASIC Compiler Arduino

Arduino boards are normally programmed using Arduino “programming language” that’s more like an API using C/C++ language.  But when I started in high-school I remember learning Pascal and BASIC programming languages. Bruce Eisenhard also learned BASIC in the past, so he decided to port his company’s ARM BASIC compiler to Arduino Zero, and it should also work on other boards based on Microchip SAMD21G Arm Cortex-M0+ microcontroller. The compiler includes floating-point, strings, inline assembly, interrupts, pre-processor, and the BASIC firmware supports direct access to hardware registers so you can control digital and analog I/Os, ADCs, and other peripherals using BASIC programming language. A runtime monitor also facilitates debugging. The IDE used for development is called BASICtools that’s a free 30MB download which install programs and documentation. There are also libraries and examples from blinky to more complex code. It’s been possible to run interpreted BASIC on Arduino for a while, but Bruce notes compiled BASIC is at least 20 times …

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Wio Lite RISC-V WiFi Board with ESP8266 Module Launches for $6.9

Wio Lite RISC-V

Released this summer, GigaDevice GD32V generated a lot of buzz, as a cheap general-purpose 32-bit RISC-V MCU, and soon after the $5 Longan Nano development board with LCD display and enclosure was launched to the market. However, many applications benefit or require some network connectivity with WiFi. Espressif Systems is a founding member of the RISC-V Foundation, so RISC-V WiSoCs (Wireless SoCs) are coming, but AFAIK none of those are available yet. In the meantime, Seeed Studio has launched Wio Lite RISC-V board which brings WiFi connectivity to GD32V MCU through an ESP8266 WiFi module. Wio Lite specifications: MCU – Gigadevice GD32VF103CBT6 RISC-V (rv32imac) microcontroller @ 108 MHz with 128KB Flash, 32KB SRAM Wireless Module – ESP8266 WiFi Wio Core with 802.11b/g/n/ WiFi 4 connectivity Storage – MicroSD card slot USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming Expansion – I/O headers for GD32 MCU, I/O header for Wio core ESP8266 module Debugging – Unpopulated 6-pin JTAG header …

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Blip Nordic nRF52840 Dev Board Includes STM32 Black Magic Probe Programmer & Debugger (Crowdfunding)

The Latest Electronut Labs Nordic nRF52840 Based Dev Board Electronut Labs has started its Crowd Supply campaign for Blip, a Nordic nRF52840 based development board. With many onboard sensors and systems, the boards are aimed at prototyping and projects in a wide variety of BLE and 802.15.4, wireless application scenarios.  It has a programmer and debugger built-in. Past Articles  Electronut Labs has a series of Nordic Semiconductor SoC projects previously reported on including  Papyr, a Bluetooth E-Paper Display and Bluey, a BLE Development board using the Nordic nRF52832, and CNXSoft also published an article comparing several of the Nordic SoC available in development boards for Bluetooth 5 (BLE5). The Features the Stand Out Blip has a Black magic Probe compatible programmer and debugger built-in, along with a temperature/humidity sensor, ambient light intensity sensor,  and a three-axis accelerometer.  The board is designed to prototype very low power devices and an ability to add a microSD card slot, to make it a …

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UDOO X86 II SBC Combines Intel Braswell SoC with Microchip ATMega32U4 “Arduino” MCU

UDOO x86 II

UDOO X86 development board was first introduced in a crowdfunding campaign in 2016 with a quad-core Intel Braswell processor coupled with an Arduino 101 compatible Intel Curie module for real-time I/O processing. Early July of next year (2019) the Intel processor and module seems to be going so well and have a bright future together with UDOO X86 board and accessories becoming broadly available. But life can be cruel at times, and Intel announced their plan to discontinue Intel Curie and other IoT projects just a few weeks later with the last shipment scheduled for July 2018. SECO, the company behind UDOO, could only order so much stock of Intel Curie module, so they had to design an alternative, and here we are with UDOO X86 II SBC offering many of the same features but replacing Intel Curie module by a Microchip ATmega32U4 MCU compatible with Arduino Leonardo.   Two UDOO X86 II models – Ultra and Advanced Plus – …

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HealthyPi v4 Wearable WiFi Vital Signs Monitor Follows Raspberry Pi HAT Form Factor

HealthyPi v4 Campaign Starts ProtoCentral has started a Crowd Supply campaign for the HealthyPi v4, its latest vital signs monitoring dev kit. The HealthyPi v4 is wearable, wireless, and can be mounted on a Raspberry Pi. The units are all open source and stand-alone made for end-users, students as well as researchers and developers.  An Improvement on HealthyPi v3 The recent increase in health-related tech has fueled ProtoCentral’s desire to bring its HealthyPi v3 up to current usability and development standards. The retail versions of the HealthyPi v4 are made specifically to work in conjunction with the Android OS for ease of use and mobility.  Also, the Raspberry Pi HAT form factor is also supported in this version of the device. Articles On Health-Related Development The articles that have touched on health-related issues and topics from our archives, as well as very recently include HEGduino a neurofeedback monitor and the HealthyPi v3 What The Units Measure The units have …

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Spartan Edge Accelerator Arduino Compatible Board Combines ESP32 & Spartan-7 FPGA

Spartan Edge Accelerator

Xilinx Spartan FPGAs have been around for a while, and a few years ago we covered Spartan-6 FPGA boards such as Spartixed and miniSpartan6+.  Seeed Studio has now launched another Xilinx Spartan board with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Spartan Edge Accelerator Board follows Arduino UNO form factor and combines a more recent Xilinx Spartan-7 FPGA with Espressif Systems ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth chip. Spartan Edge Accelerator specifications:  FPGA – Xilinx Spartan-7 XC7S15 FPGA with 12.8K Logic Cells and 360Kb block RAM WiSoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 SoC with 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1  BLE Storage – SPI flash, MicroSD card slot Video Output – Mini HDMI Video Input – CSI Camera Interface with support for OV5640 sensor USB – USB type-C port Expansion Arduino UNO headers (5V) FPGA I/O header DAC output and ADC input header (via 8-bit ADC1173 chip) 2x Grove connectors (I2C and digital I/O) Debugging / Programming – Arduino ICSP header, FPGA  JTAG interface Sensors …

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