XinaBox’s xChips Enable Modular Electronics for Makers & STEM Education

Xinabox xCHIPS ESP8266 UV Index Monitor

So today, I decided to have a look a 96Boards website to see if there was anything new from the community, and I came accross “X in a Box B901“, an “☒CHIP is designed to interface with the 96 Boards, such as the Dragonboard 410c. This provides an interface to support the ☒CHIP ecosystem, adding support for many additional sensors etc…” I had no idea what it was all about, so obviously I had to investigate. Xinabox (X in a Box) is an ecosystem of modular electronics boards used for developing, making products and learning. There are now over 70 modular xChip” with cores/CPUs, sensors, power, communication, output, and storage. They are interconnected together without wires, soldering, breadboards, and adapters are provided for Raspberry Pi, 96Boards, and other development boards. xChips can be sorted into 8 categories: Cores – MCU/CPI cores based on Microchip ATMega328P, SAMD21, ESP8266, or ESP32 with or without a LoRa radio Bridges – Used to connect …

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Edu-C Arduino Compatible Board Targets Education & Game Development

Edu-C Arduino Board Game Development

Sometimes learning can be boring, and a potentially good way to get kids more engaged is to learn by playing. Edu-C Arduino compatible board is designed to teach game development to kids old and young, so they have a lasting reward once they complete programming of the board, or they may decide to customize the game further. Edu-C hardware specifications: MCU – Microchip Atmel AVR328 microcontroller Display – 28×64 pixel OLED display + 1-digita 7-segment display Game Inputs – Left and right potentiometers Misc – 8x LEDs, left & right LEDs, RGB LED, on/off power switch, reset button, buzzer USB – 1x micro USB connector for programming (CH340) and power Power Supply – 5V via USB; LiPo battery support The board ships with a 200 mAh Lipo battery, and a charger. Educational materials are also provided, but only in French right now, except for some documents which are in English. There are also various tutorials, again in French language: EduC-Clair complies …

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ANAVI Thermometer WiFi Board is Designed for Home Automation (Crowdfunding)

ESP8266 Thermostat

ANAVI Technology launched several open source hardware boards for the Raspberry Pi and ESP8266 maker communities in the past, starting with RabbitMax Flex home automation HAT for Raspberry Pi, and several others including ANAVI Light Controller ESP8266 board to control LED strips. All boards are designed with KiCad opensource EDA software, and I’ve tested several already such as ANAVI Infrared pHAT or ANAVI Light Controller, and found documentation to be very good and easy to follow. The company has now launched another ESP8266 board with ANAVI Thermometer that allows you to monitor temperature and humidity, effectively acting as a thermostat for home automation. ANAVI Thermometer specifications: SoC –  Espressif Systems ESP8266 Tensilica L106 32-bit processor Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n Display – Mini OLED display Build-in sensor – AM2302 (DHT22) temperature and humidity sensor Expansion Terminal block for DS18B20 waterproof temperature sensor UART pins 3x slots for I2C sensors Misc – Button Dimensions – 75 mm x 40 mm Certification – …

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TTGO T-Camera ESP32 Camera Board Comes with OLED Display, Sensors

TTGO T-Camera ESP32 OLED Display

ESP32 is now being used for AI workloads such as face detection with camera boards like ESP32-CAM, or the upcoming ESP-EYE board from Espressif Systems themselves, combined with ESP-WHO face detection and recognition framework. The two aforementioned board require you to use a phone to vizualize the results, unless you blink some LEDs or connect your own display. But the just released TTGO T-Camera board includes a 128×64 OLED display which should allow you to display face detection and/or recognition results, as well as a BME280 environmental sensor, a PIR sensor, and an optional fisheye lens. TTGO T-Camera board specifications: ESP32-WROVER-B Wireless Module SoC –  ESP32 dual core Tensilica LX6 processor Memory – 8MB PSRAM Storage – 4MB SPI flash Connectivity – 2.4 GHz 802.11n WiFI 5, Bluetooth 4.2 LE Camera – 2MP OV2640 camera with normal or fisheye lens Display – 0.96″ 128×64 OLED display connected via SSD1306 I2C display controller Audio – Microphone USB – 1x micro USB …

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Sony Spresense Board Review with NuttX based Spresense SDK

Sony Spresence Kit Assembled

Sony Spresense Arduino compatible board with audio and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) support and its extension board launched in Japan this summer. The company has now expanded markets, and is offering the boards in the United States and Europe as well. They also tasked an agency to send samples to various reviewers, and I got selected to receive one as well. I’ll start the review by checking out the hardware, shortly discuss software development options, and report my experience with Spresense SDK. Sony Spresense Unboxing I received two packages… … one the main board, and the other for the extension board. The main board package only comes with CXD5602PWBMAIN1 board and an information sheet. The top of the board includes a reset button, four user LEDs, a power LED, a boot recovery button, the camera interface, Sony CXD5247 power management and audio analog interface chip (Black on the photo below, but in reality it’s a reflective surface), Sony CXD5602 hexa …

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ClockworkPi GameShell Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Assembly Guide

ClockworkPi Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi Gameshell is a portable retro gaming console kit designed to be hackable being powered by Allwinner R16 processor to run Linux, as well as an Arduino compatible Atmel AVR MCU. It’s partially open source hardware with PDF schematics, and firmware source code available on Github. The device launched last year on Kickstarter, raised close to $300,000, and started shipping to backers last summer. The company has now sent me a sample for review, so let’s have a look. The first part of the review will be more than just an unboxing, since the game console is meant to be assembled by the end user, and I’ll report my experience doing so. ClockworkPi Gameshell Unboxing The kit comes in a fairly large package that reads “GameShell – Redefine Portable Game Console” and lists the main specifications with quad core Cortex A7 processor, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB RAM, 16GB micro SD storage with OS,  micro HDMI output, and a 1,200 …

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eduArdu is an Open Source Hardware Arduino Learning Board

eduArdu

Olimex has recently launched eduArdu, an open source hardware Arduino compatible board specifically designed for education with plenty of buttons, LEDs,  and sensors, as well as tutorials and samples source code to help young and older aspiring makers get started with Arduino programming. eduArdu hardware specifications: MCU – Microchip ATMega32U4 AVR microcontroller (as used in Arduino Leonardo) Display – 8×8 LED matrix display Audio – Built-in microphone, buzzer User Inputs – Joystick with push button, 6 Maykey-Makey type buttons Sensors – Utrasound distance sensor, light sensor, PIR sensor, temperature sensor (-45 to +125C) Expansion Two servo motor connectors UEXT connector Debugging / Programming – 1x micro USB port Misc – RGB LED,  IR transmitter, IR receiver, status LED, reset button Power Supply LiPo charger and battery connector 5V via USB port Dimensions – 170 x 75 mm Programming can be done with the Arduino IDE, or Snap4Arduino visual programming IDE. You’ll find KiCAD hardware design files, and software resources in …

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Allwize K2 IoT Board Supports 169MHz Wize LPWAN Protocol (LoRa alternative)

Allwize K2

LoRa, Sigfox, and NB-IoT are probably the most popular low power long range wireless protocols for the Internet of Things, but there are several others, including one I had never heard of: Wize. The Wize Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) protocol has been created in late 2017, leverages the “old and refurbished” 169 MHz frequency, support up to 20 km range, 20-year battery life, and is managed by the Wize Alliance with members including STMicroelectronics, Suez, Sagecom, Renesas, Analog Devices, Silicon Labs and many others. Despite being a recent protocol, the table below claims 3 millions of deployment for Wize, and showcases some of differences against LoRa, NB-IoT, and Sigfox. You may be confused as how the standard was created in at the end of 2017, but there are so many deployments, and 13 years experience.  It appears Wize is derived from the older EN 13757 standard for gas and electricity meters, and companies such as GRDF and Suez …

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