KidBright32 Board is Thailand’s BBC Micro:Bit Equivalent

BBC Micro:Bit board was first announced in July 2015. Designed for STEM education, the board was then offered to UK schools in March 2016, and a few months later UK store would start selling it worldwide. It’s now available pretty much anywhere, and you can likely find it in a local store or online. The Thai government must have seen this, and thought to themselves “If the British can do it, we can do it too!”, as the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) part of Thailand’s Ministry of Science and Technology designed KidBright32 board and courses to teach STEM to Thai students. The board is based on Espressif Systems ESP32-WROOM-32 WiFI and Bluetooth module, and comes with large holes for power (5V/GND) and 6 digital inputs/outputs,  smaller through holes for I2C and more I/Os, as well as an I2C header. We’ll also find some LEDs, two dot matrix LED displays, three buttons, a buzzer, an RTC, a light …

TTGO Micro-32 is a Tiny ESP32-PICO-D4 Module

TTGO Micro-32 vs ESP32-WROOM-32

Unveiled almost a year ago, ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP (System-in-Package) combines ESP32 wireless processor, 4MB SPI Flash, a crystal oscillator, as well as some passive components, and allows more compact or thinner designs such as found in ESP32-PICO- Kit v4 development board. However, so far I had not seen any ESP32-PICO-D4 module, but TTGO Micro-32 fills the void as a compact module based on the SiP. TTGO Micro-32 module specifications: SiP – Espressif Systems ESP32-PICO-D4 based on ESP32 dual core processor + 4MB SPI flash Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2 LE and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 150 Mbps with chip antenna and u.FL (IPEX) connector Expansion – Castellated holes with GPIO, ADC, DAC, VP/VN, Touch, UART, I2C, and power signals Supply Voltage – 3.3V Dimensions – 19.2 x 13.3 mm (45% smaller than ESP32-WROOM-32) There’s no specific software for the module, since it should be software compatible with ESP-WROOM-32 (now called ESP32-WROOM-32). I first found TTGO Micro-32 module on Banggood where it …

Makerdiary nRF52840 Micro Development Kit Works with OpenThread, Arm Mbed OS, Zephyr OS, Mynewt, etc…

nRF52840 Micro Development Kit

If you want to play around with Bluetooth 5, Nordic nRF52840 is probably one of the best option, and among the development board, $9/$12 Particle Xenon is hard to beat when it comes to value. But if you need a bit more storage, I/Os and features, Makerdiary nRF52840 micro development kit looks like a good candidate to evaluate, especially it supports plenty of frameworks / operating systems such as Arm Mbed OS, Zephyr Project, OpenThread, Mynewt, and others. It’s also the first MCU class board I’ve seen with a USB type C port, although I’m not sure it brings any benefits to this type of hardware. Makerdiary nRF52840 micro development kit (nRF52840-MDK) hardware specifications: SoC – Nordic nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F WiSoC with 1 MB FLASH and 256 kB RAM, Arm TrustZone Cryptocell 310 security subsystem External Storage – 64-Mbit QSPI flash Wireless Connectivity (on-chip) Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth Mesh Thread, IEEE 802.15.4 ANT, 2.4GHz proprietary On-chip NFC-A tag On-board 2.4G chip …

$10 Nordic Semi nRF52840 USB Dongle Supports Bluetooth 5, Thread, ZigBee, 802.15.4, ANT and 2.4GHz Proprietary

nRF52840 USB Dongle

Several weeks ago, as I noticed the lack of Bluetooth 5 USB dongles, I found MakerSpot CC2640 Bluetooth 5 USB stick based on Texas Instrument CC2640R2F Arm Cortex-M3 WiSoC. It’s not exactly a consumer products, and instead it’s more like a development kit, but it can still be inserted into the USB port of your computer or development board. Today, I found out Nordic Semi also made their own Bluetooth 5  – or is it Bluetooth 5.0 now, I’m really confused at this point – USB dongle for evaluation & development based on nRF52840 WiSoC. It’s not only for Bluetooth 5 though, as the multi-protocol SoC also supports Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth Mesh, Thread, Zigbee, 802.15.4, ANT(+), and 2.4 GHz proprietary solutions. nRF52840 USB dongle (PCA10059) key features: Wireless Connectivity – Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread, Zigbee, 802.15.4, ANT/ANT+, and 2.4GHz USB – USB 2.0 ports Expansion – 15x GPIO and interfaces available on castellated edge Misc – 1x …

Maxim Announces Wearable ECG and Heart Monitor Development Kits

Maxim ECG Heart Monitor Development Kits

Maxim Integrated has recently announced two wearable development kits for fitness / health tracking: MAX-HEALTH-BAND watch for vital signs MAX-ECG-MONITOR with a chest strap for clinical-grade electrocardiograph (ECG) and heart rate. MAX-HEALTH-BAND Development Kit The MAX-HEALTH-BAND wrist-worn heart-rate and activity monitor features the company’s MAX86140 optical pulse-oximeter/heart-rate sensor, MAX20303 wearable power-management solution, and Maxim’s motion-compensated algorithms. The watch sends raw PPG and accelerometer data via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, and also monitors steps, activity, heart rate and interbeat intervals for heart-rate variability measurements. Battery life is around 7 days on a single charge. The kit also includes a USB charging cable, and instructions to download the Android-based application. The evaluation platform can be used for the development of fitness and wellness trackers, health monitoring trackers, or as a experimentation platform for new use cases and algorithms. In addition to raw PPG and accelerometer data, the MAX-HEALTH-BAND monitors steps, activity, heart rate, and interbeat intervals for heart-rate variability. The MAX-HEALTH-BAND …

RoKi Sensor Node Bluetooth 5 Devkit is Equipped with Multiple Sensors

RoKi Sensor Node

ROHM and Kionix have just introduced the RoKi Sensor Node, part of the new RoKi IoT Platform. The sensor node is based on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 Bluetooth 5 LE System-on-Chip (SoC), and integrates multiple sensors from Kionix and ROHM. RoKi Sensor Node specifications: MCU – Nordic Semi nRF52840 Bluetooth 5 Arm Cortex M4F processor @ 64 Mhz with 1 MB flash, 256kB RAM Sensors Built-in 3-axis accelerometer Combination 3-axis accelerometer + 3-axis magnetometer Combination 3-axis accelerometer + 3-axis gyroscope 3-axis magnetometer Barometer Available with expansion connectors Optical heart rate sensor Ambient light sensor RGB color sensor Magnetic hall effect sensor etc Misc – Programmable RGB LED Power Supply – Rechargeable Li-Polymer battery, replaceable coin cell batteries, or via Micro USB. Battery life – Active time is about 8 hours of typical usage, and an estimated standby time of 200 hours. Dimensions – 42x67x22mm The sensor node comes with a mounting accessory to let users attach it to surfaces with screws …

UM25C is a Better USB Power Meter with built-in Display, Bluetooth, and Android & Windows Apps

UM25C

Products such as USB Charger Doctor are good way to test your USB chargers or cables, as well as checking the power consumption of USB powered development boards. You just plug them into a USB port, and connect the load, and you’ll see the real-time voltage and current shown on an LED display. Those do the job, but I’ve just been made aware of UM25C USB meter tester that improves a lot on the concept with a dot matrix display capable of showing charts, and Bluetooth connectivity to send the data to Android or Windows devices. UM25C specifications: Display 1.44″ color LCD display 0-5 brightness setting Auto screen off time – 0 to 9 minutes Refresh rate – 2Hz Measurement Range & Accuracy Voltage – 4-24.000V ±0.5‰ + 2digits Current –  0-5.0000A ±1‰ + 4 digits Capacity – 0-99999mAh Energy accumulation – 0-99999mWh Load impedance – 0.8Ω-9999.9Ω Time range – 0-99h59min59s Temperature range – -10℃ to 100℃ ±3℃ Connectivity – …

MakerSpot CC2640 is a $20 Bluetooth 5 LE USB Dongle

Bluetooth 5 was announced in May 2016 with four times the range, twice the speed of Bluetooth 4.0. Since then SoCs, development boards, and smartphones have been announced with Bluetooth 5, but so far I had not seen any Bluetooth 5 USB dongle to add the new Bluetooth version to existing computer or boards. While I’ve not been able to find a consumer grade Bluetooth 5 USB dongle yet, today I found out something close it to with MakerSport CC2640 USB dongle / board based on TI CC2640 chip. GT-Tronics CC264BPA-UDOG (actual name) USB dongle specifications: MCU – Texas Instrument CC2640R2F Arm Cortex-M3 SimpleLink Wireless SoC with Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity – Bluetooth 5 Low Energy BLE including built-in antenna; backward compatible with BLE 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 Silabs CP2110 HID to UART bridging device Debugging – 10-pins JTAG connector for CC2640 debugging and firmware flashing The dongle is enumerated as generic HID device, and no driver required for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OSX, …