Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Review – Part 1: Unboxing

Particle Argon WiFi Bluetooth Kit

Back in February of this year, Particle introduced three low cost IoT development boards based on Nordic Semi nRF52840 wireless chip supporting “Particle Mesh” networking based on the 802.15.4 radio in the chip and OpenThread implementation of Thread IoT communication protocol. The company recently announced they were now shipping the kits pre-ordered earlier this year, and released two IoT development tools based on Node-RED and Visual Studio Code. Particle contacted me as well as to find out whether I was interested in reviewing their latest WiFi / Bluetooth / Mesh kit, and I’ve just received the bundle, which comes with a bunch of items, so I decided to write an unboxing post first to have a first look at the hardware, before playing with it in one or two weeks. Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Bundle Unboxing That’s what I got from UPS… From top left to bottom right: The Argon kit (ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth + Mesh) A Grove …

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96Boards IoT Edition IVY5661 Board Features UniSoC UWP5661 WiFi 5 + Bluetooth 5 SoC

If you ever wanted to start a new IoT project with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, you’d like think about using Espressif ESP32 WiSoC that supports single band 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (WiFi 4) and Bluetooth 4.2 LE thanks to great community and software support on top of the ultra low cost of the solution. But in case your require 802.11ac (WiFI 5) – yes, I’m trying hard to get used to the new WiFi naming scheme for consumers -, or Bluetooth 5, Espressif Systems does not offer such solution yet. Instead you may consider UniSoC UWP5661 Arm Cortex-M4 WiSoC with WiFi 5 & Bluetooth 5 connectivity that will be found in the soon-to-be-launched UcRobotics IVY5661 96Boards IoT Edition board. I could not find lots of information about UWP5661 chip tself, so let’s jump directly to IVY5661 board specifications: SoC – UniSoC UWP5661 dual core Arm Cortex-M4 microcontroller @ 416 MHz manufactured with 28nm process Storage – 32Mbit NOR flash Connectivity (built-in …

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Particle Unveils Mesh SoMs and IoT Developer Tools

Earlier this year, Particle unveiled three IoT development boards based on nRF52840 Bluetooth 5/802.15.4 WiSoC and supporting Particle Mesh, which interestingly is not based on Bluetooth Mesh or even Bluetooth, and instead relies on Thread specification/OpenThread implementation, and the 802.15.4 radio of the chip with Bluetooth only used for the initial setup stage. Particle announced the shipping date (October 2018 or… this month) for their Mesh boards pre-ordered in February, as well as three new products in a recent blog post. One of the products is a family of system-on-modules compatible with Particle Mesh, while the other two are related IoT developer tools. Particle Mesh SOMs The Particle Mesh SOMs will have similar names and features as corresponding Particle mesh developers kits such as Boron (NB-IoT / eMTC + BLE + Mesh) and Argon (ESP32 WiFi, BLE + Mesh), but with an edge connector and designed as enterprise-grade, production-scale version of the dev boards. The modules are still in development, …

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BLE Micro is a Tiny, Coin-Cell Powered Bluetooth 4.0 Development Board

BLE Micro

DFRobot Bluno is a Bluetooth 4.0 LE development board following Arduino UNO form factor, and powered by TI CC2540 chipset. The board sells for $24.90 on their online store, and the company provides firmware and mobile app source code, but if you ever wanted a similar solution in a much smaller form factor, and powered by a coin cell battery, the company has now launched BLE Micro board. BLE Micro board specifications: Bluetooth Chip – Texas Instruments CC2540 8051 MCU with USB, Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity Wireless Connectivity Frequency: 2.4GHz Transfer rate:  ≤1Mbps Modulation: GFSK, Bluetooth low power, V4.0 Sensitivity: -93dB Transmission distance – 30m in free space USB – 1x micro USB port Expansion – 21 through holes with reset, power signals, UART, and GPIOs. Input Voltage: +3.3 DC Power Consumption – Working: 10.6mA average, ready mode:8.7mA Temperature Range – -10 ℃ ~ +65 ℃ Dimensions – 49mm x 35mm Typical applications include iBeacon,HID connection, wearable equipment, and Bluetooth …

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Embedded Linux Conference Europe & OpenIoT Summit Europe 2018 Schedule

Embedded Linux Conference OpenIOT Summit Europe 2018

The Embedded Linux Conference & OpenIoT Summit 2018 took place in March of this year in the US, but the European version of the events are now planned to take place on October 21-24 in Edinburg, UK, and the schedule has already been released. So let’s make a virtual schedule to find out more about some of interesting subjects that are covered at the conferences. The conference and summit really only officially start on Monday 22, but there are a few talks on Sunday afternoon too. Sunday, October 21 13:30 – 15:15 – Tutorial: Introduction to Quantum Computing Using Qiskit – Ali Javadi-Abhari, IBM Qiskit is a comprehensive open-source tool for quantum computation. From simple demonstrations of quantum mechanical effects to complicated algorithms for solving problems in AI and chemistry, Qiskit allows users to build and run programs on quantum computers of today. Qiskit is built with modularity and extensibility in mind. This means it is easy to extend its …

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WiFiBoy32 is an ESP32 Portable Game Console and IoT Devkit

WiFiBoy32

I’ve noticed that ever since Hardkernel launched their ODROID-GO “10th anniversary” portable game console based on ESP32 processor, most of the talk on IRC and social media is about this new toy, and people almost seem to have forgotten about the company’s Arm Linux boards 🙂 But recently, I’ve come across a somewhat similar ESP32 device called WiFiBoy32 that acts as both a portable game console and an IoT development kit. WiFIBoy32 specifications: Wireless module – ESP32-WROOM-32 wireless module with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE connectivity Display – 2.4″ 240×320 color SPI TFT LCD display Expansion – 2x 8-pin through holes with GPIOs, SPI, DAC, I2S,ADC, VP/VN, and power signals (3.3V, Vin, GND) Misc Top – 6x large gaming buttons, select and start push buttons, buzzer Bottom – PROG and RESET buttons, user LED USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming (CP2102) Dimensions – 120 x 73 mm The board can be programmed with the …

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Google Titan Security Key Prevents Phishing Attacks

Google Titan Security Key

Phising is a social engineering method that aims to trick users into giving their passwords. This can normally be mitigated with things called “brain” and “paying attention”, but since we are all humans mistakes may happen on a bad day. Even Google employees who should be tech savvy fell for the tricks from time-to-time, so Google made employees use 2-factor authentication with a  hardware security key since January 2017, and none of Google workers failed for a phising attack since then. CNET was provided with a sample of Google’s “Titan Security Key”, which comes in both USB and Bluetooth/NFC versions, and will be available for sale in Google’s online store within the next few months. The full technical details have not been provided for the key, but we do know Titan Security Keys support FIDO protocol, and are built with a secure element and a firmware written by Google that verifies the integrity of security keys at the hardware level. …

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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 …

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