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Posts Tagged ‘crowdsupply’

Pi/104 Carrier Board for Raspberry Pi Compute Modules (Partially) Complies with PC/104 OneBank Specs (Crowdfunding)

November 21st, 2017 1 comment

The PC/104 consortium maintains various standards for embedded computer defining both the buses to use and form factors. PC/104 SBCs/boards are mainly used in rugged industrial computers, and stackable through ISA and PCIe buses. The standards were mostly designed for x86 processors, but in Q1 2015, the consortium added the OneBank option to PCI/104-Express & PCIe/104 Specification, Revision 3.0 in order to enable lower cost solutions and processors with PCIe and USB interfaces.

This brought some lower powered Intel and ARM+FPGA based PC/104 compliant boards to the market such as Winsystems PX1-C415 based on Intel Apollo Lake E3900 SoC, or Sundance EMC²-Z7030 powered by Xilinx Zynq-7030 ARM+FPGA SoC. Adam Parker (Parker Microsystems) has decided to bring the PC/104 OneBank industrial standard to the Raspberry Pi world, by creating Pi/104 a carrier board for the RPi compute modules that (mostly) complies with PC/104 OneBank for factor, and exposes the required USB interfaces (but obviously not PCIe).

Click to Enlarge

Pi/104 specifications:

  • Support for Raspberry Pi Compute Module, CM3, and CM3L.
  • Video Output / Display Interface – 1x HDMI, 1x DSI display interface
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB type A ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – 1x CSI camera connector
  • Expansion
    • 2x IDE style connectors with 59x GPIOs
    • OneBank stackable connector with 2x USB and 5/3.3 V
  • Power Supply – 8 to 36 VDC via terminal block
  • Dimensions – 96 x 90 mm
  • Temperature Range – With Pi Compute Module: -25° C to 85° C; without: -40° C to 85° C

While Broadcom BCM2835/37 processors lack PCIe interface, there are many mPCIe cards that only use USB interfaces, for example connectivity modules (WiFi, LTE, etc…), and Connect Tech provides a PCIe/104 to mini PCIe card adapter that would be compatible with Pi/104, and allow users to leverage compatible mPCIe cards.

The carrier board is said to be especially suited for industrial automation, hydroponics/aquaponics, IoT/IIoT gateways, outdoor advertising displays, HVAC equipment, ruggedized off-road equipment, and others project were wide temperature range and/or variable power input may be required.

Click to Enlarge

The project has launched on CrowdSupply, where Adam aims to raise at least $13,000 to mass produce the board. A pledge of $130 is asked for the carrier board with shipping free to the US, and $20 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for the end of January 2018. You’d have to procure the Compute Modules from your own supplier.


Via Linux Gizmos

GNUBee Personal Cloud 2 is a DIY NAS Supporting up to Six 3.5″ SATA Drives (Crowdfunding)

October 11th, 2017 20 comments

GNUBee Personal Cloud 1 is a DIY NAS powered by Mediatek MT7621A MIPS processor that supports up to 2.5″ SATA drives, and runs free and open source software. It was first introduced in March of this year through a CrowdSupply campaign.

The developers are now back with GNUBee Personal Cloud 2 (GB-PC2) with pretty much the same features, but instead of being designed for 2.5″ drives, it supports up to six 3.5″ drive that should offer either more capacity, or a lower total price for an equivalent capacity.

GB-PC2 NAS specifications:

  • ProcessorMediaTek MT7621A dual core, quad thread MIPS processor @ 880 MHz, overclockable to 1.2 GHz
  • System Memory512 MB DDR3 (max supported by MT7621)
  • Storage – SD card slot tested up to 64 GB, 6x 3.5” SATA HDD or SSD (recommended RAID 0 or 1 under LVM, MD, or Linux MD RAID 10)
  • Connectivity – 3x Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Serial port – 3-pin J1 connector or 3.5 mm audio-type jack
  • Misc – 2x mainboard fan
  • Power – 12 VDC @ 8A via 5.5 mm x 2.1 mm, center-positive barrel jack
  • Dimensions –  TBD
  • Weight – ~454 g (without drives)

They also added one extra Gigabit Ethernet port for a total of three, and the NAS is obviously larger and heavier than the previous model, as well as requires a beefier power supply. The device can currently run Debian, OpenMediaVault, LEDE, or libreCMC with all documentation, schematics, and source code to be released on Github.

The new GB-PC2 model has also been launched on CrowdSupply with a funding target of $45,000. GnuBee PC2 Starter Kit with two anodized aluminum side plates, six threaded brackets and bracket screws, and 24 drive mount screws requires a $249 pledge. However, you may want to spend $10 more to add the power supply, SD card with firmware image, and USB-to-UART adapter cable for the Delux Kit (Early Bird). Shipping is free to the US, but adds $20 to the rest of the world, with delivery planned for December 31, 2017. Further details may be found on GNUBee website.

HeartyPatch is an Open Source Wireless ECG Patch Powered by ESP32 WiSoC (Crowdfunding)

October 2nd, 2017 No comments

Smart health gadgets will soon have a bigger part to play in our lives, especially for health monitoring. It mainly started with fitness trackers, but now we are starting to see connected devices such as blood pressure monitors, including the upcoming watch like Omron HeartVue, thermometer, scales, vital sign monitoring systems, certified medical SBC‘s to allow engineers to developer their own medical applications, and even open source surgical robots.

HeartPatch is one of those medical board that specifically aims at measuring ECG data, and sent it over Bluetooth or WiFi thanks to Espressif ESP32 WiSoC.

HeartPatch specifications:

  • SoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 dual core Tensilica LX6 processor with Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
  • ECG Chip – Maxim MAX30003 analog front-end
  • USB – 1x micro USB connector for programming, data, power, and battery charging
  • Debugging – USB-UART bridge based on CP2104
  • Misc – Onboard Snap-on Buttons for disposable electrode pads, RGB LED,
  • Battery – 450 mAH LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – 65 mm x 42 mm x 4 mm without battery; Dimensions with Case: ~70 mm x 46 mm x 12.7 mm

Basic Kit with Battery and Electrodes

The developers explain that HeartyPatch has several advantages over other low-price heart monitors:

  • ECG-based R-R Interval Measurement is more accurate than optical heart-rate measurement
  • Wide Dynamic Range for robust functioning during movement (not available in traditional ECG monitors)
  • Mathematical and Machine Learning Algorithms for automatic detection of arrhythmia, stress, and several other physiological conditions (not available with regular heart-rate patches)
  • Small, Wearable Form-factor with snap connectors for disposable, pre-gelled ECG electrodes.
  • Open Source and Non-proprietary – can be used with any software or algorithm

HealthyPatch is fully open source hardware with all files available on Github. The current GUI can support three modes:  beat-to-beat, Arrhythmia detection, and Heart-rate variability. If you have the required skills, you’d be able to add other modes to the user interface, or even roll your own. Note that ESP32 currently supports all BLE profiles, but the baseband works only in Bluetooth Classic mode. It will not affect the function, but battery life will be shorter than normal. Espressif Systems claims this will be fixed in the next release (SDK or Silicon?). If you want to follow the project’s progress over time, you may want to visit the Hackaday.io page.

HeartyPatch has just been launched on CrowdSupply, where you can get the basic kit with the board, a 450 mAh Li-Ion battery (soldered to the board), and a set of 10 disposable electrode pads with a $87 or more pledge. You can also add a case for $15, and shipping is free to the US, $15 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for December 14, 2017.

USBCEE Tiny-PAT Board Helps Testing USB-C Power Adapters (Crowdfunding)

September 13th, 2017 No comments

USB power delivery allows for up to 100W charging using 20V @ 5A through a USB type C port, and the specifications also mandate supports for various voltages between 5V and 20V. However, some USB-C power adapter that not be fully compliant with the specifications, potentially risking to damage your device. USBCEE Tiny-PAT board has been created in order to test such power adapters to make sure they are compliant with USB PD 2.0/3.0 specifications.

Tiny-PAT board features and specifications:

  • Supported USB Spec Version – PD 2.0 / PD 3.0
  • Max Voltage: 24 V
  • Max Current: 5 A
  • Max Power: 100 W
  • USB type C receptacle
  • Misc – Fail and Pass LEDS, S4 mode button, through holes for VBUS & GND
  • Power Consumption: ~10 mA (may vary based on voltage)
  • Dimensions – 35 x 20 mm

By default, the board will test all power rules advertised by the power adapter, measure the voltage (VBUS), and show whether the test failed or passed with the LEDs on the board.

USB PD 3.0 Power Ratings, Voltages and Currents – Source: Texas Instruments

S4 button is used to switch to manual mode, where you can switch between each power rule, and verify the voltage(s) with a multimeter, external load, or oscilloscope. In that mode, Tiny-PAT could also be used a variable power supply where you can for example, select 5 V/3 A, 9 V/3 A, 15 V/3 A or 20 V/4.35 A  with Apple’s 87 W USB-C power adapter, or 5 V/3 A, 7 V/3 A, 8 V/3 A, 9 V/2.7 A, or 12 V/2 A with Verizon USB charger. The company promises to release schematics under an open license.

USBCEE has launched a CrowdSupply campaign to raise some funds for mass production of the board. A pledge of $40 should get you a Tiny-PAT board shipped at the end of November. Shipping is free to the US, and adds $7 to the rest of the world.

Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: crowdsupply, power, qa, usb

Husarion CORE2 STM32 Board for Robotics Projects Works with ESP32, Raspberry Pi 3, or ASUS Tinkerboard

June 30th, 2017 No comments

Husarion CORE2 is a board designed to make robotics projects simpler and faster to complete with pre-configured software and online management. Projects can start using LEGOs, before moving to 3D printed or laser-cut version of the mechanical parts without having to spend too much time on the electronics and software part of the project.

CORE2 and CORE2-ROS Boards – Click to Enlarge

Two versions of the board are available: CORE2 combining STM32 MCU with ESP32 WiFI & Bluetooth module, and CORE2-ROS with STM32 instead coupled to a Raspberry Pi 3 or ASUS Tinkerboard running ROS (Robot Operating System). Both solutions share most of the same specifications:

  • MCU -STMicro STM32F4 ARM CORTEX-M4 MCU @ 168 MHz with 192 kB RAM, 1 MB Flash
  • External Storage – 1x micro SD slot
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port with 1A charging capability; 1x micro USB port for debugging and programming via FTDI chip
  • Expansion Headers
    • hRPi expansion header for
      • CORE2-ROS –  a single board computer Raspberry Pi 3 or ASUS Tinker Board
      • CORE2 – an ESP32 based Wi-Fi module
    • 2x motor headers (hMot) with
      • 4x DC motor outputs with built-in H-bridges
      • 4x quadrature encoder inputs 1 A cont./ 2 A max. current per output (2 A/4 A current when paralleled)
    • 6x servo ports with selectable supply voltage (5 / 6 / 7.4 / 8.6 V) 3 A cont./4.5 A max. current for all servos together
    • 6x 6-pin hSens sensor ports with GPIOs, ADC/ext. interrupt, I2C/UART, 5 V out
    • 1x hExt extension port with 12x GPIO, 7x ADC, SPI, I2C, UART, 2 x external interrupts
    • 1x CAN interface with onboard transceiver
  • Debugging – DBG SWD (Serial Wire Debug) STM32F4 debug port; micro USB port for serial console
  • Misc – 5x LEDs, 2x buttons
  • Power Supply – 6 to 16V DC with built-in overcurrent, overvoltage, and reverse polarity protection
  • Dimensions – 94 x 85 mm

On the software side, Husarion provide a set of open source libraries for robots as part of their hFramework, using DMA channels and interrupts internally to handle communication interfaces. The company has also prepared tutorials dealing with ROS introduction, creating nodes, simple kinematics for mobile robot, visual object recognition, running ROS on multiple machines, and SLAM navigation. CORE2 board can also be programming using the Arduino IDE, and finally Husarion Cloud allows you to securely create a web user interface to control the robot, and even program the robot firmware from a web browser.

That means you can program your robot using either the Web IDE, or offline with an SDK plus Visual Studio Code and the Husarion extension. The development work flow is summarized above.

CORE2 boards can be used for a variety of projects such as robotic arms, telepresense robots, 3D printers, education robots, drones, exoskeletons, and so on. If you want to learn about robots, but don’t have LEGO Mindstorms and don’t feel comfortable making your own mechanical parts yet, ROSbot might be a good way to start with CORE2-ROS board, LiDAR, a camera, four DC motors with encoders, an orientation sensor (MPU9250), four distance sensors, a Li-Ion battery (3 x 18650 batteries) and a charger, as well as aluminum mechanics. It also happens to be the platform they use for their tutorials.

ROSbot

You’ll find all those items, and some extra add-on boards, on the CrowdSupply campaign, starting at $89 for CORE2 board with ESP32 module, $99 for CORE2-ROS board without SBC, and going up to $1,290 for the complete ROSbot with ASUS Tinker Board. Shipping is free to the US, and $8 to $20 depending on the selected rewards, with delivery scheduled for September 2017, except for ROSbot that’s planned for mid-October 2017.

μduino May Be the World’s Smallest Arduino Board (Crowdfunding)

June 29th, 2017 8 comments

OLIMEXINO-85S may have held the title of the world’s smallest Arduino (compatible) board for the last few years, being barely bigger than a micro SD card as it measures about 16.9 x 12.7 mm, but there’s a new mini champion in town with μduino board measuring just 12 x 12 mm.

μduino prototype

μduino board specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip Atmel ATMEGA32U4 8-bit AVR microcontroller @ 16 MHz with 2,560 bytes of RAM, 32KB flash, and 1024 bytes of EEPROM (Arduino Leonardo compatible)
  • I/Os
    • 6x Analog I/O ports
    • 14x Digital I/O ports (including Rx/Tx) including  7x PWM
    • 1x Analog reference voltage port
    • 1.27mm pitch
  • Programming / Debugging – 1x micro USB port; 6-pin ICSP programming ports (load custom bootloaders, program other boards, etc)
  • Misc – Status LED, reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; 5V voltage regulator (accepts up to 16V DC);  2x 5V ports;  2x ground ports
  • Dimensions – 12x 12 mm with 2 mounting holes (prototype is 14×14 mm)

Sizes Comparison: Arduino UNO vs Arduino Nano vs μduino

The µduino board is said to be particularly suited for projects such as a mini quad-copter, a GPS logging module, small multimeters, heart rate monitors, and other wearables. The project has launched on Crowdsupply with a $5,000 US funding goal. While µduino may be the smallest Arduino board, it’s not quite the cheapest, as you’d need to pledge $18 to get the board with a micro USB cable. Shipping is free to the US, and $7 to the rest of the world, with delivery scheduled for the end of September 2017.

Via LinuxGizmos

HealthyPi Raspberry Pi HAT Measures ECG, Body Temperature, and Oxygen Saturation (Crowdfunding)

June 12th, 2017 10 comments

Bangalore based ProtonCentral has launched the third version of Healthy Pi, a vital sign monitor using the Raspberry Pi as its computing and display platform, and capable of measuring body temperature, oxygen saturation, and ECG/respiratory data.

Healthy Piv3 board specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel ATSAMD21 ARM Cortex M0 MCU, compatible with Arduino Zero
  • Vital Signs Chips
    • ECG and respiration front-end –  TI ADS1292R 24-bit analog front-end with SNR of 107 dB
    • Pulse oximetry – TI AFE4490 Pulse Oximetry front-end with integrated LED driver and 22-bit ADC
    • Temperature – Maxim MAX30205 digital body temperature sensor for skin temperature sensing
  • Expansions Headers and Ports
    • 1x 40-pin header to connect to Raspberry Pi
    • 2x 3-pin connectors for temperature and BP/GLUCO
    • DB9 connector for finger-clip Spo2 probe
    • 3.5mm jack for ECG cable and probes
    • 1x UART connector for an external blood pressure module
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
  • Debugging – 10-pin JTAG header
  • Dimensions – 65 mm x 56.5 mm x 6 mm (Raspberry Pi HAT form factor)
  • Weight – 100 g

The board comes with Arduino Zero bootloader, can be programmed with the Arduino IDE or Atmel Studio, and is usable as a standalone board. However, connecting it to a Raspberry Pi 3 board will allow you to leverage WiFi connectivity to communication with a TCP client for telemedicine applications, or using an MQTT client for continuous logging applications for example sending data to an AWS EC2 instance running Thingsboard IoT platform, as well as running Java based HealthyPi GUI on a display. The board is not fully open source hardware, as gerber files and BoM are missing, but they’ve released PDF and EAGLE schematics and PCB layout, as well as GUI and firmware source code on github.

The company launched the board on Crowdsupply, where they have raised over $10,000 dollars so far. There are two main options:

  • $195 Healthy Pi 3 HAT Kit with HealthyPi v3 board, 3-electrode cable with “button” connectors on one end and stereo connector on the other end, Finger-clip Spo2 probe, digital skin temperature sensor, 20 single-use disposable ECG electrodes, and a HAT mounting kit
  • $369 (Early bird)/ $395 Healthy Pi 3 Complete Kit with the content of Healthy Pi 3 HAT Kit plus a Raspberry Pi 3 board, a 16GB microSD card with pre-loaded Raspbian and Healthy Pi software, a 7” touchscreen LCD, SmartiPi Touch enclosure for display and Pi, a 5 V/2.5 A medical-grade power adapter with a country-specific snap-on plug

While they provide a 5V/2.5A power bank, they recommend to use a power bank for safety reasons, and to minimizes noise. If you use the board in standalone connected to a laptop, it is also recommended to run on battery during measurements for extra safety.

Delivery is scheduled for July 10, 2017, and free worldwide shipping is included in the prices above. The system will eventually be sold on ProtoCentral website too.

Hornbill ESP32 Development Boards Come with an Optional IP67 Rated Enclosure (Crowdfunding)

April 7th, 2017 1 comment

While there are plenty of ESP32 development boards, and prices have recently plummeted, getting a case for your project can still be a problem especially if you plan to use it outdoor, as you need to protect your hardware from rain and dust. Hornbill project offers two ESP-WROOM-32 based boards, a prototype board, and an IP67 certified case that could be useful for outdoor use.

Hornbill ESP32 Development Boards

Let’s start by checking the boards available starting with ” Hornbill ESP32 Dev” board with the following specs:

  • ESP-WROOM-32 module with WiFi, Bluetooth LE,  FCC, CE, IC, MIC (Telec), KCC, and NCC certifications
  • I/O headers
    • 2x 19-pin headers with GPIOs, I2C, UART, SPI, ADC, DAC, touch interface, VN/VP, 5V, 3.3V and GND
    • Breadboard-friendly
  • Debug – Built-in CP21XX USB-to-serial
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, battery header + single cell LiPo charger
  • Dimensions – TBD

ESP32 Dev (left) and ESP32 Minima (right)

ESP32 Minima is also based on ESP-WROOM-ESP32 module, but is designed for wearables with its round PCB, it only includes a header for battery power, and is limited to 16 large pads with through holes for I/Os, as well as 6 pins for programming and debugging the board.

Hornbill ESP32 Dev Pinout Diagram – Click to Enlarge

Finally, the company has also designed Hornbill ESP32 Proto board where you can solder ESP32 Dev board, and add whatever components you may need for your project. The Proto board also includes a microSD card slot, an RGB LED, an SHT 31 humidity and temperature sensor, as well as footprints for 6x IR transmitters and 1x IR Receiver.

Hornbill Weather Proof Case and Kits

Beside the boards, the developers also provide an IP67 case for it, as well as kits leveraging the case:

  • Hornbill OUR (Open Remote Control) – Bluetooth (BLE) to Infrared (IR) bridge to control IR devices with your smartphone
  • Hornbill Lights – Control RGB LED strips over Bluetooth Smart
  • Hornbill IDL (Industrial Data Logger) – Logs power and temperature values, and upload them securely to the cloud.

There’s also Hornbill Makers Kit without the case, but with Hornbill ESP32 Dev and plenty of modules to play with, such as relays, various sensors, LEDs, a buzzer, an OLED display, a mini breadboard and so on… You’ll find ESP32 firmware and Android app source code for all kits on ExploreEmbedded github account.

 

Hornbill project has just launched on CrowdSupply with the goal of raising at least $2,000. A $12 pledge is asked for Hornbill ESP32 Dev or Hornbill Minima, $15 for the case, and the kits go from $39 (Hornbill ESP32 Dev + Proto board + Case) to $79 for Hornbill Lights with a WS2812 LED strip. Worldwide shipping is included in the price, and delivery is scheduled for June 2017. Noe that this is not the first project from ExploreEmbedded, as they previously launched Explorer M3 board based on NXP LPC microcontroller. However, since CrowdSupply do not show backers’ comments, I could not check whether backers are happy, or the project shipped on time.