Archive

Posts Tagged ‘diy’

OKW Body Case is an IP65/IP67 Enclosure for Wearables & IoT Projects

January 5th, 2018 6 comments

You may have worked on a battery powered wearable or IoT projects, and the hardware and software are mostly ready, but you’ve yet to find a good way to package it to make it easily wearable, and protect it from the elements.

OKW body case could be one way, as it can be used around your arm like a wrist watch, as a key ring attachment, clipped to your trousers or T-shirt, carried  around your neck.

The case has been moulded in ASA plastic with a high UV protection, includes a TPV sealing ring to ensure IP65/IP67 water & dust proofness, and is assembled with four stainless stell screws using a Torx drive. The company provides two sizes (Large: 55 x 46 x 17 mm, or Medium: 50 x 41 x 16 mm) and claims easy operation with the help of push buttons or touchscreens, although I’d assume water / dust resistance goes out of the window if any of those two are used.

The top part can be made with or without recessed surface for the protection of a label, or membrane keyboard. Optional accessories include a wrist strap, fastening kit such as a clip or eyelet, and others. Some potential applications could be CO gas monitor, Dr Call button, eEntry access and security controls,a GPS tracking system, and more.

Price starts at 7.65 GBP (~$10.40) for the M case, which you can buy through the product page together with optional accessories. If you’d rather get another design or something a bit bigger, you an also check their older Minitec and Ergo-case.

Thanks to theguyuk for the tip.

Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: diy, IoT, okw, wearables

ALio Proto Board Supports Through Hole, DIP, and SMD Components (Crowdfunding)

December 27th, 2017 No comments

Perfboards and  stripboards are very useful to design your own simple electronic boards without having to design your own board from scratch. However, you have to select through hole or DIP components, as – while possible with some efforts – such boards are not designed for SMD components.

AERD, an open source electronic development startup based in Indonesia, has designed ALio prototyping boards supporting both through hole and SMD components, as well as some common connectors/accessories such as micro SD card, USB connector, and so on.

ALIo Proto Board – Arduino Version

Three versions of the board (basic, embedded, Arduino) are available with the following specifications & features:

  • Fits SMD and PTH components at the same time.
  • Double layer bus (top and bottom)
  • Other components/headers
    • All versions – 1.1 mm pitch pad for micro SD/SD card breakout
    • Embedded & Arduino only – mini & micro USB pads, 1x SPI breakout
    • Arduino only – Arduino header, one extra SPI breakout (2 in total)
  • Dimensions –  88.2 mm x 65.3 mm x 1 mm
  • PCB – FR4 0.8 mm
  • Finishing – HASL-lead
  • Finished copper – 1 Oz Cu with black masking and white silkscreen.

ALio’s  double layer bus allows you to minimize jumper wire usage, but I feel it might be a little confusing to use, and could lead to mistakes. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting used to it. An example with an early prototype of the board mixing some SMD and through hole components is shown below.

ALio is actually not the first board to support both SMD and FTH components, as Elecfreak Flower board also does, but has a different design with one side of SMD and SOIC components, and another for PTH components, but according to the comparison below does not support double layer bus, and does not feature micro/mini USB footprints that are convenient for powering the board, nor the micro SD card pads.

You can get ALio boards via Crowdsupply, with all rewards at $14 for both ALio boards (either basic, embedded or Arduino edition). Shipping is free to the US, $7 to the rest of the world, and delivery is scheduled for February 2018.

Categories: Hardware, Video Tags: crowdsupply, diy, electronics

Build your own Digital Scale with this DIY Kit

December 11th, 2017 6 comments

Electronics DIY kits are easy to find from either Arduino kits, or robotics kits, to oscilloscope kits among others. But I can’t remember ever seeing digital scale kits, maybe because I did not look for it, but that’s exactly what I found on ICstation for $27.99 with a scale that can measure weights up to 10 kilograms with a reported one gram accuracy. The DIY scale can also be pruchased on eBay for $29.99.

Main items in the (Trans–CRS–162DZC) kit and features:

  • MCU – STC MCU Limited STC89C52 8-bit (80C51 compatible) MCU in 40-pin DIP package
  • RTC – DS1302 8-pin DIP chip + CR1220 socket and battery
  • EEPROM – AT24C02 serial EEPROM (DIP chip)
  • Display – LCD1602 16×2 digit display
  • Keypad – 4×4 matrix keypad
  • Sensors – DS18B20 one-wire temperature sensor, “C3 high precision” 10kg strain pressure sensor
  • Boards – HX711 load cell amplifier module, printed circuit board for the MCU, RTC, EEPROM, etc…
  • Misc – Buzzer, transistors, various passive components
  • Enclosure and accessories
  • Power Supply – 5V DC
  • Dimensions – 15.2cm x  14.1cm x 6.5cm (assembled)
  • Weight – 500 grams

Follow the assembly guide to build the scale yourself, and you should be good to good to use your own scale/clock/alarm/thermometer toy.The scale could also be the starting point to make your own design either programming the STC89C52 micro-controller with your own program (AFAIK source code is not available so you’d have to start from scratch), or possibly “IoTize” the scale by replacing the MCU by a Bluetooth or WiFi (ESP8266) module.

Categories: Hardware Tags: diy, electronics, sensor

MNT Reform DIY Modular ARM Linux Portable Computer To Feature NXP i.MX 6/8 SoC

October 20th, 2017 6 comments

The first usable DIY ARM Linux laptop that I can remember is Novena, unveiled in 2014, based on Freescale i.MX 6Quad processor, and fairly expensive at close to $2,000 since it was a nice product. Recently, we’ve had more affordable options with products such as Olimex TERES-I laptop (Allwinner A64), and the second version of Pi-Top laptop shell for Raspberry Pi 3.

There may soon be another option as MNT Media and Technology (Lukas F. Hartmann) partnered with an industrial designer (Ana Dantas) to work on “Reform”, a DIY and modular laptop / portable computer powered by NXP i.MX 6QuadPlus quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor, and eventually i.MX 8 hexa core Cortex A72/A53 processor.

Click to Enlarge

They are the prototype stage right now, and mostly looking for feedback. The preliminary specifications and features of the Reform portable computer include:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX 6QuadPlus quad core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz, with Vivante GC2000 GPU . Update planned to NXP i.MX8 hexa core processor
  • System Memory – At least 4 GB of RAM (4GB in prototype)
  • Storage – micro SD card slot (for uboot), SATA SSD slot (120 GB in prototype)
  • Detachable display housing with standard screws
    • 10″ 1920×1200 color panel with HDMI to dual LVDS adapter
    • Future E-Ink option
  • Custom designed keyboard with Cherry ML switch,  swappable keyboard PCB, 3D printed key caps. Currently based on Teensy LC Cortex M0+ Arduino compatible board.
  • Exchangeable pointing device (trackball / trackpad). Currently also based on Teensy LC board
  • USB – USB 2.0 ports
  • Expansion – PCIe slot (tested with Penguin Wireless N Mini PCIe card)
  • Battery – 3,000 mAh @ 7.4V LiPo battery good for about 2.5 hours
  • Modular Chassis for motherboard, battery, SSD storage, input device controllers
  • Dimensions – 28cm x 17.5cm x 5.5cm
  • Weight – 1.5 kg

Note than some not-so-flattering features like 5.5cm thickness and short battery life are just for the prototype, and will be optimized if the computer gets manufactured. They used TinyRex Ultra development kit in the prototype, and will likely use the system-on-module found in the kit in the final product, especially VoiPAC has plans to make an i.MX 8 version.

Lukas could run Debian Linux, and successfully tested LibreOffice, Blender, GIMP, Inkscape and Audacity. GPU acceleration and hardware video decoding also work, as tested with respectively Quake 3 Arena and mplayer (H.264).

Going forward they’ll work on improving the design with a slimmed-down baseboard, an integrated charger/power brick, and better modularity management. Once everything is ready they’ll either launch a crowdfunding campaign, or take pre-orders with price likely in the 500 to 700 Euros range. All details can be found on Reform product page.

Via ARM Netbook Mailing List and Liliputing

STEGO BOARD Enables Neat Prototypes with Development Boards and Accessories (Crowdfunding)

October 13th, 2017 1 comment

If you’ve ever created a quick prototype for your own use, or for your company, you may have based it on a development board, and added some extra modules or add-on modules, as well as potentially accessories such as hard drives or power supply. Software is complete and it works, but it may look like a mess, and transporting it may cause cables to disconnect or other problems.

STEGO BOARD should help in this case. It’s some kind of mounting systems compatible with the most common boards like Raspberry Pi 3, Rock64, or ASUS Tinkerboard, mini-ITX motherboards, mini PCs with VESA mounts, 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives, and so on. So you can create prototypes like the ones below.

Six different products are available:

  • STEGO BOARD 102 – 2 layers of the smaller board with 106 parts (stands, screws, zip ties). Can be used with mini PC, development board, up to 2 SATA drives
  • STEGO BOARD 103 – 3 layers of the smaller board with 144 parts. Up to 3 SATA drives
  • STEGO BOARD 104 – 4 layers of the smaller board with 206 parts. Up to 4 SATA drives
  • STEGO BOARD 105 – 5 layers of the smaller board with 246 parts. Up to 5 SATA drives
  • STEGO BOARD 400 – Larger board with 220 parts can be be used for up to 4 SATA drives, mini ITX motherboard, graphics card, etc…
  • STEGO BOARD 400+ – BOARD 400 and 102 together

They also have 3D printers accessories to create prisms and cubes with the STEGO BOARDs, as well as hard drive caddies, power supply brackets, and cable guard. The developers also released a Windows based simulator to create a virtual prototype.

The STEGO BOARD has been launched on Kickstarter and almost reached its $8,850 CAD target. A $39 CAD pledge (~$31 US) should get you a STEGO BOARD 102 kit, while at the other end of the scale, STEGO BOARD 400+ requires a $105 CAD pledge (~$84 US). Shipping adds $17 CAD to $56 CAD, and sadly the company has decided to limit shipping to USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom only. Delivery is planned for December 2017. The 3D printed accessories are available on a separate website.

The New Pi-Top Modular Laptop includes a 14″ Display, Sliding Keyboard, and Better Cooling

October 13th, 2017 6 comments

Pi-Top was first launched in late 2014 via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, as a modular DIY laptop powered by a Raspberry Pi board. It’s equipped with a 13.3” LCD screen with 1366×768 resolution, and uses a sliding top cover placed between the display and the keyboard where you could insert your Raspberry Pi with enough space for extra hardware.

This is a good week for DIY ARM laptops, as after the launch of Olimex TERES-I laptop yesterday, Pi-Top team has announced a new version of Pi-Top modular laptop with an larger 14″ display with 1920×1080 resolution, a sliding keyboard, and better cooling with a passive cooling unit for the Raspberry Pi 3 board.

Pi-Top 2017 laptop specifications:

  • Display  – 14” full HD LCD screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 180° screen angle range
  • Keyboard – 105mm sliding keyboard for internal access (US layout)
  • Touchpad – 104x75mm trackpad with Gesture Control
  • Officially Supported Board – Raspberry Pi 3 with Broadcom BCM2837 SoC, HDMI, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, Audio jack, micro SD slot, camera and display interface
  • Modular Rail for pi-top accessories
  • Power Supply – 18V, 2.5A charger with AU, EU, UK and US adapters
  • Battery – Good for 6-8 hour battery life

Click to Enlarge

The kit also includes an 8GB class 10 SD CARD with pi-topOS and an SD Card Removal Tool. pi-topOS is a firmware image specifically designed for Raspberry Pi 3 and Pi-Top with components such as pi-topCLASSROOM online classroom management software, pi-topCODER intuitive coding environment, CEEDuniverse educational space exploration game, and pi-topDASHBOARD interface.

While the company only officially supports Raspberry Pi 3, it should be possible to use other boards that are electrically and mechanically compatible to Raspberry Pi 3 board such as ODROID-C2 or ROCK64, but you may have to work on the software side. The most adventurous could also try other boards, as Bero (Linaro) used a 96Boards compliant DragonBoard 820c board in the older version of Pi-Top with some custom cabling.

The new Pi-Top can be purchased for $319.99 including shipping with a Raspberry Pi 3, or $284.99 without. A free Inventor Kit with a breadboard, and various modules and components to get started with DIY electronics.

Olimex TERES-I DIY OSHW Laptop Now Up for Sale for 240 Euros

October 12th, 2017 14 comments

Olimex has been working on their open source hardware TERES-I DIY laptop since last year. The laptop is supposed to come in kit form, so that you can build it yourself. Every board and most parts are open source to let your easily repair it, or improve it by adapting the part to your own needs.

The company has now launched the laptop kit for 240 Euros in black or white.

Olimex TERES-I laptop updated specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A64 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC Flash, micro SD slot
  • Display – 11.6″ LCD display with 1366×768 resolution
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI 1.4 port
  • Audio – Via mini HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, 2x speakers, microphone
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 150Mbps, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • USB – 2x USB port ports
  • Front camera
  • QWERTY keyboard + touchpad with 2 buttons
  • Debugging – Serial debug via header or 3.5mm audio jack
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A
  • Battery – 9,500mAh capacity
  • Weight – ~1 kg

The laptop will ship with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Mate, Firefox browser, Video player, Open Office, Arduino IDE and IceStorm for FPGA development (an FPGA add-on board is planned).

Mainboard

The build instructions can be downloaded here. Hardware design files for all 5 boards for the laptop, and software will soon be all found on Github. Note that the laptop is intended for engineering development and evaluation only, should not be considered a finished product, and may not comply with FCC, CE or UL directives. Olimex had quite a lot of people registered their interests before, so they only expect to be able to fulfill new order within 2 or 3 weeks.

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.