Hexabitz Modular Prototyping Platform Enables Wire-Free 3D Electronics Designs (Crowdfunding)

A few years ago, I made a Raspberry Pi case made of perfboard and created some sort of DIY modular 3D electronics design by using the top and sides of the case to also hold electronics components and associated circuitry like a relay, and LEDs. The just launched Hexabitz hexagonal / pentagonal modules are designed to make prototyping easier, and also provide flexibility to create all sort of wire-free (3D) electronics designs with minimal soldering. A little over a dozen of modules are currently on offer, most with an STM32F0 Arm Cortex M0 micro-controller: Modules with built-in MCU 01R00, P01R00 – RGB LED (hexagon / pentagon) with Cree Tri-color (RGB) SMD LED, 4-Pin PLCC H02R10 – Bluetooth/BLE V4 based on Laird BT900-SA + chip antenna, +8 dBm max H04R00 – Audio amplifier, speaker, and headphone jack based on ST TS4990IST 1.2W audio power amplifier, 0.7W, 8 Ohm speaker H05R00 – SPI based micro SDHC memory card (up to 32GB) with Fatfs, …

CrowPi is a Portable Learning Kit for Raspberry Pi 3 B+ / Zero Boards (Crowdfunding)

Raspberry-Pi-Learning-Kit

We have an embarrassment of choices for Raspberry Pi accessories from touchscreen displays, HAT add-ons boards, sensors, breadboard, and so on, as well as good software and support from Raspberry Pi forums. This is all good, but it can be messy with all those jumper cables, and not really portable. Elecrow has a neat solution with the CrowPi learning kit for Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi Zero that come with a 7″ display, several sensors, buttons, a breadboard, and more all packed in a small suitcase. Main parts of the kit: 7″ touchscreen display Breadboard with GPIOs status LEDs Input modules – Light sensor, IR receiver, PIR motion sensor, sound sensor, temperature & humidity sensor, touch sensor, ultrasonic sensor, NFC reader, and tilt sensor Output modules – 8×8 LED matrix, 4-digit LED display, I2C LCD1602 display, buzzer, vibration motor, relay module, 9G servo, and stepper motor. Control modules – 4×4 array keypad and direction keys (D-Pad) A battery is …

RasPad is a Tablet Kit for Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and Other Development Boards (Crowdfunding)

RasPad-Raspberry-Pi-Tablet

Many people interesting in coding and working on projects with the Raspberry Pi  just likely connect the board to a monitor, USB keyboard and mouse, and to a power adapter, but if you are interested in having some more compact and portable RasPad tablet kit may be for you. The kit is compatible with Raspberry Pi boards, including the latest Raspberry Pi 3 B+, as well as other Arm/x86 Linux development boards including Tinker Board, LattePanda or BeagleBone Black. [Update: The design likely only works with RPi form factor, so if you use other boards with HDMI output, you may have to leave them out of the housing] RasPad key features: Display – 10.1″ IPS touch screen Video – HDMI port Audio – 2W speaker, audio jack Misc – 3 buttons (volume/brightness +, volume/brightness -, power), micro “USB touch” port Battery – Good for about 3 hours Power Supply – Via DC barrel jack Supported boards – Raspberry Pi B+/2/3/3 …

STMicro VL53L1X Time of Flight (ToF) Sensor Extends Distance Measurement Range up to 4 Meters

STMicroElectronics VL53L0X ToF (Time-of-flight) range sensor is a tiny chip that can accurately and quickly measure distance up to 2 meters using laser light.  I had the chance to test the sensor via TinyLIDAR board connected Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and found it was a great little sensor. TinyLIDAR includes an STM32 MCU, but you can also find standalone board for as low as about $4 shipped on Aliexpress. However, if 2 meters is too short a range for your project, the good news is that STMicro has now launched VL53L1X ToF “FlightSense” sensor with a range of up to 4 meters. VL53L1X is pin-to-pin compatible with VL53L0X, so existing PCBs could be re-used with the new sensor. STMicro VL53L1X main specifications: Emitter: 940 nm invisible laser (Class1) SPAD (single photon avalanche diode) receiving array with integrated lens Low-power microcontroller running advanced digital firmware Distance Ranging up to 4 meters distance measurement, up to 50 Hz ranging frequency Field-of-view (FoV) …

EveLab 1.0 is an Advanced Breadboard Solution Designed for the Raspberry Pi

While it’s perfectly feasible to connect the Raspberry Pi board to a breadboard it can become relatively messy if your projects needs many I/Os due the wire and extra components like resistors, so “Robot In A Can” designed a circuit trainer for the University of Guelph students to wire projects with the Raspberry Pi’s (26-pin) header in a neater way, and made it durable to to endure years of use in a lab setting. The developer has now started selling the hardware, and called it EveLab 1.0. Evelabs 1.0 specifications: 2x 32×4 breadboards with markings for GPIO pins 1x “standard” breadboard 3x LEDs (pre-grounded) 3x Momentary Switch (pre-grounded) 2x Potentiometers (pre-grounded) 1x RGB LED (pre-grounded) 1x Analog to digital converter (2-inputs pre wired) 1x Light Sensor 1x Temperature Sensor The board also comes with 2 GPIO ribbon cables to connect to various Pi models, and 20 Jumper cables. The target board does not even need to be a Raspberry Pi, as …

SocioNext MN87900 is a Really Tiny 24 GHz Radio Wave Radar Module for the Internet of Things

In the past, we covered tiny microwave radar modules operating at 5.8 GHz and measuring just 32 x 23 mm. Those modules are normally used to detect motion, distance, and/or direction of movement. Socionext has now introduced MN87900, a single low-power single-chip 24 GHz radio wave IoT sensor solution that even smaller at just 12x7mm with the chip, Tx and Rx antennas, crystal, and 40-pin to solder the module to your board. The solution targets IoT equipments, security systems, smart home appliances, autonomous vehicles and drones, medical devices, and more. SocioNext MN87900 key specifications: Sensor Type – CW, FSKCW, FMCW (moving or stationary) Detection Motion direction – approaching or leaving Motion speed – up to 200 km/h Range – 0.15 to 8 meters 80°@-3dB, expandable to 30 meters  with a radome horn, a metal shield that narrows the field of view. Variable frequency width –  24.15±0.1 GHz Transmission Power – 0.8mW Host Interface – SPI Power supply voltage – 2.5V …

Getting Started with IkaScope WiFi Pen-Oscilloscope, and ScanaQuad SQ50 USB Logic Analyzer & Signal Generator

A couple of weeks ago, I received IkaScope WS200 pen-like WiFi oscilloscope, as well as ScanaQuad SQ50 USB logic analyzer & signal generator, and I’ve already checked out the hardware both both in a aforelinked unboxing post. I had also very shortly tried IkaScope with GOLE 10 mini PC, but just to showcase potential use case for a Windows 10 mini PC with an inclined touchscreen display. But at the time I did not really a proper measurement, as it was more to test the mini PC than the oscilloscope itself. I’ve now had time to test IkaScope desktop program and mobile app in respectively Ubuntu 16.04 and Android 8.0.0, as well as ScanaStudio for ScanaQuad USB device using Ubuntu 16.04 only, since there’s no mobile version of the program. While I’ll focus on Ubuntu and Android, most of the instructions will be valid for Window 10 and Mac OS X for the desktop programs, and iOS for the mobile app. …

Getting Started with TinyLIDAR Time-of-Flight Sensor on Arduino and Raspberry Pi

TinyLIDAR is an inexpensive and compact board based on STMicro VL53L0X Time-of-Flight (ToF) ranging sensor that allows you to measure distance up to 2 meters using infrared signals, and with up to 60 Hz. Contrary to most other VL52LOX boards, it also includes an STM32L0 micro-controller that takes care of most of the processing, frees up resource on your host board (e.g. Arduino UNO), and should be easier to control thanks to I2C commands. The project was successfully funded on Indiegogo by close to 600 backers, and the company contacted me to provided a sample of the board, which I have now received, and tested with Arduino (Leonardo), and Raspberry Pi (2). TinyLIDAR Unboxing I was expecting a single board, but instead I received a bubble envelop with five small zipped packages. Opening them up  revealed three TinyLIDAR boards, the corresponding Grove to jumper cables, and a bracket PCB for three TinyLIDAR boards together with headers and screws. So I …