CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Learning Kit Review – Part 1 – Unboxing and First Boot

Last month, we wrote about Elecrow introducing CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 laptop and electronics learning kit for its launch on Kickstarter crowdfunding website. The company has now sent one of its kits to CNX Software for evaluation and review. I’ll start by checking out the content of the package, and boot it up, before publishing a more detailed review in a few weeks. The package is fairly big and highlights it’s made for kids over 8 years old with close to 100 course resources and over 20 electronics modules. The back of the package list the main features and package contents with for example a 11.6″ Full HD display, Raspberry Pi 4 4GB board running a customized (Linux) system or Retropie for game emulation, electronics components and modules like servos and motors, as well as some resources for gaming including two USB gamepads. The first things we get when opening the package are some “Minecraft carton papers” and the user …

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CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 Laptop Doubles as Electronics Learning Kit (Crowdfunding)

CrowPi portable learning kit for Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and Pi Zero boards was launched in 2018. It comes with a 7″ display, several sensors, buttons, a breadboard, and more all packed in a small suitcase. Elecrow has now started a new crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the second generation portable electronics learning kit: CrowPi2 which looks much more like a laptop than a suitcase found in the first model thanks to a large display, and a detachable keyboard placed on top of the electronic prototyping/learning area. It’s also more powerful thanks to the latest Raspberry Pi 4 SBC. CrowPi2 specifications: Compatible Raspberry Pi boards – Raspberry Pi 3B/B+, Raspberry Pi 4 Display – 11.6-inch 1920×1080 IPS screen Camera – 2MP camera Audio – Built-in microphone and stereo speaker; 3.5mm audio jack Keyboard – 2.4GHz detachable wireless keyboard (QWERTY only) with touchpad Sensors and Modules under the keyboard: Displays – 4-digit Segment LCD, LCD1602 matrix display, and 8×8 RGB …

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Make PCB’s with a Modified Lexmark Laser Printer

PCB manufacturing services are pretty cheap and fast nowadays. But imagine some kind of highly transmissible virus hits the globe, somehow the whole global economy shuts down, and you are stuck alone at home with nothing but a Lexmark laser printer. What can you do? Well, you can make your own PCBs! No paper involved. That’s exactly what Vítor Barbosa did by converting a Lexmark E460(DN) laser printer into a PCB making machine, not because of COVID-19, but instead, because of the price and delays of ordering PCBs in Brazil. Using a laser printing to make your own PCB like take some work, notably to strip the printer of unused parts such as the fuser and fit it with Arduino Nano or Pro Mini board, an aluminum guide, some resistors and more. The modifications are all explained on Hackaday.io, and this is not a new idea as the project was derived from a 5-year project based on a Lexmark E260, …

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Ultra-narrow DipDuino Arduino Compatible Board is a Perfect Breadboard Companion

We previously wrote about a uChip DIP-sized Arduino Zero compatible board with 0.3″ spacing between the two rows of pins making it perfect for breadboards as it left four rows on each side of the breadboard. There’s now another similar option with the appropriately named DipDuino board equipped with a Microchip Atmega328P MCU compatible with Arduino  Pro or Pro Mini boards. DipDuino specifications: MCU – Microchip Atmega328P 8-bit AVR MCU with 32KB flash, 1024 Bytes EEPROM, 2KB SRAM USB – 1x Micro USB port for power and programming via CP2104 USB to serial chip Expansion Two rows of headers spaced by 0.3-inch (7.62mm) with up to 21x GPIOs, 5x analog inputs, I2C, SPI, UART, Reset, VCC and GND I/O voltage – 3.3V or 5V (different versions of the board) Misc – RGB LED for power and UART Tx/Rx; reset button Power Supply – 5V via Micro USB port; LDO for 3.3V version Dimensions – 46.26 x 9.3 mm DipDuino comes …

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SMD Books Keep Up to 8500 SMD Resistors or Capacitors

I have some SMD chips at home that I keep in an organizer box, but if I had to store lots of them, it would take a lot of space. Luckily, there’s a better way: SMD Books. I’ve just found out about those on Aliexpress and Banggood, and they store up to 8500 SMD resistors or capacitors in lots of 50 pieces, meaning you’d have up to 170 different resistors or capacitors value in the book. It can really be convenient for small projects or repairs, and you won’t break the bank as SMD Books only cost $15 to $40 with components and around $8 without any components in order to store your own. If you want to cover your bases, you’ll probably end up spending over $100 since you’d want both resistor and capacitor books, plus different SMD sizes such as 0402, 0201, 0805, etc… But in the end, if you are an electronics hobbyist working with SMD components, …

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ANAVI Fume Extractor Comes with ESP8266 WiSoC, MQ-135 Gas Sensor (Crowdfunding)

Last year, I played with ESP8266 based ANAVI Gas Detector Starter Kit reporting air quality via an MQ135 sensor on an OLED display, and integrated it with Home Assitant to monitor air quality from a neat web dashboard. The developer, Leon ANAVI, has now adapted the design to create ANAVI Fume Extractor by basically adding a relay to control a control. The fan can be turned on/off manually, or automatically upon detecting bad air quality. ANAVI Fume Extractor key features and specifications: Fan – 80 mm, 5 V DC, 0.25 A with replaceable filter SoC – ESP8266 Tensilica L106 32-bit wireless processor Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 Display – Mini OLED display Sensors – Optional MQ-135 for air quality or any other 5V MQ analog gas sensor Expansion – 3x headers for I²C sensors Debugging / Programming – UART pins for flashing custom firmware, Misc – Button, WiFi on/off jumper Dimensions – 129 x 80x 54 mm Certification – …

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Smart Tweezers Colibri ST-5S Integrates LCR Meter, Identifies SMD Components

Soldering SMD components normally require a pair of tweezers, and since those components are so small it may be hard to read the value on them if any. That means if you’d like to double-check the value of an SMD component you may have to use a multimeter first, before placing it on the board and solder it. There’s a better way: Ideal-Tek Smart Tweezers Colibri ST-5S with a built-in LCR meter that can help you automatically identify SMD components and read their values in a convenient tweezers form factor. Smart Tweezers Colibri ST-5S key features & specifications: Built-in high-precision LCR probe Display – OLED Display Ranges Resistance (R) – 0.05 Ohm to 9.9 MOhm Capacitance (C) – 0.5 pF to 4999 uF Inductance (L) – 0.5 uH to 999 mH Quality Factor (Q) – 0.001 to 1,000 Dissipation Factor (D) – 0.001 to 1,000 AC test mode Test frequency – 1 kHz, 10 kHz, 120 Hz, 100 Hz; accuracy: …

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Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino Features Arduino UNO Compatible Board & Ten Pre-wired Modules

Arduino boards are great to get started with electronics has they offer an ecosystem of expansion modules and libraries, as well as tutorials, that may it easy to get started with almost any projects. Seeed Studio Grove is a family of standardized modules with 4-pin headers using digital I/O, analog I/O, UART or I2C interfaces and allowing you to easily connect to compatible board such as Seeeduino Lotus board. You still need to connect the Grove module via cables, so Seeed Studio decided to create a big board called Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino that features Seeduino Lotus at the center and ten pre-wired and detachable Grove modules so no cabling is required to get started apart from a USB cable. List of Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino board and modules: Seeeduino Lotus ATmega320p board compatible with Arduino UNO compatible board and featuring 12 Grove connectors 10 pre-wired modules without the requirements for breadboard nor jumper cables Grove LED Grove …

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