Pocket Science Lab (PSLab) is an Open Source Hardware Electronics Lab

Last Saturday I created a virtual schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2018 where I listed some of sessions relevant to myself and hopefully regular readers of CNX Software, but due to scheduling conflicts one talks did not make it to the list: “Pocket Science Lab – An Open Source Hardware for Electronics Teaching & Learning” by FOSSASIA. The project is also referred to as PSLab, and aims to  “create an Open Source hardware device that can be used for experiments by teachers, students and citizen scientists to learn and teach electronics”. It looks interesting enough so let’s have a closer look. The project  is inspired by the earlier expEYES project that combines with Raspberry Pi or other Linux platform to create an electronic labs, and the work by the Open Science Hardware community. PSLab key features and specifications: MCU – Microchip PIC24EP256GP204 16-bit microcontroller @ up to 70 MHz with 32KB SRAM, 256KB flash Wireless Connectivity – Footprint …

Kicad 5.0.0 Open Source EDA Suite Released

Once upon a time, your only options to design schematics and layout PCBs were to purchase expensive software like OrCAD,  or install a pirated copy of the same software, which was the standard practice in the country were I worked (China). Later on, Cadsoft EAGLE made projects much more affordable since they had a free version for hobbyists albeit limited to smaller boards. But in recent years, a new open source project called KiCad changed the market again, as it is entirely free to use, the community can be involved, and there’s no limitation. The software has even become good enough for companies like Olimex to design their new boards. A week ago or so, the project hit a new milestone with the release of KiCad 5.0.0. Some notable new features include: Whole Project New libraries for symbols, footprints and 3D models based on KiCad Library Convention (KLC) New 3D viewer,  new 3D model plugin architecture Now supports STEP and …

ESP8266 based ANAVI Light Controller can be Programmed with Home Assistant or the Arduino IDE (Crowdfunding)

ANAVI Technology previously launched a Light pHAT allowing for RGB Light strip connection to Raspberry Pi boards, and during my review of ANAVI Light pHAT with Raspberry Pi 2, it did the job, but if that’s all you want to do, the  Raspberry Pi board is clearly oversized & overpowered for the job. So Leon ANAVI got back to the drawing board and designed a similar open source hardware board – called ANAVI Light Controller – with an built-in ESP8266 module that removes the need for a fully fledged Linux board. ANAVI Light Controller specifications: Wireless Module – ESP8266MOD module based on ESP8266 Tensilica L106 32-bit processor Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n Expansion Terminal block for 12 V RGB LED strip 3x I2C headers for sensors Debugging – UART header Misc – Button Power Supply – 12 V via power barrel jack Dimensions – 75 mm x 40 mm Certification – Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) BG000005 The board can …

96Boards GPS Mezzanine is the First Add-on Board part of 96boards Community Mezzanine Initiative (Group Buy)

96Boards hardware development platforms support add-on boards called Mezzanines, and you’ll find a bunch of them on 96Boards website. Most are designed and manufactured by companies, but in order to bring more (individual) open source hardware developers on-board, the 96Boards Community Mezzanine initiative was launched to bring industry representatives and community members together. The idea is to encourage people to submit their KiCad/Altium 96boards’ mezzanine designs to the github repository, and the manufacturing costs of the most popular designs can be lowered  by offering them through GroupGets group buying platform. The first of those boards to be launched is 96Boards GPS Mezzanine with the following specifications for the R1 board: Adafruit Ultimate GPS Module PA6H_1103854 – 66 channel w/10 Hz updates MTK3339 chipset -165 dBm sensitivity External u.FL antenna connector Fix and PPS signals brought to down baseboard Expansion – USB UART breakout,  breakout headers for I2C, SPI, GPIO, and power lines Misc – GPS Fix LED, prototyping area, CR2032 …

Kite is an Open Source Hardware Android Smartphone Powered by Snapdragon 450 Processor (Crowdfunding)

Kite is an open source hardware Android phone kit specifically targeting makers which you can assemble yourself into a Kitephone. The phone is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 mainboard (Kiteboard v2), and comes with  a 720p touchscreen display module, a 12MP camera, antennas, buttons, a 3,000 mAh battery, and a Raspberry Pi HAT compatibility board to optionally interface to external hardware. Kiteboard v2 specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core Arm Cortex A53 @ 1.8 GHz with Adreno 506 GPU System Memory – 2 GB RAM Storage – 16 GB storage + microSD card slot Connectivity Cellular LTE Cat. 6/3G/2G, 2x nano SIM slots (dual-SIM dual standby) Two variant North America with LTE FDD Bands: 2,4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 25, 26 LTE TDD Bands: 41 WCDMA 850, 1700, 1900, 2100 GSM 850, 1900 Rest of the World (Europe, Russia, etc…) LTE FDD Bands: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20 LTE TDD Bands: 38, 39, 40, 41 WCDMA …

Anavi Light pHAT Adds RGB Light Strip Support to Raspberry Pi Boards (Crowdfunding)

He works as a software engineer for his main job, but Leon ANAVI is apparently enjoying his hobby of designing open source hardware, as after RabbitMax Flex home automation HAT, and ANAVI Infrared pHAT with IR transmitter and receiver, he has come up with as third project: Anavi Light pHat, an add-on board for Raspberry Pi 3/Zero (W) that adds support for RGB light strips. Light pHAT specifications: Compatible with 40-pin Raspberry Pi header EEPROM with board manufacturer information and a device tree fragment Terminal block for a 12V RGB LED strip 3x 4-pin I2C headers for sensor modules 1x 3-pin header for PIR motion sensor 1x 4-pin UART header for debugging Dimensions – pHAT form factor You first need to connect the pHAT to your board, and then LED strip, and you can then control the lights using Home Assistant open source home automation platform, with the strip integrated as an MQTT JSON Light component. Documentation will be provided …

HackaBLE Board is a Tiny, Breadboard-Friendly Bluetooth LE Development Board

Earlier this year, I wrote about Electronut Labs’ Bluey development board powered by Nordic Semi nRF52832 development board with BLE, NFC, and a few sensors, and partially open source hardware with the KiCAD schematics and PCB layout available on Github. The company is now back with another open source hardware nRF52832 BLE board, namely hackaBLE, that’s much smaller (28x18mm), and with 2.54mm pitch castellated pin headers making suitable for use for breadboard, or as a module on a custom designed board. hackaBLE board specifications: SoC – Nordic Semi nRF52832 ANT + BLE ARM Cortex-M4 @ 64 MHz processor with 512kB flash, 64kB RAM Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.2/5 LE and other proprietary 2.4 GHz wireless standards via chip antenna Expansion 2x 9-pin castellated headers with GPIO, 5V, 3.3V, and GND 2x 5-pin solder pads for more I/Os Debugging – 4-pin SWD header Misc – RGB LED, and user button Power Supply – 5 V via VDD or Vin pin. The company …

LoFive is a Tiny Open Source Hardware Board based on SiFive FE310 RISC-V Open SoC

Do you remember HiFive1? It’s an Arduino compatible board based on the SiFive FE310 open source RISC-V SoC. Michael Welling has now started working on LoFive board using the same processor, but in a much smaller & breadboard friendly form factor. LoFive board specifications: MCU – SiFive Freedom E310 (FE310) 32-bit RV32IMAC processor @ up to 320+ MHz (1.61 DMIPS/MHz) Storage – 128-Mbit SPI flash (ISSI IS25LP128) Expansion – 2x 14-pin headers with JTAG, GPIO, PWM, SPI, UART, 5V, 3.3V and GND Misc – 1x reset button, 16 MHz crystal Power Supply – 5V via pin 1 on header; Operating Voltage: 3.3 V and 1.8 V Dimensions – 38 x 18 mm (estimated) The board will be programmable with Arduino IDE + Cinco just like HiFive1 board. The board is also open source hardware, so beside the aforelinked info on Hackster,io, you’ll also find the KiCAD schematics, PCB layout, and 3D renders, released under CERN Open Hardware License v1.2, on …