Posts Tagged ‘mac’
Orange Pi Development Boards

IkaScope WiFi Oscilloscope Probe Works with Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android and iOS

September 13th, 2017 11 comments

Last year, I wrote about Aeroscope, a portable Bluetooth oscilloscope that looks somewhat like a Stabilo Boss highlighter pen, and sends measurements over the air directly to your Android and iOS tablet or smartphone. It was introduced through a crowdfunding campaign which eventually failed, but Aeroscope can now be purchased for $199 on Amazon US or their own website. If you’d prefer WiFi over Bluetooth, and would like something that also works on Windows, Linux, and/or Mac OS X, IKALOGIC has just launched IkaScope WiFi oscilloscope probe compatible with all popular mobile and desktop operating systems.

IkaScope WS200 specifications:

  • Analog Bandwidth  – 30 MHz @ -3dB
  • Sample Rate – 200 MSps
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/e/i WiFi @ 2.4 GHz configurable as access point or station
  • Input Range – +/-40 V range CAT1
  • Offset Range – +/- 20V to +/- 40V offset
  • Input Impedance – 10MΩ || 14pF
  • Input Contact – ProbeClick intelligent probe tip that will only start measurements upon contact
  • Voltage Resolution – 100 mV/division to 10 V/division
  • Sample Resolution – 8-bit
  • Max Refresh Rate – 250 fps
  • Memory Depth – 4K points (4x 1000 points for burst buffers)
  • Protection Input Level – 253 VAC 1min
  • USB – Isolated micro USB port for charging only
  • Misc – Power/Charging and WiFi status LEDs
  • Battery – 420 mAh battery good for about 1 week battery life with daily regular use.
  • Dimensions – 161mm long

IkaScope specifications are slightly better than the ones of Aeroscope when it comes with analog bandwidth and sample rate for example, but the battery capacity is lower. However,  the latter is likely more than compensated by ProbeClick technology that will only measure when a contact is detected, hence saving power during idle times. One advantage of WiFi over Bluetooth is that it allows for a higher refresh rate up to 250 fps.

The probe ships with a ground clip and a USB charging cable. OS support will be brought step by step starting with Windows, but Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android will all be supported by November 9th if the schedule’s deadlines can be met, and all desktop OK will be supported by the end of September before shipping. More details about the software can be found in IkaScope knowledge base.

IKALOGIC has started taking pre-order for IkaScope for 299 Euros excluding VAT and shipping scheduled by the end of the year. “EARLYBIRD” coupon valid until the 20th of September will power the price by 10%.. Some more information, and the purchase link are available on the product page.

Azul Systems’ Zulu Embedded is a Build of OpenJDK for ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and x86 Compliant with Java SE standard

April 6th, 2017 3 comments

Yesterday as I wrote about the Embedded Systems Conference 2017 schedule I came across a potentially interesting talk entitled “Building A Brain With Raspberry Pi and Zulu Embedded JVM” by Azul Systems that will explain how to build a brain emulator using a cluster of Raspberry Pi boards. I wanted to find more about it, but I have not been able to find any details about the project/demo at this stage. However, I could still learn a bit more about Zulu Embedded, which is said to be an open source Java Virtual Machine based on OpenJDK, compliant with Java SE standard, working on 32-bit & 64-bit ARM & x86, MIPS, and PowerPC, as well as  multiple operating systems.

Some of the key features of Zulu Embedded include:

  • Java Support – Java 6, 7, 8, and 9 when available
  • Java Configurations – Headless, headful, or compact Java Compact Profiles
  • Hardware – ARMv7 and 32-bit ARMv8, ARM64, Intel/AMD x86, 32-bit and 64-bit, MIPS, and PowerPC
  • Platforms & Operating Systems
    • Linux 32/64-bit – RHEL 5.2+, 6 & 7 or later, SLES 11 sp1/2/3, 12, CentOS 5.2+, 6 & 7 or later, Ubuntu 10.04, 12.04, 14.04 & 16.04, Debian Wheezy & Jessie, Wind River Linux, and Oracle Linux
    • Windows 32/64-bit – Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10/IoT/Mobile, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012R2, Nano
    • Mac OS X
    • Hypervisors – VMware, Hyper-V, KVM
    • Cloud – Azure, AWS, Google, Snappy, Docker
  • Packages – ZIP, MSI and DEB are available. Custom packages on request.
  • Memory Footprint – 11 MB to 250+ MB

Some of the advantage of Zulu Embedded is that it is 100% open source released under GPLv2 with Classpath Exception (I could not find the source code however), and fully certified and compliant with OpenJDK community technology compatibility kit (TCK) from Oracle.

Zulu Embedded is free to download for ARM Linux 32-bit (hard and soft float), and x86 Windows & Linux 64-bit, as well as x86 Windows 10 IoT Core 32-bit for MinnowBoard MAX. You’ll need to contact the company for other configurations.

It’s been used in program such as openHab 2.0, which replaced Oracle JDK with Zulu Embedded JDK, since it can be freely redistributed (no licenses required), and performance and stability feels exactly the same according to comments on Github. One person explained how to install it on the Raspberry Pi board (note: early access program is not needed anymore, since the binary has been publicly released), and the installation procedure is just the same as with OpenJDK.

You can visit Zulu Embedded product page for more information.

BLCR MX3 is a $12 Backlit Air Mouse with QWERTY Keyboard

February 27th, 2017 7 comments

There’s an embarrassment of choices when it comes to air mice, but so far apart from models like Rii Mini i28 which looks more like a keyboard than a remote control, I had not seen air mice with backlit keys. But this morning BLCR MX3 showed up in DX new arrivals feed for $17.27 shipped, but you could also find it for about $12 on Aliexpress without BLCR “trademark”. [Update: Also on Amazon US for ~$16].

BLCR MX3 air mouse specifications:

  • Connectivity – 2.4 GHz RF up to 10 meters
  • Sensor – 6-axis sensor with gyroscope and g-sensor
  • Remote side with IR learning function + backlit keys
  • Air Mouse mode
  • QWERTY keyboard with backlit keys
  • Power Supply – 2x AAA batteries (not included)
  • Dimensions – 17.2 x 5.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Weight – 98 grams
  • Material – Plastic + silicone

The device ships with a USB dongle and user’s manual, and works with Android, Max OS, Linux, Windows… basically any OS that supports USB HID class. Backlight functions can be enabled/disabled with the corresponding key on the bottom right of the remote side (above “Internet Explorer” icon), and the last row of keys (red, green, yellow, blue) can be programmed to work with your TV, for example for the power, input, and volume buttons. That side also have trick modes buttons, play/pause, Zoom In/Out buttons, but not Stop button.

The QWERTY keyboard also features backlight keys, but some people may miss the Tab key which can be convenient when filling out forms like entering username and password. The Shift key is not included either, so you’d have to play with CAPS to switch between lowercase and uppercase characters.

Please note that there are some other MX3 air mouse models without backlit, and with or without microphone, so if you are interested in the backlight function make sure you purchase the right one.

Categories: Hardware Tags: air mouse, Android, Linux, mac, windows

EyeTV NetStream Streams Free-to-Air Digital TV to Any Devices at Home

February 3rd, 2016 5 comments

A few months ago, I wrote about TBS AMD Moi Pro streaming server supporting up to 16 tuners  and mostly targeting businesses, but I’ve also found out there are some consumers solutions such as Elgato EyeTV NetStream 4Sat that includes four antenna inputs for your satellite dish (DVB-S2/S), and the ability to stream live TV to any devices, using hardware video transcoding if need be, for example to Android or iOS smartphones. Versions with DVB-T2 and ATSC will soon be available.
EyeTV NetStream 4Sat specifications:

  • Tuners
    • 4x satellite inputs: F connector for RG-6/U coaxial satellite cable
    • DVB-S2 / DVB-S
    • Digital Universal LNB: Single, Twin/Dual, Quad or Quattro
    • Unicable
    • Integrated multiswitch
    • DiSEqC 1.0
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – Reset button, power switch
  • Power Supply – DC 12V 3A
  • Dimensions – 25 x 12.6 x 4.1 cm (suitable for wall-mounting)
  • Weight – 806 grams
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The networked tuner ships with an Ethernet cable, a power supply, and a Quick Start Guide.

All you need is a satellite dish with digital universal LNB or DiSEqC multiswitch to connect to the 4 RF inputs, and a Gigabit router to stream videos from the DVB streamer to your devices and computers with up to 4 simultaneous users watching different channels. Operating systems supported include Android, iOS, and Windows 7 or greater and Mac OS via EyeTV software. It is also said to work with SAT>IP certified receivers.


NetStream 4Sat has been available in Europe since 2014, and is listed on Amazon UK for £142.00 ($204.50 US) with mixed reviews ranging from “not smooth” or “Simply does not work. At all.” to “Glorious quality satellite TV anywhere in the house”, the same is true for EyeTV Netstream app. I could not find actual reviews of the device however.

Geniatech is apparently behind the product, and Charbax interviewed the company has now developed DVB-T2 and ATSC versions, with Geniatech models going under the name NetTV Quad.

More details about the DVB-S2 version can be found on EyeTV Netstream 4Sat product page.


Razberry Board and UZB Dongle Add Z-Wave (Plus) to Raspberry Pi Boards

October 31st, 2015 No comments

Z-Wave is one of the low power wireless communication protocols used for automation, and supported, for example, by gateways such as Samsung SmartThings Hub or Vera3. Z-Wave Plus is a certification program used to identify Z-wave 5th Generation hardware platform, allowing a greater range up to 45 meters, 50% improvement in battery life, 250% more bandwidth, and providing a standardized method for Over the Air firmware updates (OTA), among other things., a startup registered in Switzerland, is specializing in Z-Wave products and solutions, and among their other products they’ve also designed Z-Wave hardware to turn the Raspberry Pi board and other compatible hardware into a Z-Wave gateway.

RazBerry Z-Wave Module

RazBerry Z-Wave Module

RazBerry module will fit into the 26 or 40-pin header found on Raspberry Pi boards, and comes with the following  specifications:

  • Sigma Designs ZM5202 Z-Wave transceiver module
  • Frequencies –
  • Storage – 32KB SPI flash for network data
  • CPU/MCU Interface – UART (Tx/Rx)
  • Misc – 2 status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 3.3V
  • Power Consumption – 18mA @ 3.3V (Typ.), up to 40 mA during transmission.

The firmware for the module is based on Sigma Designs System Development Kit 6.51  which, following the long “closeness” tradition of the company, can be be obtained after signing an NDA. has however brought some improvements such as backup and recovery, and watchdog functions.


The Z-Wave stack running on Broadcom BCM2835/BCM2836 processor found in the Raspberry Pi is called Z-Way Z-Wave Controller. It is transmitting data over /dev/ttyAMA0 interface, and while the stack is not open source, the C level and web based JSON APIs can be used freely without any NDA requirements. You can find more details on the firmware and Z-wave stack on the software page. Since Razberry board has been out for a while, several projects are using the Z-Wave module.


The second hardware device should be compatible with any hardware with USB host ports and running Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X.

UZB Z-Wave USB stick specifications:

  • Mitsumi WML-C84 Z-Wave transceiver compatible with Sigma Designs ZM5101
  • USB – USB device port (VID/PID: 0658/0280)
  • Z-Wave& RF
    • Certification – ZC10-14090020
    • Antenna: Helix
    • TX Power: +1 dBm
    • RX sensitivity: -104 dBm (9.6kbps) … -95 dBm (100kbps)
    • Range – Up to 100 m in open field, > 40 m in rooms
  • Dimensions – 30x14x6 mm
  • Weight – 3 grams

The stick is also using Z-Wave (Plus) SDK 6.51.03, and looks to have the same features as Razberry module. One the software side however, the compnay mentions the UZB1 USB stick can be used with any third party Z-Wave controller software, but a separate version of the stick called UZBWAY includes a license key for the company’s Z-Way controller software. This could explain the price difference between the $29 UZB stick and the $69 Razberry module.

Z-Way is  available as a free mobile app on Android, iOS, and BlackBerry, but none of the versions have not been updated since the end of 2014.


Z-Wave Z-Way Android App (Click to Enlarge)

It’s also worth noting Z-Wave operates at different frequencies depending on the country you live in. So Razberry module has versions for North American @ 908 MHz, the EU @ 868 MHz, Russia @ 869 MHz, India @ 865 MHz, and Austria/New Zealand @ 921 MHz.  I’m not sure if they can be adjusted by software, but in the case o UZB stick, the operating frequency is adjustable with a simple shell script for all the frequencies listed previously as well as frequencies used in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and so on.

You can find more details on Razberry microsite, as well as UZB dongle page. You can purchase via official distributors, but eBay is also an option for Razberry and UZB stick.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

MeLE F10 BT is a $20 Bluetooth Air Mouse and Keyboard

September 1st, 2015 12 comments

MeLE is mostly known as a manufacturer of Android TV boxes and air mice, and I use MeLE F10 Deluxe air mouse in all my Android mini PCs review, as even though it’s not perfect it does the job much better than an IR remote control, and is more convenient to use than a USB keyboard. The two MeLE air mouse I’ve purchased come with a 2.4GHz RF dongle that needs to be connected to a USB port of the device you want to control,  but now the company is now about to launch a Bluetooth model with MeLE F10 BT.

MeLE F10 BT (RF01BL) specifications:

  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 (CSR1011)
  • IR support – Yes, including IR learning function.
  • Buttons Life – About 100,000 presses
  • Sensors – G-sensor, Gyroscope
  • Keyboard – QWERTY keyboard
  • Battery – 2x AAA batteries (>30 days in standby mode)
  • Dimensions – 169x48x19 mm

MeLE_F10_BT_BatteryBeside Bluetooth connectivity, the function are about the same as MeLE F10 Deluxe with a game mode (MeLE TV boxes only), IR learning function, a QWERTY keyboard, and air mouse mode. However, the built-in battery has been replace with a compartment for two AAA batteries. MeLE F10 BT is compatible with Windows 7/8/10, Mac, Linux, and Android operating systems.

The latest MeLE air mouse will sell for $19.99 including shipping on MeLE Aliexpress store once it launches in the middle of September.

LightBlue Bean+ Bluetooth LE Board is Programmed Wirelessly, Lasts One Year on a Charge (Crowdfunding)

August 6th, 2015 3 comments

Punch Through launched a crowdfunding campaign back in 2013 for LightBlue Cortado an innovative Arduino compatible BLE board that can only be programmed wirelessly over Bluetooth Smart. The board has since then been renamed to LightBlue Bean, and the company allegedly delivered rewards to backers on time, a rarity in the crowdfunding world. LightBlue Bean+, the second version of the board, is larger with solderless headers, supports more Bluetooth LE capabilities such as MIDI, and includes a battery. The project launched on Kickstarter yesterday, and already raised over $40,000, surpassing the $30,000 funding target set by the team.


LightBlue Bean vs LightBlue Bean+

LightBlue Bean+ board specifications:

  • MCU – Info N/A (Bean has an Atmel ATmega328P @ 8MHz with 32KB Flash, 1KB EEPROM, 2KB SRAM)
  • Bluetooth
    • Bluetooth LE with support for 5 new capabilities: beacon, MIDI, HID, ANCS and observer role.
    • Hardware module undisclosed (Bean has an LBM313 Module with Texas Instruments CC2540)
    • Up to 400 meters range to other Bean+ boards, up to 250 meters range to iPhone
  • Expansions
    • 2x headers with 16 GPIOs also configurable as I2C, SPI, etc.. with 5V/3.3V selector
    • 2x Grove connectors for SeeedStudio modules, which appear to have become popular these days
  • Sensors – Accelerometer and temperature sensor
  • USB – micro USB port for charging battery only
  • Misc – RGB LED, on/off switch
  • Battery – 600 mAh rechargeable battery.  Good for over a year on one charge when programmed with a low-power sketch
  • Dimensions – 6.5 x 3.5 mm


Please note that the smaller and cheaper Bean board will also be updated with the new BLE capabilities (MIDI, beacon…), so if your project requires a small module and/or is cost sensitive, you could still consider the first version of the board. Bean+ however should be easier to use for prototyping thanks to 2.54mm pitch headers and grove connectors.

The board is programmed with Sketches like another other Arduino compatible boards, but it can only be done wirelessly over Bluetooth LE. Supported operating systems include Mac OS X and Windows , but I assume Linux distributions such as Ubuntu should also be supported since you can simply use the Arduino IDE (TBC) [Nope: Their  schedule has no plan with Linux support]. Mobile devices supporting Bluetooth 4.0 can also be used for programming with Punch Through’s Bean Loader apps for Android and iOS.

If you want to develop your own app, software development kits for iOS/OS X and Android can be found on Punch Through github account. Finally, you can connect the board to the cloud, and program them visually using either Node-RED or OctoBlu interfaces.

Watch this entertaining video to find out some of the projects feasible with the board.

You’ll need to pledge $39 to get one Bean+ board, but you may also consider the popular $80 (early bird) / $84 “MEGA PACK” reward with two Bean+ boards and 5 Grove modules and corresponding cables. Delivery is scheduled for December 2015, and shipping costs $9 to $15 depending on your location.

Freaks3D is a Low Cost Portable 3D Printer (Crowdfunding)

July 31st, 2015 8 comments

ElecFreaks is a design house based in Shenzhen that caters to makers and startups, and started selling Arduino shields and accessories, as well as  Raspberry Pi add-on boards, before moving to robotics kits, 3D printers, and other tools in demand by electronics hobbyists. The company has now designed Freaks3D portable 3D printer, and launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund production.

Freaks3DFreaks3D printer specifications:

  • Technology – Fused Deposition Modeling
  • Build Volume – 130 x 150 x 100 mm (LxWxH)
  • Nozzle Size – Standard 400 microns
  • Resolution – Layer: 100 microns; XY: 50 microns
  • Filament diameter – 1.75mm
  • Filament Material – PLA or TPU
  • 3D Files Transfer – USB via PC, or SD card
  • Misc – LCD Display, one button operation, printing bed does not require heating
  • Power Supply – 12V / 8A power adapter, or 12V / 5A power bank (Not included)
  • Dimensions –  290 x 320 x 325 mm
  • Weight – 2.945 kg

The company recommends Cura or Repetier Host software, available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X,  work with the printer which supports stl, obj and G-Code files.

They also compared Freaks3D to the more expensive, but in many ways similar, Replicator Mini and Ultimaker2 Go compact 3D printers.

Freaks3D_vs_Ultimaker_vs_Replicator_MiniThey left out some details being more favorable to the other two models like WiFi connectivity and on-board camera to monitor printing progress in the Replicator Mini, but on paper at least Freaks3D appears to be a fairly capable printer for the price.

You can also watch a 15-second video to see the printer in action, with close ups on the object being printer, and LCD display.

With 16 days to go, the campaign has been successful so far with about $114,000 raised from 400 backers. The cheapest reward is $299 for the printer kit to be assembled and a 8GB SD card, but if you prefer an assembled unit and 3D filament, you’ll need to pledge $399. Delivery is scheduled for August 2015, with free shipping (by boat) to the US and Europe [Update: There seems to be confusion with shipping as backers from some countries in Europe are asked to pay $30 to $40], and to other countries you’ll need to contact Elecfreak to find out how much you need to pay for shipping.

I got clarification for shipping:

For the Freaks3D fully assembled, shipping to the US and Europe costs 40 usd/unit; For the Freaks3D kit form, shipping to the US and Europe costs 30 usd/unit. Customers in other areas of the world, we will contact them later after the campaign closes to charge the shipping cost because at the current stage, we’re picking up the most affordable and best forwarders for the 3D printers, and some customers ask for air shipping while others prefer cargos.

If you’d rather not order through Indiegogo, Freaks3D printer is also up for pre-order on ElecFreaks website (The $599 price tag shown is not the final one…). There’s also a very similar model called Creality CR-7 selling for $220 + shipping on Focalprice.