Retro-uC Open Source MCU Brings ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 Back to Life (Crowdfunding)

Retro-uC

If you’ve started your computing experience in the early eighties, you’ve probably used a ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and/or Atari ST home computers. Those products are long gone, except for collectors, but thanks to chips4makers project’s Zilog Z80, MOS 6502, and Motorola M68K cores are coming back to life via Retro-uC open source microcontroller. As a bonus, developers also worked on Retrino, a board following Arduino Mega form factor, and featuring Retro-uC MCU, as well as Retro-uC ProtoPlus with the chip fitted to a large Perf+ 2 style prototyping board, and Retro-uC Breadboard which can be inserted into a standard breadboard. Retro-uC Microcontroller Retro-uC specifications: Open source microcontroller with a Z80, MOS 6502 and Motorola 68000 core 4 kB of on-chip RAM 72x 5V digital general purpose I/O pins JTAG interface for programming the device Optionally bootable from external I2C flash memory I/O pins that can select the enabled core during reset One or more UART, I2C and PWM controllers …

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OpenMV Cam H7 MicroPython Machine Vision Camera Launched on Kickstarter

OpenMV CAM H7

OpenMV team has launched an upgrade to their popular OpenMV CAM M7 machine vision camera, with OpenMV CAM H7 replacing the STMicro STM32F7 micro-controller by a more powerful STM32H7 MCU clocked at up to 400 MHz. Beside having twice the processing power, the new camera board also features removable camera modules for thermal vision and global shutter support. OpenMV CAM H7 camera board specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32H743VI Arm Cortex M7 microcontroller @ up to 400 MHz with 1MB RAM, 2MB flash. External Storage – micro SD card socket supporting up to 100 Mbps read/write to record videos and store machine vision assets. Camera modules Omnivision OV7725 image sensor (default) capable of taking 640×480 8-bit Grayscale /  16-bit RGB565 images at 60 FPS when the resolution is above 320×240 and 120 FPS when it is below; 2.8mm lens on a standard M12 lens mount Optional Global Shutter camera module to capture high quality grayscale images not affected by motion blur Optional …

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BlitzWolf Inexpensive & Compact EU & US Smart Sockets Work with ESPurna & Sonoff-Tasmota Open Source Firmware

BlitzWolf US / EU Smart Socket

When I first started to look into WiFi smart sockets a few years, there were some fairly compact models such as the Linux based Kankun KK-SP3 or ESP8266 based Konke Mini K sockets. In recent years, more wireless smart sockets have come to market, but fewer companies have made compact models, and for example Sonoff S26 or Sonoff S31 smart sockets are not exactly small. But this morning I got contacted by a company called BlitzWolf that sells various accessories including low cost and compact smart sockets for the US and EU markets. It could prove to be interesting, so let’s check out the specifications: BlitzWolf BW-SHP1 US Smart Socket Rated Voltage – 110-240V @ 50-60 Hz Rated Current – 10A (Max) Max Total Power Output – 2000W Dimensions – 4.5 cm ∅ (VO fireproof material) Temperature Range – -10 to +60°C BlitzWolf BW-SHP2 EU Smart Socket Rated Voltage – 110-240V @ 50-60 Hz Rated Current – 16A (Max) Max …

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PiMecha Humanoid Robot Based on Raspberry Pi Sells for about $500

SB Components introduced PiMecha humanoid robot powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero (W)/ A+ / 2 / 3 (B+) board, and offering 17 degrees of freedom (DoF) on Kickstarter a few months ago. But with KS backers expecting their rewards in September, the company is now taking pre-orders on their own website for the robot for 399 GBP, or about $511 at today’s exchange rate. The company has apparently not published any detailed specifications of the robot on their website. But the robot is basically comprised of an outer shell comprised of removable metal pieces, and precise smartbus servo motors. Your chosen Raspberry Pi board would be fitted to the robot’s chest together with PiMecha shield add-on board handling the servo control. PiMecha can be easily customized with a Pi camera, an LCD display, your own sensors an so on. SB Components provide software to program the robot in order to make it walk, dance, ride a bike, fight, or …

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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 …

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ANAVI Play pHAT OSHW Board Adds 8 Buttons, I2C Headers to Raspberry Pi Boards (Crowdfunding)

Leon ANAVI has been learning KiCad open source EDA suite in his spare time, and developed several Raspberry Pi (p)HAT add-on boards such as ANAVI pHAT Light to control LED RGB strips, or ANAVI Infrared pHAT to handle IR signals. All his boards are open source hardware, and come with source code, and decent documentation as explained in the two aforelinked reviews. Leon has now come with another variant of his open source hardware certified add-on boards with ANAVI Play pHAT designed for playing games on the Raspberry Pi 3 / Pi Zero W boards, or other boards with a 40-pin header, thanks to 8 buttons, and just like his previous designs, three I2C headers are also included to connect sensors. Key specifications and features of the board: Gamepad with eight buttons for playing retro games 3x I2C header for sensors EEPROM with device tree binary overlay OSHW Certification – UID BG000007 Compatible with any RPi board equipped with 40-pin …

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Embedded Linux Conference Europe & OpenIoT Summit Europe 2018 Schedule

Embedded Linux Conference OpenIOT Summit Europe 2018

The Embedded Linux Conference & OpenIoT Summit 2018 took place in March of this year in the US, but the European version of the events are now planned to take place on October 21-24 in Edinburg, UK, and the schedule has already been released. So let’s make a virtual schedule to find out more about some of interesting subjects that are covered at the conferences. The conference and summit really only officially start on Monday 22, but there are a few talks on Sunday afternoon too. Sunday, October 21 13:30 – 15:15 – Tutorial: Introduction to Quantum Computing Using Qiskit – Ali Javadi-Abhari, IBM Qiskit is a comprehensive open-source tool for quantum computation. From simple demonstrations of quantum mechanical effects to complicated algorithms for solving problems in AI and chemistry, Qiskit allows users to build and run programs on quantum computers of today. Qiskit is built with modularity and extensibility in mind. This means it is easy to extend its …

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Amlogic Open Source Video Decoder Driver Coming Soon for S905, S905X and S912 Processors

Amlogic Open Source Vide Decoder

Allwinner processors aren’t the only ones getting an open source hardware video decoding / encoding support in Linux, as Maxim Jourdan recently submitted a patchset to Amlogic Linux mailing list adding a video decoder driver to some Amlogic processors. The driver is written around the V4L2 M2M framework and currently supports MPEG 1/2/4, H.263, H.264, MJPEG, and (partially) HEVC 8-bit codecs. The driver has been tested with FFmpeg, GStreamer, and Kodi, and currently works on S905 (Meson GXBB), S905X/W/D (Meson GXL), and S912 (Meson GXM) processors. Those processors also support HEVC 10-bit, VP9, and VC1 codecs, and while those are implemented yet, they should be in the future. A separate commit adds support for “Overlay plane for video rendering” which support various YUV layouts and a non-alpha RGB32 layout, and will be useful for Kodi and LibreELEC ports. I came to learn about those two patchsets thanks to Neil Armtrong (Bay Libre) who also mentioned he will talk about Amlogic …

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