Suptronics X200 Raspberry Pi Model B+ Expansion Board Adds Wi-Fi, RTC, VGA, optical S/PDIF, USB ports, Servo Support, and More

The Raspberry Pi is a nice little board, but in some cases you may want to add some extra ports. Suptronics released the X100 expansion board for Raspberry Pi Model B last year, and they’ve now come up with a little monster called X200 expansion board for Raspberry Pi Model B+ which adds Wi-Fi, a real-time clock + battery, a VGA port, optical S/PDIF output, 3.5 mm mic and audio jack, servo support (ULN2803), and a few USB ports to the low cost board. Key features of X200 expansion board: Input Voltage – 6V to 21Vdc converted to 5V, 3A via step-down DC/DC converter to power the Raspberry Pi. VGA output – HDMI to VGA converter supporting up to UXGA (1600×1200) and 1080p with 10-bit DAC Audio – 3.5mm MIC in jack, 3.5mm stereo audio jack, S/PDIF output, audio I/O connector (Microphone input and stereo audio amplifier 3.3Wx2) Connectivity – WiFi 802.11b/g/n with antenna USB – Self-powered USB hub with …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Banana Pro Allwinner A20 Development Board Looks Similar to Raspberry Pi Model B+

Banana Pi development board was launched about half year ago with Raspberry Pi model B form factor, but with more powerful Allwinner A20 dual core processor, and extra interfaces such as SATA. A few months later, the Raspberry Pi foundation launched Raspberry Pi Model B+  with pretty much the same specifications, but a different board layout and connector placement, and LeMaker has now designed a new version of the AllWinner A20 development board called “Banana Pro” that’s somewhat similar to R-Pi B+ board layout, with a 40-pin header, and similar connector placement, minus a few differences, such as using two USB ports instead of four, and the addition of a Wi-Fi module. Banana Pro specifications with differences against Banana Pi highlighted in bold: SoC- Allwinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor @ 1 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1 GB DDR3 Storage – micro SD card slot, SATA 2.0 connector Video output – HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm jack for …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

New Optimized Web Browser Released for the Raspberry Pi

If you’ve ever tried to use a Raspberry Pi to browse the web, you must have noticed how frustrating it can be due to the overall sluggishness of the system. But thanks to work by Collaborra, which optimized Epiphany Web browser for the Raspberry Pi, bringing features such as 720p HTML5 hardware video decoding (no flash support), faster loading and scrolling, etc.., the web browsing experience has much improved, although as you’ll see from the video below, it’s still not quite 100% perfect. The key modifications brought to Epiphany Web browser are listed below: More responsive UI and scrolling, even while loading a page Progressive tiled rendering for smoother scrolling Startup is three times faster Avoid useless image format conversions Better YouTube support, including on-demand load of embedded YouTube videos to make page load much faster Hardware decoding and scaling of videos (through gst-omx) Reduction of the number of memory copies to play videos Faster fullscreen playback using dispmanx directly …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Waveshare DVK512 Kits For Raspberry Pi Model B+ Include RTC, Sensors, LCD Display, and More

Beaglebone (Black) expansion boards are called capes, Minnowboard ones are lures, and Raspberry Pi model B+ add-on boards can be HATs (HArdware on Top). When I found a kit for the Raspberry Pi model B+ on DealExtreme, based on Waveshare DVK512 add-ons board I thought it might have found a Chinese HAT, but unfortunately it is not compliant with HAT board specifications as it misses an EEPROM,and the dimensions are not the correct one either. Nevertheless, the kit, as well as extra accessories such as a 3.2″ LCD display, can still be interesting. The kit on DX comes with the following items: DVK512 expansion board that connects to the 40-pin Raspberry Pi B+ header and features PCF8563 RTC chip with battery, an on-board USB to TTL chip for debugging via micro USB, a character LCD interface, connectors for modules connected via UART, SPIO, I2C or GPIO, various jumpers and user LEDs and buttons. LCD1602 display module as shown above (3.3V) …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Hardkernel Unveils $30 Raspberry Pi Compatible Module with RTC, ADC, and LiPo Battery Support

Hardkernel is better know for its ODROID boards powered by Samsung Exynos SoC. So I was surprised to discover ODROID-W, “a miniature computing module which is fully compatible with all software available for the Raspberry-Pi”.  Software compatible, really? Yes, because they used the same Broadcom BCM2835 SoC found in the Raspberry Pi, packaged it in a smaller form factor, while keeping HDMI, USB, and CSI interface, and expansion headers, and all that for $30, plus just $9 for shipping. Let’s go through ODROID-W specifications first: SoC – Broadcom BCM2835 ARM1176JZ-F processor @ 700 Mhz with VideoCore IV GPU System Memory – 512MB LPDDR2 (Samsung K4P4G324EB PoP) Storage – microSD slot + eMMC socket (bottom of the board) Video Output – micro HDMI (with NXP IP4791CZ12 protection IC) USB – micro USB connector, and USB host (not soldered) Expansion Headers: R-Pi compatible 26-pin expansion header (through holes) R-Pi compatible 15-pin CSI connector 20+6 -pin header for extra GPIO/ADC/Power and USB connection …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit Is Now Available for $200

The Raspberry Pi foundation announced a computer-on-module which they called the (Raspberry Pi) Compute Module that will be mostly software compatible with the Raspberry Pi board, and sell for $30 in quantities. They have now announced the availability of the development kit that includes a baseboard (called Compute IO board), display & camera adapter boards, as well as a 5V power adapter, jumper wires, and a USB cable. As a reminder the Compute Module has the following hardware specifications: SoC – Broadcom BCM2835 ARM 11 processor @ 700 MHz with Videocore IV GPU System Memory – 512MB RAM Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash SoM Connector – DDR2 200-pins SODIMM Dimensions – 67.6x30mm board which fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector The Compute IO Board come with two micro USB connectors (one reserved for power), a USB 2.0 host port, two DSI ports for display, two CSI ports for a camera, a full size HDMI port, headers for various IOs, …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Cheap Accessories for Raspberry Pi – Camera, microSD adapter, Debug Board, Heatsink and Enclosure

The Raspberry Pi just a great low cost ARM Linux board that costs $25 (Model A) to $35 (Model B), but once you start to add accessories the total cost of ownership may creep up quickly, and in some cases accessories may be more expensive than the board itself. I’ll list some alternative accessories that can be purchased online for a fraction of the cost of the more famous one. $18 Raspberry Pi Camera The official Raspberry Pi camera costs $25 + shipping and tax, but you can get a similar 5MP CSI camera for just $18.13 including shipping on Banggood.com. This camera clone should be software compatible with the original one according to the listed features: Plugs directly into the CSI connector on the Raspberry Pi 5MP resolution image (2592 x 1944), or 1080p HD video recording at 30fps 5MP (2592 x 1944 pixels) Omnivision 5647 sensor in a fixed focus module 15 pin Ribbon cable to the dedicated …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

libavg on Raspberry Pi

libavg development team has recently announced a beta port of their multimedia library to the Raspberry Pi. libavg is a high-level development platform for media-centric applications using Python as scripting language and written in C++. I came to know this platform as I tried Xibo Digital Signage, and I tested it on ARM platforms. Up to know this would only work using software rendering/decoding, and everything was painfully slow on ARM, but libavg developers are now making use of OpenGL ES to boost graphics speed. More work is needed, and they intend to eventually support features such as hardware video decoding (OpenMAX possibly via gstreamer) and compressed textures. Installing libavg on Raspberry Pi. Pre-built packages are available for Raspberry, so installation is pretty straight forward: Running Samples Apps 32 samples are located in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/libavg/samples/ directory, and they rely on X11, so first start LXDE: Open a serial console (LXTerminal) and run one of the sample: This will show a smoothly spinning …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon