Khadas Edge Developer Package Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Captain and Edge-IO Expansion Boards

Khadas Edge Captain Board

Shenzhen Wesion recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for their Rockchip RK3399/RK3399Pro based Khadas Edge, Edge-1S and Captain boards. The Edge boards have an interesting form factor as they are both standalone boards, and system-on-modules compatible with Captain carrier board, and the smaller Edge-IO board. While the crowdfunding campaign is on-going, the company decided to send me an early version of Khadas Edge Developer Package for evaluation. I’ll start out by checking out the content of the kit, and show how to get started with assembly, before reviewing the board with Linux at a later date. Khadas Edge Developer Package Unboxing I received the developer kit in a blank carton board package, but they’ll likely have a prettier package at launch like they did for heir VIM2 board. Anyway, the important part is the content. From top left to bottom right: An IR remote control, the package for the Edge board + Captain, a USB-PD power supply, Edge-IO board with spacers, …

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Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Review – Part 1: Unboxing

Particle Argon WiFi Bluetooth Kit

Back in February of this year, Particle introduced three low cost IoT development boards based on Nordic Semi nRF52840 wireless chip supporting “Particle Mesh” networking based on the 802.15.4 radio in the chip and OpenThread implementation of Thread IoT communication protocol. The company recently announced they were now shipping the kits pre-ordered earlier this year, and released two IoT development tools based on Node-RED and Visual Studio Code. Particle contacted me as well as to find out whether I was interested in reviewing their latest WiFi / Bluetooth / Mesh kit, and I’ve just received the bundle, which comes with a bunch of items, so I decided to write an unboxing post first to have a first look at the hardware, before playing with it in one or two weeks. Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit Bundle Unboxing That’s what I got from UPS… From top left to bottom right: The Argon kit (ESP32 WiFi + Bluetooth + Mesh) A Grove …

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TopJoy Falcon Review – A Windows 10 Mini Laptop (Prototype)

The Topjoy Falcon is a mini laptop reminiscent of netbooks and similar to the recent GPD Pocket 2 or One Mix Yoga devices. Marketed as an 8 inch (203mm) pocket-sized computer with the following specification: Intel Pentium Silver N5000 CPU 8G RAM 256G SSD disk 1920*1200 FHD IPS touch screen 6000 mAh battery for up to 8 hours working time 1 x USB A 3.0, 1 x USB Type-C 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack 1 x Mini HDMI port Active cooling 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 Backlit keyboard Windows 10 Home Weight 550g (1lb 3oz) Fits easily in your pocket Although you would need a large pocket as whilst It is physically small consisting of an approximately 8″ by 5.2” and about 0.7” thick (203mm x 132mm x 18mm) when closed it is in reality too big for the average pocket. It will soon be available on Kickstarter with an early bird price of $399 and an expected retail price of $699. I’ve received an early prototype which I’ll review below. …

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Beelink X55 Review – Part 2, Take 2: New Drivers and BIOS

Beelink-X55-UEFI

When I reviewed the Beelink X55 earlier, I encountered poor graphics performance when testing the device with its ‘Out-Of-The-Box’ configuration. As a quick reminder the Beelink X55 is a NUC-style mini PC powered with an Intel Pentium Silver J5005 processor and comes with a 128GB mSATA SSD with pre-installed Windows 10 Home together with 8GB DDR4 RAM (soldered and is non-expandable) and space plus a connector for an SSD. In an attempt to address the poor graphics performance I reinstalled Windows using Microsoft’s ISO however I then found I had missing drivers: Having contacted Beelink through the support email enclosed with the device they replied with a link to a full driver pack. So having downloaded and unzipped the file I updated the first driver: followed by the second: resulting in additional entries to the Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework (DPTF). Having fixed the driver issue I then reran the 3DMark benchmark for testing the GPU: I then compared …

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Beelink X55 Review – An Intel Gemini Lake mini PC Tested with Windows 10 and Linux

Beelink X55 board

The Beelink X55 is very similar in style to Intel’s NUC7PJYH NUC reviewed earlier except that it is not a kit but a fully functional Windows mini PC. It is physically small consisting of an approximately 4.5″ by 4” case about 1¾” tall with a front panel that includes the power button and a couple of USB ports and a headphone jack with the rest of the ports including two HDMI (2.0) ones at the rear: The specifications include: The key highlights are that the Beelink X55 comes a 128GB mSATA SSD with pre-installed Windows 10 Home together with 8GB DDR4 RAM (soldered and is non-expandable) and space plus a connector for an SSD. Starting with a quick look at the hardware information shows it is mostly aligned to the specification but see the note below about the memory: As usual I ran my standard set of benchmarking tools to look at performance under Windows: At this point I normally …

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Genmitsu CNC Router Review – Part 1.5: Laser Attachment

Genmitsu CNC -Router Laser Review

Hey Karl here with a small update for the SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router 3018 review. In the first part I described the build and first cuts. And in this part I am calling it 1.5 because it is to just talk about the optional laser attachment that was just made available and initial impressions. In the first part I commented about the laser connector on the board. The stars aligned and Sainsmart asked if we wanted to check out their  2.5W PWM controlled laser sold for $89.99 with free shipping. Installation In the box all you get is the laser itself and some eye protection. At first I wanted to mount the laser on the side of the tool head so it would be easy to change between CNC and the laser. I took the laser apart and was going to use the 2 mounting holes and ended up breaking a solder connection for the fan. After soldering the wire …

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Baikal T1 MIPS Processor – The Last of the Mohicans?

Last MIPS P5600 Development Board

CNXSoft: Guest post by Blu about Baikal T1 development board and SoC, potentially one of the last MIPS consumer grade platforms ever. It took me a long time to start writing this article, even though I had been poking at the test subject for months, and I felt during that time that there were findings worth sharing with fellow embedded devs. What was holding me back was the thought that I might be seeing one of the last consumer-grade specimen of a paramount ISA that once turned upside-down the CPU world. That thought was giving me mixed feelings of part sadness, part hesitation ‒ to not do some injustice to a possibly last-of-its-kind device. So it was with these feelings that I took to writing this article. But first, a short personal story. Two winters ago I was talking to a friend of mine over beers. We were discussing CPU architectures and hypothesizing on future CPU developments in the industry, …

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Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO CNC Router Review – Part 1: Build & First Etches

Sainsmart 3018 CNC Router

Hey Karl here. Today we are going to look at something a little different. I am writing about my experiences with building Genmitsu 3018 CNC router upgraded version provided by Sainsmart for this review. While waiting on the unit to arrive I did some research and found that there are several different versions on the market labeled CNC xxxx. The xxxx represent the build volume in the x and y. So the one I was sent has a 300x180mm build volume. The 3018 is called upgraded because the new mounting for the X and Y rods and lead screws. On the previous version these had to be mounted and manually aligned which from what I read can be a pain. Building Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO CNC Router The build went very well. The 3018 user manual was mostly pictures but they called out anything that might be questionable. I had been talking about the CNC/engraver with my kids and they were …

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