ClockworkPi GameShell Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Assembly Guide

ClockworkPi Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi Gameshell is a portable retro gaming console kit designed to be hackable being powered by Allwinner R16 processor to run Linux, as well as an Arduino compatible Atmel AVR MCU. It’s partially open source hardware with PDF schematics, and firmware source code available on Github. The device launched last year on Kickstarter, raised close to $300,000, and started shipping to backers last summer. The company has now sent me a sample for review, so let’s have a look. The first part of the review will be more than just an unboxing, since the game console is meant to be assembled by the end user, and I’ll report my experience doing so. ClockworkPi Gameshell Unboxing The kit comes in a fairly large package that reads “GameShell – Redefine Portable Game Console” and lists the main specifications with quad core Cortex A7 processor, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB RAM, 16GB micro SD storage with OS,  micro HDMI output, and a 1,200 …

Khadas Captain / Edge SBC Review – Part 2: Ubuntu 18.04

Khadas Edge Ubuntu 18.04

I received Khadas Edge Developer Package with Khadas Edge RK3399 module, Khadas Captain carrier board, and several accessories a few weeks ago, and after checking the hardware in the first part of the review, I’ve now taken the time to review software support, specially Ubuntu 18.04 on the board. Khadas Edge / Captain Firmware There are currently four main choices of firmware for Khadas Edge / Khadas Captain: Ubuntu 18.04 OS with LXDE desktop environment @ https://dl.khadas.com/Firmware/Edge/Ubuntu/ Android ROM @ https://dl.khadas.com/Firmware/Edge/Android/ with Android Nougat being a proper release, Android Oreo (available now) a temporary version that will not be supported, and Android P that will be released and supported by Rockchip later on in 2019 Armbian RK3399 for Khadas Edge that looks to be work-in-progress right now LibreELEC for playing videos on the platform I decided to focus on Ubuntu 18.04 for this review, and Karl who has he own sample will review the stable Android Nougat firmware that has …

$6 C-SKY Linux Board Reviewed, Benchmarked

C-SKY Board

The price of single board computers and development boards has really gone down in recent years, and it’s easy to find a low cost Arm based board for most project. But C-SKY Linux development board is quite different since it’s based on the little known C-SKY architecture, and the price in China ($6) is really competitive for a media capable board. If you live outside of China, the board is now sold for about $18 including shipping, and MickMake decided to buy one to have a closer look and review the board. As we covered during the announced the board is powered by NationalChip GX66058 C-SKY 32-bit processor clocked at up to 574 MHz and integrating  64MB DDR2 on-chip. Getting the board on-hand allowed Mick to get more details about the other chips included in the board namely: STMicro STM32F103 to handle all the JTAG control through a micro USB port (JTAG) CH340G USB to serial bridge to access the …

Geeetech A20M Review – A Dual Extruder, Color Mixing 3D Printer

Geeetech A20M 3D Printer Samples

Hey Karl here with a 3D printer review. I know it has been a while for a printer review and grateful for Gearbest sending the review unit. They shipped me the Geeetech A20M a single nozzle, mixing, dual extruder 3D printer. Man that was a mouth full. It is a follow up to the A10M which is similar but a smaller build volume. The A20M clocks in with a 255x255x255mm build volume. My last foray with a multi material printer was a Tevo Tarantula and it was mildly successful. I didn’t realize that this was a mixing extruder and the implications. I have done some very cool looking prints due to the fact that it’s a mixing extruder. QC Issues I always come to expect some QC issues with these low cost printers. But I have to say that this printer has had the most. Let me list with fixes Z stepper motor bent…..replace z stepper motor Fan for part …

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Firmware Update, Antutu

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

I’ve been using Xiaomi Mi A1 smartphone for well over a year, and during my initial review I was quite satisfied with the phone, and over time I was also pleased to receive regular firmware updates (monthly), and even an update to Android 8.0 and 8.1. Eventually, I found out the camera would be work that well in all situation as you can see from photos in that post, and a few months ago, I broken the display during a cycling trip, and eventually the phone basically died after one year due to an issue with the eMMC flash that become unbearably slow. I intend to use it at least for 18 months, since we can expect firmware update during that time frame. But it was not meant to be, and I was due for a new phone. Xiaomi Mi A2 / A2 Lite smartphones were launched in August, and very recently they got an upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie, …

Particle Mesh Networking Review – Part 2: Getting Started Guide with Argon & Xenon

Particle Mesh Network Argon Xenon Success

I’ve recently received a Particle Mesh IoT Development Kit with one Argon WiFi + Mesh (802.15.4) board acting as gateway, three Xenon Mesh boards, and various sensors and accessories.  I’ve already showcased the hardware in the first part in the review, so in this post I’ll post my experience getting started with Particle Mesh networking using the kit. Beside the kit, you’ll need a few micro USB cables, a mobile phone running Android or iOS, a reliable Internet connection (more on that later), and a host PC for programming and debugging potential issues. Setting Up Particle Argon & Xenon boards First we’ll need to configure / setup the boards. Go to https://setup.particle.io to login or create an account if you don’t already have one, and you should be brought the following page. Select Mesh, and you’ll be asked to setup a gateway first. Any of the boards from Particle Mesh family can be setup as a gateway, but for our …

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, …

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 …