3D Rendering and Video Composite Output on ESP32 Boards

A few years ago, we already saw it was possible to transmit color signals over NTSC using an ESP8266 board with the signal received on a TV with an analog tuner. CNLohr had to connect an antenna to the I2S pin of his ESP8266 module, and disable WiFi. But surely we should be able to do the same with ESP32, and potentially even better thanks to the two cores. That’s exactly what Bitluni successfully managed by connecting his LoLin32 board to the composite input of his TV with one handling the TV signal output (in grayscale) and the other core rendering 3D objects in real-time. But any ESP32 board could be use instead. The hardware connection is very easy. We just need two wires, one connected to the GND pin and outer part of the RCA connector, and the other connected to GPIO 25 (DAC1) and the inner part of the RCA connector. The software is more complicated, and basically …

ESPurna Firmware Now Supports Power Meters “Augmented” with ESP8266 Modules/Boards

Sonoff-Tasmota and ESPurna are the two main open source firmware used in home automation devices, such as Sonoff wireless switches, based on Espressif ESP8266 WiSoC. Xose Pérez – aka Tinkerman – has recently purchased “dumb” power meters / kill-a-watt meters, added WiFi to them with ESP-01 module and Wemos D1 mini board, and implemented support in ESPurna firmware leveraging earlier reverse-engineering work by Karl Hagström. The power meter above looks exactly like the one I’ve been using for review for over two years, and has been more more reliable than other models, such as Broadlink SP2 (with built-in WiFi) that gave up on me after a few months. Xose actually noticed that old and newer models of the power meters were based on different solutions. Karl’s meter relied on ECH1560, while Xose’s new meter was instead based on Vango V9261F, which has a public datasheet, and was already being worked on by Domoticz community. While he connect ESP-01 to one of the …

Wemos LOLIN32 Lite Board Powered by ESP32 Rev 1 Chip Sells for $4.90

Wemos introduced the first low cost ESP32 board with LOLIN32 board going for $6.90 plus shipping in April, but the company is now back with a new Lite version of the board switching ESP-WROOM-32 module with their own design around ESP32 Rev 1 chip (with various silicon bug fixes), and a lower $4.90 price tag to which you need to add ~$2 for shipping. Wemos LOLIN32 Lite is also smaller, so we’ll lose some of the pins (mostly extra power pins), but the I/Os look the same: SoC – Espressif ESP32-DOWD6Q Rev 1.0 dual core Tensilica Xtensa LX6 processor with WiFi and BLE Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth LE I/Os via 2x 13-pin headers with digital I/Os, analog inputs, UART, I2C, SPI, VP/VN, DAC… 3.3V I/O voltage Breadboard compatible USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming/debugging Misc – Reset button Power – 5V via micro USB + battery header for Lithium battery (charging current: 500mA …

$6.90 Wemos LoLin32 ESP32 Development Board Comes with 4MB Flash, Lithium Battery Support

Wemos – the company behind the cool Wemos D1 mini ESP8266 board – has now launched its first Espressif ESP32 development board with LoLin32 equipped with ESP-WROOM-32 module with 4MB flash, a micro USB port, and a battery header. Wemos Lolin32 specifications: Wireless Module – ESP-WROOM-32 based on Espressif ESP-32 dual core processor @ 240 MHz with 4MB flash Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth LE I/Os 26x digital I/Os 12x analog inputs UART, I2C, SPI, VP/VN, DAC 3.3V I/O voltage Breadboard compatible USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming/debugging Power – 5V via micro USB + battery header for Lithium battery (charging current: 500mA max) Dimensions – 5.8 x 2.54 cm Weight – 5.8 grams The board is not compatible with Wemos D1 mini (34.2 x 25.6 mm) and shield, but offers a more powerful solution with Bluetooth LE, battery support, and more I/Os. The Wiki is still work-in-progres, and there’s no that much information …

Need to Program Many ESP8266 Modules? This Wemos D1 mini based Pogo Jig Programming Board Could Be Useful

If you have many ESP8266 modules to flash with your own firmware this may be time-consuming, but Wing Tang Wong’s ESP8266 Pogo Jig Programming Board could greatly streamline the process, as it just hold ESP-12F module in place using pogopins, so you can go through boards quite quickly. You’ll just need to a Wemos D1 mini board without ESP-12F module to the programming board, and then place your ESP-12F module (or compatible) between the pogopin to program it through Wemos D1 mini’s micro USB port. The board is not for sale (yet?), but the EAGLE design files can be found on Github, and it should not be difficult to find a company to manufacture a few if you need it. Via OSH Park’s Blog.

Ten Most Popular Posts of 2016 on CNX Software and Some Stats

The last day of the year is a good time to look back at what the year brought us, and I have to say it has been a fun and interesting year on CNX Software. The TV boxes news cycle has been dominated by Amlogic products, but most products have now switched to 64-bit ARM SoC, with 4K and HDMI 2.0 support, and price have kept going down, so you can now get a 4K TV box for as low as $20, although many people will prefer spending a bit more for extra memory and support. Intel based Bay Trail & Cherry Trail mini PCs have continued to be released with Windows, and in some cases Ubuntu, but the excitement seems to have died off a bit, maybe with the expectation of upcoming Apollo Lake mini PCs that should be more powerful. The year have been especially fruitful in the IoT space with a dramatic reduction in costs and sizes …

Some ESP32 Development Boards to Look Out For: NodeMCU, Widora-air, Nano32, Noduino Quantum, and Wemos

Espressif ESP32 WiFi + BLE SoC launched at the very beginning of the month, shortly followed by ESP3212 module, and while Adafruit sold a few breadboard-friendly ESP32 development boards to developers for $15 a few days ago, stock was limited, and it’s not possible to easily purchase ESP32 boards today, and that’s OK because firmware and software support is still in progress. Several companies are working on such ESP32 boards however, and they tend to show the development progress on social networks, so I thought it would be fun to look at what’s coming… Amica (NodeMCU) ESP32 Board The current NodeMCU board is one of the most popular ESP8266 development platform, and that’s not surprising they are working on an ESP32 version. I don’t have pictures nor full  specs of the board yet, but the company showcased their early work on ESP32 last June. Widora-air I only discovered Widora recently via their NEO WiFi board running OpenWrt, but they are …

$5 Wemos D1 mini Pro ESP8266 Board includes 16MB Flash

Wemos D1 mini is one of my favorite ESP8266 development boards thanks to its small size, shield support, and low $4 price tag. There’s now a new version of the board – dubbed Wemos D1 mini Pro – with 16MB flash instead of 4MB for the original version, and a few other modifications. Wemos D1 mini Pro specifications: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n module based on ESP8266EX with 16 MB flash, chip antenna and external antenna connector Expansion – Through holes with 11x digital input/output pins (3.3V) supporting interrupt/PWM/I2C/one-wire (except D0 pin) 1x analog input (3.3V max input) Reset and power signals (5V, 3.3V, GND) USB – micro USB port Misc – Reset button Power – 5V via micro USB or 5V pin Dimensions – 34.2 x 25.6 mm Weight – 2.5 grams Beside the larger flash,  the main differences are listed in a Wemos forum post: External antenna connector – switch by re-soldering resistor 0(zero) ohm Built-in ceramic antenna – good! …