Hands-on with the PocketBeagle

Ken Shirriff shares his experience with a low-cost, compact Linux computer PocketBeagle:

The PocketBeagle is a tiny but powerful inexpensive key-fob-sized open source Linux computer. It has 44 digital I/O pins, 8 analog inputs, and supports multiple serial I/O protocols, making it very useful as a controller. In addition, its processor includes two 200-MHz microcontrollers that allow you to implement low-latency, real-time functions while still having the capabilities of a Linux system This article discusses my experience trying out different features of the PocketBeagle, along with some technical details.

Hands-on with the PocketBeagle – [Link]

Flight controller unit evaluation board for drones

The STEVAL-FCU001V1 board from ST is designed to support quadcopter drone designers with the latest solutions for motor control, sensors and and microcontroller.

A complete sample FW project allows the designer to begin flying small and medium size quadcopters (with brushed or brushless DC motors) immediately and evaluate the performance of the IMU sensors under real flight conditions. The FCU can be controlled by a standard external remote controller (PWM input interface) or by a smartphone or tablet through the Bluetooth low energy module present on board (CE, FCC, ARIB, BQE certified). Magnetometer and pressure sensors are also embedded to support 3D navigation applications. SWD, I²C and USART connectors are available for FW development and debugging, and to support additional external sensors or RF modules.

Key Features

  • Compact Flight Controller Unit evaluation board complete with sample firmware to a small and medium size quadcopter
  • Lipo 1-cell battery charger on-board
  • Possibility to drive directly 4 DC brushed motors through low voltage on-board MOSFET or alternatively use external ESC for DC brushless motor configuration
  • Main components:
    • STM32F401 – 32-bit MCU with ARM® Cortex®
    • LSM6DSL – iNEMO intertial module: 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope
    • LIS2MDL – High performance 3D Magnetometer
    • LPS22HD – MEMS pressure sensor: 260-1260hPa absolute digital output barometer
    • SPBTLE-RF – Very low power module for Bluetooth Smart v4.1
    • STL6N3LLH6 – N-channel 30 V, 6 A STripFET H6 Power MOSFET
    • STC4054 – 800 mA Standalone linear Li-Ion battery charger
  • RoHS compliant

Le Potato: Fastest 4K SBC under $50 for Makers

Le Potato Single Board Computer – Raspberry Pi Form Factor, 2GB RAM, HDMI 2.0, eMMC, Latest Android 7.1 Nougat, and Linux 4.9 LTS.The project is already funded and you can order your unit now.

Our first Libre Computer Board, code name Le Potato, is designed as a drop in hardware replacement for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and offers faster performance, more memory, lower power, higher IO throughput, 4K capabilities, open market components, improved media acceleration, removal of the vendor locked-in interfaces, and Android 7.1 support. This platform uses the latest technologies and is built upon proven long term available chips. It is supported by upstream Linux and has a downstream development package based on Linux 4.9 LTS that offers ready-to-go 4K media decoding, 3D acceleration, and more.

It can be used to tinker with electronics, teach programming, build media centers, create digital signage solutions, play retro games, establish bi-directional video, and unlock imaginations. It is available in 1GB and 2GB configurations while utilizing a large existing collaborative ecosystem of parts for creators to build new and exciting products and services.

Le Potato: Fastest 4K SBC under $50 for Makers – [Link]

Renegade ARM Computer with USB 3 on Android Linux

Libre Computer launched a campaign about it’s open source, $35 “Renegade” SBC which is a Raspberry Pi clone that runs Linux or Android 7.1 on a Rockchip RK3328 with up to 4GB DDR4. They claim to be the first SBC with up to 4GB of DDR4, 4K, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB 3.0 for the ultimate experience. The indiegogo campaign is offering packages with 1GB ($35), 2GB ($45), and 4GB ($70) of DDR4 RAM and has 19 days to go.

Specifications

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 cores @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • RAM — 1GB, 2GB or 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage:
    • MicroSD slot
    • eMMC 5.x interface
  • Multimedia:
    • HDMI 2.0 port
    • 3.5mm TRRS AV jack
  • Networking — 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • Micro-USB port with power support
    • IR Receiver
    • UART header
    • ADC headers
  • Expansion — 40-pin RPi 3 Model B style header (PWM, I2C, SPI, GPIO)
  • Power — 5V 2.5A DC via Micro-USB
  • Other features — U-Boot button
  • Operating system – Ubuntu 16.04 with Rockchip’s Linux 4.4 Kernel and Mainline Linux 4.14 LTS Kernel; Android 7.1 Nougat

USB To 12V Boost Converter

This project provides 12V output from any USB power source, like PC USB port, USB adapter or power banks. LM2577ADJ boost converter IC is the heart of the project. The IC can handle load up to 800mA, it’s advisable to use only 200mA load on output to be on the safe side. The LM2577 are monolithic integrated circuits that provide all of the power and control functions for step-up (boost), fly back, and forward converter switching regulators. The device is available in three different output voltage versions: 12V, 15V, and adjustable. Requiring a minimum number of external components, these regulators are cost effective, and simple to use. Listed in this data sheet are a family of standard inductors and fly back transformers designed to work with these switching regulators. Included on the chip is a 3.0A NPN switch and its associated protection circuitry, consisting of current and thermal limiting, and under voltage lockout. Other features include a 52 kHz fixed-frequency oscillator that requires no external components, a soft start mode to reduce in-rush current during start-up, and current mode control for improved rejection of input voltage and output load transients.

USB To 12V Boost Converter – [Link]

Open-Source NB-IoT Shield for Arduino

This completely open-source LTE shield uses the latest and greatest CAT-M NB-IoT technology optimized for low-power IoT devices! by Timothy Woo @ hackster.io:

With the emergence of low-power IoT devices with cellular connectivity and the phase-out of 2G (with only T-mobile supporting 2G/GSM until 2020), everything is moving toward LTE and this has left many people scrambling to find better solutions. However, this has also left many hobbyists facepalming with legacy 2G technology like the SIM800-series modules from SIMCOM. Although these 2G and 3G modules are a great starting point, it’s time to move forward and SIMCOM recently announced their new SIM7000A LTE CAT-M module at a developer’s conference. How exciting! 🙂

Open-Source NB-IoT Shield for Arduino – [Link]

Tomu – An ARM board which fits inside your USB connector

Tomu is a programmable computer that is so small that can fit entirely inside a computer’s USB port. It sticks out just a little bit, enough to allow you to press one of the two buttons on it’sy side. It also have two LED lights, to let you know what I’m up to. The project is coming soon on crowdsupply.com

Specifications

  • 25 MHz ARM Cortex M0+ CPU
  • Two LEDs
  • Two capacitive-touch buttons
  • 8 kilobytes of RAM
  • 64 kilobytes of flash
  • Full and Low Speed USB

5.25″ SBC with Intel Kaby Lake or Xeon CPU

The new LS-579 announced by BVM Limited is one of the most powerful SBCs available in the compact 5.25” embedded form factor. With outstanding computing power from the latest generation processors, comprehensive I/O capability, four SATAIII mass storage interfaces and supporting up to 32GB of DDR4 DRAM, the LS-579 is optimised for use as a network computer or workstation. CAD work stations, video processing, graphics design, database management and network servers are typical applications that will benefit from the enhanced performance over previous generations of embedded SBCs.

The LS-579 is based on the Intel 6th and 7th Generation Skylake and Kaby Lake Core processor families or the Xeon E3-1200 v5/v6 processor in a FCLGA1151 socket all with the Intel C236 chipset.  The HD530 GPU in the Xeon processor offers 24 execution units (EUs), clocked at up to 1150MHz, decoding H.265/HEVC completely in hardware; the 630 GPU in the Kaby Lake version is largely identical to the 530 found in Skylake but with HEVC and VP9 support as the key feature of the upgrade. Displays can be connected via 1 VGA, 1 LVDS, 2 HDMI and one DP port, with up to three separate displays controlled simultaneously.

The LS-579 is equipped with 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 3 x Intel I210-AT Gigabit Ethernet and 1 x Intel I219-LM Giga bit PHY LAN.  The I210-AT enables 1000BASE-T implementations using an integrated PHY; it can be used for server system configurations. The I210-AT implements 4 receive queues and 4 transmit queues, with up to two queues dedicated for stream reservation or priority, and up to three queues allocated for strict priority.

Other features of the LS-579 are six USB3.0 ports, four SATAIII ports, four RS232 and two RS232/422/485 ports, four USB2.0 ports, two Key M PCIe M.2 ports for NVMe and two Key E PCIe M.2 ports for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, two Mini PCIe sockets with support for mSATA and a SIM slot. Power is via and external 9 – 32VDC input or a standard 24-pin ATX P/S.

Meduino Mega2560 Pro Mini Board

This Arduino board called Mega2560 uses the ATmega2560 microcontroller and is offered in a reasonable price. The microcontroller used has 16 analog inputs,  54 digital IOs and is working on 5V voltage. Epalsite electronics designed the small board exactly for this microcontroller. You can buy it e.g. on ebay.com for 12.99 USD.

Specification of ATmega2560:

  • DC Current per I/O Pin – 40 mA
  • DC Current for 3.3V Pin – 50 mA
  • Flash Memory – 256 KB of which 8 KB used by bootloader
  • SRAM – 8 KB
  • EEPROM – 4 KB
  • Clock Speed – 16 MHz

Meduino ATmega2560 Pro Mini Specs:

  • Completely compatible with original Arduino Mega2560
  • Pin pitch: 0.1 inch
  • Size: 5.42cm*3.68cm
  • With Atmega16U2 chip as the USB to Serial converter
  • Working voltage: 5V
  • Input Voltage: 7-12V
  • Analog Input Pins: 16
  • Digital I/O pins: 54
  • The maximal current from 3.3V regulator: 150 mA

Ockel Sirius B – Windows 10 Pocket PC

As the world gets more advanced, technology is getting smaller. Case in point: the Ockel Sirius B Windows 10 Mini-Computer. This pocket-sized PC is powered by an Intel processor and 2GB of RAM, and boasts high-speed built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Plus, with a wide range of inputs and outputs, you can link with just about any device you want. [via]

What you can do with this mini PC:

  • Compute powerfully on the move w/ Intel-powered Windows 10
  • Use this pocket-size PC wherever you want by simply plugging into an HDMI display & connecting to a power outlet
  • Quickly browse files & open applications with the built-in 32GB flash storage
  • Connect to almost any device you want w/ two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, Micro SD card slot, & AUX in/AUX out
  • Browse fast & connect wirelessly w/ ease thanks to built-in WiFi & Bluetooth

Specifications

  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Processor: Quad core Intel Atom Bay-trail Z3735F processor (Up to 1.83GHz)
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics (16 @ 350 – 1350 MHz)
  • RAM: 2GB 1333MHz DDR3
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC Flash extended
  • Storage support: Micro SD card (max 128 GB), 2 USB hard drives
  • Video supported: 1080P, AVI/MOV/MP4/RMVB/FLV/MKV
  • Audio supported: MP3, WMA, RA, OGG, WAV, APE, FLAC, AC3, DTS
  • Image format support: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIF
  • HDMI 1.4a output up to 1920×1080 60Hz
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • Micro SD card slot
  • MIC input 3.5mm jack
  • L/R stereo 3.5mm jack
  • DC in jack
  • Power: DC 5V 2A
  • Dimensions: 123mm x 79mm x 11mm
  • Weight: 120 g
  • Certificates: CE/FCC/RoHS
  • WiFi card: 2.4/5.0GHz
  • Bluetooth 4.0