Building a “$5 Forth computer”


Ken Boak has designed a tiny 16-bit computer around a FRAM based MSP430 microcontroller. He writes:

In this post we look at a new MSP430 FRAM based device – the MSP430FR2433. It has 15K of FRAM, 0.5K of Info FRAM and 4K bytes of SRAM. As well as the memory, there are 3 serial communications interfaces, a multichannel 10 bit ADC and 3 timers. All of this in a tiny low cost package – which makes an almost perfect Forth Computer.
The MSP430FR2433 from Texas Instruments costs about $1.36 in volume – and $2.58 in 1 off.
With a little creative design, low cost parts and a tiny 2 layer pcb we are en-route to offering a Forth Computer which could cost as little as $5 when produced in volume.

Building a “$5 Forth computer” – [Link]

Internet-Connected Migrane or Allergies Detector


adafruit has published an IoT  Migrane or Allergies Detector. This project uses Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 wireless microcontroller board to pull a forecast from the web site, then distills this to its barest essence: good news or bad news?

An ambient information display is an indicator which conveys meaningful data non-verbally. Unlike a computer screen which must be actively read, an ambient display needs no mental “mode shift” to interpret, and often just sits in one’s peripheral vision. The low fuel light on a car’s dashboard is an example of an ambient display.

Internet-Connected Migrane or Allergies Detector – [Link]

ESP12e + OLED display – a try to make a smartwatch

final_3 has been trying to make a smartwatch based on ESP12e and they document their efforts. Esp12e is configured as an access point and the “watch” is able to show some usefull information, but it’s not a complete watch yet.

I does not have any fancy features like mp3 player, accelerometer, gps .., it’s an oled display connected to ESP12e with charging circuit and FT232R for PC communication. It has two buttons, one bright red led connected to ESP12e used for urgent notify, also two for TP4056 charger circuit (red and green).

ESP12e + OLED display – a try to make a smartwatch – [Link]

BeagleCore Schematics and Gerbers Released


BEAGLECORE™ is licenced under Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA). They have published a ZIP-file containing all relevant information on footprint, schematics, BOM and many more for BEAGLECORE™ BCM1 & BCS1

Miniaturized computer module for industrial or commercial applications covering all core features of BeagleBone Black. Design your own embedded device with this System on a Chip (SOC). Fire up your own baseboard with BeagleCore™ to do cool things like Internet of Things (IoT), Home Servers or Wearable Devices. If you can build it with BeagleBone Black, you can build it smaller, simpler and more efficient with BeagleCore™!

BeagleCore Schematics and Gerbers Released – [Link]

Espruino: JavaScript for Things


Espruino is the world’s first JavaScript microcontroller. With it you are able to develop intelligent devices quickly and easily.

Espruino is a small computer that anyone can use to control things around them. Its JavaScript interpreter gives you instant feedback so that you can experiment and develop whatever your level of experience. Even if you can’t program, you can still get started quickly with our Web-based graphical code editor!

Espruino: JavaScript for Things – [Link]

Testing DRAM Using an Arduino


Chris @ wanted to test a few dozen individual RAM chips so he decided to use Arduino to make his life a little bit easier. In the article he explains the interface with Arduino and gives the code on github.

My first thought was to test the chips in the TL866CS, but it doesn’t support them. What to do? Well why not build something with an Arduino to test the DRAM? I wasn’t sure how easy that would be since DRAM is trickier than SRAM because it requires a periodic refresh to keep the bits from fading.

Testing DRAM Using an Arduino – [Link]

Li-Fi – 200 Gbps via your room light


Thijs Beckers @ has some great news about the Li-Fi technology:

The French company Oledcomm displayed its technology at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (22-25 Feb 2016), where a smart phone is connected to the Internet using only an LED lamp, which reaches a connection speed that is a 100 times faster than the current Wi-Fi standard. The ‘Li-Fi’-connection, Li-Fi means ‘light fidelity’, achieves, in laboratory situations, speeds of more than 200 Gbps, in theory fast enough to send the data contents of 23 DVDs in one second, according to Oledcomm founder Suat Topsu (according to our calculations 200 Gbps comes closer to 5 DVDs, but that aside).

Li-Fi – 200 Gbps via your room light – [Link]

OpenGarage – Open-source WiFi garage door opener

Ray Wang has published a new project called OpenGarage, an open-source garage door opener based on ESP8266 and the Blynk app:

Today I am very excited to introduce you to OpenGarage — an open-source, universal garage door opener built using the ESP8266 WiFi chip and the Blynk app. I’ve wanted to finish this project for a while, as there have been multiple occasions where I left the house in a hurry and forgot to close my garage door, or locked myself out of the house, or had to let a friend or handyman in while I was away. Having a WiFi-based garage door opener (which I can access remotely using my mobile phone) would be super convenient. Recently as I started learning about ESP8266, I found it to be the perfect platform to help me complete this project.

OpenGarage – Open-source WiFi garage door opener – [Link]