Tag Archives: Raspberry Pi

The Orange Pi 4G IoT Board is the Most Advanced Orange Pi Board

Orange Pi has been known for its several Raspberry Pi board clones and now has launched a better IoT focused board – Orange Pi 4G IoT. The Shenzhen based company, Xulong has gone through different modifications and even as at last year released a low-cost 2G based board – The Orange Pi 2G IoT board that cost just $9.90. However, recent trends have been gearing towards 4G technology, and some countries like Australia are already outfacing the old 2G networks.

Orange Pi 4G IoT Board

Therefore, it did not come as a big shock when the company released a 4G board recently. But it is clear that Shenzhen Xulong outdid itself as the board has a lot interesting and advanced features such as its 4G LTE module, fingerprint sensor support, WiFi, GPS and many more. The Orange Pi 4G IoT board is the most advanced Orange Pi board till date. Like many other Orange Pi boards, the Orange Pi 4G – IoT has a Raspberry Pi like footprint which measurements are 85mm × 55mm and a 40 – pin expansion header.

At the heart of the Orange Pi 4G IoT board is the MediaTek MT6737 SoC. The MediaTek SoC is a 64bit Quad-core, Cortex-A53 and clocked from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz. There’s also a high-end, up to 650MHz Mali-T720 MP1 GPU with the SoC.

The Orange Pi 4G – IoT Single Board Computer (SBC) runs Andriod 6.0 has a 4G LTE radio module with a mini-SIM card slot, a fingerprint sensor support and a combo module that includes WiFi, FM, GPS, and Bluetooth. There’s also a mic and an earphone jack. The board has a PRX receiver which could be a potential source for the fingerprint reader or a proximity sensor module. The Orange Pi 4G-IOT also includes a three USB 2.0 OTG host ports, a micro-USB port, and an IR receiver.

The below are specifications of the Orange Pi 4G board:

  • Processor —
    • MediaTek MT6737 (4x Cortex-A53)
    • Mali-T720 MP1 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB of DDR3
    • 8GB of eMMC
    • MicroSD slot with hot-plug support
  • Display/Media:
    • HDMI port for HD resolution
    • LCD interface with capacitive touch support
    • 13-megapixel camera interface (25-pin ZIF)
    • 3.5mm earphone UI/O audio jack
    • Mic
  • Wireless:
    • WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS combo module
    • 4G LTE module (FDD-LTE B1/B2/B3/B4/B7/B17/B20; TDD-LTE B38/B40/B41B; GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA B1-B8,
    • Mini-SIM card slot
    • Diversity receiving part (antenna connector)
    • Antennas (may be optional)
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB OTG host ports
    • Micro-USB port (only for writing image)
    • 40-pin expansion header (2x UART, 3x I2C, 2x SPI, 1.8V)
  • Other features — IR receiver; 2x LEDs; PRX receiver for attaching fingerprint reader
  • Power — 5V 2A input; power button; battery supported
  • Weight — 42.5 g
  • Dimensions — 85 x 55mm
  • Operating system — Android 6.0 with C, C++, Kotlin, Java, Shell, and Python support

Although the Orange Pi 4G IoT board is not listed on the Orange Pi website and has no official product page or wiki page, it is surprisingly available for purchase on Aliexpress and costs only $45.

Introducing Project Fin: a board for fleet owners

Introducing Project Fin, a carrier board designed for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Lite.

It’s a carrier board that can run all the software that the Raspberry Pi can run, hardened for field deployment use cases, and adding some of the things we’ve seen our users needing the most. It includes 8/16/32/64 GB of on-board eMMC depending on the model, has dual-band connectivity for both 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi networks, can take an external antenna for WiFi and Bluetooth, and can accept power input from 6v to 30v (or 5v if you power through the HAT) via industrial power connectors.

It also comes with two special features. The first is a microcontroller that has its own Bluetooth radio and can operate without the Compute Module being turned on. This enables the Fin to perform well in real-time and low-power scenarios. The Compute Module, along with its interfaces, can be programmatically shut down and spawned back up via the microcontroller, which can access the RTC chip when the Compute Module is OFF for time-based operations. In addition, the Fin has a mini PCI express slot, which can be used to connect peripherals such as cellular modems. The Fin also has a SIM card slot to make it even easier to connect a cellular modem.


Program Pi, BeagleBone and Other Linux SBCs On The Arduino Create Platform

We have seen the massive ecosystem the Arduino has built and established over the last few years and this has made developing with Arduino quite leisurely. It is way easier to solve a programming issue or hardware issue with Arduino unlike other hardware boards mostly due to its community.  Arduino Create is an online platform by the Arduino Team that simplifies building a project as a whole, without having to switch between many different tools to manage the aspects of whatever you are making.

Arduino Create

Arduino Create is excellent especially for people already used to build stuff with Arduino boards, but what about the likes of Raspberry Pi, BeagleBones, and other makers board? The Arduino boards are great, especially the famous Arduino Uno, but this board still have it’s limitations too. The Raspberry Pi/BeagleBone on the other hand could take some task that the 16MHz Arduino Uno will never dream of doing, but this will also require makers and developers to begin learning new hardware (could be daunting for beginners). But this is changing now, as Massimo Banzi, CTO, and Arduino co-founder announced an expansion of Arduino Create to support Arm boards which will provide optimized support for the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone boards.

Arduino Create now integrates Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone and other Linux based SBCs ─ all with IoT in mind. The introduction of ARM boards (Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, AAEON® UP² board, and Custom ARM boards) follows the vision of the Arduino’s goal for the Create platform. A vision to build a full featured IoT development platform for developing IoT (Internet of Things) devices quicker, faster, and easier than ever before, intended for Makers, Engineers or Professional Developers. Arduino Creates brings the Arduino framework and libraries to all these SBCs, officially, changing the development game in a big way.

“With this release, Arduino extends its reach into edge computing, enabling anybody with Arduino programming experience to manage and develop complex multi-architecture IoT applications on gateways,” stated Massimo Banzi in a press release. “This is an important step forward in democratizing access to the professional Internet of Things.”

Raspberry Pi and other Linux based ARM boards can now leverage the community surrounding the Arduino Create Platform that offers support for step-by-step guides, examples, code, schematics and even projects. Although the SBC support is brand new, resources surrounding SBCs is sure to grow, in short time. Import from or sharing with the community is easy too.

Multiple Arduino programs can run simultaneously on a Linux-based board and interact and communicate with each other, leveraging the capabilities provided by the new Arduino Connector. Moreover, IoT devices can be managed and updated remotely, independently from where they are located.

Getting started with Arduino Create for the Linux SBCs is quite easy and straightforward. One merely connect the Raspberry Pi, or whatever SBC of choice to a computer and connect it to the cloud via Arduino Connect or via USB using the Arduino Plugin (This will make possible the communication between the USB ports on your PC and your Arm®-based Platform.). To start developing, upload sketches (programs) from the browser to the SBC. No need to install anything to get the code to compile, everything is up-to-date. This may become a standard way to develop on these platforms.

Arduino Create currently works with any board that runs Debian OS; a case for the Raspberry Rasbian, which is a Debian OS. To get started building with the Arduino Create for your ARM-based boards, visit the Arduino Create site, and click on the Getting Started while setting the board of your choice.

Rasberry Pi and AI Combined – RS News

Rasberry Pi and AI Combined

Are the likes of AI and deep neural networks purely the realm of expert engineers, scientists and mathematicians?

We don’t think so, so we built a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B based object-identifying appliance, using an Intel Movidius, a Pmod HAT, a Pi camera and a Digilent OLED Pmod. Find out how we got on.


The ultimate Guide to Raspbian and other Raspberry Pi Software

The full diversity of Raspberry Pi software in the best guide you might have ever found.

Raspbian is the main and basic software for RPi devices, officially supported by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. In fact, it is an operating system, based on Debian and optimized for Raspberry Pi hardware. It comes with lots of pre-installed pieces of software appropriate for most of ARM users and developers.

And in this blog post, I am going to look through almost all possible operating systems, as well as the Raspberry Pi images, compare and review major types of other software you can use for your complicated Raspberry Pi Projects.

But the main operating system, ready-to-use and optimized to the needs of the most developers and makers is Raspbian. So, first thing firstly, let’s dig deeper this type of OS for RPi.

18 Most Helpful Raspberry Pi Tutorials

The Raspberry Pi

After having grazed the maker’s ecosystem in the year 2012, the Raspberry Pi has attracted a huge number of hobbyists and tinkerers all over the world. It has been the world’s most popular single board computer and a close competitor to the Arduino since then. If you have never heard of the Raspberry Pi, then look at wikipedia article.

Despite the huge fame that has followed the Raspberry Pi and some amazing projects created with it, some questions are still being asked like; What can you do with it and why would you want to? I remember when I first got my own Raspberry Pi back in 2013, I never touched it for about a year because this sort of questions was ramping on my head and couldn’t find any convincing answer then.

The Raspberry Pi is a great single-board computer that has grazed the surface of the earth with some amazing power and capabilities that are often underestimated. There is hardly anything you can not build with the Raspberry Pi, and yes, you can even build a Raspberry Pi Artificial Intelligence Cluster (build your own Jarvis, my favorite project). If you’re new to the life of Pi or mid-level into the into Pi then this post will provide some helpful Raspberry Pi tutorials and resources to help you fully utilize the Pi.

Getting Started with Raspberry Pi

This is a must tutorial for newbies and it basically sums up the bits of getting the Raspberry Pi out of the box and making your first Hello World program. It covers the general discussion about the Raspberry Pi, installing the Raspberry OS, OS choices, applications of the Raspberry Pi, and several others.

Installing Raspbian OS

Despite the fact that the Raspberry Pi can be used with some other operating system, the Raspbian OS has been the most commonly used on the Pi. These guides will focus mainly on installing the Raspbian OS on the Raspberry Pi.  It works in a way similar to what you see on windows, when the Pi boots, it will look for a specific boot file on the SD card, and once that file has been found, it will begin to execute the code inside and the OS loads.

Python for the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi can be programmed with different programming languages, including Java, C, C++, and Python. Despite the fact that all these languages work quite well on the Raspberry Pi, Python is the most used of all mostly due to its flexible and easy language. Learning different languages is the best thing that any maker can do, but as a first language, Python is a good language to start with. There are many tutorials on Python online (even a few on Maker.io), so here are a whole bunch of them


Internet of Things is now becoming the mainstream buzz and learning how to build your own IoT-enabled projects for the Pi can allow the Pi to be accessed over the internet, control external devices using a mobile device, and take sensor readings and print them to a website is going to be a good idea.


The above tutorials and resources could be the life-saving guide you might need to start creating with the Raspberry Pi. Some of the projects demonstrated have shown how capable the single board computer can be.

PaPiRus Netapp – Monitor your network with Raspberry Pi

Use PiSupply’s PaPiRus ePaper display to monitor your network with a Raspberry Pi.

Over the past few days I have been converting my “Speedtest-cron” code to work on the PaPiRus from PiSupply. Whilst going over the code, I decided to start a new Git Repository and rename this version to “PaPiRus Netapp”.

PaPiRus Netapp – Monitor your network with Raspberry Pi – [Link]

gen4-4DPi Series – Primary Displays for the Raspberry Pi

The gen4-4DPi range are Primary Display’s for the Raspberry Pi* A+, B+, Pi2, Pi3, Pi Zero and Pi Zero W, which display the primary output of the Raspberry Pi, like what is normally sent to the HDMI or Composite output. It features an integrated Resistive Touch panel or Capacitive Touch panel, enabling the gen4-4DPi to function with the Raspberry Pi without the need for a mouse.


  • Universal Primary Display for the Raspberry Pi
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi A+, B+, Pi2, Pi3, Pi Zero and Pi Zero W
  • 480×272 Resolution (4.3”)
  • 800×480 Resolution (5.0” & 7.0”)
  • TFT Screen with integrated 4-wire Resistive Touch Panel (T), or Capacitive Touch Panel (CT)
  • Display GUI output / primary output, just like a monitor connected to the Raspberry Pi
  • High Speed 48MHz SPI connection to the Raspberry Pi, featuring SPI compression technology
  • Typical frame rate of 20 Frames per second (FPS) – 4.3”, or 7 Frames per second (5” & 7”), higher if image can be compressed further by the kernel. Lower if no compression is possible
  • Powered directly off the Raspberry Pi, no external power supply is required
  • On board EEPROM for board identification, following the HAT standard

Available in:

  • gen4-4DPi-43T       (4.3” Resistive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-50T       (5.0” Resistive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-70T       (7.0” Resistive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-43CT    (4.3” Capacitive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-50CT    (5.0” Capacitive Touch)
  • gen4-4DPi-70CT    (7.0” Capacitive Touch)

website: www.4dsystems.com.au

Adafruit RGB Matrix Bonnet – Control RGB Matrix Display Easily with a Raspberry Pi

RGB Matrix displays are a great way adding interactions to a project and displaying objects in a 2D space. RGB LED matrices can be used as a display for playing games, display animations, watch movies, display sensor data, and much more can be the done with these big and beautiful LED displays. Of course, RGB Matric display is best controlled with a high-speed processor like FPGA, but you can still use the Raspberry Pi to control them also. Most of the things (if not everything) the Raspberry Pi can output to a monitor can be displayed on LED matrices display.

Adafruit RGB Matrix Bonnet

Adafruit has announced the arrival of its RGB Matrix control board for the Raspberry Pi called the Adafruit RGB Matrix Bonnet. The Matrix Bonnet allows one to use the popular Raspberry Pi to control RGB Matrics displays to create a colorful scrolling display, view short videos, and for showing animations. The matrix board plugs easily into the Pi and works on any Raspberry Pi with a 40-pin GPIO header – Zero, Zero W/WH, Model A+, B+, Pi 2 and Pi 3. If you still use the old model 26-pin boards like the Model A or Model B, unfortunately, the bonnet can’t plug into them, and you will need the newer boards.

Adafruit RGB Bonnet

The Matrix control board can work with any 16 x 32, 32 x 32 or 32 x 64 RGB LED Matrices with HUB75 connections. It is also possible to use the bonnet board with 64 x 64 matrix display by doing some hardware hacking – soldering a small jumper on the PCB. And yes, you can get more displays by chaining multiple matrices together for a bigger display. Chaining numerous displays together will also cause some extra workload on the Raspberry Pi itself.

The bonnet board is quite rugged and comes with an inbuilt power protection circuitry to protect the board from short circuits, over and under-voltages. It has onboard level shifters to convert the RasPi’s 3.3V to 5.0V logic which will create a glitch-free matrix driving for 5V logic RGB Matrix display. It also comes fully assembled and no need for any extra soldering work.

The main advantage of the Adafruit RGB Matrix bonnet is that it will allow you to interact with RGB matrix display while avoiding the complicated wiring involved with connecting those displays.

Adafruit Bonnet connected to a Pi

The RGB Matrix Bonnet for Raspberry Pi is now available to purchase priced at $14.95 and can be bought on the Adafruit online store. The bonnet works with only HUB75 type RGB matrices and not the likes of NeoPixel, DotStar or other ‘addressable’ LEDs. For more information about using the bonnet, check out the product page on Adafruit.

Robby – A Simple and Powerful Robot to Learn Electronics and Programming

Robby Robot

Over the years we have seen a significant interest in people wanting to learn electronics and programming but are mostly handicapped with what they could build. Over time, learning has been proven to be more reliable when learning is more practical, and we can quickly grasp the concept if one is seeing what he or she is building in real-time and promptly learn why it works the way it works.

Lego Education robotics which has been around for a while, has allowed students to become active leaders in their education as they build everything from animals for a robotic zoo to robots that play children’s games. Lego has been tremendous, and it has quite helped students grasped the concept of engineering and programming, but one of the significant drawbacks with Lego is; it has not been fully developed for the makers open source movement and also comes with a high-cost price, unlike some Arduino based development environments.

The Arduino has caused a revolution in bringing artists into the world of robotics. It has spawned numerous offshoots from very small to wearable processors. Building something with Arduino requires some necessary electronic circuity skills and basic programming which sometimes could be intimidating for the complete novice. Robby from Mr. Robotics is a new education robot for anyone interested in learning more about robotics while also learning about robotics and programming. Robby is based on the Arduino ecosystem.

The team from Mr. Robotics based in Lille, France are crowdfunding their new educational robot called Robby, a tool to learn electronics and programming while having fun. The team at Mr. Robotics believe in this technologically advancing world, everyone should have the opportunity to be imaginative and use it for creation and development. That will need to provide the enabling environment for grooming interest in programming while cultivating natural curiosity, Robby could be the tool to bridge those gaps.

“The creativity is the intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

ROBBY robot is entirely hackable and adaptable with Plug & Play modules for any design scenario. So, today you can design to plug in a particular sensor and decide tomorrow you want another sensor in that position. Just unplug and plug back. The robot kit is fully programmable and allows you to add your own modules and sensors as well as choose your own architecture providing an open source scalable system complete with plug and play sensors. The robot kit is ideal for educational applications as well as keen hobbyists and makers.

At the heart of Robby is the ARM Cortex-M4F 32-bit microcontroller running up to 120 Mhz, and comes with three 12V DC precise motors and incremental encoders for direction, position and speed measurement. It includes a 12V extra Lipo 3S battery, Wi-Fi, USB and Bluetooth, buzzer and an open chassis for adding modules, sensors, components, and breadboard. Robby can be programmed with Blocky (graphical drag and drop block like programming) and with the Arduino IDE.

The Robby Robot is available to back via Kickstarter with pledges starting from €179 for the starter kit, €199 for the Explorer Kit, and €289 for the Creator kit. Mr. Robotics is offering the option of personalized kits costing up to €550 and some other customized packages. If Robby is successfully funded, worldwide shipping is expected to take place during August 2018.

More information about Robby can be found on their website here and their Kickstarter campaign.