Chipsat development board for low-power, embedded computing in space
Junebug is a cutting-edge addition to the Feather ecosystem. It acts as a development board for chipsats – an emerging class of space system. It offers unique support for batteryless, intermittent computing. The FPU, DSP instructions, and storage space allow advanced sensor data processing with ML. Junebug is easy to manufacture, with parts selected to allow hand-assembly.
The schematic, PCB design, Gerber and Drill files, bill of materials, and other files are provided in the linked GitHub repository.
It’s hard to beat the fidelity and durability of printed text on paper. But the e-paper display gets pretty close, and if you couple it will great design and dependable features, you might just prefer an e-reader over a bookshelf full of paperbacks. What if the deal is sweetened by making it Open Hardware? The Open Book Project rises to that challenge and has just been named the winner of the Take Flight with Feather contest.
This e-reader will now find its way into the wild, with a small manufacturing run to be put into stock by Digi-Key who sponsored this contest. Let’s take a closer look at the Open Book, as well as the five other top entries.
You may remember seeing the Open Book back in October when Tom Nardi looked in on early testing for the board. It was prototyped using the Adafruit Feather, which of course was the main requirement of the contest. The controller is now built into the board for standalone functionality with the Feather header providing an opportunity for expansion.
The screen is 4.2″ with a resolution of 300×400. It reads files from a microSD card and uses seven buttons on the front of the board for user input. A dedicated flash chip stores language files with the character sets of your choice. The small LiPo cell can be charged via the USB port, and of course e-paper helps greatly in reducing the power consumption of the reader.
You’ll find a few extras on the back. There’s a headphone jack for listening to audio books, and get this, a built-in microphone and a TensorFlow-trained model allow for voice control! There are STEMMA headers to add your own hardware options, and designs for laser-cut and 3D-printed enclosures.
and checkout Joey on Adafruit Show n Tell last night!
How better to work on Open Source projects than to use a Libre computing device? But that’s a hard goal to accomplish. If you’re using a desktop computer, Libre software is easily achievable, though keeping your entire software stack free of closed source binary blobs might require a little extra work. But if you want a laptop, your options are few indeed. Lucky for us, there may be another device in the mix soon, because [Lukas Hartmann] has just about finalized the MNT Reform.
Since we started eagerly watching the Reform a couple years ago the hardware world has kept turning, and the Reform has improved accordingly. The i.MX6 series CPU is looking a little peaky now that it’s approaching end of life, and the device has switched to a considerably more capable – but no less free – i.MX8M paired with 4 GB of DDR4 on a SODIMM-shaped System-On-Module. This particular SOM is notable because the manufacturer freely provides the module schematics, making it easy to upgrade or replace in the future. The screen has been bumped up to a 12.5″ 1080p panel and steps have been taken to make sure it can be driven without blobs in the graphics pipeline.
This excellent Hackaday Supercon keynote by Megan Wachs of SiFive gives a great introduction to two exciting topics:
The software world has fully embraced open source as a way to move forward together, faster. The hardware world is rapidly catching up, but until recently, one building block was still proprietary: the CPU’s Instruction Set Architecture, or ISA. The ISA is the language that the computer speaks, and aligning on a common language enables both open hardware implementations and collaboration on software tools. RISC-V is a free and open ISA which is revolutionizing both academic research and the semiconductor industry. In my talk I will give an intro to RISC-V and explain how it is enabling a new level of hardware hacking, on FPGAs and beyond.
Joey Castillo is an open-hardware device for reading books in all the languages of the world:
It includes a large screen and buttons for navigation, as well as audio options for accessibility and ports to extend its functionality. Its detailed silkscreen, with the all the manic energy and quixotic ambition of a Dr. Bronner’s bottle, aims to demystify the Open Book’s own design, breaking down for the curious reader both how the book works, and how they can build one for themselves.
For more detailed technical specifications, check out the Hackaday.io project page.
The Open Book is not yet available for purchase, but you can order the board from OSH Park, and the BOM is available at the project’s GitHub page. Instructions for assembly are printed on the front of the PCB.
Have some info to add for this board? Edit the source for this page here.
One of the first things you learn in electronics is how to identify a resistor’s value. Through-hole resistors have color codes, and that’s generally where beginners begin. But why are they marked like this? Like red stop signs and yellow lines down the middle of the road, it just seems like it has always been that way when, in fact, it hasn’t.
Before the 1920s, components were marked any old way the manufacturer felt like marking them. Then in 1924, 50 radio manufacturers in Chicago formed a trade group. The idea was to share patents among the members. Almost immediately the name changed from “Associated Radio Manufacturers” to the “Radio Manufacturer’s Association” or RMA. There would be several more name changes over the years until finally, it became the EIA or the Electronic Industries Alliance. The EIA doesn’t actually exist anymore. It exploded into several specific divisions, but that’s another story.
This is the tale of how color bands made their way onto every through-hole resistor from every manufacturer in the world.
Happy Lunar New Year!
We would like to let our customers know that all OSH Park boards are manufactured in the United States, and we