Hologram.io: Open-Sourcing Our Hardware

Ben Strahan of Hologram.io writes about why development hardware should be open source:

opensource-hardware-hologram.png

Open-Sourcing Our Hardware

It’s a simple premise – black boxes stifle innovation while open systems encourage exploration. Black Boxes and IP have their place as an essential tool in our economy; but in an industry like IoT where rapid innovation is needed, we need to push for open development tools as the building blocks that lead to innovative end-products for industry and consumers.

Going forward Hologram will open-source all hardware we develop for the developer community, including dependent firmware, through OSHWA. We see this as a mandatory step we need to take to help move IoT forward, to lower the barriers to entry, and to spur innovation in a rapidly evolving ecosystem.

The hardware design files for the new Hologram Nova module are available on GitHub:

Hologram Nova Hardware Repository

novam_header_r2.png

Hologram.io: Open-Sourcing Our Hardware

Particle Electron Carrier for Outdoor IoT Applications

Chip McClelland designed this Particle Electron carrier board to enhance the reliability and capabilities his outdoor IoT project:

img_1520_v9mPqNoPF1.jpeg

Particle Electron Carrier for Outdoor IoT Applications

I have been building IoT sensors for outdoor use for a few years now. Most of my focus has been on helping local parks better count and report the cars, bikers, joggers and hikers which use their facilities each day. By giving them an accurate and automatic way to measure park utilization, They can save significant labor costs, get a more complete count and facilitate reporting. My hope is that this work will show how important our parks are and help preserve and even expand funding for these vital community resources.

screen_shot_2017-10-23_at_1_35_54_pm_3cr2TIB6Xg

Longer term, I also want to collect environmental and health data with these devices and I realized that a general purpose enhancement to the Particle Electron would be useful in all manner of applications that I – or the community – might dream up. This project, developed in collaboration with the Particle community (see Team link) is open source and available to anyone who can wants to deploy IoT devices where there is no WiFi or utility power.

img_1429_HmAgiGVOWW

These carriers have proved to be very reliable and have survived 6 months so far in the North Carolina Summer. I have started working on a Solar Implementation and have some ideas for future improvement. Please let me know if this is helpful and if you have any comments or suggestions that could help improve the carrier.

chipmc has shared the board on OSH Park:

Electron Carrier Board v2.2

c137311fa7865309872ad0faf89bb732

Order from OSH Park

Particle Electron Carrier for Outdoor IoT Applications

Raspberry Pi CAN-bus HAT for the Omzlo IoT platform

From Omzlo Electronics:

omzlo-pi-master-rpi.jpg

A Raspberry Pi CAN-bus HAT for the Omzlo IoT platform

In a previous blog post, we described “SKWARE” our revised Arduino-compatible IoT modules. These nodes are designed to be connected together in a daisy-chain fashion with a single cable that brings both DC power and CAN-bus networking. The voltage transported in the cables is not 5V (or 3.3V) but rather 12V or 24V to work more comfortably over long distances, potentially reaching 300 meters (1000 feet). You can think of it as a poor-man’s PoE.

omzlo-pi-master-diagram

This network of connected nodes is designed to be monitored and controlled by a “master node”, which injects the necessary 12V/24V DC, provides node management services and a web interface for network administration. While the IoT nodes are based on an Arduino-style microcontroller, the “master node” requires a bit more power. In this context, the ubiquitous Raspberry Pi with its GPIO header seems like an ideal candidate for that role and we decided to see if we could build a “master node” by augmenting a Raspberry Pi with an appropriate add-on board. These add-on boards are called “HATs” (for “Hardware Attached on Top”) and we called our first prototype the “Pi Master HAT”.

omzlo-pi-master-network

The drawing below illustrates the general structure of our network. A Raspberry Pi equipped with our “Pi Master HAT” controls a network of 2 (or more) daisy-chained nodes, like the SKWARE.

omzlo-pi-master-debug

Raspberry Pi CAN-bus HAT for the Omzlo IoT platform

Help gamaral’s Cancer Treatment

If you’ve enjoyed Guillermo Amaral’s electronics projects such as the Canon DSLR WiFi RemoteRaspberry Pi PSUUARTMatic 3000+, Keypad Submodule and many more, then please consider giving to his cancer treatment fund:

Gamaral’s Cancer Treatment

I’ve unfortunately had to flip the bill for my two past surgeries and my on going cancer treatment… and as you can imagine, I’m running out of cash.

If you like my content and/or have found my published projects interesting or useful, please consider sending me some spare change and I’ll be ever so grateful.

Here are couple great project videos by Guillermo on YouTube:

Help gamaral’s Cancer Treatment

Wemos D1 Mini Breakout for an ST7735 Display

Radomir Dopieralski has created this breakout board to make it easier to slap a popular ST7735 module on top of a Wemos D1 Mini:

8571081501668647022.jpg

D1 Mini Breakout for an ST7735 Display

There is a number of options you have for display shields for the D1 Mini: there is the nice OLED shield, there is a shield with a single WS1228B neopixel, there is the #D1 Mini Matrix Shield I’m still working on. But there is no high-resolution color display you could just slap on it. This “shield” doesn’t really deserve the name, it’s just a simple breakout board that connects the ST7735 display module with the SPI pins of the D1 Mini, and adds a trim pot for brightness control.

4514121484133413329.png

To save some pins, the CS pin is hardwired to GND, and the A0 pin is connected to MISO. That means you can’t connect other SPI devices while this is in, but that’s a rare enough case for me to care. It uses four GPIOs total, from GPIO12 to GPIO15. The backlight is connected to the 5V supply (to not strain the on-board 3V3 regulator) through a trim pot, so you can adjust brightness.

I used alternating holes for the module’s header, so that with some luck you should be able to plug in the module directly, without soldering a female pin header there — that should also save some space.

Wemos D1 Mini Breakout for an ST7735 Display

Asset Tracker

Kris Winer designed this is a small 4-layer PCB for remote logging of absolute position and orientation:

3029441499292022189.jpg

Asset Tracker

STM32L433-based board with CAM M8Q concurrent GNSS, EM7180 + MPU9250 + MS5637 for absolute orientation, and an ESP8285 for wifi connectivity.

The absolute orientation engine uses the MPU9250 accel/gyro/magnetometer IMU sensor plus the MS5637 barometer as slaves to an EM7180 motion co-processor that sends quaternions and drift-stabilized altitude to the host via I2C.

PeskyProducts has shared the board on OSH Park:

AssetTracker.v02c

a12067ff0680dc9f13a9933a8bb07507

Order from OSH Park

Asset Tracker

STM32L4 Sensor Tile

From Kris Winer on Hackaday.io:

316281486923705430.jpg

STM32L4 Sensor Tile

Small, connected device for smelling and hearing in any environment.

This is a 20 mm x 20 mm four-layer pcb tile full of interesting sensors (ICS43434 I2S Digital Microphone, MPU6500 acclerometer/gyro, BME280 pressure/temperature/humidity, and CCS811 air quality) with a Rigado BMD-350 UART BLE bridge for sending data to a smart phone all managed by a STM32L432 host MCU.

The STM32L432 is programmed using the Arduino IDE via the USB connector and serial data can be displayed on the serial monitor to verify performance and proper function, etc. But it is intended to be powered by a small 150 mAH LiPo battery for wireless sensing applications. The STM32L4 is a very low power MCU and with proper sensor and radio management it is possible to get the average power usage down to the ~100uA level, meaning a 150 mAH LiPo battery can run the device for two months on a charge.

A library for it is available on GitHub:

kriswiner/SensorTile

A collection of sketches to run the STM32L432-based (20 mm x 20 mm) sensor tile with an MPU6500 accel/gyro, ICS43434 I2S digital microphone, BME280 temperature/pressure/humidity sensor, and CCS811 air quality sensor. The sensor tile has an on-board MAX1555 LiPo battery charger, an on/off switch, and a Rigado BMD-350 nRF52 BLE module.

 

 

 

STM32L4 Sensor Tile