Penguino Feather SAMR34 LoRa Dev-Board

Orkhan AmirAslan on Hackaday.io has created a RAK4260 based, Feather styled LoRa dev-board:

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Penguino Feather SAMR34 LoRa Dev-Board

This is a SAMR34 based LoRa dev-board with all the necessary components for fast prototyping. It’s a successor of my previous Penguino RF module and Feather breakout design ( https://www.tindie.com/products/16985/ )The new design uses the RAK4260 module from @RAKWireless and improves on some aspects, such as USB Type-C, RGB LED, user button, battery protection & voltage supervision, and optional flash & per-provisioned secure element IC pads.

Background:

About a year ago, after I first saw SAMR34 System in Package (SiP) in 2018 Electronica I couldn’t find a module for it and I took up the challenge for myself to build one myself. Then sharing first renders with the Twitterverse it gathered quite a bit of interest and I started selling couple over at my Tindie store. At the time I named the project TinyLoRa but for legal reasons I had to change it to Penguino.

Specs:

  • ATSAMR34J18 LoRA System-in-Package (SiP) based RAK4260
  • ARM Cortex M0+ MCU & SX1276 LoRa Radio
  • 256KB Flash, 40 KB RAM
  • Max Tx Power: +20 dBm; Max Sensitivity: -148dBm; Rx Current: 17mA (typical)
  • Frequency Range: 862 to 1020 MHz (DS values)
  • Deep Sleep Current: ~1 μA (module only)
  • Li-Po battery charging IC
  • RGB user LED, Battery Charge Status (red) and Power (blue) (w/ cut-off jumpers)
  • 3.3V low Iq LDO (~1 μA)
  • Low-voltage battery cut-off supervisor IC (3V Vbat cutoff)
  • USB Type-C connector with protection/filtering circuit
  • 0.75 A resettable fuse
  • Voltage divider for Vbat monitoring (w/ cut-off jumpers)
  • SMA and u.FL antenna connectors
  • 10-pin SWD programming header
  • Dimensions: 2 in. x 0.9 in. (50.8 mm x 22.8 mm)

Penguino Feather SAMR34 LoRa Dev-Board

Designing a PCB Ornament

Liz from Blitz City DIY wrote about the process of designing a PCB ornament:

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Designing a PCB Ornament

As the holidays approached this year, I felt a need to create a DIY gift for my family and friends. I struggled at first to find a medium. Should I 3D print something? Should I knit? But then it hit me: everyone loves blinky LEDs and I want to keep getting better at PCB design. I’ll do a PCB ornament!

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If you don’t have a traditional electronics background PCB design can seem scary, overwhelming and something that’s meant for more experienced people that have “real skills”. If you start simple and slowly add-in new methods and design features to your boards you’ll soon realize it isn’t so scary and that much like everything else in life it just takes practice and patience to learn. And once you have your first project on a custom PCB instead of a piece of perf board you’ll be hooked.

Designing a PCB Ornament

Creating a DIP ATtiny85 Watch with the DS3231

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Creating a DIP ATtiny85 Watch with the DS3231

As Douglas Adams explained in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, digital watches are “pretty neat” to us primitive life forms. Something about the marriage of practicality, and sheer nerdiness gets me oddly excited. Somewhere in my fascination I asked myself, “can I make a digital watch entirely of my design?” I did! And it taught me a lot about pcb fabrication, low power programming, and shift registers.

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Probably the most important function of a watch is that it keeps time. While you could use your microcontroller to count the seconds and save on parts, there are some major downsides to this. For one, the microcontroller is much worse at keeping time than a dedicated RTC (Real Time Clock) IC, the time would drift significantly with temperature and battery voltage. Another serious problem is that it would require the microcontroller to always be on, keeping track of the time. This would consume much more current than an RTC IC, draining the battery significantly faster. Thus we employ a DS3231 to casually sit in the background, consuming microamps from it’s own back-up battery (which, at the rate of 200µA, would take 12.56 years to drain).

Creating a DIP ATtiny85 Watch with the DS3231

Reflowduino: Put That Toaster Oven To Good Use

From  on the Hackaday blog:

Reflowduino: Put That Toaster Oven To Good Use

There are few scenes in life more moving than the moment the solder paste melts as the component slides smoothly into place. We’re willing to bet the only reason you don’t have a reflow oven is the cost. Why wouldn’t you want one? Fortunately, the vastly cheaper DIY route has become a whole lot easier since the birth of the Reflowduino – an open source controller for reflow ovens.

This Hackaday Prize entry by [Timothy Woo] provides a super quick way to create your own reflow setup, using any cheap means of heating you have lying around. [Tim] uses a toaster oven he paid $21 for, but anything with a suitable thermal mass will do. The hardware of the Reflowduino is all open source and has been very well documented – both on the main hackaday.io page and over on the project’s GitHub.

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The board itself is built around the ATMega32u4 and sports an integrated MAX31855 thermocouple interface (for the all-important PID control), LiPo battery charging, a buzzer for alerting you when input is needed, and Bluetooth. Why Bluetooth? An Android app has been developed for easy control of the Reflowduino, and will even graph the temperature profile.

When it comes to controlling the toaster oven/miscellaneous heat source, a “sidekick” board is available, with a solid state relay hooked up to a mains plug. This makes it a breeze to setup any mains appliance for Arduino control.

 

Reflowduino: Put That Toaster Oven To Good Use

ATTiny wearable by Facelesstech

tl;dr It’s a foundation for a wearable platform. It’s a Nato watch strap threaded through a PCB with a coin cell battery holder between the PCB and the strap. I’m using a Attiny85 this time around but could be used for most chips/dev boards. This is a proof of concept to iron out any problems […]

via Attiny wearable — Facelesstech

ATTiny wearable by Facelesstech