Learn about open hardware best practices and open science

Tomorrow, Friday, October 15th, Alicia Gibb and Javier Serrano from OSHWA will join Helen Leigh on the CrowdSupply Teardown live stream:

Crowd Supply’s Helen Leigh chats with Alicia Gibb, hardware hacker and open source hardware advocate, and Javier Serrano, who leads a team of electronics designers and Linux kernel developers at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.

Join them as they discuss open hardware best practices, open source hardware movements around the world and the importance of open hardware for open science.

Learn about open hardware best practices and open science

Hello FPGA Summer Giveaway

From our friends at Crowd Supply:

Curious about FPGAs but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! We’re teaming up with Crowd Supply, OSH Park, and Mouser to give away 30 Hello FPGA kits this summer and cover prototyping costs for up to five new shield designs.

Design a new Arduino shield for your Hello FPGA kit:

We will select up to five designs of a new Arduino shield for use with a Hello FPGA kit. Limit one proposal per person. Submit proposals with links to documentation via our contact form no later than Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM PDT. Winners will be announced on Friday, September 17, 2021. Winners will receive FREE PCB fabrication from OSH Park and parts from Mouser Electronics for prototypes of their design. Winners commit to submitting a video demonstrating a prototype of their proposed shield design in action no later than Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Selection of winners is at our discretion and will be based on the plausability of the proposed shield, completeness of the design, and the extent to which the new shield showcases the features of the Hello FPGA kit.

Read more…

Hello FPGA Summer Giveaway

BioAmp EXG Pill

The BioAmp EXG Pill is coming soon to Crowd Supply:

Professional-grade analog front-end amplification for ECG, EMG, EOG, and EEG biosensing on one tiny board

BioAmp EXG Pill is a small, powerful Analog Front End (AFE) biopotential signal acquisition board that can be paired with any 5 V Micro Controller Unit (MCU) with an ADC. It is capable of recording publication-quality biopotential signals like ECG, EMG, EOG, and EEG, without the inclusion of any dedicated hardware or software filters. It’s small size allows easy integration into mobile and space-constrained projects, and it’s powerful noise rejection makes it usable even when the device is close to the AC mains supply. Any 1.5 mm diameter wire can be used as a strain-relieving electrode cable, making BioAmp EXG Pill very cost-effective in comparison to other options.

BioAmp EXG Pill

Data Fitness Connector (DFC) update on Crowd Supply

New update for the Data Fitness Connector (DFC) on Crowd Supply which wirelessly connects your Peloton bike to third-party apps, fitness watches, and more:

The DFC Build Process by Jason V

At this point we’re about two thirds of of the way through the campaign, and we’re very excited to report that we’ve hit our funding goal! Thank you!

This week’s update is for the curious minds out there who like to see how things are made. We’re taking you behind the scenes for a look at how early prototypes were put together. The final version of DFC will be made by our manufacturing partner here in the US, but we needed to build a few ourselves so we could test them before ramping up production.

In the time-lapse video below, you can see how a prototype DFC circuit board was built, starting with the application of solder paste atop a stencil, followed by the careful placement of all those tiny little components that make it work. After that, the board was placed in a circuit oven (kind of like a fancy toaster oven), which melted the solder paste and secured everything in place.

Building circuits by hand in this way is an odd mix of calming concentration and frequent frustration, so we’re happy to hand this off to a robotic pick-and-place machine for mass production.

Data Fitness Connector (DFC) update on Crowd Supply

Data Fitness Connector on Crowd Supply

This new device on Crowd Supply can wirelessly connect your Peloton bike to third-party apps, fitness watches, and more:

Data Fitness Connector (DFC)

Free Your Cycling Power & Cadence Data!

The Data Fitness Connector (DFC) data broadcaster is a Bluetooth device that allows Peloton bikes to communicate with fitness watches, head units, and apps—a feature that’s not available on stock Peloton bikes. It reads power and cadence data in realtime, through a cable connected to your bike, and broadcasts them to nearby devices, including those built around non-Peloton platforms like Zwift and Garmin. This allows you to enjoy the built-in functionality of your bike while simultaneously utilizing features and services that depend on third-party platforms.

Who Wants to Ride a Bike in Walled Garden?

Interested in the fitness data you produce? Want more control over who else has access to those data? Prefer not to be locked into a particular platform? If you have a Peloton bike, then DFC is for you.

Data Fitness Connector on Crowd Supply

PiMod Zero: Raspberry Pi Zero RF Video Modulator

We excited to see this Raspberry Pi Zero RF Video Modulator on Crowd Supply:

PiMod Zero

Dust Off That Old TV

PiMod Zero brings old tech back to life by allowing a Raspberry Pi Zero to display color or B&W video – and play audio – on vintage televisions. It provides a super-compact way to watch old movies, play retro games, present digital art, or navigate your operating system using any television that receives standard NTSC broadcasts on VHF channels 2 and 3 (55.25 MHz and 61.25 MHz).

In the past, you would have needed a cumbersome RF modulator box to adapt the HDMI signal from a Pi Zero. Now, with this convenient HAT snapped on top of your Pi Zero, no additional dongles are required. In fact, once the Pi is powered up, the only other cable you need is a piece of coax to connect PiMod Zero to your TV.

Configuring the Raspberry Pi to output composite video and stereo audio to PiMod Zero is extremely simple. Handy scripts and thorough documentation will be available in our GitHub repo.

PiMod Zero: Raspberry Pi Zero RF Video Modulator

Crowd Supply: connect Peloton bike to third-party apps and fitness watches

Coming soon to Crowd Supply:

Data Fitness Connector (DFC)

The Data Fitness Connector (DFC) data broadcaster is a Bluetooth device that allows Peloton bikes to communicate with fitness watches, head units, and apps—a feature that’s not available on stock Peloton bikes. It reads power and cadence data in realtime, through a cable connected to your bike, and broadcasts them to nearby devices, including those built around non-Peloton platforms like Zwift and Garmin. This allows you to enjoy the built-in functionality of your bike while simultaneously utilizing features and services that depend on third-party platforms.

One of our goals for this project is to make it easier for hobbyists to design and build hardware that interacts with fitness machines, which is why we’re offering a Maker Edition of DFC. Sure, if you’re trying to start the next indoor fitness revolution, you probably have your own hardware team. But what if you just want to crank up the music and cue some heroic lighting when you hit your pace? Or progressively inflate a balloon so you know your workout’s over when it pops? DFC lets you bring your quirky idea to life and take it for a ride on the handlebars.

Or you could do something practical! If you must. Add a dedicated display and use it to chart realtime metrics that Peloton doesn’t display. Or log your raw data offline for the last word in platform independence. Or attach an array of sensors and see how your performance is affected air quality, humidity, and other indoor environmental factors.

Crowd Supply: connect Peloton bike to third-party apps and fitness watches

Project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe

In this Crowd Supply update, Kevin Neubauer describes project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe:

Project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe

Here is a handy list of project ideas that CircuitBrains could be used in:

  • Attach some sensors and make an environmental monitor
  • Home automation sensor brains
  • Hook it into some stepper drivers and move some motors
  • Add an antenna circuit and use it to send or receive RF data
  • Do some 3D printing around CircuitBrains and a servo to dispense hand sanitizer
  • Use the DAC on it to produce some sound through an amplifier
  • Build a reflow oven with a PID and a solid state relay
  • Attach it to a computer and use it as a HID device
  • Attach a couple buttons and a display and make a scoreboard for a game
  • Make an electronic badge
  • Make a digital alarm clock
  • Build a quirky random number generator
  • Add a GPS breakout and capture positioning data
  • Add a display and a couple of buttons and make a retro game system
  • Add a liquid flow meter, hook it onto a sink or toilet and record how much water you use
The board is a tiny, CircuitPython-compatible ARM Cortex-M4 module:
Screenshot from 2020-04-09 12-47-51

 

Project ideas for the CircuitBrains Deluxe

iCEBreaker FPGA: new video streams and new content

An update from our Dorkbot PDX friend, Piotr Esden:

iCEBreaker FPGA: new video streams and new content

iCEBreaker Production

As you read in our last update in November, we finished fulfilling the campaign, but that does not mean work on iCEBreaker has stopped. We keep producing iCEBreakers and Pmods to keep 1BitSquared US and 1BitSquared DE, as well as Crowd Supply and Mouser, stocked.

For those of you who are patiently waiting for your shipments, don’t worry. A package with additional inventory is going out to the Mouser warehouse today!

Continuing Work on iCEBreaker

We are continuing work on new examples and additional iCEBreaker hardware. If you are not following 1BitSquared or Piotr on Twitter, you might have missed some stuff that Piotr is working on. Since January, Piotr started streaming on Twitch on a fairly regular basis. You can follow him on Twitch and be notified every time he goes live. Piotr is also announcing upcoming streams at least a day in advance on Twitter as well as on the 1BitSquared Patreon page.

As a result of the Twitch streams, we’ve had a few interesting new developments for the iCEBreaker platform. A few weeks ago, we published Litex RISC-V SOC generation examples that you can find in the iCEBreaker GitHub Organization. Piotr gave a Twitch stream presentation about the build system and how to use it. You can watch the stream Archive on Twitchdiode.zone, and YouTube. This example gives you the foundation to create your own SOC for the iCEBreaker, start adding your custom hardware to the RISC-V core, and program it in C or Rust. We are also working on MicroPython and maybe even CircuitPython support in the not too distant future.

Upcoming Twitch Stream

Piotr has scheduled a Twitch Stream for Tuesday, April 13th, 2020 at noon PDT. He will be working on a new Pmod for the iCEBreaker that will allow us to connect NES or SNES controllers from two very popular 8-bit game entertainment systems. 😉 That same Pmod will also contain a stereo audio output. This Pmod together with a DVI output, LED Panel output or VGA output will be an ideal combination to recreate old or build new custom game consoles and a wide range of emulations, for entertainment, preservation, and education.

electronics-lets-play-stream

If you are curious when the stream will happen in your timezone you can either check on Twitch itself, as there is a countdown timer till the next stream below the video streaming window, or you can check timeanddate.com.

Keep Supporting our iCEBreaker work

If you like to see continuing work and content creation for the iCEBreaker platform, and you already have all the hardware you need, then consider supporting us through Patreon. We keep adding perks for Patrons, like KiCad panel templates and behind the scenes news. We have a few very generous supporters that make the Twitch streams possible, but any additional support is appreciated.

Stay in Touch

And don’t forget, the continuing development and support for iCEBreaker keeps on rolling on the 1BitSquared Discord server, and iCEBreaker forum! So join the fun and show off your iCEBreaker projects! 🙂

Stay safe and healthy,
Piotr and Danika

iCEBreaker FPGA: new video streams and new content

CircuitBrains Deluxe launches on Crowd Supply

A tiny, CircuitPython-compatible ARM Cortex-M4 module  Kevin Neubauer has launched on Crowd Supply:
Screenshot from 2020-04-09 12-47-51

CircuitBrains Deluxe

Easily Add a Powerful Microcontroller To Your Next Project

CircuitBrains Deluxe is the smallest soldererable ATSAMD51 module. Skip on all the tedious work of adding a 32-bit microcontroller to your next project. We’ve taken care of the tough work of pin mappings, power & decoupling layout, clock, flash, assembly, bootloader, and firmware. All you need to do is drop a footprint into your next PCB design project, connect your peripherals and USB connector, then solder it on and write your code.

Just Solder It On

Save time and frustration on your next project. We’ve taken care of the finicky fine-pitch surface mount assembly for you. CircuitBrains comes in an easy-to-solder castellated module format. You can either incorporate it into your project PCB design, or solder wires directly to it via the extra holes in each castellated pad. We’ve also made it easier to hand solder these modules by including a larger “hand solder” PCB footprint for your design.

Add Some Power to Your Project

The core of CircuitBrains Deluxe is the Microchip ATSAMD51J19 32-bit ARM Cortex M4 microcontroller, which can run up to 120 MHz. In addition to a powerful microcontroller, each CircuitBrains Deluxe module has 8 MB of Quad SPI flash onboard. You’ll have plenty of space for your project code and media files.

Easy to Program

CircuitBrains comes preloaded with CircuitPython. Who doesn’t love Python on microcontrollers? Plug your device into USB, modify your code, and see the changes take effect as soon as you hit Save.

Small Form Factor

CircuitBrains Deluxe won’t take up a lot of space. It was designed to be used in small projects. At just over 1 square inch (29 mm), there aren’t many places this thing won’t fit into.

CircuitBrains Deluxe launches on Crowd Supply