Friday Free Board Quiz – Week #94 prize is IR distance sensor SNS-GP2Y0A21YK0F


SNS-GP2Y0A21YK0F is perfect gadget for your next project. It can measure distance from 10 to 80 cm and have analog output which you can read easily.

To participate in the Quiz is enough to Re-tweet the Twitter Quiz announcement message.

To double your chances you have to answer the Quiz question :)

Today we will post on Twitter our question.

You have time to re-tweet until Monday 28th of July.

In Monday we will count  the correct answers and ask to generate random number in range then announce the winner and ship the board by airmail.

Good Luck!

Weekend Programming Challenge – Week #62 – One million :)

1000000 (1)

One million is good round number :) Your task for the weekend challenge is to write code which check if you can find two numbers X and Y which product makes exactly 1 000 000, the catch is that none of these numbers should contain 0 inside it.

How fast is your code?

The rules:

You can code the solution in any programming language during the weekend and have to submit it to latest on Sunday July 27th.

On Monday we will upload the solutions on GitHub

You can play with your real name or with nick if you want to be anonymous, we will not disclosure your personal info if you do not want to.

RT5350F-OLinuXino design is almost complete



This one was inspired by the VoCore project which recently ran on Indiegogo.
We have not hear for RT5350F before, but when we saw it we instantly though it’s good candidate for tiny OLinuXino.
RT5350 is nice small MIPS architecture chip running on 360Mhz and specially made for routers.
It have build-in 802.11n WIFI, 5x 10/100 Ethernet MAC+PHYs, 28x GPIOs, 2x UARTs, 1xSPI and 1x I2C.
Perfect for IoT tiny Linux running board collecting data from sensors and logging or sending it to the Cloud.

What we like in VoCore is that they commit to release it as OSHW design, but the schematic they made available on their page have few significant errors compared to the reference design from Ralink, if these errors are intentional or not we do not know, but the schematic they publish will not work for sure and this is not so good sign :)

Another thing is that they decide to use 32MB RAM while the chip can support more, and to make size as small as possible they didn’t break out all Ethernet interfaces.

Also they decided to use chip antenna, which are well known with their bad performance, so probably their design will be with very limited WIFI range.

This is why we decided to make it properly and our preliminary schematic is now complete.

Our version is with 64MB of RAM, 8MB Flash and all RT5350F pins are available on 2x 34 pin 0.1″ step connectors.

We put proven design for PCB antenna + option for external antenna on connector.

The PCB size become 40×40 mm vs. 25 x 25 mm but we think the benefits are more compared to the bigger size.

We probably will have the first prototypes in September taking into account our Summer Break 1-15 of August.

The price of RT5350F-OLinuXino module will be EUR 15 for single quantities and will drop to EUR 10 for 1000 pcs. i.e. less than Arduino but with 64MB RAM, Linux and WIFI on board!

OLIMEX Summer of Hacking – 3D printing group first print with DIY Prusa i3


This is the 3D printing group from OLIMEX Summer of Hacking initiative.

Their job was to assembly Prusa i3 3D printer kit and to learn how to use it. It took them a week to complete the printer.


It still is a bit bulky but everything functioning correctly!

Today was the day to test it:

The first printed object was Mr. Pacman:


It worked very well for first attempt! Now is time for calibration and some in deepth experiments with the temperatures, speed of printing and other parameters!

Well done boys!

Building a Brewery Using an OLinuXino


Did you ever dreamed to have small beer brewery at home for personal use ? :)

Now with this project at Element14 this seems easy to re-produce!

First A80 tablet is now on sale for $177


Nicolas from made interesting video about the new tablets with A80 from Allwinner headquarter.

Although officially Allwinner have no “information” about A80 – no datasheet, no pricing etc. It seem they worked silently to release tablet reference design which is ready for production now.

Interesting feature is hardware face recognition in A80 which allow tablet to track your face and if you set it with this feature your video player can stop when you look outside tablet and continue to play when you look back at the tablet screen.

The sell price $177 gives rough idea that the release price of A80 would be about same as the price of A31 when it was first released several months ago, the severe competition keep the price of this Octa core processor reasonable.

Interesting findings about iOS security or how Apple intentionally compromised it


Jonathan Zdziarski wrote interesting article about undocumented services running on iOS7 which allow security attacks.
This is purest example that when you use device with closed source software you are in vendor’s hands.
They can do with your data whatever they want behind your back.


How to create bare minimum Debian Wheezy rootfs from scratch


In this post we will explain how you can create your own Debian rootfs with pre-installed packages of your choice, which to allow tiny Linux images to be created.

All steps below should work on any Debian host (Debian/Ubuntu etc) and are verified with Ubuntu 12.04LTS.

First of all you need to install the support packages on your pc

sudo apt-get install qemu-user-static debootstrap binfmt-support


Next you need to choose the version of Debian in this case we are building a wheezy image.



Now we will build first stage of Debian rootfs :

mkdir $targetdir
sudo debootstrap --arch=armhf --foreign $distro $targetdir


Next copy the qemu-arm-static binary into the right place for the binfmt packages to find it and copy in resolv.conf from the host.

sudo cp /usr/bin/qemu-arm-static $targetdir/usr/bin/
sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf $targetdir/etc


If everything is right we now have a minimal Debian Rootfs

sudo chroot $targetdir


Inside the chroot we need to set up the environment again

export LANG=C


Now we are setup the second stage of debootstrap needs to run install the packages downloaded earlier

/debootstrap/debootstrap --second-stage


Once the package installation has finished, setup some support files and apt configuration.


cat <<EOT > /etc/apt/sources.list
deb $distro main contrib non-free
deb-src $distro main contrib non-free
deb $distro-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src $distro-updates main contrib non-free
deb $distro/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src $distro/updates main contrib non-free

cat <<EOT > /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/71-no-recommends
APT::Install-Suggests "0";


Update Debian package database:

apt-get update


set up locales dpkg scripts tend to complain otherwise, note in jessie you will also need to install the dialog package as well.


apt-get install locales dialog
dpkg-reconfigure locales


Install some useful packages inside the chroot

apt-get install openssh-server ntpdate


Set a root password so you can login



Build a basic network interface file so that the board will DHCP on eth0

echo <<EOT >> /etc/network/interfaces
allow-hotplug eth0
iface eth0 inet static


Note: Your board will be accessible over SSH on IP address defined above !


Set the hostname

echo nameme > /etc/hostname


Enable the serial console, Debian sysvinit way

echo T0:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS0 115200 vt100 >> /etc/inittab


We are done inside the chroot, so quit the chroot shell



Tidy up the support files

sudo rm $targetdir/etc/resolv.conf
sudo rm $targetdir/usr/bin/qemu-arm-static


Now you have your Debian rootfs. Next step is to build Kernel, Uboot and to make your SD-card as explained in our early posts and Build instructions but instead to use the rootfs in the posts you can use your own minimal rootfs which you created above. The rootfs image created above is approx 150MB, it could be made smaller if you remove more packages.

Special thanks to Dimitar Gamishev (aka HEHOPMAJIEH) for creating this tutorial.

Android 4.2.2 image for A20-OLinuXino-LIME


NAND Flash image for Android 4.2.2 with 7″ LCD 800×600 pixels

NAND Flash image for Android 4.2.2 with 10″ LCD 1024×600 pixels

4GB SD-card image for Android 4.2.2 with 7″ LCD 800×600 pixels

A13-OLinuXino-(WIFI) Debian Build with Kernel 3.4.90+



A while ago we put on our Forum wishlist for the next Debian release, now in this Debian release we implemented most of the requests we read on the forum.

Here is Debian image for A13-OLinuXino-(WiFi) with Kernel 3.4.90+

Here is Building description.

Here is List of installed packages.

Here is image description.

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