Open Source Hardware Summit 2014 starts tomorrow in Roma, Italy


Open Source Hardware Summit this year is in Roma, Italy.

There will be lot of interesting lectures on the first day 30th of September, here is the list of the speakers.

The second say will be workshops day.

See you there!

ESP8266 WIFI chips and modules arrived


Recently we blogged about the new ultra low cost UART to WIFI modules based on ESP8266 ICs. Today the WIFI modules and sample chips arrived so we can finally test them.

The low cost $5 modules focused the interest of many people. We already have translated datasheet, forum and some people even started write code for Arduino without having these modules at all :)

One problem I see is that there are no official schematic with components with values nor reference design. We are going to change this as we already got 3 different modules and the components around ESP8266 are not so many, so we will capture the schematic and make reference PCB layout in the next few days. 




Build your own laptop with A10-OLinuXino-LIME


We got this note via Twitter: Reinis Veips made his own Open Source Hardware laptop using broken laptop as base for LCD and keyboard and connected them to A10-OLinuXino-LIME  + SATA drive :) You can read about his project here.

OLinuXino Open Source Hardware Linux Computer project will be presented at Elevate festival in Graz Austria – October 25th


The Elevate Festival annually presents a unique combination of critical political discourse, technology, art and contemporary music.

2014 will be the 10th edition of Elevate and there is an event specially on CLEAN IT, Fair IT ( and Open Source Hardware and Software and the interconnections of these topics.

We are invited to present OLinuXino project on Octiber 25th.

A80-OLinuXino OSHW 8-core Linux computer development begins

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Allwinner is about to release soon (end of this month hopefully) datasheet and info about their new 8-core monster processor with 4x Cortex-A15 + 4x Cortex-A7 and here we go and start preparing what to include in the new A80-OLinuXino.

We would love to hear your feedback and recommendation what do you think is important as value and “to have” on board, here are the major features (taken from Allwinner site) :

  • DDR3  standard 2GB, optional 4GB
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • optional NAND Flash 4GB
  • SD cards x4 possible
  • USB-OTG 3.0
  • USB hosts x2 2.0
  • MIPI camera interface
  • real ADCs x2
  • PWM
  • UART x7
  • I2C x7
  • SPI x4
  • I2S
  • LCD

Unfortunately A80 have no audio on chip so external codec is necessary if you want to have Audio connector how important is this if we already have audio on the HDMI connector?

If we go in to LIME form factor route we have to look just for the bare minimum of connectors due to the space limitation, if we go in max features direction the board will become big and expensive.

Let’s the wishes begin :)

When One Project can be named Open Source Hardware?


OSHWA released this nice set of pictures which to easily explain when you can name your product OPEN SOURCE.

Arduino made Open Source more than movement, it’s huge community of people who share and learn together.

Now Open Source is buzz word and many want to ride the wave and use for marketing without complying with the requirements.

If you look on the web there are tons of articles naming Raspberry Pi, Cubieboard, Wanda board and all other thousands of closed source hardware “open source something” boards. Playing with the words like: open source community board, open source Linux board etc. etc.

Most of the articles are made this way non intentionally but just due to ignorance, as the authors just re-produce what they have read on the vendor web sites without making efforts to read OSHW definition and to learn what is necessary to be opened to call one board (hardware) open.

Some sites plain mislead their visitors that offer Open Source Hardware like:


Other remove the Open Source Hardware text from their web but still keep it in the meta description cheating Google when one look for real opensource boards :)


Even in have article named “Top 10 Open Source Linux Boards” where out of the 10 quoted board just one Beagle Bone is three are Open Source all others are closed source hardware boards.

No, it’s not enough for one hardware to run Open Source software to name it Open Source as well, nor it’s enough to have schematic in JPEG, PDF, Gerbers etc derivative files from the sources.

For one board (hardware) the sources are the CAD files, no matter with what product they are made. From these CAD files you can study, modify, learn, make. From the schematic in PDF you are missing essential information – how the PCB is layout, nor you can MODIFY the design. From the Gerbers you can make particular version of the board, but you still can’t modify it, it’s like to release compiled binary from the sources – you can use them but hard to modify.

To name your product OPEN SOURCE you should allow people to: Study, Modify, Distribute, Make and Sell. Some designs release even the CAD files but do not allow derivative work or commercial use, they also are not OPEN SOURCE no matter that release the CAD files, because they cut your rights to Modify, Make and Sell.



All these games with the fake “open source” hardware projects must have pissed Massimo Banzi (one of Arduino co-founders) too, who recently spoke about this:



Friday Free Board Quiz – Week #93 prize is A20-OLinuXino-LIME


A20-OLinuXino-LIME is Low Cost EUR 33 Open Source Hardware Linux Computer with credit card size. It runs Arch, Gentoo, OpenWRT, Debian, Tizen, Ubuntu, Fedora Linux distributions.

Android 4.2.2 also is available.

100 Mbit Ethernet, HDMI, SATA, LiPo charger with step up convertor allow this board to run for hours from small LiPo 3.7V battery, 160 GPIOs are available for the user with many functions like Audio in/out, camera interface, I2C, SPI, etc.

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 14th 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!

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