IchigoJam – Single ARM chip PC with Video and Keyboard support

PC

Everyone who has made their first steps with Apple ][, BBC micro, or Commodore 64 remembers the BASIC language, which nowadays is used by almost no one.

A few days ago, I was directed to an interesting project named IchigoJam BASIC. It was made in Japan and it was about creating a small computer with a BASIC interpreter, made on single LPC1114 Cortex-M0 ARM controller from NXP with only 32KB of Flash and 4KB of RAM.

Ichigo means Strawberry, so this keeps the tradition PCs to be named on fruits.

Although it is built on tiny resources, IchigoJam BASIC has quite an impressive list of commands including I2C read and write!

The schematic is quite simple.

The composite video generation is made via a couple of resistors, and the keyboard is connected with a simple USB-A connector, so with just a few components you have a small personal computer!

And this is not everything, the same hardware has firmware for Javascript called IchigoLatte , for Ruby called IchigoRuby, for IchigoFORTH and here.

On top of this, if you want to try IchigoBASIC you can do it on the web. How cool is that?

Needless to say, I wanted to try this project. I choose our LPC-H1114 board as it has almost everything already pre-soldered.

I had to connect:

for power supply:

LPC-H1114.pin50 – to GND
LPC-H1114.pin49 – PWR to +5V DC

for firmware update:

LPC-H1114.pin46 – to USB-Serial Tx
LPC-H1114.pin47 – to USB-Serial Rx
LPC-H1114.pin4  – to GND

for Videop output

LPC-H1114.pin27 – 470 ohm to video connector
LPC-H1114.pin28 – 100 ohm to video connector

for USB keyboard connector:

LPC-H1114.pin23 – DP
LPC-H1114.pin14 – DM

You can update the firmware using the instructions here.

If you did everything correctly when you apply the power supply you will see on the monitor the text “IchigoJam BASIC 1.4.2 by jig.jp”:

IchigoJam

Then you can use the keyboard to write your program!

You can repeat the project with quick dirty wire connections like I did:

LPC

What you need is a LPC-H1114, a Video RCA jack, a USB connector for the keyboard, a small monitor, a keyboard, and some jumper wires.

This project would be a very good fit for some next Soldering workshop as it has few components but it completes a fully functional BASIC/Ruby/JavaScript/Forth computer.

With the current state of COVID-19 probably TuxCon would be postponed for the Autumn, so there is plenty of time to make a small PCB for soldering 🙂

IchigoBASIC has a button, an LED, plays music on a buzzer and you have access to 4 Digital Inputs and 6 Digital outputs and I2C interface connector.

Too bad most of the educational stuff is in Japanese and needs translation.

 

RabbitMax another Open Source Hardware project from Plovdiv is on Indiegogo

rabbitmax-flex-large

Leon is Open Source enthusiast and active member in Hackafe (the local hackerspace) and TuxCon.

He is mostly involved with software development, but recently made his first steps in hardware designing Raspberry Pi add-on board he named RabbitMax. Here is the GitHub repo.

He is running successful Indiegogo campain and made 65% funding out of his humble EUR 512 (! how this number came to his head is mistery for me??) goal for 3 days!

You can be sure you will have unique board as he is soldering them all by himself, it’s like personal signature!

Bitcoin price tracker with MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV on Indiegogo

ticrthing

We got note that one of our boards MOD-WIFI-ESP8266-DEV is in the newly developed open source hardware product – Bitcoin price tracker

dwyasvjcn75xupzt2tvq

They are running now Indiegogo crowdfunding campain. We wish them success!

As being open source this product could be easily re-programmed to track price trends of other goods as well, like gold, silver, tin, why not DDR memory and Flash memory prices, and to give you alterts when the price go above or below given price point?

Ethernet-Be-Gone with RT5350F-OLinuXino-EVB

RT5350F-OLinuXino-EVB-1

We proudly announce that we got new product – LAN killer 🙂

We found this new feature during our normal development work. If you power up RT5350F-OLinuXino-EVB connected to local network and you do not up the Ethernet interface within 5 minutes (like if you loading new firmware in the SPI Flash or debug) the local LAN stops working! All attempts to hit sites outside return DNS error.

It’s weird as if you up the Ethernet interface everything is fine, also this DNS block begins not immediately but about 5 minutes after you power the board connected in the network.

Our internal LAN is hairball for sure, but we are puzzled why this happens?

Can someone with RT5350F-OLinuXino-EVB try and confirm our findings?

We did another experiment with USB-Ethernet-AX88772B, we plug it to one of our Linux boards with USB host like A33-OLinuXino and do not up the interface and same problem is reproduced.

I’m sure this is probably our intranet lame settings, but it will be interesting people with more experience to share what cause this problem.

Meantime if you want to piss off your boss or colleague … you know what to try 😀

 

Open Theremin – Urs Gaudenz is our hero

theremin

Few weeks ago we spotted on Hackaday the post about Open Theremin, on first look nothing challenging, just classic two HF oscillators with mixer which detects your body/hands proximity to the antennas and change the frequency.
Connected to Arduino and generating variable pitch and frequency tones.

The real gem was in one of the comments. The video how this guy is manufacturing the kits with do it yourself pick and place machine which he built from $50 ink jet printer mechanics.

Knowing how demanding to operate are the real professionl pick and place machines I know what amount of work is to build such thing from nothing, to program and debug it and to actually make it work something useful. This is months of efforts! The DIY P&P which actually works deserves our admirations!

Bulgaria has the highest average reputation among top users in the Stack Overflow

Europe

VB News posted interesting article. They analyzed data from StackOverflow where coders exchange Questions and Answers. Users of the platform vote up or down answers to questions this way ranking the coders who answer the questions and problems posted.

Their analyze shows that London has the highest number of top Stack Overflow members, with 394 that have a reputation over 5,000.

cities

Another ranking based on the average country ranking of Stack Overflow users above the 5,000 threshold shows that Bulgaria has the highest average reputation among top users in the
world.

average-reputation-by-country

 

I have no idea how correct is this analyze, but I’m glad to see finally something IT related, where Bulgaria is #1 in the world 🙂

Adafruit ranked #11 from top 20 US Manufacturers

limor 3

Adafruit is company which designs and makes electronic boards and tutorials about Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Despite of the common believe that to manufacture in USA is expensive and everybody has to move to China, they operate in one of the most expensive place on Earth –  New York, USA and prove that to make electronics is possible everywhere, when you have automatic assembly machines it doesn’t much matter if these machines work in China or USA.

I always though that Adafruit is smallish company until I read this article which says they are ranked #11 out of top 20 US Manufacturers!

Same article says Adafruit have 50+ employees and operate in 1500 square meters factory, so they really aren’t so big, so either article is wrong either other US Manufacturers are also small, which makes not much sense with the strong electronics industry in USA. Is the article wrong or I miss something?

EDIT: Vladimir pointed out in the comments that #11 is for NY not USA 🙂 this makes sense!

Building a Brewery Using an OLinuXino

16

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!

Interesting findings about iOS security or how Apple intentionally compromised it

Apple

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.

 

Amazing Quadcoper video shows how compact and powerful could be our computers today

4copters

Interesting video at Ted shows how advanced is the technology we have our hands on now.

Computers get smaller and lightweight but more and more powerful so we can attach them even to flying Quadcopters and make them to process video and control multiply motors.

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