New Board with ESP32-S2 with LiPo charger unleash the native USB-OTG functionality

We recently released our ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo development board with ESP32-S2 SOC. It has the same functionality and pinout as Espressif ESP32-S2-Saola-1, but in addition it has a LiPo charger and battery management and is designed for Ultra low power – only 30uA consumption when on battery and deep sleep. This allows handheld battery operated applications. The LiPo part can power external sensors/circuits. This board has a built-in programmer with a CH340T USB-Serial convertor.

Many have noticed that ESP32-S2 has a native USB-OTG. Then why did we put the CH340T on it? The reason is that the Espressif SDK didn’t support USB back when we designed this board.

Now Espressif SDK adds support for a USB bootloader and the programming of the ESP32-S2 can be done by the native USB interface, we decided to make a new revision where the native USB-OTG interface is used.

We wanted to keep the LiPo battery functionality and this created an interesting technical challenge: the USB-OTG port can be used both as device and host. When used as a device, the board is powered by the USB and LiPo battery is charging. When used as a USB host (i.e. you can attach USB devices to the port) the USB port must supply 5V to the USB devices connected. Our first prototype had a power supply problem: when the ESP32-S2 works as a host the battery is powering the USB-OTG port with 5V, but there is attached also the LiPo charger circuit, so infinite loop is made: battery -> step up to 5V -> USB -> LiPo chgarger -> battery 🙂

This issue was preventing us from releasing this board earlier, but now on Rev.B all of these issues are fixed so we are about to run production.

Needless to say we kept the ultra low power design and the new board also consumes as low as 30uA in deep sleep.

Searching on the net it seems that no one else has implemented a USB-OTG functionality to the ESP32-S2 yet so this one will be the first. Also to the best of our knowledge there is still no software support for a USB host on the ESP32-S2 but we hope after our hardware is released this will push and accelerate the software development further.

ESP32-S2-DevKit-LiPo-USB is going to be released as Open Source Hardware like other IoT solutions we have.

Fruit selection machine made with T2-OLinuXino-LIME2 and MOD-IO, runs OpenCV

As part of the OSIE project Nexedi SA, France built a small conveyor belt using entirely open-source products and technologies.

Their goal was to build a fruit selection machine, which would use AI (starting with OpenCV) to inspect fruits (and possibly many other small particles) and to do a physical separation (selection) of them.

Olimex have been chosen as a partner in the project because of the many of OSHW solutions which the company offers.

T2-OLinuXino-LIME2 and MOD-IO were used in the implementation.

Details for the project is available here.

New Open Source Hardware IoT ESP32-S2 development boards with LiPo Battery Charger and consumption of only 30uA in deep sleep target handheld WiFi apps

ESP32-S2 is new SOC from Espressif which fills the gap between ESP32 and ESP8266.

It has the same memory model as ESP32 but has cut the Ethernet and Bluetooth parts, so only WiFi connection is possible – same as ESP8266, but offers more power, secure boot and encrypted firmware. Also support of decent SSL connection, something which lacks in ESP8266.

Pricewise now S2 is a bit lower cost than ESP32 and more expensive than ESP8266, but there is very strong competition in this niche coming from the new Bouffalo BL6XX chips, so my prediction is that to stay ahead Espressif will further lower the prices of ESP32-S2 to match ESP8266 very soon.

For comparison with ESP32 and ESP8266 the new ESP32-S2 has plenty of GPIOs up to 43!

Initially Espressif has announced that their ESP32-S2-WROVER modules will have as low as 2-4uA consumption, but later they increased this value to 20uA. Not quite well as their target but still very good achievement.

Our ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo is pin to pin compatible with ESP32-S2-Saola-1:

To keep compatibility with SAOLA-1 we add RGB LED, but also add LiPo battery charger and ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo can operate even without external power supply only on LiPo battery, there is battery level monitoring and external power supply sense. ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo can power external circuits with 3.3V up to 200mA when operate on battery.

ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo has build in programmer with CH340T. There is possibility the programmer part to be excluded and to use ESP32-S2 directy USB connection.

When operating on battery if the RGB LED is enabled the power consumption is ridiculous 700uA as the RGB LED appear to use lot of current even when not in operation, but there is RGB disable solder jumper which if opened you will not be able to operate the RGB LED on battery but will decrease the power consumption to total less 30uA in deep sleep.

For these who need more memory there is variant ESP32-S2-WROVER-DevKit-Lipo with 2MB of PSRAM.

The prices start from EUR 5.56 for ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo and EUR 6.36 for ESP32-S2-WROVER-DevKit-Lipo .

Open Source Software OpenMQTTGateway got initial support for Open Source Hardware ESP32-GATEWAY

OpenMQTTGateway project aims to concentrate in one Gateway different technologies like Bluetooth, LoRa, IR, lagacy RF 433/315, GSM/GPRS based devices and connect them with OpenHAB, Home Assistant, Jeedom, FHEM, Domotic etc platforms via MQTT protocol.

The list of the supported devices is long.

With recent PR initial support for ESP32-GATEWAY is add.

How to configure and use ESP32-CAM with Arduino IDE and Linux

ESP32-CAM is small low cost WiFi camera with OV2460 2Mpix sensor. It allows you to stream video and even to perform some small image filterings and face detection / recognition.

Unfortunately the AI Thinker vendor trying to keep cost as low as possible didn’t include USB programmer in it so the setup is a bit odd.

What do you need to play with ESP32-CAM ?

You need the camera of course and some cables and USB to serial converter which also provide enough 3.3V source to power the camera.

In this example we will use ESP-PROG-C which comes with set of cables and USB-CABLE-micro-1.8M

Step.1

Install Arduino IDE

Please go to arduino.cc and download and install latest Arduino IDE.

Step.2

Linux and CH340

CH340 Linux drivers has bad PLL settings for all Linux kernels before 5.5.

If your system happen to be with Linux Kernel before 5.5. here is the GitHub repository with the patch to install.

If you do not have this patch CH340 will work, but will not be able to communicate at speed over 115200 bps, with the patch up to 2Mbps communication is possible.

Step.3

Wire cables:

You need to connect ESP32-CAM and ESP-PROG this way:

ESP32-CAM GND —-> ESP-PROG GND

ESP32-CAM 3.3V —-> ESP-PROG 3.3V

ESP32-CAM U0T —-> ESP-PROG RXD

ESP32-CAM U0R —-> ESP-PROG TXD

For firmware uploading you need one more connection, which is necessary ESP32 to go in Bootloader mode:

ESP32-CAM IO0 —-> ESP32-CAM GND

Step.4

Configure Arduino for ESP32-CAM

Run Arduino. In the Files-Preferences add:

https://dl.espressif.com/dl/package_esp32_index.json

In Tools-Board-Board Manager search for ESP32 and install it:

Exit Arduino and Run it again so it loads new board data. From File-Examples select ESP32-Camera-CameraWebServer

In select camera model uncomment CAMERA_MODEL_AI_THINKER and comment all other:

Then enter SSID and PASSWORD for your WiFi router.

In Tools-Board select : ESP32Wrover Module

Speed 921600

Flash Frequency 80Mhz

Flash Mode QIO

Partition Scheme: Huge app

Port: the port where your ESP-PROG USB Serial is connected it may be „ttyUSB0“ if you are running Linux or COMxx if you run Windows

Compile and see if there are no errors:

Then Press RESET button on ESP32-CAM, release it and hit Upload button on Arduino IDE.

If you get this error under Linux:

This means that the access to ttyUSB0 is not enabled for your user and you have to run in terminal

$ sudo chown youruser /dev/ttyUSB0 

Where „youruser“ can be seen and try again.

If everything is OK you will see this picture:

Now you have to disconnect ESP32-CAM IO0 and GND and press reset. In serial monitor you will see this message:

when you open http://192.168.100.109/ you will see

Now you can play with the different settings!

New open source hardware board ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo breaks our internal record for ESP32 low power consumption

Screenshot from 2020-05-18 11-46-43

ESP32-S2 is new SOC from Espressif which has only WiFi connectivity but has much more GPIOs available than ESP32 and ESP8266, also it has USB native connection which opens lot of new possibility.

We already sell Espressif’s Saola-1R board which has ESP32-S2-WROVER module, but it’s not designed for battery operation and low power as uses general purposes LDOs and has no battery connection.

This is something we wanted to improve – we designed board with same module but add LiPo charger and now our ESP32-S2-DevKit-LiPo can operate on LiPo battery even when there is no external power supply, but on top of this we kept the same PCB dimensions and ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo is drop-in replacement for ESP32-S2-Saola-1R. We use same module with 2MB RAM and 4MB Flash so once you develop with Saola you can move to ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo and make your projects battery operated.

The new ESP32-S2-DevKit-Lipo uses ultra low power power supply circuit which makes current consumption during sleep only 6uA  (4uA of them are due to the battery measurement resistor divider) this is 10 times less than our other boards.

Prototypes are build now and we run production and will have these in stock by the beginnings of June.

USB-gLINK – Industrial Grade Open Source Hardware LTE cat 4 module for IoT with Navigation and LiPo battery support is in stock!

gLINK

USB-gLINK is Open Source Hardware Industrial grade -25+85ºC LTE cat 4 module optimized for IoT applications with integrated LiPo Battery power supply charger and Navigation. USB-gLINK operate on all GSM frequencies with 2G 3G 4G/LTE protocols, so you can use it worldwide.

USB-gLINK will work with OLinuXino OSHW Linux Computers, Beaglebone and Raspberry Pi and any other PC running Windows, Linux or Android.

The LTE speed is 150Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink, but is backward-compatible with existing EDGE and GSM/GPRS networks. This allows USB-gLINK to connect to any existing 2G, 3G and 4G network.

Inside USB-gLINK there is build in navigation which supports: GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou/Compass, Galileo and QZSS.

The networking supported protocols are : TCP / UDP / PPP / FTP / HTTP / NTP / PING / QMI / NITZ / SMTP / MQTT / CMUX / HTTPS / FTPS / SMTPS / SSL / MMS / FILE.

USB-gLINK can operate on these bands: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B7 / B8 / B12 / B13 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B25 / B26 / B28 / B38 / B39 / B40 / B41, which covers every mobile operator anywhere in the world. This allow your solution based on USB-gLINK to be sold globally without hardware changes.

There are number of carriers who already approved the module used in USB-gLINK: Deutsche Telekom (Europe), Verizon/AT&T/Sprint/U.S. Cellular/T-Mobile (North America), Telus/Rogers (Canada)

These regulatory are passed: GCF (Global), CE (Europe), FCC/PTCRB (North America), IC (Canada), Anatel (Brazil), IFETEL (Mexico), SRRC/CCC/NAL (China), KC (South Korea), NCC (Taiwan, China), JATE/TELEC (Japan), RCM (Australia & New Zealand), FAC (Russia), NBTC (Thailand), IMDA (Singapore), ICASA (South Africa)

New NB-IoT-BC66 modules with size only 26×26 mm contain everything you need to add NB-IoT functionality in your next project

NB-IoT-BC66d

NB-IoT is low power wide area networking technology which uses existing GSM LTE technology and has many advantages versa LoRa:

  • GSM network quality of service
  • single GSM cell can talk to up to 100 000 devices
  • high communication speed 25.5 kbps up and downlink
  • secure communication using LTE encryption
  • better range than LoRa both in urban and rural area (* depend on cell operating frequency – best range is om 850Mhz)

NB-IoT is already deployed in many applications:

  • Remote metering of electricity, water and gas;
  • Environmental monitoring;
  • City waste management, parking management, Lighting management;
  • Storage monitoring, logistics;
  • Healthcare patient monitoring;
  • Agroculture monitoring and management, remote irrigationi;
  • Industrial machinery monitoring and control.

The only disadvantage is the need of SIM card from operator, but in Europe there are many options for low cost SIM cards, to not make advertisement we will not quote but prices start from EUR 1 per year.

We add 4 new modules in stock:

 

Open Source Hardware IoT boards ESP32-EVB and ESP32-GATEWAY now are available in industrial grade -40+85C

esp32-gateway-gpios

ESP32-EVB and ESP32-GATEWAY are two very popular IoT boards which are supported both by Arduino IDE and Espressif SDK.

Now we stock ESP32-EVB-IND and ESP32-GATEWAY-IND which are functionally same boards, but all components used in them work in industrial temperature grade -40+85C.

ESP32-WROVER-DevKit-Lipo Open Source Hardware board with 4MB Flash and 8MB PSRAM is in stock

ESP32-WROVER-DevKit-Lipo

ESP32-WROVER-DevKit-LiPo is new open source hardware board which uses ESP32-WROVER modules with 4MB Flash and 8MB PSRAM.  It keeps same layout as ESP32-DevKit-C and ESP32-DevKit-Lipo, so boards made for these modules will work drop in.

The only difference between ESP32-WROOM and ESP32-WROVER modules beside the more RAM is that WROVER module has no GPIO16 and GPIO17 which are used internally and not connected to the outside pins.

Previous Older Entries