Open Fest 2021 is back! Free your agenda for 14 and 15 of August when the biggest open source event in Bulgaria will take place in Sofia.

It’s good to see that slowly things come back to normal!

Open fest 2021 will be provided in normal face to face format in the open space – the King Boris garden – “Maimunarnika” where up to 1200 people can be hosted.

As always the participation is free of charge.

There will be the traditional soldering party with the help of the Open Fest 2021 volunteers from the Technical University club of Robotics.

Olimex is donating 50 pcs of our new Musical badge kits, which contain only PTH components and are very easy to solder even for beginners:

Musical badge is board with two sensor buttons which start and stop music play when touched.

The Open Fest dates are during our Summer Break so we are not be physically present there but will watch online the event.

We moved our irc chat channel #olimex to Libera.chat

Following the recent developments with Freenode we moved our IRC channel #olimex to Libera.chat.

You can access it via web or with other irc client.

May 2021 production delays and updates!

Everything is moving extra slowly this year.

On top of the Semiconductor shortages, now PCB factories also experience lack of raw materials and delay the production times more than double.

This is the reason our plans to release S3-OLinuXino, RK3328-SOM, STMP15x-OLinuXino-LIME2 and STM32MP15X-SOM to produced with delay.

At least we got the STMP15x-SOM and STMP1(A13)-EVB blank PCBs and by the end of next week they will be ready to order.

We used the time to update the product page with schematics and user manual.

Production updates for S3-OLinuXino, RK3328-SOM and STMP15x-OLinuXino-LIME2 will follow!

Happy New Year 2021! New board updates

Happy New Year! Olimex team wish you health and best of luck in the new 2021. Let all troubles from 2020 go away!

Update on UK shipping:

Brexit brings some troubles for trade with UK. We stopped the shipping to UK on December 23 2020 as we didn’t know how to handle the orders when we are back on January 4th.

When we got back in office we had expected news: The couriers raised their prices with almost 50% due to the extra efforts around the new UK regulations, but this was just the beginning.

From January 1st 2021 all shipments to UK with value under GBP 135 must be with included charged VAT. For this purpose all online shops which ships to UK must register for UK customs EORI and UK VAT-ID. They have to charge the VAT at the time of shipping and to pay to UK government all collected VAT at the end of the month. The shipments above GBP 135 are shipped with export declaration and without VAT as for any other countries outside EU.

The big platforms like Amazon, ebay etc. also need to register (probably they already did) and collect the VAT from their sellers.

We still not have EORI neither UK VAT-ID so we can’t ship small orders. Orders above EUR 200 are processed normally. We are sorry for this inconvenience and apologise to all our small UK customers.

Update on current boards:

iMX8Qmax board high speed signals are completely routed, we now make the connector arrangements on the PCB and hope to be ready for prototypes in March.

S3-OLinuXino revision B of the board prototypes works great. Bootlin reported that their mainline driver for CSI2 work with RaspberryPi IMX219 8 Mpix camera, CSI1 is with OV2640 2Mpix camera connector. Gigabit ethernet, Audio microphone, PoE option, eMMC/SPI Flash option, etc all are tested and work fine. We are making now final touch ups and will run production.

STMP1-SOM small module with STM32MP151/3/7 is on prototype Revision B and everything exept the Audio is working fine. Production will follow in March.

STMP1-OLinuXino-LIME2 is stuck at Gigabit Ethernet. We had many other issues which were solved, but this remains. The original ST design uses RTL8211 which is commercial grade, we put KSZ9031RNXIC-TR instead and there is neither correctly sent neither correctly received package. We use this chip in Allwinner A20 and A64 designs without problems. We used all combinations of delays of the clocks and singnals etc with no luck. Our guess is the port hardware drivers are somehow incompatible with this PHY and are either slow either make rings which confuse the PHY chip. If someone has more knowledge and can help, we can send board.

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.

The Open Source Hardware OLinuXino boards are with new Linux Kernel 5.6 scripts to move Linux OS to eMMC or SATA are included

We are pleased to announce that now the images at http://images.olimex.com/release/ are with the lates Linux Kernel 5.6

All these are build with our Olimage script.

We still keep Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 LTS distribution and didn’t move to 20.04 LTS yet.

To addition for script which set boot from eMMC we add new one which allow you to boot from SATA.

The boot from eMMC and SATA is enabled for OLinuXino boards which has SPI Flash on them like:

  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME-e16Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME-e4Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME-s16M
  • T2-OLinuXino-LIME-e8Gs16M-IND
  • T2-OLinuXino-LIME-s16M-IND
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-e16Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-e4Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-s16M
  • T2-OLinuXino-LIME2-e8Gs16M-IND
  • T2-OLinuXino-LIME2-s16M-IND
  • A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-e16Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-e4Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-s16M
  • T2-OLinuXino-MICRO-e8Gs16M-IND
  • T2-OLinuXino-MICRO-s16M-IND
  • A20-SOM-e16Gs16M
  • T2-SOM-e8Gs16M-IND
  • A20-SOM204-1Gs16Me16G-MC
  • T2-SOM204-1Gs16Me4G-C-I
  • T2-SOM204-1Gs16Me8G-MC-I

To make board booting from eMMC you have to boot from SD-card then execute:

$ sudo olinuxino-sd-to-emmc

then wait until script moves the OS to eMMC, remove the SD-card and reboot.

Similar if you want to make board boot from SATA you have to boot from SD-card then execute:

$ sudo olinuxino-sd-to-sata

We got a new Mastodon account, and you can follow us on the Diaspora distributed social network

mastodonScreenshot from 2020-03-11 09-22-51

We got a new account at Mastodon.social so if you want to keep following us at Mastodon you can use this link.

Our Disapora social network account is at Pluspora

 

Bye-Bye Mastodon, our account on Fosstodon.org was deleted yesterday

mastodon

We discovered the Mastodon peer to peer social network in February 2019 from a customer suggestion and we loved it.

The idea of having a decentralized social network, not dependent on one source is great.

At that time we used exclusively Facebook, Twitter and G+ to communicate with our community about new product developments, new products in stock, and new features on designs we work on.

Google at that time announced that it will close G+ in April 2019, so we were looking for another social network to use.

Facebook and Twitter are not liked by many people who refuse to setup accounts there, due to privacy concerns or the small signal to noise ratio or the non so technical community.

G+ seemed to be more professional oriented, with not so many cat pictures and ego scratching posts, but Google shut it down, so when someone suggested to have look at Mastodon we made an account there and were nicely surprised.

The community there is much smaller (thousands of times) than Twitter and Facebook, but we got a lot of valuable suggestions and tips from there, when we were developing new products. The community there was much more active and focused.

Social networking is very important for us to stay in touch with our community, but unfortunately the people who run the Fosstodon server do not like our new product announcements and see them as advertising.

So although we post very rarely, yesterday’s two posts about new products triggered someone and our account, all our posts and conversations on Mastodon got deleted.

We do lot of open source hardware and recently we started to contribute in Linux kernel and drivers development. We love what we do, but our employees have families to feed, so we can’t be non-commercial. Selling our boards is the way we get funds to continue doing what we do.

We love the Mastodon community, but we can’t use a social network which sees new product announcements as problem, so after one year of use we have to say: bye-bye Mastodon!

To all our friends and followers on Mastodon: we will miss you, but you still can follow our blog or the other social networks we use to stay in touch.

Shipments to UK after Brexit


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Many people are concerned about shipments from and to UK after UK officially leaved the EU on 31.01.2020. We also were quite uncertain should we continue to ship UK parcels as intra-EU shipments, should we charge VAT or we have to do export paperwork like for shipments to Switzerland and Norway.

We asked our customs how to handle UK shipments and today we got reply that there is transition period to 31.12.2020 and everything stays as is till then. So we will keep shipping to UK as it’s still in EU till end of the year.

Christmas promotion for Pioneer-FreedomBox-HSK – upgrade to 128GB for EUR 0.01!

FB-HSK-1-promo

Christmas is approaching and we have great news for you!

Pioneer-FreedomBox-HSK have XMAS upgrade to fast 128GB Class 10 micro SD card inside instead of the regular 32GB micro SD card.

Note that the 128GB cards we have in stock are limited quantity, so the promotion ends on 24 of December 2019 or when the cards we have in stock are sold out.

Link to:

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