TERES-I update. First feedback from our customers

magnet

Today we shipped all pending orders for TERES-I and we start to get valuable feedback from our customers!

First thing – we missed the magnet assembly in the instruction manual (blush). This leaded to laptops not go in suspend mode when lit is closed.

We updated this in the assembly manual 1.1 which is now on the web and included in the GitHub too in sources so people who notice typos and want to help improveing the Bulgarian-English language in which the manual is written.

Another issue reported immediately which we missed during our testing is that on small percentage of the laptops the LCD backlight step-up inductor cause annoying sound when LCD backlight is with 50% brightness.

BUZ

It’s a interesting phenomenia as the backlight PWM is 300Hz which is not possible to hear, but when LCD backlight is switch ON and OFF high current surges are happening and some harmonics cause mechanical resonance with this inductor.

The solutions may be few:

  • play with PWM frequency to get away from this frequency which cause the mechanical resonance – pure software approach which need lot of experimenting
  • adding small double adhesive matt on top of the inductor which make contact with the back plastic and this way absorb all vibrations – we start to add this mat as soon as we discover this issue to all laptops no matter if they buzz or not. Not very aestetish but quick and dirty solution:

ABS.jpg

  • Add more capacitors to the PWM power supply which to handle this current surge, adding 100 uF seems to remove the problem, but the first lot was already assembled and many laptops are already shipped – so this we will implement in the second assembly.

 

We have two reports about problems caused by the touch pad after “apt-get update / upgrade” we have to look more closely into this issue. For the moment we do not recommend you to update and upgrade your Ubuntu packages or if you do this and something stop working to revert to the original image – this is pretty easy just download the image write it to SD card, boot and run the eMMC copy script.

TERES-I Do It Yourself Open Source Laptop update

TERES

We are glad to tell you that we finally have TERES-I released!

It was long way but finally we have laptop which works satisfactory to be released.

What we changed since revision B?

A64

Main board now is with 2GB DDR3 ram and 16GB eMMC Flash memory. We add two new connectors CON3 and CON4 to interface the further FPGA module which will turn TERES-I in oscilloscope and Logic Analyzer.

The debug UART multiplexes now with Headphones, so you can plug serial cable to headphone jack and re-direct Debug console UART to Headphone jack. After you finish debugging you can restore Headphones functionality to this jack. We work on USB-Serial cable with headphone jack for the laptop.

We got new 9500mAh battery which now is in TERES kit.

Another improvement is 5V 3A adapter which allow battery to be charged to full in 3 hours. The adapter has charge indicator and comes with convenient 3 meter cable, so you can lay on your bed while your laptop is connected to power supply.

Please give us some days to update all latest Hardware files on Github.

Work-in-progress User manual and Assembly instructions are here.

The software is let’s say about 90% ready state, but works satisfactory even now.

The laptop comes with pre-installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with Mate, Firefox browser, Video player, Open Office, Arduino IDE and IceStorm for FPGA development. We will try to include KiCAD later.

Python libraries to access I2C, SPI, UART, GPIOs will be add when ready.

FPGA module with ADC/DACs/IOs will be ready in the next months, it will be easy to insert inside with the other existing boards.

TERES-I is now for sale.

This project took lot of time and we have long list of registered interest for ordering, bigger than the number of laptops we could build in the first run. We guess many of these registered users are duplicated for black and white version and will take just one, but be prepared that after you order your laptop will not be shipped immediately but in 2-3 weeks (or less) depend on workload and number of orders to be processed. Once/if the first run is sold we will make the laptop out of stock and will work on second run which may take few months to complete, but we will produce this laptop until there is interest for it, so if you do not succeed to order during the first run, do not give up 🙂

 

EDIT: very important notice to add: TERES-I is not designed to scratch everyone’s itch. If you want high performance laptop. If your work involve 8-16-24 core processor power and 4-8-16-32GB RAM memory to do video editing or to compile Linux kernels and Android distributions etc. this is not your laptop! TERES-I software is far for complete and not using 100% performance and features of A64 chip yet, it will work much better and faster in future, now it’s work satisfactory for daily work in motion.

When TERES-I was designed we wanted to make laptop which allow you to travel and do internet browsing, emails check, embedded code development, programming arduino, making PCBs etc. With the further modules it will become more like traveling laboratory to sniff protocols on hardware level, to generate signal patterns etc.

 

TuxCon-Kitty the OSHW TuxCon 2017 conference badge soldering kit is in the web shop

TuxCon-Kitty

TuxCon 2017 conference was 3-4 of June in Plovdiv. Specially for the conference we made soldering kit badge, designed with KiCad and programmable with Arduino IDE.

TUXCON-KITTY-1

Here is how it looks assembled:

1a

2a

The project is hosted at GitHub. It’s good way to learn how to assembly SMT components and how to install, setup and program with Arduino IDE.

Do not hesitate to make pull request for your Arduino sketch if you manage to compose your own music with this board 🙂

 

What happens with Arduino project?

arduino-logo-circle-thumb

 

Arduino is always pointed as example for successful Open Source Software and Hardware project.

With thousands of contributors and millions of users this project is bespoken leader among microcontroller development.

No one remembers the tools used before Arduino.

There were few attempts to fork it for other platforms like Maple for STM32, Energia for MSP430, MPIDE for PIC32 but they never managed to make enough critical mass outside the main Arduino project and then simply were absorbed in Ardino IDE when it got possibility to merge different processor platforms. That was the end of all forks.

All this amazing progress would not be possible without Arduino being Open Source and the help of the thousands contributors.

With the success came the money and as always they were subject to disputes and all we know for the battles inside the Arduino team in the court.

Last year the problems have seemed to be resolved and Arduino Foundation was created and this was announcement as “new beginning”, but meantime some bothersome things were noticed by Open Source community.

All hardware projects listed on arduino.org are announced to be open source hardware, but none of them comply with OSHW definition. The sources are with status “coming soon” years after their release, or where these sources are available there are hidden black boxes which actually spoil the whole idea to allow other people to study, modify, improve and reproduce the design.

Makezine has published article this month with some bothersome facts about Federico Musto who seems to own major shares in the new formed Arduino foundation.

Wired also published article on this issue https://www.wired.com/2017/04/arduinos-new-ceo-federico-musto-may-fabricated-academic-record/

Meantime Philip Torone from Adafruit posted message on OSHW mailing list with list of boards on Arduino.org with problems in OSHW compliance

So many people now ask themselves the question: Is Arduino project hijacked and turn in to Closed Source Project and how this will affect the Arduino community in future?

iCE40HX8K-EVB OSHW FPGA board is in stock

iCE40HX8K-EVB-1

iCE40HX8K-EVB is upgrade of our iCE40HX1K-EVB with more logic cells FPGA so bigger Verilog projects could be synthesized.

GPIO1 34 pin bus is same as iCE40HX1K-EVB and all DAC, ADC, IO, etc modules are compatible, on top of this there are plenty of additional GPIOs on 4 40 pin 0.05″ step connectors.

512KB fast SRAM is on board, with iCE40-IO board you  can connect VGA monitor and PS2 keyboard, so you can make your own custom CPU (for instance RISC-V) computer with monitor and keyboard.

 

 

Duinomite MINI, MEGA and eMEGA back in stock

DuinoMite-Mega

Duinomite-MINI, MEGA, eMEGA boards were made specially to run BASIC on PIC32 processors, but are well packed with features boards, so people were using them not only with BASIC interpreter but also programming them in C.

There were not high runners, so at one point we were selling just few per month and when the blank boards were out of stock we had hesitated if to run them again or not, with the time lot of people signed for notification when back in stock so we decided to run small batch of all these three and re-stock.

Now we got them back in stock.

A64-OLinuXino Open Source Hardware board with 64-bit Cortex-A53 processor is in released

A64-OLinuXino-

A64-OLinuXino-22

A64-OLinuXino OSHW board is now released. Current revision is Rev.C.

Features are:

  • A64 Cortex-A53 64-bit SoC from Allwinner
  • AXP803 PMU with Lipo charger and step-up
  • 1 or 2GB or DDR3L @672 Mhz
  • 0 / 4 or 16GB of industrial grade eMMC
  • SPI Flash in SO8 package with hardware WP (not assembled)
  • USB-OTG and USB-HOST
  • HSIC connector (not assembled)
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • BLE/WiFi module
  • HDMI and MIPI display connectors
  • microSD card
  • Debug console serial connector
  • Audio In and Out
  • LCD display connector
  • GPIO 40 pin connector (not assembled)
  • UEXT connector (not assembled)
  • 5V power jack
  • Dimensions: 90×62.5 mm

For the moment we have three models:

  • 1G0G with 1GB RAM, no Flash, no WiFi/BLE
  • 1G4GW with 1GB RAM, 4GB eMMC and WiFi/BLE
  • 2G16G-IND with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC with industrial grade components -40+85C

The optional connectors and SPI Flash etc may be assembled upon request for small fee.

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