TuxCon the FOSS Conference for Mobile and Embedded devices is less than 2 weeks away


TuxCon  is a community-driven event about free and open-source software for mobile and embedded devices. The event is organized by Plovdiv’s hackerspace Hackafe and the entry is free.

Saturday, 28th of June is the day for lectures: the schedule is available at TuxCon web http://tuxcon.mobi/#schedule

During the event there are two lectures where OLinuXino Open Source Hardware Linux computers will be discussed:


The first lecture is “Physical computing with Linux” in which it will be explained at a non-embedded developers level how to access all hardware resources from the Linux user space for OLinuXino like GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UARTs, the Power management – how to make your code aware of whether it runs on Battery or on Mains power supply, what is the temperature of the processor, is the battery charging or not, etc. It will also be explained how to connect sensors, how to connect steppers and servos, how to control them from Linux, how to setup a web server on OLinuXino, how to make all of the hardware resources, offered by this board, available via web interface as well as how to attach camera and do OpenCV processing, and more.


The Second lecture is “Linux driver” where it will be explained how a Linux Driver is created and there will be a step-by-step explanation of how a driver for new hardware like MOD-IO board connected to OLinuXino via UEXT is created. MOD-IO boards have relays and ADCs which will be made available for use in Linux user space via the written driver.

Of course there will be other interesting lectures about Android, FirefoxOS, Tizen etc.

Do not forget that on Sunday 29th of June at the Olimex training building we will run Hardware and Software Hackathons.


There will be a soldering workshop for the well-known FOSDEM Arduino clone board, where you will be trained how to solder alone your first Arduino and then program it and use it.

There will also be two Software tasks for the Hackathon:



To make fancy web interface for controlling an interactive RGB LED table: the RGB table have 8×8 RGB Leds which are addressable individually and four proximity sensors at the four sides which detect if someone sits on this side.



The second task is to do same for the Coctail-Mixing-Machine – it has 6 fluid pumps connected to the relays which could be opened/closed for a certain amount of time; controlling the volume of the drink in the recipe, flow sensors will give feed back if the fluid is flowing through the pipes; RGB addressable LEDs will be put under every bottle and pump which will make a LED animation while preparing the drink or will signal when the bottle is empty.

Both Hardware tasks will be performed with OLinuXino and all hardware resources will be available through User space APIs, so if you want to participate start thinking in advance and surprise us with your solution 🙂

Everyone who participates in the Hardware Hackathon will keep the Arduino board they built for themselves as a prize.

For everyone participating in the Software Hackathon there will be FOSDEM board prizes and the best solutions will win two A20-OLinuXino-MICRO.


Be ready for TuxCon 28-29 of June, Hardware Hackathon, Pimp my Linux machine and more


TuxCon is a community-driven event about free and open-source software for mobile and embedded devices.

This year as part of this conference we are going to make Hardware Hackathon at Olimex on 29/06. We still prepare the details, but the Hardware hackathon will include soldering and programming both on Arduino and OLinuXino projects.

So if you want to learn a bit more about hardware, soldering, how to program embedded devices or to troubleshoot project you have with OLinuXino or Arduino, our developers will be available  🙂

Stay tuned for more news to follow 🙂

FOSDEM 2014 – one great event for all who like Free/Open Source Technologies


This year it was our second visit to FOSDEM and I think this year there were even more people than last year.
At least on FOSDEM 2013 Friday beer event at Delirium cafe we managed somehow to get to the bar and drink a beer, this year there was no way, Delirium was so loaded that we couldn’t get near on the streets in Friday evening. So we went to a pub near (fortunately there are plenty of bars in this area).


Some people say FOSDEM 2014 had 6000 other say 8000 visitors, the WIFI statistics say that about 3000 people were connected at same time in the peak hours, great job done by the organizers as the internet was good, and there were plenty of spots where you can get quickly something to drink and eat!
You can feel the crowd mostly when you decide to leave at the evening and can’t get on few buses full of people, but at least you are surrounded by good company and can chat meantime while next bus arrives.

FOSDEM is primary Free Open Software event. As we already blogged we made this cute Arduino Tiny85 kit for FOSDEM Hackathon:


It was cool to see how many people were attracted to try their first board soldering. We were surprised as in the first day out of about 100 kits soldered just one didn’t work, on the second day there were few more, but still less than 1% of all soldered kits were damaged, great achievment for beginners 🙂

For us the best reward was to see the big smiles on the people who see their boards working 🙂


The Hackathon was noticed and featured in the popular German c’t Hardware Hacks Magazine

Olimex also got approved this year for 15 minutes Lighting Talk about OSHW and OLinuXino

For these who missed this event, my slides are at SlideShare  and here you can see my video and hear my funny accent 🙂

Overall the feeling from FOSDEM is that FOSS people still don’t know what Open Source Harware is and how it slowly changes the world we know like FOSS software does.

People keep confusing and think that once some project have PDF schematics this make it open source hardware 🙂 you can hear this on Leon’s lecture for Tizen or Oliver lecture for Allwinner SOCs.

Also what we saw is that the people willing to solder were more than our one table with 4 soldering irons could handle 🙂

We apologize to all who didn’t manage to get seat, for next event we may prepare more soldering seats so more people to give it a try.
What we saw for sure is that among FOSDEM visitors there are lot of people who love to learn new stuff and to build thing by themself!


EDIT: we got from G+ picture of another 8 years old Hacker who built FOSDEM-85: http://flic.kr/p/jSUGrY


The Custom Boards for FOSDEM 2014 Hackathon are ready


Have look at FOSDEM-85 the custom board we made specially for FOSDEM 2014 Hackathon.


This is derivate from the well known OLIMEXINO-85-KIT which we used for OpenFest Hackathon.

For FOSDEM we made it in nice shape of Pinguino with OSHW logo and two LEDs as eyes 🙂

This board is fully functional ATTiny85 Arduino compatible and uses Digispark’s Arduino IDE and Micronucleus bootloader.

With it you can control addressable LED stripes, drive servos and stepper motors, measure temperature etc etc.

On OpenFest we had 100 kits which were all soldered for one day, this time we prepare 200 kits to give away at FOSDEM Hackathon.

We are in AW building:


Table 2 and 3 are ours and there we will place 4 soldering stations where people who want to try soldering their very first Open Source Arduino clone and then run program on it.

People who have no soldering irons with them will have to wait seat to be free to sit and soldering, alternatively if someone carry soldering iron with him can use it without waiting for seat 🙂

FOSDEM-85 board is so cute that we decided to carry it in our web shop as well, so these who have no chance to build one at FOSDEM will be able to buy online and solder at home.

EDIT: The board is now in our online shop.

OpenFest 2013 and the Open Source Hardware


To be two days together with hundreds of people who share your values and view on the open source technology – NICE!

To open the event with full Hall and people even sitng on the floor just to hear your presentation for Open Source Hardware – GREAT!

To see the big smile on the face of people who never used to touch soldering iron, but built their first Arduino themself and programmed their first Blink LED program – PRICELESS!





OpenFest 2013 was two days event last weekend where hundreds people all around Bulgaria meet together and share their experience in number of talks.

I opened the even with my presentation for the Open Source Hardware, tried to explain what is Open Source Hardware, (as many of the people were familiar only with free / open source software), what is my motivation to do Open Source Harware, what are the differences between open source hardware (OSHW) and Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) and why others should join and do Open Source Harware too.

The slides are available here. Soon the video of my talk will be put online by OpenFest organizers.

Both days in the lobby of OpenFest were running Hardware Hackathon where we provide 100 OLIMEXINO-85 kits, anyone who wanted could participate and solder his own Arduino which then to test and program and take home free of charge. People with no any knowledge in electronics and soldering came and out of 100 kits just 2 were broken, all other 98 were successfully assembled!

I admit I didn’t expect such big interest in Hardware on so traditionally “FOSS” related event. From 10.00 till 17.00 there was always crowd of peoples around the tables, waiting on tail to take seat with soldering iron as we got only 4 with us, there were even few people who came with their own soldering irons from home in their backpacks.

Preparing for the OpenFest Hackathon


Do not forget tomorrow is OpenFest  and there will be Hardware Hackathon!

We are preparing 100 OLIMEXINO-85-KITs ready for assembly and 4 soldering stations, solder, flux, cutters and everything necessary to assembly these KITs.

No matter if you have experience or not with soldering we will teach you how to build your first Arduino yourself and then to check if it works and write your first code.

We are preparing also MOD-IO2 relay boards, LEDs, Breadboards, Jumper wires, temperature sensors, LED RGB stripes and many other gadgets to have fun with!

A20-OLinuXino with 15.6″ LCD running Debian and A20-OLinuXino with 10″ LCD with TS running Android will be also available for these who want to touch and test them.

Open Fest opening lecture had to be for OpenJDK but in last minute we understand that the plane of Mani Sarkar will late, so we have to open the event with our lecture for Open Source Hardware, so do not get late in Saturday as we start at 10.15 🙂

The slides for the lecture will be present on A20-OLinuXino running Debian and Libre office

First OpenFest hardware hackathon results


Open Fest is the biggest even for Open Technologies, Open Software and Open Hardware in Bulgaria.

This year Open Fest was last weekend 3rd and 4th of November and had 10 years Jubilee!

The program and the presentation slides you can see at http://openfest.org/archive/openfest-2012/program/

The wireless router on the event logged 820 unique MAC addresses so I guess at least so many people visited it 🙂 (do you imagine IT guy will stay whole day on such event without checking his e-mails?)

Olimex was invited to talk for the OLinuXino and together with the organizеrs we made the first Hardware Hackathon.

There was table with Olimex boards – iMX233, A13 OLinuXinos and different UEXT modules and everyone was invited to implement something interesting during the even, the most interesting projects had as prize the boards which were used to implement.

Not many people were hear for the Hackathon on the first day the interest was weak but many were preparing during the Saturday evening as in Sunday the table was always full:


The recap of the completed projects is:

1. 3D graphics on Android application – flying plane which you control with the MOD-WII-NUNCHUCK connected to A13-OLinuXino-WIFI UEXT connector. Programming language: Java. Boards used: A13-OLinuXino-WIFI + MOD-WII-NUNCHUK

2. RFID data logger and entry system: RFID cards are learned then different relays get closed when corresponding card is approached to the reader. Programming language: C. Boards used: iMX233-OLinuXino-MAXI +  MOD-RFID125 + MOD-IO + RFID125-ISO tags.

3. Web temperature logger. Programming language: Python, PHP. Boards used: iMX233-OLinuXino-MAXI, MOD-TC-MK2-31855, TC-K-TYPE

4. Fire alarm: when temperature passes threshold plays MP3 with someone yieling: Fire! Alarm! 🙂 Program language: C, Linux shell. Boards used: iMX233-OLinuXino-MAXI, MOD-TC-MK2-31855, TC-K-TYPE

there were several other attempts but the projects were not complete, overall I’m impressed with the complexity of the first two projects which were completed at so short time.

The Hardware Hackathon will continue on the next OpenFest events.

It was cool to see these people who came form the pure software world, how they discover how easy is to interface real world objects with OLinuXino and in the same time to stay in the comfortable Linux environment they know.

Next Newer Entries