Welcome to the Electromaker Show, episode 13! This week saw a slew of neat projects, hardware launches, and everything in-between. From the PiBookPro Raspberry Pi laptop to an open-hardware portable, do-it-yourself (DIY) retro gaming device, these are the latest maker updates for the week of September 1, 2020!
Pretty Cool Products and Crowdfunding Chatter
Portable retro gaming hardware abounds. Options range from the Raspberry Pi-based RetroFlag GPi console which mimics the look and feel of an original Nintendo GameBoy to the ClockworkPi GameShell, and the Odroid-Go as well as its older sibling in the Odroid-Go Advance. The uChip Simple VGA Consle (uSVC) is a portable, DIY open hardware retro gaming console. It features the ability to play 8-bit retro games. The assemble-it-yourself kit requires some basic through-hole soldering. There's a microSD card, and a VGA for video output, a neat feature. With its USB gamepad and keyboard support, the uSVC, based on the Microchip ATSAMD21E18, is a sweet little device sure to please makers with a retro sentiment.
The ANAVI Macro Pad 8 is a sweet little 8-key open-source programmable keypad. Outfitted with backlighting, an OLED screen, and underlighting, it's a fantastic device. Plus, since it uses mechanical switches and keypads, you can customize the ANAVI to your heart's content. It utilizes a Microchip ATmega32U4 as well as WS2812B LED strip.
The Fomu is a tiny palm-sized FPGA board that you can shove inside a USB port. It's ridiculously small but extremely capable. ABle to run RISC-V, the Fomu can handle the MicroPython port FμPy. Onboard, you'll find 128kb of RAM, and the hardware is totally open-source. For getting started with FPGA, the Fomu is an excellent, minuscule option.
There's a new prototyping board, the RAM board, decked out with MikroBus sockets. It's programmable with C# using Visual Studio. For development with .NET and C#, the RAM Board should is a good pick up.
Novaspirit Tech showcases the PiBookPro. It's a cool device that lets you transform a Raspberry Pi board into a laptop. This isn't the first time a DIY laptop on the market. The PineBook Pro runs off of a Pine64 RockPro64 single-board computer. Kano offers a Raspberry Pi laptop kit as well, plus there's the RasPad 3 from SunFounder as a Raspberry Pi tablet.
There are loads of superb Disney movies, from its live-action flicks like "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," or remakes like "Aladdin," to classic animated fare such as "The Great Mouse Detective," "The Sword in the Stone," "Beauty and the Beast," and "The Black Cauldron." From its golden age to dark age flicks, Disney truly dominates. And one of its biggest hits is definitely "Frozen." Although some critics, myself included, didn't feel "Frozen" lived up to the hype, it certainly spawned quite a following what with its clever characters and memorable soundtrack. This ESP32-based "Frozen" dress adds lights as well as a music recognition feature such that a song synchronizes light patterns. It's a rad example of how maker tech can benefit cosplay.
Headphones don't have to break the bank. You can find tons of cheap-o cans for listening to music. Or, you could go the DIY route. These DIY homemade Bluetooth headphones feature a 3D printed case and are actually pretty easy to build. Sure, buying a pair of headphones if far easier, but the parts used in this build look store-bought, and you can brag to your friends that you made your wireless cans.
An exciting new app, Phyphox, is an open-source app that uses your phone's sensors for physics. And now, Phyphox lets you exchange data with your phone! The new Bluetooth library adds a lot of functionality, making Phyphox even easier to use.
The Raspberry Pi makes a solid server whether for media playback with the likes of Plex and Emby, or a file server. You can also transform the Raspberry Pi 4 into a NODE server. With a tiny footprint and low power draw, the Pi 4 is a solid little server device for a variety of applications.
Over on r/EngineeringPorn (which is quite SFW, not to worry), u/MrCocaineJesus (whose username made me guffaw), shared a pretty sweet electro-mechanical clock. It's retro-inspired
Electromaker Show Episode 13
There are plenty of awesome crowdfunding and product updates plus maker projects. Got a favorite of this week's picks, or find a story we missed? Comment below and let us know!