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M5StickC, cheap complete mini-computer for prototype


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#1 Brito

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Posted 07 December 2020 - 04:19 PM

Hello,

 

Most recently I've been passing my time with small embedded devices and electronics. One of the devices that surprised me positively has been the M5StickC: https://m5stack.com/...development-kit

 

This is a tiny device that comes with:

  • WIFI
  • bluetooth
  • dual-core CPU at 240MHz
  • microphone
  • color display (for text and graphics)
  • Infrared LED

 

The price is 14 USD.

 

It is not strong enough to run a full blown operating system like Linux or Windows. However, comes with a nice web interface for drag&dropping the actions you would like it to do.

 

I've got two of these devices since months and find them really great for prototyping without much fuss.



#2 alacran

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 06:32 AM

Not so cheap but this raspberry pi 400 looks more versatile, it is only a keyboard with the MB into it.

 

alacran


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#3 Brito

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 08:17 AM

That is a really cool machine! Too bad they are asking 100 EUR for it.

 

Some of these devices already have a programming language based on "blocks" which can be edited from the device itself, so the price range could go down to 50 or maybe 30 EUR since we wouldn't need a full blow OS inside it.



#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 12:30 PM

Well, if alacran can raise to 100, I can to 200 :w00t:

 

Nice, little PC in a cube:

https://www.chuwi.co...wi-LarkBox.html

 

I know it is completely another thing, but I believe it is near the edge of minimization ...

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#5 erwan.l

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Posted 08 December 2020 - 07:51 PM

I started years ago with arduino devices for my diy home projects : 8/16 mhz, some kilobytes memory and lots of analog/digital IO's.
Back then it was about 5 to 10€ a piece (from China...).
One example : i follow my water consumption with an arduino and a sensor (a reed switch to be exact).
 
Willing to cut the cost down as well as cpu consumption (i use 3.7v 18650 batteries), i moved on to attiny85 mcu's.
A bit more hardcore but so cheap (less than 1€ a piece) and so low on consumption...
All my temp/humidity sensor are based on this lovely mcu.
 
Then came the esp8266/esp32 generation (wifi builtin) : here again for a few euros, i was amazed with its power/memory/connectivity capacities.
 
 
In parallel, I also played with raspberry's which have enabled many diy projects:
-My domotic box is based on a rpi + an open source project (Jeedom)
-My video player is based on a rpi (Librelect)
-I block Ad's thanks to Adguard running on a rpi
-My 3d printer is shared over the network thanks to a rpi (octopi)
 
What I meant to say:
 
I feel myself so lucky to have all these plethoric and cheap offer today from low mcu's costing a few euros to cheap but "true" computer like raspberry's.
 
Thus, it may be worth to consider what are your needs when you are about to buy such a device : cheap/limited but fast or powerful/exhaustive but complex.
 
My father bought be an electronic box in the early 80's : it was costy, complex and limited.
Still, i was able to build my own radio (after many days and trials/errors).
Nowadays, the offer is nearly illimited and the only limit is our creativity.
I am telling you guys : i would love to be a 10 years old kid today and have my father take me again on the diy amateur electronic journey again :)
 
/Erwan

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#6 Brito

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Posted 09 December 2020 - 08:55 AM

I'm doing that with my kid. He is still 5 years old, but when arriving from kindergarden he goes to the attick where I'm working. Then I do a break from work and we both start doing simple stuff with electronics/magnets.

 

On my desk are always lots of coils, solar panels and magnets to build mendocino motors. If you never heard of them, these ones are so simple to try out and good fun: 

 

Fully agree with cheap devices. The 200 EUR machine is amazing, but already costing the same price as dryer machine. Kind of difficult around here to justify to the wife why these hobbies cost that much.  :lol:

 

Nevertheless, there is a full-fledged machine with 2GB RAM running Ubuntu at OK performance for ~30 EUR (shipping included). It's the newish Neo3 nanopi: https://www.aliexpre...earchweb201603_

 

:cheers:






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