Best deals on tools and gear that makers, hobbyists, DIYers, and I like. I publish deals and write unbiased reviews. Everything that you'll find here was on my hands and it was tested. I don't include external or paid reviews on my blog! You get information about performances, price-performance ratio and more. Most of the time I include the product on a DIY project.
Last December, I wrote an article about the crowdfunded "High Resolution Autofocus Camera Module" for Raspberry Pi from Arducam. That camera costs only USD25 and has autofocus and a resolution of 16 MP. You can read more about it here: Raspberry Pi: ArduCAM powerful $25 camera with high resolution and autofocus.
Last week, I got a sample of the new Arducam Hawk-eye camera. The camera module also has autofocus but the resolution has been improved to 64MP and it’s available from the Arducam store at a pre-order discount (
$59.99$35.99 as I'm writing this article). Let's start with the review of ...
#Raspberry Pi: ArduCAM powerful $25 camera with high resolution and autofocus
Product Reviews, Raspberry Pi | 4 min | 24404
The Raspberry Pi cameras are getting cheaper but they are not losing quality and performance. At least that is the claim of the company ArduCAM and the Crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. I got a sample, let's start with the review!The campaign has now moved to indiegogo: Check out this link: 16MP Autofocus Camera Module for Raspberry Pi
ArduCAM company is located in China and dedicates to designing and manufacturing open-source hardware and software s...
#M5Stack Tough: A weatherproof ESP32 Industrial IoT controller
MicroPython, Product Reviews | 2 min | 4064
M5Stack has launched several ESP32 IoT controllers with an integrated touch display such as the M5Stack Core2, the M5Paper, etc. Today, a new Core family member was presented: the M5Stack TOUGH. This device is rugged and dustproof/waterproof with a UV-resistant enclosure sealed with an o-ring and offers waterproof M12 connectors. M5Stack TOUGH is now available for purchase for $49.90 on the company’s store (check out the link below).
The protection against solid ...
#M5Stamp Pico: an ESP32 miniature and powerful module
M5Stack, MicroPython, Product Reviews | 1 min | 4154
M5Stack is a technology company based in Shenzhen China, which specializes in the design, development, and production of IoT development toolkits and solutions, and today they have just launched a new device in its core series: the M5Stamp Pico; and awesomeness comes in small packages.
I thought the M5Stack ATOM would be the smallest core possible, but I was wrong!. The M5Stamp Pico is even smaller and still very powerful. The M5Stamp is the smal...
#Crowbits: Programmable Blocks for STEM Education (ESP32, Arduino and Micro:bit compatible!)
Product Reviews | 2 min | 2498
Late last year, I posted an article about the Elecrow CrowPi2. The laptop integrates plenty of electronics modules and I will be publishing a review later this month. But, this article is about the Crowbits. The folks at Elecrow are great and they have launched the Crowbits magnetic electronic blocks for STEM education, and the devices are ESP32, Arduino, and Micro:bit compatible.
Fig. 1: Playing with Crowbits
There are over 80 programmable electronic magnetic modules and bricks (see Fig. 2), with three different sizes ( large, middle, and small modules) and colors that indica...
#M5Stack: Introducing the new M5Stack CORE2
M5Stack, Product Reviews | 2 min | 10057
M5Stack has just launched the M5Stack CORE2, an ESP32 based IoT development kit, with a capacitive touch screen that brings users a smoother human-computer interaction experience. As usual, the development kit is compatible with Arduino, MicroPython, and UIFlow.
The M5Stack CORE2 has an ESP32 D0WDQ6-V3 with two Xtensa® 32-bit LX6 microprocessors that can be individually controlled. The clock frequency is adjustable from 80MHz to 240MHz.
M5Stack sent me an early sample to play...
#CrowPi2: a Raspberry Pi Notebook for Extended Creativity
Product Reviews, Raspberry Pi | 3 min | 3653
Last year, Elecrow sent me the CrowPi and I used it in some of my projects, including this video:
Together with the Corel USB accelerator, I programmed a YOLOv2 object detector, etc.
The CrowPi kit is magnificent and has everything you need to start playing with the Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, you get everything in a suitcase, that you can close and clean your "mess" in seconds. :)
Today, Elecrow is announcing a Kickstarter campaign to support the Crowpi2. This time, they integrated the Raspberry Pi in a notebook-like case (see fig. 1), and I think it i...
#Gearbest: I bought something there and I regret it!
Product Reviews | 3 min | 1769
I've never used my blog to criticize a company. But this time, I need to express my complete disappointment with Gearbest. The last days, I have had the worst shipping experience, and I do have extensively worked with companies in and outside of the EU. In a nutshell, I ordered a home appliance on Feb. 21, and I'm still waiting to receive it. They've extended the shipping deadline twice (each time for one month), and now the tracking number has expired.
2020-05-07 15:00:09 Hungary, Customs clearance processing complete. 2020-03-04 10:00:03 Hungary, Parcel is in clearance. 2020-02-28 17:00:36 ...
#WAVE2: an Ensemble Yourself Oscilloscope (DSO)
PCB/Board designs, Product Reviews | 4 min | 4172
Last month, I published a review of the DSO138. This time, I put together the WAVE2 (15801K) and I review it in this article. The WAVE2 is a 2-channel portable oscilloscope design by JYETech for a hobbyist. It has a resistive touch screen display, X-T (signal-time) / X-Y (signal-signal) plotting functionalities, memory (4 blocks), measurement functionalities (V -max, min, avr, pp, rms-, frequency, duty cycle), serial interface and can be powered using an external 5V source (micro ...
#DSO138: an Ensemble Yourself Oscilloscope (DSO)
PCB/Board designs, Product Reviews | 3 min | 3478
A few months ago, I was looking for a small digital signal oscilloscope (DSO) module, and last week I got a DSO138 DIY kit from DigitSpace. The oscilloscope is originally from the company JYE Tech, but as usual, there are a lot of copies.
The oscilloscope has a bandwidth of 200kHz, a maximum sampling rate of 1MHz and a maximum input voltage of 50Vpk that are sufficient for the applications that I am programming using ESP32 boards (more details here).
In this article, I include a qui...
#Xiaomi CMSXJ11A: an IP-Camera with built-in battery
Product Reviews | 5 min | 14220
This article evaluates three low budget Wi-Fi cameras that I buy from e.g. banggood.com and aliexpress.com but I will focus most of the analysis on my last acquisition the XIAOMI Mijia CMSXJ11A.
All cameras in this review are Xiaomi (not exactly built by Xiaomi) and can be connected to the application Mi Home (apple/android). Moreover, you need to select the region to China (Mainland) in the application, otherwise you are not going to find the devices. This has a main disa...
#Orange Pi Zero LTS: An 'upgraded' alternative to the old Raspberry Pis
Product Reviews, Single-board Computers | 6 min | 29485
The Allwinner H2+, which integrates four ARM-Cortex A7 cores that can clock up to 1.2GHz, is powering the Orange Pi Zero LTS. The tiny board, which measures just 52 x 46 mm, features 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet, up to 512 MB of RAM, USB 2.0 Type-A and a microSD card slot. There is also a 26-pin unpopulated GPIO header along with a 13-pin header for a headphone, USB 2.0, TV-out, microphone and IR signals.
This board is the next generation of the Orange Pi Zero th...
#Rock Pi S: a tinier version of the Raspberry Pi with Alexa functionalities
Product Reviews, Single-board Computers | 6 min | 12020
Radxy, the company behind the Rock Pi 4 is back! A couple of days ago, I've received the Rock Pi S (see Fig. 1), a miniature developer board that measures just 38 x 38 mm. The board is powered by the Rockchip RK3308 SoC, which integrates four 64-bit ARM Cortex-A35 cores (Ultra-High-Efficiency). Each of the cores reaches up to 1.3 GHz. The SoC also has a built-in voice activity detector (VAD) for use with IoT and smart voice applications.
Despite its tiny size, the Rock Pi S in...
#Timeular: Tracking your time using an Octahedron
General, Product Reviews | 5 min | 7172
Timeular is still on Summer Sale with up to 50% discount! Limited stock left, don’t miss out!
First of all, this article is a product review which was/is not supported by Timeular GmbH or similar. I bought the product two weeks ago, because I wanted to test it. I missed out the Kickstarter campaign (2016) and the regular price for the octahedron was too expensive for me.
Fig. 1: Timeular application
This summer, the tracker is on sale with up to 50% discount and I bought the basic plan. I got an octahedron -called tracker- which connects to the Timeular application (Mac, Win...
#Zigbee: Reading Xiaomi Sensors with a Raspberry Pi (no Xiaomi gateway needed!)
Home Automation, Product Reviews, Raspberry Pi | 2 min | 17914
I've been very busy the last weeks. I moved to a new apartment and I was living between moving boxes. Four days ago, I managed to put my desk together and now I have some time (not a lot) to write a new article.
Last month I've received from GearBest two Aqara sensors:
- Aqara Cube - internal motion sensors (gyro + accelerometers)
- Aqara humidity, temperature and air pressure
These sensors use Zigbee and I connected them to a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian OS and a dockerized version o...