Hello Element14 Community!
About two weeks passed since I was announced as winner of Off-the-Grid Project14 competition which I entered with my Mini Solar Powered Wireless Temperature Sensor. About two days ago I received the reward and about 50 antistatic bags with parts landed on my desk. Thank you very much Tariq for your work when ordering my basket and for organising Project14 competitions!
This time I ordered many small parts and few expensive one. Generally, I made my 250 USD free Farnell basket by importing BOMs for project which I want to do in near future and then filled remaining budget with items from my personal wishlist. At last, I refilled my personal stock by parts which were running low. Btw, few months ago, I deployed Part-DB Open-Source WMS (https://github.com/Part-DB/Part-DB-server) for managing parts. I recommend using it. It helped me very much to realize parts running low in comparison with manual checking which I did before.
Next Projects BOM
These parts I have used in some designed but not yet assembled project. Generally, basket contained several sensors, MCUs and required passives which I do not have yet (ie. mostly non-standard resistor values).
If you read carefully my project Mini Solar Powered Wireless Temperature Sensor you maybe remember that I wrote that one of my unit is missing JTAG connector because my stock get exhausted. This was now fixed and 11 of these nice SAMTEC compact connector fitted the list. Expect these connectors I refilled some capacitors, resistors and 32.768 kHz Crystals.
First parts which were on my wishlist foir a long time were secure elements. The most interesting (and expensive) part of this section is USB Authenticator used for human authentication to the online service but after my first experiment I can confirm that it works even for authenticating to servers over SSH and I will use for these purposes. Goal of this device that it uses encryption private key stored on the device and the device should never leak it. Thus, for authentication to my servers you need to physically steal it from me. Benefit is that even compromise of my computer using malware possible hackers are unable to login to my server, even they get remote access to my disk. Naturally, it is of course much more secure than entering passwords. Device is also usable for few other purposes which I did not test yet.
Other security parts which I ordered are targeting embedded applications. First one is SPI TPM chip and second interesting chip is Infineon Optiga Trust M security IC which do similar thing to TPM chip but has proprietary interface more optimized for embedded applications.
|Product Name||Manufacturer||Quantity||Buy Kit|
|USB Authenticator SNU20000D1PBAN0-E-11-110-SB0||Swissbit||1||Buy Now|
|TPM Chip SLB9670VQ20FW785XUMA1||Infineon||1||Buy Now|
|Optiga trust M V3 SLS32AIA010MKUSON10XTMA2||Infineon||1||Buy Now|
Other parts form my Wishlist are two soldering tips for MP740686 Soldering Station which I received recently as a webinar reward. I will soon update the MP740686 mini review blog with my experience with new tips (spoiler: It is much better). Other part useful for soldering which I received are these super cool helping hands:
You can install up to 6 handles. They are from plastic, so you need to pay attention to high temperatures, but they are strong enough. Of course, they are adjustable and very flexible.
|Product Name||Manufacturer||Quantity||Buy Kit|
|Helping Hands D03419||Duratool||1||Buy Now|
|Soldering tip Chinsel 1.2mm 21-10142 (compatible with MP740686)||Tenma||1||Buy Now|
|Soldering tip Bevel 2mm N9-26||Duratool||1||Buy Now|
Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3 Buy Now
Other part from my Wishlist is Camera for Raspberry Pi. It is my first Raspberry Pi Camera, so now I can integrate computer vision to my projects. For a first time, my Raspberry Pi made it’s own selfie:
Renesas RX72N Envision Kit Buy Now
The other part from my wishlist is this Renesas RX72N MCU devkit. It was RoadTested few years ago, so you can read find detailed reviews of this board here: Renesas RX72N Envision Kit. Board comes from Japan and their authors are proud of it. At the first look it is clear that they loved their job and board is designed very well. It is preprogramed with games which allows to test high-performance nature of the MCU and test it 2D graphics accelerator. RX72N is one of the most advanced MCU on the world, but it’s usage is quite a hard because of CPU core with proprietary Renesas core supporting proprietary RXv3 instruction set. I am missing reset button on the board but otherwise it is very nice and comprehensive board with Display, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, and several other chips and sensors. Interestingly it is affordable, and the price is not high when you take in account that it features very advanced MCU, onboard E2 Lite debugger, lot of external parts and so on.
Very soon, I replaced default firmware containing games by something much simpler for learning the basics of the development environment (which is different from environment used on Renesas RA ARM MCU families):
Optic Fiber Buy Now
The last part which I want to mention is optic fibre. While datasheet mention possibility for data transfer I want to use it for “routing” light from LED on PCB to other place on case. If you place light at fibre start, it slightly illuminates on the body and most light, you will see on the other end. It works very nice.
Thank you very much Tariq and Element14 for this reward. I enjoyed unboxing these parts, some of them I already tested and in near future they will allow me to make some project and possibly join next Project14 competitions.