Fun with Tech Magazines in Japan

From blogger 41J, a fascinating round-up of Japanese hardcore tech mags, including publications on embedded hardware.

Radio Life Radio Life is somewhat unique, I suspect Radio life was originally purely a ham hobbyist magazine. Over the years, and I assume with a decline in ham radio, radio life seems to have morphed into something quite different. While the magazine still has a strong focus on ham gear it also features articles …

Source: 41J Blog » Blog Archive Hobbyist Tech Magazines in Japan – 41J Blog

Beagleboard X-15 Arrives at the Party

Wrapped, launched and ready for sale (not counting a 3-week lead time), the newest addition to TI’s canine family, the Beagleboard-X15 should excite geeks anxious for their next fix of small board computing platforms.

Beagleboard X15 microcomputer, top and bottom views
Beagleboard X15 microcomputer, top and bottom views


With great specs on the beast, the X15 looks to be an exciting piece of engineering:

  • Dual core ARM A-15 running @ 1.5 GHz, 2 GB of SDRAM, hardware acceleration for the graphics engine,
  • 157 pins
  • 4 GB eMMc solid state drive
  • Smallish form factor (4.2 in. x 4 in.)
  • 3x USB ports
  • Audio I/O (hooray!)
  • Camera and LCD expansion ports (another big hooray!)
  • Real time clock (hallelujah)

Meanwhile, emphatically says it’s not a replacement for the Beaglebone Black. Of course, how could it be since distributors are showing a price of USD $199.00 ($239.00 MSRP) vs. the Black’s $50.00ish dollars sticker?


Which begs the question: for whom exactly are they targeting this board? Perhaps the professional embedded crowd?  At this price, it’s certainly not for makers, neophytes, or students. Hmm. A bit confounding this business decision by the Beagleboard folks.


Smallest Arduino with Bluetooth LE and IMU

Femto-ize it! There’s no gender bias with the Femtoduino; it’s just a really small Arduino Leonardo clone.

Ho-hum, another clone you say? Not so. The Femtoduino packs on board Bluetooth (BLE), accelerometer, altimeter and a USB port into a 34.54 mm (1.36 inches) wide PCB. At USD $75.00 a pop, it’s obviously more than the price of an Arduino. Or any super-powered MPU, for that matter.  But with this kind of form factor, there’s no excuse for big ugly prototypes.

Smallest Arduino with Bluetooth LE + IMU – YouTube.

Smallest Arduino with Bluetooth LE + IMU – YouTube.

VoCore, The Tiny Internet Of Things Thing

An Indiegogo wifi-enabled IoT pearl:

With tiny Linux boards popping up like dandelions, it was only a matter of time before someone came out with a really tiny Linux board. This is it:  a tiny board less than an inch on each side with an 802.11n System on Chip running OpenWrt on Linux. The best part? You can pick one up for $20 USD.


VoCore, The Tiny Internet Of Things Thing.

Global Space High Altitude Balloon Challenge

A wonderful gallery of pix from the recently concluded (April) High-Altitude Balloon competition, with entrants from around the world, from young makers to university students to engineers to old DIYers.

Gallery — Global Space Balloon Challenge via Adafruit.

MotherBone™PiOne™ by APlus Mobile, Inc. — Kickstarter

MotherBone™PiOne™ by APlus Mobile, Inc. — Kickstarter.

Arduino Shield to BeagleBone Black Cape

As wonderful a platform as the Beaglebone Black is, the board is a piker compared to the add-ons available for the Arduino. The Bone’s universe of capes is limited and pretty pricey.

A current device from an engineering team in Germany, though, caught our eye and opened our wallet on Indiegogo: a low-cost daughterboard that makes it possible to use nearly any Arduino shield on the Beaglebone Black. They promise shipping by May, so it should arrive in time to write about it in my upcoming book, A Beaglebone Black Cookbook: Seventy-Five Recipes for Making Things with a Microcomputer (Packt Publishing, pub. date Fall 2014).

Arduino Shield to BeagleBone Black Cape | Indiegogo.