Freerunner Navigation Board v2

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The second version of the Freerunner Navigation Board will include lots of new stuff to play with, while still providing the same feature set as the first version.

Contents

Features

Top side

3D Gyroscope ITG-3200)

The new ITG-3200 digital gyroscope detects rotations and measures their angular velocicy. This enables the FR to be used as game controller or to improve navigation capabilities without GPS.

3D Magnetometer HMC5843

A magnetometer senses magnetic fields. It can be used as compass for navigation purposes or to sense fields from other magnetic sources.

Air pressure/temperature sensor: BMP085

[insert nice description here]

Bottom side

4ch Programmable LED Controller

This chip can source or sink current for up to four LEDs with a maximum of 25mA per LED. In addition to simple on/off states it can be programmed to blink or fade individual channels or a group of channels. Since the chip does everything on its own, it will continue to work even if the host cpu suspends. This allows the often requested feature to drain the battery even faster to notify users of incoming SMS or missed phone calls by blinking a LED even if the phone is suspended. A blink frequency down to once every 10 seconds and a widely adjustable duty cycle allows for very short flashes to save battery power.

1kHz – 68MHz Programmable oscillator

This is, well, a programmable oscillator from which one frequency output and the output enable pin are available at testpoints. My intention was to use it as 38kHz oscillator to generate the carrier frequency of common infrared remote controls. The output enable can be connected to a GPIO. After implementing a small driver, this should work as a generic remote control solution using lirc.

16 bit Analog to Digital Converter

This chip was used on the FRNBv1 to digitize analog gyroscope outputs. The FRNBv2 does not use it for own purposes, so it is completely under user's control.

Touch Sensor

The MPR121 from Freescale Semiconductor is a multi channel proximity capacitive touch sensor controller. Up to twelve sensor areas could be connected, but due to space constraints, only eight channels are accessible at solder pads. It is not guaranteed that the chip will work as intended, but I think it's worth to test it.


Availability

The board will be availabe to purchase starting from the middle of august. It comes in three tastes:

  • CAB: Completely assembled board. Just add some wires and you're ready
  • DIY: Do it yourself! the PCB and all components needed to get your hands dirty
  • PCB: The bare PCB. You are free to buy only what you need.

The CAB and DIY packages miss the programmable oscillator and the analog to digital converter chips because they are rather expensive and can't be used without additional electronics. If you need their functionality it's possible to add them later on because they come in leaded packages and are hand solderable.

Pricing (estimates)

  • CAB: probably in the Range of 75€ to 80€
  • DIY: about 50€
  • PCB: about 7€
Personal tools

The second version of the Freerunner Navigation Board will include lots of new stuff to play with, while still providing the same feature set as the first version.

Features

Top side

3D Gyroscope ITG-3200)

The new ITG-3200 digital gyroscope detects rotations and measures their angular velocicy. This enables the FR to be used as game controller or to improve navigation capabilities without GPS.

3D Magnetometer HMC5843

A magnetometer senses magnetic fields. It can be used as compass for navigation purposes or to sense fields from other magnetic sources.

Air pressure/temperature sensor: BMP085

[insert nice description here]

Bottom side

4ch Programmable LED Controller

This chip can source or sink current for up to four LEDs with a maximum of 25mA per LED. In addition to simple on/off states it can be programmed to blink or fade individual channels or a group of channels. Since the chip does everything on its own, it will continue to work even if the host cpu suspends. This allows the often requested feature to drain the battery even faster to notify users of incoming SMS or missed phone calls by blinking a LED even if the phone is suspended. A blink frequency down to once every 10 seconds and a widely adjustable duty cycle allows for very short flashes to save battery power.

1kHz – 68MHz Programmable oscillator

This is, well, a programmable oscillator from which one frequency output and the output enable pin are available at testpoints. My intention was to use it as 38kHz oscillator to generate the carrier frequency of common infrared remote controls. The output enable can be connected to a GPIO. After implementing a small driver, this should work as a generic remote control solution using lirc.

16 bit Analog to Digital Converter

This chip was used on the FRNBv1 to digitize analog gyroscope outputs. The FRNBv2 does not use it for own purposes, so it is completely under user's control.

Touch Sensor

The MPR121 from Freescale Semiconductor is a multi channel proximity capacitive touch sensor controller. Up to twelve sensor areas could be connected, but due to space constraints, only eight channels are accessible at solder pads. It is not guaranteed that the chip will work as intended, but I think it's worth to test it.


Availability

The board will be availabe to purchase starting from the middle of august. It comes in three tastes:

  • CAB: Completely assembled board. Just add some wires and you're ready
  • DIY: Do it yourself! the PCB and all components needed to get your hands dirty
  • PCB: The bare PCB. You are free to buy only what you need.

The CAB and DIY packages miss the programmable oscillator and the analog to digital converter chips because they are rather expensive and can't be used without additional electronics. If you need their functionality it's possible to add them later on because they come in leaded packages and are hand solderable.

Pricing (estimates)

  • CAB: probably in the Range of 75€ to 80€
  • DIY: about 50€
  • PCB: about 7€