The DPT-Boards are CE certified and shipping started on 31/01/2015, you can buy your own DPT-Board in our shop:
join our DPT-community on
update: why do we use flexible funding? Read further down in the text.
Final weekend stretch goal
We are glad to announce our final weekend stretch goal. We are very glad to have reached 189% funding. We listened to requests and have worked to make the DPT-Board even better:
- Level shifter: the IO's will have a MOSFET level shifter. You can choose to have 3.3V or 5V IO. This makes it easier to connect all the devices you want and use existing arduino/rpi shields.
We are also glad to announce the DPT-Robot Kit based on a DPT-Board+. Let us explain a bit more:
The DPT-Board+ is the DPT-Board with an additional 0.8A dual H-bridge. This means you can control a regular remote control car or a robot platform.
The DPT-Robot is a robot platform we chose to make our board fully compatible with. This is the platform we developed for use in schools. Off course this means you will be able to control the robot via WiFi and the HTML5 GUI.
We will add the following perks:
- DPT-Board upgrade [$7]: upgrade your DPT-Board or DPT-Board to the DPT-Board+ and have the additional dual H-bridge option. Thank you very much for supporting us and save $3, This is only valid when you allready funded a DPT-Board. Shipping costs remain the same.
- DPT-Board+ [$45]: order the DPT-Board+, this is the regular DPT-Board with the additional dual H-bridge. Shipping cost is $5 worldwide.
- DPT-Board+ + accesoires [$53]: order the DPT-Board+ with accesoires (AC Adapter, USB cable, ethernet cable). Shipping cost is $8 worldwide.
- DPT-Robot [$69]: you get the DPT-Robot kit with an English and Dutch manual and the DPT-Board+. With this kit you can make a simple robot base. With the software specially made for this platform you can make your own WiFi controlled robot car in minutes. Add a webcam and you will be able to film anywhere, you can add sensors to the IO and much more... Shipping costs are $15 worldwide.
Thank you very much for supporting our campaign. Please share with friends, family and your social media.
Daan and Ronny
Who are we?
We, Ronny and Daan Pape are the founding partners of DPTechnics, a young Belgian based startup since almost 2 years. Many of you probaly already know us because of our tutorials and our webshop www.dptechnics.com. For those not familiar with us this is what we did so far.
Over the last two years we have been investing our resources, time and energy in R&D for various projects. One of these projects, the DPT board, is about to be finished. The small amount of $6000 should enable us to accelerate the software development. If we cannot reach our goal of $6000 it will take us a little longer. Lets both save time and resources. By supporting our flex campaign you will be one of the first to receive our DPT board and you save a lot of money.
Our sincere thanks in advance,
Ron and Daan.
Our goal, the DPT Board for education and hobbyists
The DPT board, developed for educational purposes is also very interesting for you technology tinkerers. As technology is growing more an more important, we feel that youngsters need to be introduced to the wonderful world of technology not only as young as possible but also in a way it awakens their interest. Learning about technology should be cool and make both, girls and boys enthusiastic about it.
Today educational packages already exist. However, at prices over $320 per package we feel that for to many this will stay out of reach. The DPT Board and software will be offered for only $50 per package. That's more than 6 times less expensive! Lets give the opportunity to build cool technology to as many as possible so they can build us a better world.
Building a technology project you have dreamed about in many case requires specific programming skills or closed source expensive development environments. The DPT Board accompanied with the open source DPT software puts an end to all this. From now on we want you to enjoy realizing your project without having to worry about programming ... Just build what you are dreaming of and let us take care of the rest. The DPT Board is an absolute must have for all technology fans!
We are working together with young teachers to develop lessons so the DPT Board platform can be used in schools all over the world without much effort. Meet Stan Billiet, a very enthusiastic ICT teacher, this is his reaction to the first view on our board:
The board can be used for any project. App developers for example can use the board to make their apps interact with the physical world:
Read more about the technical specifications down below
What We Need & What You Get
By funding us and claiming your perk you can be on of the first to experience the possibilities of our board at a very affordable price. The $6000 will allow us to dedicate our full attention on the finishing of the software. Today we have to attend to other things as well for independant R&D does not make a living. Your funding will allow us to focus so we can introduce our first education packages to schools and teachers as soon as September 2014.
The hardware part is about to be finished. A revision with built in motor drivers and high resistant I/O ports is already designed. It’s the software that needs a bit more attention for it to be perfect.
Still to do :
Prepare the hardware for mass
production : 99% finished.
Tune the backend software to
perfection : The HTML5 GUI relies on a solid REST web server responding to JSON
requests. This server is written in C to achieve max performance and
reliability. Scripting languages just aren’t fast enough for your needs.
Make the GUI extremely easy to
use : Develop a drag and drop workspace to control the board and draw your
project so you can control it in no time. Just connect the components and
assign the actions.
The software part takes a lot of effort. 80% of the funds will be used to make the perfect software based on received feedback. Please follow up our progress on github.
20% of the funds are to be used for boards production. To use and test the software a board is needed. Today prototypes are running stable since many months. we are eager to start up mass production excluding expensive hand assembly and reducing the production cost to affordable levels.
As you may have noticed in our introduction clip we did not spend lots of funds making it. We have not made any advertorial products. So far we have used second hand hardware to get started.
We ensure you that all of the raised funds will be used for the presented project only and nothing else but this project.
In the news
We are featured on:
- Hackaday: http://hackaday.com/2014/07/27/a-router-based-dev-board-that-isnt-a-router/
- Geeky Gadgets: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/dpt-board-linux-based-wifi-development-board-launches-on-indiegogo-11-07-2014/
- LinuxGizmos: http://linuxgizmos.com/low-cost-openwrt-sbc-targets-educational-apps/
- Tweakers.net (Dutch): http://tweakers.net/nieuws/97328/belgische-start-up-komt-met-raspberry-pi-concurrent.html
- ZDNET (Dutch): http://www.zdnet.be/article/156845/belgische-raspberry-pi-concurrent-zoekt-financiering/
- Hardware.info (Dutch): http://nl.hardware.info/nieuws/40850/belgische-...
- 4Tech (Dutch): http://www.4tech.be/nieuws/2053/1/Belgisch-bedrijf-komt-met-concurrent-voor-Raspberry-Pi
- iTechnoforum (Italian): http://itechnoforum.altervista.org/2014/07/openwrt-linux-computer-per-lhobby-per-linsegnamento/
- Golem (German): http://www.golem.de/news/dpt-board-selbstbau-wlan-modul-mit-openwrt-fuer-35-us-dollar-1407-108164.html
- ELV Journal (German): http://www.elv.de/Kleiner-Funk-Router/x.aspx/cid_727/detail_1578
- 10/02/2013: we released a first tutorial based on the raspberry-pi computer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJtuk_UJEs4. The need for an alternative with better IO, software and built in WiFi for education was clear to us.
- 20/12/2013: we have a first working prototype of the OpenWRT module and an in house etched motherboard https://dptechnics.com/shop/?q=blog/tutorials-coming-soon.
- 22/04/2014: after working several months on motherboards, ideas and the OpenWRT module we came to the current final version of the module. It is very stable and has CE/FCC certifications. https://dptechnics.com/shop/?q=blog/openwrt-module-cefcc-certified
- 01/06/2014: we started working on the DPT board and added all the IO. Also software development is started and OpenWRT is running stable.
- 19/06/2014: the first working version of the breakout-server, running on the board and controlling the IO is released. https://github.com/dptechnics/breakoutserver
- 16/07/2014: the crowdfunding campaign is going good and a first batch of 100 pieces from the OpenWRT module is being made. We are finalizing the design of the DPT board based on the comments and added JTAG, I2S and some minor adjustments on power an pin layout.
The Impact & Education
In today’s world technology is growing more and more important. We at DPT feel that technology should be accessible to a public as wide as possible. Therefore we are developing open source only.
Furthermore we want to introduce technology to the youth in a way it makes them interested and curious. Once interested, they can start learning about it at very young age.
In corporation with Belgian teachers and the education office we are also preparing this board for it to be used for educational purposes. This underlines the necessity for easy to use software, so youngsters can build cool internet controlled stuff we might not even have dreamed off.
Other educational product in this sector exist. However we are afraid prices such as € 320 ex VAT will keep them out of reach for to many children.
We plan to give seminaries and lectures in schools and really want to engage young people to be creative with technology. Because this board can be used as well in easy as very complex projects we feel it can last from primary school up to high school and early university projects.
Risks & Challenges
Hardware development can be tricky... The first versions of our boards have already been sold on our website with good results and satisfied customers. The prototypes of our latest and most advanced board are running stable now and have passed many tests over the last months. They are being produced this very moment and will be on sale in our webshop within a few weeks. So, the biggest risk is already taken! How nice is that ?
Being a member of the “ Durf Ondernemen” association of the Ghent University gives us access to valuable knowledge if any unexpected problems should occur during the mass production process.
OpenWRT is the basis for our platform. Writing the perfect C and HTML5 code is still a lot of work waiting to be finished . All of the code we are writing is fully commented. This is time consuming but minimizes the risk and time loss later on if any problems should occur . It will also make the code more accessible to other interested parties. The basics of this code are already working successfully. We are confident the risk not being able to finish it, is as good as non existing.
Why flexible funding?We choose flexible funding because we want to give people a chance to contribute to the software as early as possible. The hardware part is already done and we have sold units to existing customers who were very happy about it. Specially for this campaign we made a new revision ready for mass production so we can sell it at an even better price than we already had in our shop:
The hardware part of the system consists out of 2 parts:
1. The module: the DPT module is a miniature Linux computer based on the Atheros AR9331 WiFi n SoC with a 400MHz MIPS processor.
This board also contains 16MiB flash, 64MiB DDR2 RAM memory and a built in WiFi antenna. You could see this as the core of the hardware project. This is a 4 layer PCB made with impedance matching.
More technical details can be found in the datasheet:
2. The DPT Board: this board contains all the peripherals needed to make it easy to use and with the DPT Board we mean the green PCB with the module included. It contains the ethernet ports, IO drivers, switching power supply, USB port with protection and much more.
We have chosen for a micro-USB port as a power connector because it is the most universal used 5V connector used today. You can power our board from any 5V smartphone charger, battery pack, computer, solar panel, ... Just with the type of cable almost everyone has laying around.
We could of have chosen for a linear voltage regulator such as the one on the Raspberry Pi but we have chosen otherwise. Our choice is the MC34063 switching power supply. This is much more efficient because excess voltage is not dissipated with heat.
To have 7 outputs capable of driving 0.5A directly, even on inductive loads, we have chosen the ULN2003 darlington array. It has built in base resistors and freewheeling diodes so the transistors are protected.
The DPT Board (this is the green PCB with the module (blue PCB) mounted) has the following specifications:
- 400MHz MIPS processor
- 64MiB DDR2 RAM
- USB 2.0
- 16MiB flash memory
- WiFi g/n 150Mbps with on board antenna
- ART is calibrated (so good WiFi performance)
- 20 GPIO ports
- 2x 100Mbps ethernet connection
- 7 high power (500mA) outputs
- 3 ultra protected inputs (0 - 50V resistant)
- 5 normal 2.5 volt IO ports with software I2C, SPI, ... capability
- On board switching power supply
- Power consumption: 0.36 Watt
- 1 USB 2.0 port
- 2 100Mbps ethernet ports
- 1 micro USB port so you can power it through any AC adapter or PC.
- JTAG port
Our board software consists out of two parts:
1. The breakout server: this is a dedicated server written in C and it is based on the µHTTPd webserver which is used in OpenWRT by default. We have chosen not to work with a scripting language like Lua, PHP or Phython because of performance reasons. Everything is controlled out of a single process in an async way.
To make control easy we have chosen to make the board controllable via a REST api. This means you can control the board from any modern web capable device such as a smartphone, browser, pc, tv, ... We are working hard to provide examples for all of these devices.
Your can find our current progress here:
2. The HTML5 webinterface: this is a web application that consumes the REST api of the board. We plan to make this very easy to use by making a GUI to control and program the board. You must see it as a workspace which contains the module, cables and components like switches, timers, ... simply connect things up in the workspace just like you have done it in the real world and it works.
Other Ways You Can Help
Of coarse your financial contribution will be much appreciated. However, we also value and look forward receiving your feedback or ideas for features. We mold and adapt our system as much as possible to meet the demands and wishes of the persons using it. So , please, if you cannot make a financial contribution, don’t hesitate to send us your ideas, opinions and wishes. We’ll be more than happy to read them. Be part of our project and spread the word to others. Just tell them about the campaign we’re running and the product we’re building. Many thanks in advance.
Daan & Ron.