The Electronic Sweet Pea Sensor Breakout Kit
With this campaign we wanted to bring you a useful set of different sensor breakout boards as well as a few interface boards at a very reasonable cost. This 103 x 67 mm fully assembled board brings you 6 different sensors and 3 different interface modules that are easily separated from each other.
The development of this kit was triggered one day when I needed to have a breakout board for an electronic barometer. As it turned out I needed a few other small boards to make everything interface the way I wanted it to. I was slightly shocked when the sum of the modules ended up over $200 and that was before shipping was added. Anyway this episode started me thinking about making a small kit with useful breakout modules priced so that you can afford to buy them all without feeling robbed.
The functions that I chose to include are as follows:
- ADXL345 Accelerometer (Sensor Module)
- Microphone Input module (Sensor Module)
- DHT22 Moist / Temperature sensor (Sensor Module)
- TEMT6000 Light Intensity sensor (Sensor Module)
- A1301 Hall Effect sensor (Sensor Module)
- BMP085 Barometric / Temperature sensor (Sensor Module)
- 8 Channel 5V <-> 3.3V Bidirectional Level translator (Interface Module)
- 16 Channel 12-bit PWM generator (Interface Module)
- 8 Channel I2C I/O Port expander (Interface Module)
They all use a unified hardware interface (The Sweet Pea Breakout bus) that makes it easy to connect them to any existing or new Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Cubieboard or any other type of embedded system. Want to go into deeper detail of the modules ? There is much more information about the sensor kit on our wiki page.
With this project we aim to help hardware engineers, schools, Coder Dojo's, tinkerers and makers, kids, pro's and everyone else that need to have a good set of breakout sensors to play with. Better yet, all drawings will be released under the TAPR Open Hardware License which will allow beginners, and pro's for that matter, to create new fantastic inventions for them selves. Read more about the license at www.tapr.org/ohl
We're really committed to this project and have started to implement a Fritzing library, it will be available soon which will enable you to make beautiful schematics. Here's just a teaser:
Fritzing drawing showing the Raspberry Pi connected to the ADXL345 module.
What We Need & What You Get
In order to be able to produce these modules at a reasonable cost we need to make at least a 100 complete kits. That's 900 modules in total.
If we reach our goal, we will first produce a small number of prototypes (5 pcs) to verify that the PCB's are good to go. That will take about 2 weeks to complete but after that the full volume will be ordered and shipped to all backers of this project, which will be another 4 weeks. We expect to have shipped all units by mid December so this is certainly an excellent Christmas present for someone. GOOD NEWS ! We have managed to persuade the PCB manufacturer that we use to sponsor us with a few prototype PCB's. This means that we are now effectively cutting several weeks from the delivery schedule and any flaws will be detected very early. In the best of worlds we will be able to place the production order directly after the campaign has ended and shipments to all backers will start 4-5 weeks after that.
The good news ! We have received the prototype PCB's and they look absolutely stunning. We received them unmounted so we have to mount them ourselves but that is not a problem. The bad news is that they came in 44 hours before the campaign is ending so they are unlikely to make any impact on the end result. Aah well, you live and learn =)
We've set up a number of exciting perks for you to choose among and we are extra excited about one of them. We've decided to have one perk where you can support us by donating the money for one unit. AND we have decide that for each donation we get we will match that with one Sweet Pea Uno (Arduino Uno Clone) and give them both to one of the local schools here in Sweden as well as going to that school and holding one class for students that are interested in electronics.
There's also an excellent perk if you want to support your local school where you can buy 10 units, maybe keep one for yourself and give the rest away to your local school or Coder Dojo.
This campaign is a fixed-funding campaign which means that if we don't reach our goal of $4000 the money will be refunded to you and the project will be put on hold. We might decide to go ahead with it anyway but that decision will have to be taken when that time comes.
The Impact you will make
Here at Electronic Sweet Peas we know that playing with different types of sensors and using your embedded system to interface to different things is what builds real embedded engineers. It is when playing with these things that you encounter really hard real time requirements and you need to get an in depth understanding of underlying hardware as well as software. This kit gives any aspiring embedded engineer an excellent kit to start off with.
So contributing to this project in what ever way you feel is appropriate will help the world to become more embedded.
Q: So what is really included in this kit that your are raving about ?
A: The Kit basically consists of one big PCB with 6 different sensor modules and 3 different interface modules that can easily be broken off to form 9 independent modules. We have chosen to deliver the kit in this form due to cost, but it is also real handy to just snap one module of when you need it and the rest are in the same place when you need them.
Q: Where are the schematics ? I want to see them !
A: The schematics can be downloaded from the kit wiki page, although the final one will not be available until the boards are verified.
Q: This sounds interesting, I want to know more detailed information.
A: Again, more information is on the wiki page for the kit.
Q: I've never heard of the "Sweet Pea Breakout Bus" ! What is it ?
A:The Sweet Pea Breakout Bus is a very simple bus that we came up with for this project. It's basically a 10-pin interface with power, I2C, SPI and a few IO's. Simple but quite enough for simple functions like the ones found on this board. Again, more information about it can be found on the wiki.
Q: Aha, I see you haven't built any prototypes. How should we know that the modules work as expected ?
A: Actually, we have built and verified all of the designs on veroboards before putting them into the schematics. Some of them are really just a breakout board but we've tested those devices as well to make sure that we've understood everything in the data sheet.
Q: What about V.A.T. ? Do I need to bother with that ?
A: Yes, If you are an EU resident you unfortunately need to pay Swedish V.A.T. as well. Swedish V.A.T. is 25% and need to be added before paying for your perk. Should you forget this we will contact you before shipping out your unit to complete the order.
Let us know what you think, go to our thread on the Crowdfunding forum, there it's real easy to discuss matters.