Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks



  • @fossette said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    But i dont know what you mean with standard connectors. if all of omega's hardware interfaces are on the pinout, why bother having even more connectors with the same things on them? or why having ethernet as extra pins if its connected to the ethernet jack anyway?

    I'm not a hardware guy. This is just a clarification of my thought to have everything available on board, no hassle. If you need it, use it, it't already there. More specifically with the Ethernet connector for example. If you need Ethernet, you could use the RJ45 connector as is (with proper jumpers). However, if you are designing a new project, and only need the Omega pins because the controller will be elsewhere, you can still use them (with proper jumpers). The standard connector for RS-232 could be an actual DB-9 connector. See? If it's there, it can be used if need be. Flexibility for any use.

    why would you use jumpers for the ethernet jack if those pins are only for ethernet (they arent gpios)? their only purpose is to be connected to an rj45 jack.
    About the serial pins and the db-9 connector: atleast from the pinout on the KS Campaign it only has "UART" (TX and RX), but for a proper rs-232 connection (with an db-9 connector) you need USART (which has some more pins). Plus its just huuge. and i cant really call one thing out that uses rs 232 these days.
    and (atleast AFAIK) there arent any real I2C, SPI or I2S "Connectors" like the DB-9.

    Not sure what you mean with touch-screen.

    No, not just the touch sensor, the whole thing, screen + touch sensor like what is used on phones and tablets. Perhaps too much competition because these guys are way ahead:
    https://community.onion.io/topic/1004/can-i-interface-touch-screen-with-omega2-processor/3

    So something like this? just connected to the omega2. but i doubt you will be able to run some desktop enviroment because of the low storage and speed of the omega2



  • @fossette said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    I'm not a hardware guy.

    Just pitching ideas of features that I would use if I needed them.

    @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    why would you use jumpers for the ethernet jack if those pins are only for ethernet (they arent gpios)? their only purpose is to be connected to an rj45 jack.

    Let suppose for a moment that a new project that I create on a breadboard uses the Omega2 Ethernet pins. Would the Ethernet controller on this hypothetical expansion dock interfere with the one on my breadboard? If so, an option to cut it off would be welcome, jumpers. And, I would still be able to use a console on this hypothetical expansion dock.

    there arent any real I2C, SPI or I2S "Connectors" like the DB-9.

    The arduino has dual-in-line pins to let a connector plug onto it. They are properly labeled on the PCB. If there is no standard, it's a good way to provide the feature.

    but i doubt you will be able to run some desktop enviroment because of the low storage and speed of the omega2

    Why not? Some phones and tablets use very slow CPUs. I think it's still possible. Xorg would be a huge challenge, though. However, we are not talking about HD. The display could very well represent the screen buffer that is pushed through HTTP.



  • @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    (can you actually tranfer data and power through the same cable?)

    Yes. The ethernet data signal is AC, and decoupled by transformers from any DC voltage that might be on the lines. So even for 1000baseT (Gigabit Ethernet, all 8 wires used for data) PoE works.

    Note however the difference between PPoE and PoE. While PoE is the "real thing", it's quite complicated and expensive to implement.

    PPoE (Passive PoE) on the other hand is simply using the free wires available in 100baseT (pairs 4/5 and 7/8) for power.

    There are cheap "injectors" for that, for example this one. Usually, something like 12V or 15V is "injected", so a PPoE dock would need a decent down regulator to 3.3V.

    I thing that a second ethernet jack is a bit too big for the mini board, even one would be too big for the original mini dock because the ethernet jack is too thick and would 100% short something out on the omega if its directly under it.

    Sure :-) I wasn't expecting that a Ethernet dock would be exactly the size of the current mini dock, but the area of the Omega plus the area needed by the jacks, just side by side.



  • @fossette said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    @fossette said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    I'm not a hardware guy.

    Just pitching ideas of features that I would use if I needed them.

    @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    why would you use jumpers for the ethernet jack if those pins are only for ethernet (they arent gpios)? their only purpose is to be connected to an rj45 jack.

    Let suppose for a moment that a new project that I create on a breadboard uses the Omega2 Ethernet pins. Would the Ethernet controller on this hypothetical expansion dock interfere with the one on my breadboard? If so, an option to cut it off would be welcome, jumpers. And, I would still be able to use a console on this hypothetical expansion dock.

    as long as you dont connect an ethernet cable to both jacks that shouldnt be a problem.
    The ethernet controller is on the omega2 itself. if you take a look at the official ethernet expansion you only see two parts: the jack itself and the magnet for ethernet. what comes out of the omega2 goes directly to the ethernet jack, no communication between the magnet and the omega2 itself. so as long as there isnt anything plugged in into the dock jack, there isnt any problem with wiring up your own port. if you do so, there might be some communication failures or simply: no internet connection at all.

    there arent any real I2C, SPI or I2S "Connectors" like the DB-9.

    The arduino has dual-in-line pins to let a connector plug onto it. They are properly labeled on the PCB. If there is no standard, it's a good way to provide the feature.

    the official arduinos dont have any special conenctors except the normal 2.54mm jumper pins. are you maybe talking about something like the "seeedstudio groove" - connector?

    but i doubt you will be able to run some desktop enviroment because of the low storage and speed of the omega2

    Why not? Some phones and tablets use very slow CPUs. I think it's still possible. Xorg would be a huge challenge, though. However, we are not talking about HD. The display could very well represent the screen buffer that is pushed through HTTP.

    but cheapo phones dont use a 400mhz single core cpu ^^. running those lcds on a raspberry pi zero barely reaches 30fps. but dont want to restrict on something. they can still be used to display data directly.
    So yeah. colored lcds are added to the to-do list :)



  • @Lukas-Zeller said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    (can you actually tranfer data and power through the same cable?)

    Yes. The ethernet data signal is AC, and decoupled by transformers from any DC voltage that might be on the lines. So even for 1000baseT (Gigabit Ethernet, all 8 wires used for data) PoE works.

    Note however the difference between PPoE and PoE. While PoE is the "real thing", it's quite complicated and expensive to implement.

    PPoE (Passive PoE) on the other hand is simply using the free wires available in 100baseT (pairs 4/5 and 7/8) for power.

    There are cheap "injectors" for that, for example this one. Usually, something like 12V or 15V is "injected", so a PPoE dock would need a decent down regulator to 3.3V.

    Ok that looks easy to implement and actually really convenient to use :D. But it seems like the voltages even go up to 48V. so either i've got to search a beefy voltage regulator (which will end up with much heat) or just write a limit onto the pcb for the poe limits.

    I thing that a second ethernet jack is a bit too big for the mini board, even one would be too big for the original mini dock because the ethernet jack is too thick and would 100% short something out on the omega if its directly under it.

    Sure :-) I wasn't expecting that a Ethernet dock would be exactly the size of the current mini dock, but the area of the Omega plus the area needed by the jacks, just side by side.



  • Thanks for the Ethernet clarification. See? Not a HW guy, but this is very interesting. Learning everyday!

    @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    there arent any real I2C, SPI or I2S "Connectors" like the DB-9.

    The arduino has dual-in-line pins to let a connector plug onto it. They are properly labeled on the PCB. If there is no standard, it's a good way to provide the feature.

    the official arduinos dont have any special conenctors except the normal 2.54mm jumper pins. are you maybe talking about something like the "seeedstudio groove" - connector?

    Indeed, I meant those jumper pins. Didn't know how they were called... On my Arduino UNO, I see one labeled ICSP, and the other one is AREF, both for programming purposes. Perhaps not standard, but useful and usable with proper pinout description.



  • @fossette said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    Thanks for the Ethernet clarification. See? Not a HW guy, but this is very interesting. Learning everyday!

    @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    there arent any real I2C, SPI or I2S "Connectors" like the DB-9.

    The arduino has dual-in-line pins to let a connector plug onto it. They are properly labeled on the PCB. If there is no standard, it's a good way to provide the feature.

    the official arduinos dont have any special conenctors except the normal 2.54mm jumper pins. are you maybe talking about something like the "seeedstudio groove" - connector?

    Indeed, I meant those jumper pins. Didn't know how they were called... On my Arduino UNO, I see one labeled ICSP, and the other one is AREF, both for programming purposes. Perhaps not standard, but useful and usable with proper pinout description.

    those jumper headers are what i mean with pinout :) so maybe if you want a bit more clarification on the arduino pins (yeah bit OT):
    The digital and analog pins are directly connected to the chip. the RST pin is also connected to it, but also to the reset button to reset it. VIN is an alternative pin to the dc barrel jack next to the usb port. AREF stands for analog reference. normally the analog pins translate voltages form 0-5V into numbers, but you can set your own maximum with this pin. f.ex. use 3.3V for AREF, so it translates voltages from 0-3.3V to 0-1023. The SCL and SDA pins are directly connected to the analog pin 5 and 4, because these pins are also used for i2c.
    The ICSP (short for: in-circuit serial programmer) is a special thing for AVR chips (the architecture the chip on the arduino is based on), so its not really a thing for ARM processors (like on the teensy or on the onion, or raspberry pi). its also directly connected to the arduino chip (i think also digital pin 13-10 and reset) and is used to either program it or for the spi interface (because the programming interface and spi interface are really similar, thus on the same pins). its main purpose for shields is just to be the port for spi, in case the pins d13-d11 arent spi



  • @Matthias-Nowak said in [Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks]> Ok that looks easy to implement and actually really convenient to use :D. But it seems like the voltages even go up to 48V. so either i've got to search a beefy voltage regulator (which will end up with much heat) or just write a limit onto the pcb for the poe limits.

    It's quite common for PPoE equipment to limit the voltage in the specs. PPoE is not really a standard, it's something some vendors just do. I've been using commercial outdoor WiFi gear with PPoE, which allows 24V max. It's not too difficult to protect against overvoltage damage by using some transzorb/multifuse circuit.

    A switching regulator should not produce more heat with higher voltages (only linear regulators would). I've been using this regulator which accepts 4.75V to 32V input voltage, and delivers max 500mA at the output (Omega alone needs ~200mA, so there's still a bit extra available for peripherals)



  • @Lukas-Zeller said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    @Matthias-Nowak said in [Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks]> Ok that looks easy to implement and actually really convenient to use :D. But it seems like the voltages even go up to 48V. so either i've got to search a beefy voltage regulator (which will end up with much heat) or just write a limit onto the pcb for the poe limits.

    It's quite common for PPoE equipment to limit the voltage in the specs. PPoE is not really a standard, it's something some vendors just do. I've been using commercial outdoor WiFi gear with PPoE, which allows 24V max. It's not too difficult to protect against overvoltage damage by using some transzorb/multifuse circuit.

    guess a lil resettable fuse and a zener should do the job.

    A switching regulator should not produce more heat with higher voltages (only linear regulators would). I've been using this regulator which accepts 4.75V to 32V input voltage, and delivers max 500mA at the output (Omega alone needs ~200mA, so there's still a bit extra available for peripherals)

    hmm...it seems a lil bit big IMO. But i have some of these lying around. 28V max input, aroun 80% efficiency on 500mah load, 1.5A output. and then a 5V-3.3V LDO, should do the job.



  • Some more ideas (now somewhat of sensors):

    • Maybe a MCP3008 for analog inputs, or chips to add more PWM Pins or GPIO Pins.
    • An IR Receiver
    • Maybe instead of normal LEDs a Neopixel (WS2812)
    • Maybe a piezo

    With the ADC :

    • A Photocell
    • A temperature sensor

    These are just things i would consider are being used often.



  • @Matthias-Nowak I would support some form of analog input. Perhaps the way to go would be one of the many I2C A/D chips



  • Working on the power circuit of the mini dock, have a question:

    Would it be wanted to have a pin which changes if the battery is running low and a pin if the battery is chargin/being charged?

    Because the chips im going to use for boosting the lipo up to 5V and that charges the lipo allows me to do that.



  • First part of the mini dock is done

    Next thing is to lay out the PCB and look at which features dont fit anymore :D , those will probably land on the full board



  • @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    @Lukas-Zeller

    My favorite dock would be a Ethernet-minidock, to allow wired omega usage without the clumsyness and excess size of the normal dock plus ethernet expansion:

    • mini dock style
    • but with Ethernet Jack
    • PPoE (passive PoE, just using free wires 4/5 7/8 for power, with down-regulator from 5..24V -> 3.3)
    • maybe second Ethernet Jack (if Omega2 pinout will eventually allow that, see here)

    (also posted as issue at your github repo, as requested)

    like that idea, but i had to read up about PoE first, dont have any knowledge in it and what its specs are (can you actually tranfer data and power through the same cable?) I thing that a second ethernet jack is a bit too big for the mini board, even one would be too big for the original mini dock because the ethernet jack is too thick and would 100% short something out on the omega if its directly under it.

    @s-j said

    I hope s RS485 dock provided since there are many sensors devices connected using RS485.

    Im not sure about RS485 Sensors (only know its used for vehicles and studio lighting). would be nice if you could give some examples of rs485 sensors, because out of my head i could only list maybe a few rs232 sensors. but generally it shouldnt be a big issue because rs232 to rs485 chips arent that expensive.

    This is one RS485 sensor:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2RP41H9127&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC--pla--EC+-+Engineering+Development+Tools-_-9SIA2RP41H9127&gclid=CjwKEAjwjqO_BRDribyJpc_mzHgSJABdnsFW5lzEAzQ-zVDM2_vm8ti7h-Xi9Ph0xEzBfCgkUpmMXxoCz8zw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds



  • @s-j said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    This is one RS485 sensor:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2RP41H9127&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC--pla--EC+-+Engineering+Development+Tools-_-9SIA2RP41H9127&gclid=CjwKEAjwjqO_BRDribyJpc_mzHgSJABdnsFW5lzEAzQ-zVDM2_vm8ti7h-Xi9Ph0xEzBfCgkUpmMXxoCz8zw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    but that seems to be one of the very few sensors i could find out about. i think it would be better to put some general prototyping space on the full board so that f.ex. you could solder a SN75176BP in there (RS232 to RS485 converter) because it really seems like a thing just a handfull of people would use then



  • @Matthias-Nowak said in Suggestions and Ideas for custom Omega2 Docks:

    i think it would be better to put some general prototyping space on the full board so that f.ex. you could solder a SN75176BP in there (RS232 to RS485 converter) because it really seems like a thing just a handfull of people would use then

    That's an interesting concept. The challenge is finding controller components having a similar pinout so that designing and producing a universal PCB is more cost effective than designing several single purpose ones. The solution that manufacturers often opt for is to design a carrier board with 'standard' mezzanine modules. All the distinct features are packed into those mezzanine modules.

    An area where there is actually a void at this time, and a potential of growth because of its usefulness is cellular controllers for data communication. Up to this day, I found two manufacturers having huge family lines because of all the cellular frequencies around the world. So, the idea of just soldering a relevant parts kit on a 'universal' PCB to get cellular services is very appealing to me.



  • alt text

    First part of the PCB is done! next thing is to look if its possible to route everything out.
    if not, then i guess i'll have to drop the PPoE part



  • Aaaand routing is done :)

    I will now do some work to make it look a bit nicer, but man this is packed.

    alt text

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    I sadly had to drop the 4 GPIO headers on the right side, because it wasnt possible to route them out. But only two are wasted because the other two are connected to the charging circuitry and change their state when the battery is nearly empty (20%) or when the battery is fully charged.

    But it still has the micro USB for connecting to the Omega2, the USB Host port, the LiPo connector, the Ethernet jack + Passive PoE and all of the GPIO on the left side, so yeah, still a beast :D

    Gonna work the Bill Of material and the approxamite price out.

    ~Matthias Nowak



  • Soooo....if anything goes right in the first run, this board should retail for only 20-25€!

    So only thing left is to revisite the schematic and tripple check everything, making the pcb fancy-er and then order everything :)



  • Aaand some nice renders of the board!

    alt text

    alt text

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    All of these things are in the github repo, + some PDFs of the board and schematic



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