Author Archives: Avra Saslow

GPS, Down the River

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Today we get to look at the all-new GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning Breakout Board and pHAT for Raspberry Pi. You might be asking yourself, did she really say "RTK" and "Dead Reckoning" in the same module?! Why yes I did! These boards are a game changer for the world of GPS.

SparkFun GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning Breakout - ZED-F9R (Qwiic)

SparkFun GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning Breakout - ZED-F9R (Qwiic)

GPS-16344
$289.95
SparkFun GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning pHAT for Raspberry Pi

SparkFun GPS-RTK Dead Reckoning pHAT for Raspberry Pi

GPS-16475
$249.95

These modules are your new best friend in all things related to location, because you are no longer limited by poor signal conditions. Instead of using just GNSS to track location, these boards use a variety of tools, like u-blox’s Automotive Dead Reckoning tech, a wide bandwidth for receiving multiple satellites in parallel, ultra-precise Real Time Kinematics, and the fusion of wheel tick tracking, correction data, and much more, which allows these modules to track your location with up to ~0.2 meter accuracy!

Today we take these boards to the ultimate test: the great outdoors. We sent them down a creek in a ducky in a deep, heavily wooded canyon - and even underneath a bridge - just to see how precise these modules really are.

What will you do with them? Will these help you track hundreds of autonomous rovers in your shipping warehouse? Or will you use them to send location updates to your friends and family as you raft down rivers in deep canyons? Let us know what ideas/projects you have for these modules in the comments below. And don’t forget to pick up a suitable U.FL antenna for these modules. Happy hacking and tracking!

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Implementing FreeRTOS with RISC-V on SparkFun RED-V

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

This week we’re showcasing the SparkFun RED-V RedBoard! It’s a low-cost, Arduino-compatible development board featuring the Freedom E310 SoC, which implements the RISC-V ISA (Instruction Set Architecture).

RED-V and FreeRTOS!

The RISC-V ISA completely changes the computing business model. Instead of traditionally having to buy a specific vendor’s ISA (which is locked under licenses, royalties and NDAs), the RISC-V architecture allows users to extend the core to fit their specific needs. No need to wait for a vendor to mitigate security flaws or for you to get support - you can customize, mitigate, and scale the core exactly how you want to.

We explore how to utilize this open source hardware with open source software - specifically with the resources and documentation from FreeRTOS, a Real-Time Operating System that provides kernels and libraries specifically ported for MCUs like the RED-V board. Hopefully, this opens your eyes to dozens of new possibilities that can be accomplished with this kind of open source hardware!

SparkFun RED-V RedBoard - SiFive RISC-V FE310 SoC

SparkFun RED-V RedBoard - SiFive RISC-V FE310 SoC

DEV-15594
$39.95
4
SparkFun RED-V Thing Plus - SiFive RISC-V FE310 SoC

SparkFun RED-V Thing Plus - SiFive RISC-V FE310 SoC

DEV-15799
$29.95

The RED-V RedBoard comes in the familiar Arduino Uno R3 form factor, while the RED-V Thing Plus comes in a Feather foot print. In addition to their SiFive Freedom E310 cores, each includes 32 MB of QSPI flash, an NXP K22 ARM Cortex-M4 for USB connectivity and operating as a JTAG interface, and Qwiic connectors to make I2C easy. The modern USB-C connectors make it easy to program and, for more advanced users who prefer to use the power and speed of professional tools, we've also exposed the JTAG connectors. Additionally, each board comes programmed with a simple bootloader, making the RED-V the best way to start prototyping and developing your RISC‑V applications.

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Meet Avra!

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Howdy SparkFans! My name is Avra Saslow, and I’m so stoked to be joining you as the new Technical Content Creator. I’ve worked on catalog curation at SparkFun for about a year as an intern, but have now transitioned into a role in which I get to explore and showcase what’s possible with SparkFun products.

Meet Avra!

I initially got my start in the maker community in high school, where I explored the intersectionality between metalworking and electronics. I built a pair of glass speakers and a steampunk MIDI controller with a few surface transducers and an Arduino.

Metal Working

Fast forward to college - I found myself still hooked on electronics when my brother and I would ride our bikes on the Thursday Night Cruiser Ride here in Boulder, with a hundred other people who jury-rigged speakers and LEDs to their bikes for each themed ride.

I pursued that curiosity and studied Computer Science with an emphasis in design, geographic information systems and mathematics at CU Boulder (Sko Buffs!). If you can’t tell from what I studied, I’m really captivated by the intersection of multiple disciplines, and I’m hoping to showcase how various technical frameworks and ecosystems can build on each other.

RedBull Hack the Hits

My degree allowed me to not only study the fundamental technical aspects of CS, but also to be really creative in projects. I was selected to compete at a hackathon hosted by Red Bull called “Hack the Hits,” in which my team and I created an interactive DJ set inspired by the motions of physics.

I’ve collaborated with Specialized Bicycles to create an app that encourages kids to get out and ride their bikes. I’ve also done quite a bit of web development, ranging from a website that finds suitable sites to build solar farms using Machine Learning, to dynamic visualizations of the effects of urban surfaces (concrete and asphalt) on overall Earth albedo, to an interface that couples with an OBD-II to display all of your car’s information in a meaningful and elegant way.

Outside my current areas of specialty, I’m looking forward to integrating GPS/GNSS/IoT/ML technologies to improve our reporting capabilities on environmental applications (think fire tracking, precise weather data collection...what are your ideas for applications?).

I’m also hoping to provide you with a framework that more clearly connects the dots between hardware and software, so you can iterate on your hardware projects to make them more dynamic and agile (incorporating IoT, building Machine Learning models, creating mobile and web apps, and any other ideas you want explored!).

My job will be the most fulfilling for you and me if we work together, so let me know what kind of technologies and projects you all would like to see! What kinds of projects have you gotten stuck on? Why did you get stuck? What technologies interest you? Comment below and we can start working together!

In the meantime, as I’ll be producing content for SparkFun, you can also find me building swing bikes and e-bikes, reading about space and chaotic dynamics, or just riding my bike, kayaking, skating and adventuring throughout Colorado. I can’t wait to start working with you!

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