Category page of all posts on the web site that are tagged as related to the RISC-V open hardware architecture

Adafruit WiFi Action Key for Home Assistant / ESPHome

Adafruit One Key w/ RGB colors set

I’ve covered making a wireless Adafruit IoT button that can run any action within Home Assistant when you press the button using automations. These are great because they also have a RGB LED built in that you can use to show the status of something being controlled by the button.

For example if you used it to control your garage door you could make the button red when your garage door is open and green when it’s shut. This way just by looking at the button you know what the state of the garage door is.

Today I am going to cover something really similar: a single WiFi action key using gear from Adafruit as well as a RISC-V ESP32-C3 module. These also have individual RGB LEDs for each key just like the IoT button giving them the same advantages. Let’s begin!

Home Assistant / ESPHome Air Quality Monitor (No Soldering)

QT Py + Grove SEN54 - Deployment (Closeup)

I’ve previously covered creating a Home Assistant air quality monitor system using a XAIO ESP32-C3 module and ESPHome / Home Assistant to create a 7-in-1 air quality monitor sensor. My previous article though did require a little bit of soldering to get it going.

Today I’m going to show you my latest sensor build which has completely eliminated the soldering. It’s plug and play using ESPHome and Home Assistant. I did this using the Adafruit QT Py module which has a built-in connector for connecting to a I2C (Stemma QT) device like the Grove SEN54 environmental sensor. In addition to eliminating any soldering this also saved me money by not having to buy an expansion board.

Today I’ll show you the updated build for my air quality sensor setup I’ll be using throughout my home. Let’s get started!

Adafruit Stemma QT Arduino Getting Started Guide

Adafruit 7 Segment Display + Rotary Encoder + QT Py

I’ve been doing a lot of coverage of ESP32-related chips lately on the site. One thing that is a bit painful with them though is that they usually require a lot of soldering. That’s why I find the Adafruit QT Py series of ESP32 chips so exciting. They eliminate the soldering!

Unfortunately once I got all of my parts and tried to get started I ran into several issues that are not covered at all (or very poorly covered) by the official documentation and guides available. None of the things I’m going to cover were particularly difficult once you know what they are and how to address them. I did however lose days or closer to a week of time messing with this as I had to figure it all out from piecing together scraps here and there from forum posts.

In this guide I’ll show you how to get Arduino working with the Adafruit QT Py boards using Stemma and how to avoid all the pitfalls that I lost a lot of time on getting started. Let’s begin!

Home Assistant Tiny WiFi Button Guide ft. Adafruit QT Py

Adafruit Tiny Home Assistant WiFi Button

I’ve been documenting my journey building out my smart home powered by Home Assistant here on the site. Home Assistant is an open-source system designed to let you easily manage and automate everything in your home.

That’s when I saw that Adafruit’s QT Py series of boards had a tiny IoT button available for it I immediately thought of Home Assistant. The button could be used to automate anything in your home you’d like. You could program it to turn off / turn on lights, open/close the garage door for you, turn on and off certain appliances or anything else you could imagine being able to do with a wireless-enabled button.

In this guide I’ll show you how to build and program a wireless button with Home Assistant. Let’s get started!

XAIO ESP32-C3 Expansion Board Getting Started Guide

Seeed Studios XAIO Expansion Board Getting Started Guide

I recently covered using the XAIO-ESP32-C3 with the Grove Expansion shield to create a sensor panel to be used within Home Assistant via ESPHome. That shield is only around $7 and doesn’t have very many bells and whistles on it. That is a really fantastic and inexpensive solution to expand your available Grove ports and add more sensors or other Grove accessories to your build.

Today I want to cover Seeed Studio’s larger and more capable expansion shield. Instead of using ESPHome to program the device for us though we’re going to set up the Arduino IDE to work with the XAIO-ESP32-C3. That means we’ll be able to run our own code and test out the various capabilities of the larger expansion board.

Let’s get started!

Pine64 Pinecil Soldering Iron Review

Pine64 Pinecil Mini Soldering Iron Review

The Pine64 Pinecil is described as a “smart mini portable soldering iron”. It’s very popular and has incredible Amazon ratings among a crowd that largely is probably unfamiliar with Pine64 as a company that makes single board computers.

I was in dire need of a soldering iron upgrade and Razor Burn mentioned to me in one of the comments on the site that he had the Pinecil and loved it. I’ve investigated other Pine64 products before on the site as well and have other hardware from them. It’s also a RISC-V device!

Today I’ll review the Pinecil and cover why this soldering iron is so popular. Let’s get started!

Using Seeed’s XAIO ESP32C3 with Home Assistant / ESPHome

Home Assistant - ESPHome Sensors Installed

I’ve been working with the Grove series of sensors lately as I previously covered in my K1100 Grove Sensor prototyping kit article. The next step after getting my prototyping kit set up was to try some of the expansion shields for the Seeed Studios XAIO modules such as the ESP32-C3. This will allow me to connect a whole bunch of sensors to a single board.

We used LoRa in the last article to upload sensor data to the cloud. Today we’re going to take the complete opposite approach. We are going to use the open-source Home Assistant suite to upload data to a locally running Home Assistant server. Home Assistant already integrates nicely with everything in my home letting me access it all in one place.

In this article we’re going to take the next step after prototyping one sensor at a time and try using a XAIO Grove expansion shield to connect a whole bunch of sensors to a single board and then view all of their data within Home Assistant. Let’s get started!

StarFive VisionFive 2 Firmware / Bootloader Update Guide

StarFive VisionFive 2

If you’ve just received a new StarFive VisionFive 2 you may be having trouble to get it to boot with the latest images. This is because your firmware needs to be updated before using the latest version.

In this guide we’ll cover how to update the firmware on the StarFive VisionFive 2. Let’s begin!

StarFive VisionFive 2 Official Debian SSD Boot Guide

StarFive VisionFive 2 SSD Boot Guide

The StarFive VisionFive 2 comes with a M.2 M-key PCIe 2.0 slot that we can use with a 2280 NVMe drive. Unfortunately at release it’s not possible to boot from the NVMe drive but this is expected to be added to the device through some combination of SPI+NVMe booting.

In the meantime we are going to bootstrap the boot process using a SD card and then clone that SD card to our SSD to be used as the root partition. This essentially will let us have our system’s root partition on the SSD (much faster).

Let’s get started!

StarFive VisionFive 2 High Performance RISC-V SBC Review

StarFive VisionFive 2 - Top View

I’ve reviewed several RISC-V boards on the site at this point including the Lichee RV and the Mango Pi MQ Quad. All of those boards only had a single core CPU though and aren’t suitable for high performance applications.

Today I am going to review what SiFive describes as “the world’s first high-performance RISC-V single board computer (SBC) with an integrated GPU”. We’ll explore the capabilities and performance of the board and see if it lives up to these claims. We’ll also compare it to a Raspberry Pi as it has the same number of CPU cores as a Raspberry Pi.

Let’s get started!

Lichee RV 86 Panel Getting Started Guide

Lichee RV 86 Panel Getting Started Guide

The Lichee RV 86 Panel is a RISC-V powered Linux computer complete with screen! It comes as a low cost kit with everything you need including the Lichee RV module.

In this guide I’ll show you how to get going with the Lichee RV 86 panel including getting Linux on there and getting it connected to WiFi. Let’s get started!

Sipeed Lichee RV RISC-V SBC Review

Sipeed LicheeRV RISC-V SBC Review

The support for open-source RISC-V hardware continues to improve across the board as more board manufacturers continue to adopt them and ship high quality boards powered by RISC-V. Today we’ll be looking at the Sipeed LicheeRV.

It’s honestly one of the most exciting single board computer products I’ve seen in a while. It’s basically the RISC-V version of a Pi Compute Module! These are small modules that are meant to be used with different docks / IO boards. They can be swapped between the different docks and will gain different capabilities based on what the dock has just like a dock for your laptop / other devices.

Not only that, this board is now officially supported by Ubuntu! Not only do you have an awesome form factor but you now have a very serious mainstream operating system that is supporting the board and architecture. I’ll also benchmark the device and tell you what to expect performance wise.

Let’s get started!

Mango Pi MQ Pro D1 Ubuntu (P)review

MangoPi MQ-Pro D1 w/ Ubuntu (P)review

Recently Ubuntu has received official preview images for some RISC-V boards. One of those boards is (indirectly) the MangoPi MQ Pro! RISC-V boards have been available for a while but the software support lags that of ARM substantially. It’s steadily catching up though with an official Ubuntu preview out as well as official OpenJDK support coming soon.

Today I wanted to review the MangoPi MQ Pro D1 (Revision 1.4) as well as look at the experience of the Ubuntu preview version on it acknowledging that this isn’t the final release of Ubuntu for RISC-V boards yet and is just a developer preview. My intent is to simply see what the experience is like and get an idea of what is already working and what isn’t ready yet.

Let’s get started!