New Bricklets - LEDs, Motorized Poti, Thermal Imaging Camera

As you may have already noticed, we have some new Bricklets in the documentation since last Friday. They are:

The system of building blocks is still growing! Like the Bricklets that we released lately, all of the new Bricklets are co-processor Bricklets again. Today we want to present two of them in detail:

DMX Bricklet

DMX is a standard for digital communication networks that are commonly used to control stage lighting and effects.The DMX Bricklet can be used as a DMX master to control other DMX devices (slaves). Each slave can use one or more DMX channels. The DMX protocol can be used to control up to 512 channels a the same time. The Bricklet can also be used as a DMX slave. In this case, the Bricklet will receive all 512 channels at the same time. The user can decide to either monitor the whole bus or to only react on specific channels. If you always wanted to create your own stage light effects the new DMX Bricklet is for you. For the connection to a DMX bus the Bricklet has one three pole XLR make connector and one three pole XLR femaile connector. The Bricklet is very easy to control through the new Streaming-API.

Humditity Bricklet 2.0

The successor of the Humidiity Bricklet has a new sensor. The resolution of the utilized humidity sensor is increased by a factor of 10 (0.01% vs 0.1%) and also the accuracy is notably increaed. The Bricklet now also integrates a high precision temperature sensor that is used to temperature-compensate the humidity internally on the Bricklet. The user can of course also access the measured temperature. Another highlight is the integrated heater. It can be used to automatically dry the sensor in extrem wet conditions. The new 2.0 Bricklet replaces the old Humidity Bricklet 1.0.

RED Brick Image 1.10 Beta Test

Today we enter beta phase for RED Brick image 1.10. Normaly, we would release a new RED Brick image right away, but this time we want to test the new image in a public beta test, because it contains several big changes (e.g. new Kernel and Debian version). You can find the new image here: You'll also need the current Brick Viewer 2.3.11.

Changes include:

  • Update to Linux Kernel version 4.13
  • Update to Debian version 9
  • On-Demand CPU frequency control
  • Network management with Network Manager for faster response time in Brick Viewer
  • Support for more WIFI USB sticks (with better support for Access Point Mode)
  • Support for Bluetooth LE/4
  • Many software and programming language updates: Node.js 8, Nagios 4, Octave 4, openHAB 2, etc
  • Update all Brick/Bricklet Bindings for all languages to lastest version

Known problems:

  • Stack communication in Brick Daemon is currently not DMA-accelerated and uses more CPU power. This will be fixed for the final version.
  • The display resolution cannot be changed at runtime. We're looking into it at the moment. It's unclear if this can be fixed.
  • No support for 3D/OpenGL hardware acceleration. The necessary Mali drivers are currently not yet ported to the newest kernel versions. We will release a new image as soon as we can add the drivers again. 2D hardware acceleration (for normal desktop environment usage etc) is working fine!

There is a forum thread for your feedback.

Job offers

We now have a page with job offers:

Among others things we are currently searching for experience in Odoo development (Python), LoRa/BLE hardware, antenna design and EN 61000-6-3/4 conformity (KiCad) and marketing.

The idea of the page is to have a list of general areas that are currently understaffed. We will update this list regularly with the changed requirements.

Step-Down Power Supply with more protection

The Step-Down Power Supply is now available in hardware version 1.3. It is reverse polarity protected on the input as well as output connector and you can also accidentially confuse the input with the output.

In version 1.2 and below connecting 6-24V to the output connector (interchanging the black and green connector) could result in a catastrophic failure of a whole stack. In version 1.3 the Step-Down Power Supply is now protected against this failure mode.

Because of production delays the Step-Down Power Supply was out of stock for ~3 weeks. All of the backorders are now shipped and everyone that was waiting for a Step-Down Power Supply to be delivered will already receive the new version 1.3!

3D Models of Bricks and Bricklets

Lately the inquiries for 3D models of Bricks and Bricklets became more frequent, so we started to create them.

The models are created with KiCAD, it already knows the position of all parts. Some 3D models of standard parts are already available in the KiCAD standard library. Others are available as a download from the manufacturer. We create the remaining models ourself with FreeCAD

You can download the models from the documentation sites of the Bricks/Bricklets under the "Ressources" section. The models are available as .step and also directly as . FCStd (FreeCAD file). Additionally we upload all of the models to the A360 portal from autodesk, where you can view them in them online in the browser. Examples:

There you can not only view the models but also do length measurments of parts etc.

We are currently creating the 3D models for all Bricks and Extensions. Additionally we will release a 3D model now directly with new product releases. Since we are updating all Bricka anyway (with the new co-processor Bricklets), we will get 3D models for all Bricklets too in the future!