ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows: Manufacturing Progress

After our crowdfunding campaign concluded successfully, we immediately started the manufacturing phase without delay. Thankfully, we had the foresight to ensure we had all the necessary components in stock ahead of time. Just recently, we happily received the first batch of ANAVI Arrows and Macro Pad 12 printed circuit boards, which are adorned with surface mount components on both sides.

ANAVI Arrows and ANAVI Macro Pad 12

We are already in the process of locally producing our second batch, and we expect it to be ready by the end of September. These printed circuit boards are meticulously gold-plated to guarantee the highest quality.

XIAO module with Raspberry Pi RP2040 assembled on the mini mechanical keyboard ANAVI Arrows

Additionally, the acrylic enclosures were laser cutted in August. Our next steps include programming CircuitPython and the KMK firmware, testing, and packaging all keyboards.

Once again,thank you for your support of ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows. Stay tuned for more exciting updates in the coming weeks!

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Understanding I2C: Exploring OLED Displays and Peripherals on Futuristic Mechanical Keyboards

I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) is a popular serial communication protocol that allows multiple integrated circuits to communicate with each other over a short distance, typically limited to a few meters. Each device on the bus has a unique address, identifying it and allowing it to communicate individually. The protocol was developed by Philips (now NXP Semiconductors) in the 1980s. Over the years it has become a standard for communication between various electronic components in embedded devices. I2C can be used to connect various peripherals, such as sensors, displays and EEPROMs. The mini OLED yellw-blue displays on our compact mechanical keyboards ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows are connected to the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontrollers over I2C.

ANAVI Arrows and ANAVI Macro Pad 12 are open source mechanical keyboards with mini OLED I2C displays

I2C is easy to use becase it requires only two wires for communication:

  • SDA (Serial Data) for transmitting and receiving data between devices
  • SCL (Serial Clock) for a clock signal to synchronizes the data transfer between the devices

The core component of our hot-swappable mechanical keyboards ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows is Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040 module. This is actually a tiny development board suitable for surface-mount technology (SMT) assembly and equipped with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 32-bit dual-core ARM Cortex M0+ MCU, 264 KB SRAM, 2 MB Flash memory, 11 GPIO pins and USB-C connector. The I2C interface is located on pins D4 (for SDA) and D5 (for SCL) of XIAO RP2040.

Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040 module on ANAVI Macro Pad 12 mechanical keyboard

A yellow-blue mini OLED I2C display is included in all kits with ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows. It has 4 pins: GND (ground), VCC (supply voltage), SCL, and SDA. This display relies on SSD1306, a single-chip CMOS OLED/PLED driver with controller for organic / polymer light emitting diode dot-matrix graphic display system which consists of 128 segments and 64 commons. It is the same display we include in our other mechanical keyboards like the ANAVI Macro Pad 10 and ANAVI Macro Pad 8, Internet of Things devices like the ANAVI Thermometer and ANAVI Gas Detector, tools like ANAVI Fume Extractor, and Raspberry Pi add-on boards like ANAVI Info uHAT. This versatile mini OLED display is a great fit for many projects, You can pick one up at Mouser if you need a spare.

Mini yellow-blue 0.96″ OLED display attached to ANAVI Macro Pad 12 with QMK firmware for mechanical keyboards

There is a dedicated slot for the display on the printed circuit board. Just plug the mini OLED display into it and then connect the mechanical keyboard to a computer. In every kit with ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows, you will find four additional male-to-female jumper wires included, providing you with an exciting opportunity to get creative with your project. If you decide to design your own 3D printed case for the keyboard, these jumper wires may become handy. They grant you the flexibility to reposition the mini OLED display to a location of your choice within the case.

ANAVI Macro Pad 12 is compatible the two most popular open source firmwares for mechanical keyboards: KMK and QMK. KMK is written in CircuitPython and QMK in the C programming language. Both support OLED displays over I2C.

Out of the box ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows come with the KMK firmware. It uses the extension Peg Oled Display based on the open source CircuitPython libraries Adafruit_CircuitPython_DisplayIO_SSD1306 and Adafruit_CircuitPython_Display_Text. This extension allows your keyboard to display images or text and even to react to the currently selected keyboard layer.

ANAVI Macro Pad 12 with a breadboard and additional I2C peripherals

Makers with advanced skills have a fantastic opportunity to extend the capabilities of the keyboard project by adding more I2C peripherals. Using a breadboard and without any soldering, makers can easily connect additional I2C peripherals, such as sensors or other modules that communicate via I2C, to the existing setup. This allows them to expand the project’s functionalities and explore various creative ideas. Those seeking a more permanent and tailored extension can even design their own custom I2C add-on printed circuit board. The mini OLED displays included in the kits work out of the box, but it is important to be aware that incorporating any other I2C devices into the keyboard will require adjusting the KMK firmware to support the additions.

Support our crowdfunding campaign and get the open source mechanical keyboards ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows with a mini OLED display for real-time notifications and customizable graphics at your fingertips. Learn how to use I2C and unleash your creativity by extending the keyboard with additional peripherals!

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KMK: Harnessing the Potential of Open Source and CircuitPython to Energize Mechanical Keyboards

Within the realm of computer keyboards, a remarkable open-source firmware called KMK has surfaced, captivating enthusiasts from all corners. KMK possesses a potent capability to revolutionize mechanical keyboards into personalized instruments, enabling users to venture into uncharted territories of customization and productivity.

KMK Open Source Mechanical Keyboard Firmware Written in CircuitPython

CircuitPython is an open-source programming language that runs on microcontrollers used in various embedded applications, including mechanical keyboards like ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows from our crowdfunding campaign at Crowd Supply. Built upon the foundations of Python, CircuitPython is specifically crafted to cater to the requirements of resource-limited embedded devices housing microcontrollers. One of the standout merits of CircuitPython lies in its user-friendly nature and effortless adaptability, particularly beneficial for newcomers who may not possess extensive coding expertise.

ANAVI Arrows and ANAVI Macro Pad 12 with the open source firmware KMK written in CircuitPython

The source code of KMK is readily available on GitHub, released under the GPLv3 license. The inception of KMK can be traced back to 2018. Notably, the KMK source code follows a coding style that employs the Python code formatter, known as Black, and embraces the usage of single quotes.

KMK firmware runs on Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontoller which is in the core of Seeed Studio XIAO RP2040 module

The hardware requirements for microcontrollers to run KMK are: a minimum of 256KB of flash storage, support HID over USB and/or Bluetooth, CircuitPython version 7.0 or newer. With its impressive hardware capabilities, the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller is a perfect fit for CircuitPython and KMK. Because of this we selected Seeed Studio’s XIAO module with RP2040 for ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows.

KMK offers many key features:

  • Key Mapping: Customize key assignments to suit individual preferences
  • Macros: Create and assign macros for automating tasks or executing commands
  • Layers: Define multiple virtual layers for accessing different functions or modes
  • LED Control: Customize backlighting and LED behavior
  • Rotary Encoder: Rotary encoders for various functions like volume control or scrolling.
  • Mini OLED Display: Compatibility with mini OLED displays, allowing users to display custom information or visuals on their keyboards
Back-light and under-light effects with KMK firmware on the mechanical keyboards ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrows

KMK supports many mechanical keyboards, including ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrrows. Although you are free to change to another firmware at any time, both ANAVI Macro Pad 12 and ANAVI Arrrows out of the box will come with KMK pre-installed.

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ANAVI Macro Pad 10 & Knobs are Funded!

The launch of our crowdfunding campaign was a blast! ANAVI Macro Pad 10, ANAVI Knobs 3, and ANAVI Knob 1 were all fully funded and all stretch goals were met in the first week. Thanks to all backers and Crowd Supply for bringing life to these three entirely open source projects!

As part of the covered stretch goals, each kit will include stickers from ANAVI Technology and KiCad, the free and open source CAD software used for designing the printed circuit boards of the keyboards. Furthermore, ANAVI Macro Pad 10 kits will include 32 super-cool emoji stickers. You can stick them on the top or sides of the translucent keycaps. Last but not least, we’ll be publishing various video tutorials to ensure getting started is easy.

One more thing… Recently, our mini mechanical keyboards were featured in an article by CNX Software. This is a very popular website with news and tutorials about embedded systems, makers, and open source hardware. It was started in 2010 by Jean-Luc Aufranc. By the way it is worth keep an eye on CNX Software because there are always news about interesting gadgets!

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ANAVI Macro Pad 10 and Knobs Coming Soon

With Crowd Supply we are preparing a new crowdfunding campaign for 3 open source hardware mechanical keyboards: ANAVI Macro Pad 10, ANAVI Knobs 3 and ANAVI Knob 1.

ANAVI Macro Pad 10, ANAVI Knobs 3 and ANAVI Knob 1

There are many common things between these 3 mini mechanical keyboards:

  • Seeed XIAO RP2040 – a power module with USB-C and Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU from Seeed Studio
  • Rotary encoders
  • KMK – an open source firmware for mechanical keyboards written in CircuitPython
  • Open source hardware designed with the free and open source software KiCad

Subscribe at our pre-launch page at Crowd Supply to be the first to know when we launch the crowdfunding campaign!

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Exploring I2C buses on ANAVI Info uHAT

I2C stands for Inter-Integrated Circuit, pronounced eye-squared-C, and alternatively known as IIC. It is a synchronous, multi-controller/multi-target (controller/target), packet switched, single-ended, serial communication bus. This protocol is suitable for devices wired at short distances, no more than 2-3m. We use I2C in pretty much all our open source products: Internet of Things, mechanical keyboards and Raspberry Pi HATs.

Anavi Info uHAT
I2C sensor modules attached to ANAVI Info uHAT

I2C was originally developed in 1982 by Philips. While that makes it 40 years old, it is still a very convenient and widely used bus. There are many I2C sensors and peripherals. It is in pretty much every smartphone, embedded electronics, microcontroller, personal computer and of course Raspberry Pi.

ANAVI Info uHAT with 4 slots for I2C sensors and mini OLED dsiplay

Actually, since the introduction of the famous 40-pin header in 2014, Raspberry Pi single board computers have not one but two I2C buses! We use them both on ANAVI Info uHAT and our other HATs. Th first I2C bus is on pins 3 and 5. On the ANAVI Info uHAT, it is used for the three I2C slots for sensors and the 4th dedicated slot for the mini OLED display.

The I2C bus on ANAVI Info uHAT in KiCad’s Schematic Layout Editor.

The second I2C bus is on pins 27 and 28 of the Raspberry Pi and is reserved exclusively for attaching an ID EEPROM. The ID EEPROM contains a software description of the hardware so the operating system on your Raspberry Pi can automatically identify the add-on board.

The EEPROM on ANAVI Info uHAT attached on the 2nd I2C bus

The I2C bus consists of two signals: SDA (Serial Data) is a data signal, SCL (Serial Clock) is a clock signal. I2C modules also need power, so the dedicated I2C connectors on the ANAVI Info uHAT and our other open source hardware provide two additional pins for VCC and GND. Typically, the VCC for the I2C connectors on our add-on boards for Raspberry Pi are 3.3V.

The I2C bus drivers are “open drain”, which means they can only pull the corresponding signal line at low level. They cannot drive it high. To restore the signal to high when no device is asserting it low, a pull-up resistor has to be added to each signal line. For example, on the ANAVI Info uHAT, we have 4.7K pull-up resistors R4 and R5 connected to SDA and SCL.

Resistor selection varies depending on the devices attached to the bus. In some specific use cases, further adjustment of the resistance value might be required. For systems with lots of devices or longer wires, smaller resistors are better.

How to Enable I2C on Raspberry Pi OS

Raspberry Pi OS, previously known as Raspbian, is the default and recommended Linux distribution for all models and versions of the Raspberry Pi single board computer. By default, I2C is not enabled. There are several ways to enable it, but probably the easiest is using the command-line tool raspi-config to perform few basic commands:

  • Open a terminal or login remotely via SSH to your Raspberry Pi and type in the following command: sudo raspi-config
  • Select Interfacing Options > I2C and enable it
  • Reboot the board

More details are available in the user’s manual for the ANAVI Info uHAT.

I2C Addresses

Each I2C device must have a unique address. The I2C reference design has a 7-bit address space, although rarely it might be used with a 10-bit extension. The 7-bit addresses range from 0 to 127 (0 to 0x7F hexadecimal). This is a limitation because it is not possible to have two I2C devices with the same address on the same I2C bus. For example, the I2C address on the mini OLED display included in all ANAVI Info uHAT kits is 0x3C. From the software side, this address is used in the example Python 3 script to access the display.

Python3 script controlling the mini OLED display over I2C on ANAVI Info uHAT

For Linux distributions, including Raspberry Pi OS, there is a package with a heterogeneous set of I2C tools called i2c-tools. To install it on Raspberry Pi OS, open a terminal and execute: sudo apt install -y i2c-tools. Once you have it installed, you can list attached I2C devices by their addresses with i2cdetect. For example, if the HTU21 temperature and humidity sensor module is attached to the Raspberry Pi, the output will be:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo i2cdetect -y 1
     0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  a  b  c  d  e  f
00:                         -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
10: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
20: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
30: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
40: 40 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
50: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
60: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
70: -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

I2C Sensors and Peripherals

I2C Sensors and Peripherals

ANAVI Info uHAT officially supports the following I2C devices:

  • Mini OLED SSD1306 0.96″ display
  • HTU21D sensor for temperature and humidity
  • BH1750 sensor for light
  • BMP180 sensor for barometric pressure

Some of the other popular I2C sensor modules in maker community include:

  • APDS-9960 sensor for RGB color and gesture detection
  • BME680 for temperature, humidity, pressure and gas sensor
  • MCP9808 for temperature
  • MPL115A2 for barometric pressure
  • ADT7410 for temperature
  • MPU-6050 for triple axis acccelerometer and gyroscope

Which is your favorite I2C device? Join the discussion and let us know on Twitter!

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ANAVI Info uHAT is a Certified Open Source Hardware

ANAVI Info uHAT has now officially been certified as open source hardware by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). OSHWA, a non-profit entity registered in the US, organizes the annual Open Hardware Summit and also maintains the Certified Projects Directory.

ANAVI Info uHAT with mini OLED I2C Display

OSHWA runs the certification program ensures that the definition of “open source hardware” used by a specific project matches the community’s definition of open source hardware. They provide a unique indentification (UID) for each version of the certified hardware based on the country code and a serial number. For example, the UID for ANAVI Info uHAT is BG000081. The prefix BG is the country code for Bulgaria, because the Info uHAT is made in my hometown of Plovdiv. The serial numbers show that now there are 81 open source hardware devices from Bulgaria.

OSHWA certified ANAVI Info uHAT with UID BG000081

As a fully open source project, we also use only free and open source software has been used to design the printed circuit board, the stickers, the source code examples, and to write the documentation.

ANAVI Info uHAT printed circuit board in KiCad

The crowdfunding campaign at Crowd Supply is still going on and we hope more people will jump in and order ANAVI Info uHAT.

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Building an Air Quality Monitor with ANAVI Infrared pHAT and MH-Z19

Takuya Matsuyama, a developer from Japan making a Markdown note-taking app called Inkdrop, published a wonderful tutorial how to build an air quality monitor using Raspberry Pi Zero W, ANAVI Infrared pHAT and MH-Z19B NDIR infrared gas module.

How to build an air quality monitor using Raspberry Pi Zero W + ANAVI Infrared pHAT

MH-Z19B is an intelligent infrared CO2 module which interacts with the Raspberry Pi using UART (universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter). Takuya uses the UART port on ANAVI Infrared pHAT to attach MH-Z19B. The rest of the sensor modules for his setup are included in ANAVI Infrared pHAT Advanced kit: HTU21D for temperature and humidity, BMP180 for barometric pressure and BH1750 for light.

By the way, initially we had published open source examples for using HTU21D, BMP180 and BH1750 in the C programming languages using the library wiringpi. Takuya also based his setup on wiringpi. However, wiringpi is now deprecated therefore we have replaced it with another library called libi2c-dev. Furthermore we added examples written in Python 3.

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ANAVI Gardening uHAT Manufacturing Progress

We have good news regarding ANAVI Gardening uHAT! All boards have been received almost fully assembled from the local factory and we have sourced all required peripherals.

Recently, we received the last batch of assembled printed circuit boards from the local factory. As you can see on the photo, only the EEPROM is missing. We will flash and solder it in-house.

The winter is coming… Grab a ANAVI Gardening uHAT for your Raspberry Pi

We have also received additional peripherals, which will be included in ANAVI Gardening uHAT Starter, Advanced, and Developer kits. On the photo you can see the big packages with analog capacitive soil moisture sensor. Each kit will contain a couple of capacitive soil moisture sensors.

Capacitive Soil Moisture Sensor v1.2

The recyclable cardboard boxes for our eco-friendly packaging have also already been delivered. Another local company here in Plovdiv, Bulgaria will print all stickers for us. We expect them next week.

Our crowdfunding campaign recently ended very successfully but you can still order our open source Gardening uHAT for your Raspberry Pi and be among the very first owners!

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ANAVI Gardening uHAT

ANAVI Gardening uHAT is a low-cost, open source Raspberry Pi add-on board that helps you develop smart solutions for monitoring and growing plants.

ANAVI Gardening uHAT supports multiple sensors for soil moisture, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and light. Getting started is easy: just plug it into a Raspberry Pi with your bare hands and follow the instructions in the user manual. No soldering is necessary, and no tools are required.

We hope you’ll jump in and help us bring this entirely open source gardening project to life by supporting our new crowdfunding campaign at Crowd Supply.

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