Obsidian ESP32

by Thomas McKahan

An ESP32 in a Raspberry Pi Form Factor

View all updates Jul 26, 2019

Last Week!

Only 4 days left as I write this, and it makes it seem as though this all went too fast.

Two design revisions have taken place since I approached Crowd Supply with my project, the first was to improve the I2C speed capability to both the GPIO header and to the IO expander via the pull-up resistors, making them match the Raspberry pi, fixing a floating ground that had snuck by my testing because of a shared ground between my speakers and the board, and selecting a more appropriate set of pushbutton switches, and some more general adjustments. Those are the purple boards you see on the campaign page:

The second revision was a bit more striking, the movement of a GPIO pin to support SPI TFT displays was accompanied with some other more noticeable changes I described in a previous update, yielding the green boards:

Production will of course be black (gloss, not matte, this was a question posed on Twitter amid concerns of the cleanliness of matte black, something I’ve experienced firsthand)

My first dedicated peripheral has gone through a single prototype run, the FabGL Hat. It’s design is also on Github, although at this moment it is not recommended for use unless you’ve a real hacking spirit: https://github.com/singleboardsolutions/FabGL-Hat

I identified a couple of mistakes. FabGL uses every available native GPIO on Obsidian ESP32 to display 64-colors on the VGA screen with mouse and keyboard support, so I accidentally trampled over one of the boot mode pins. I’ve soldered a solution to the prototype hat and will update the design once I can verify full capability.

Thank you again to everyone who’s expressed interest, backed the project, provided feedback, and made this a great experience so far!

If you have already backed the campaign and still want to help, please share Obsidian ESP32 with someone you think would be interested!

$2,790 raised

of $1,300 goal

214% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices


Obsidian ESP32 Without Module

Obsidian board without the ESP32 module so you can build the board out to fit your needs.


Obsidian ESP32 With WROVER Module

One Obsidian ESP32 board


Obsidian ESP32 with Case

One Obsidian ESP32 board plus a custom 3D printed carbon fiber reinforced nylon case


Thomas McKahan

Thomas is a long-time software and hardware tinkerer, beginning with Apple BASIC and 555 timers and working up to embedded Linux and system design. Having started out during a time where hardware was more difficult to obtain, the current open-source community is a breath of fresh air.

Thomas McKahan



PCBA Manufacturer

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