Obsidian ESP32

by Thomas McKahan

An ESP32 in a Raspberry Pi Form Factor

View all updates Jun 28, 2019

Status and Updates, and the Case

First off, I want to thank everyone who’s signed up for email updates and who have backed the project; I’m amazed at the amount of excitement (and, let’s be honest, anxiety) that can come with running a campaign like this. There’s been a lot to talk about this week, so I will start at the the most pressing (I think) for most users:

MickMake performed a great review of the board, even making it talk, but got stuck trying to work a SPI display. This was an unfortunate oversight on my part, I had originally built this project with the ESP32-WROOM, which has 2 more GPIO available than the WROVER. One of the pins to lose its direct-to-MCU connection happens to be the most commonly used pin for the data/command select line. Running this through the GPIO expander would most likely prove extremely difficult (modifying drivers for the display), and performance would not be very good. So, the seldom-used I2S Data_In line was moved to fill the data/command signal role.

Updated pinout; with the seldom-used I2S Data_In line moved to fill the data/command signal role.

While moving the I/O lines to accommodate the change, I made two more adjustments: Firstly, I’ve moved to an SOIC package for the GPIO expander, which made routing a lot simpler and cleaner, and more maker-friendly once I release the design files, and secondly I made some adjustments around the antenna to give it more clearance to the components and copper pours. I have not seen any performance issues, however I have also not stress tested it against weaker access points/noisier environments than you’d find in a typical neighborhood. This was a low-impact change, design wise, that will help improve wireless performance.

New PCB’s and IC’s are ordered for testing, the render is below. A couple components don’t have 3-d models, so they’re not shown:

As for the case, I have prepared an assembly/description post here: http://singleboardsolutions.com/2019/06/26/obsidian-esp32-case/

$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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