Obsidian ESP32

by Thomas McKahan

An ESP32 in a Raspberry Pi Form Factor

$1,755 raised

of $1,300 goal

135% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices

$35

Obsidian ESP32

One Obsidian ESP32 board


$60

Obsidian ESP32 with Case

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

Details

Recent Updates


As Featured In

Geeky Gadgets

"The Obsidian ESP32 offer[s] a footprint compatible with Raspberry Pi cases and can be used with ready-made Raspberry Pi peripherals as well as supporting Arduino IDE, Espressif IDF, or MicroPython"

MickMake

"It should be fairly simple just to port a lot of the code over to this ESP32-based board."

industriaembebidahoy

"Guardando compatibilidad de forma y conectores con la Raspberry Pi, esta placa ESP32 puede utilizar los periféricos pensados y desarrollados para la popular plataforma de placas de desarrollo, presentando ventajas frente a esta."

Hackster News

"The main benefit here is that you can use HATs designed for a Pi with the ESP32. That means you can combine real-time access with the low-power consumption of the ESP32."

An ESP32-based Board in Raspberry Pi Form Factor

Obsidian ESP32 is an Espressif ESP32-based board in the familiar form factor of popular single board computers like Raspberry Pi. This allows you to use a wide variety of ready-made Raspberry Pi peripherals (or other peripherals) with the Arduino IDE, Espressif IDF, or MicroPython. The Raspberry Pi form factor also allows you to use cases and accessories that are already on the market. And you can do it all with low power consumption.

Latest Obsidian prototype.

Compatible with Espressif Arduino and MicroPython

Leveraging the strong open source software community around the ESP32, Obsidian ESP32 is compatible with the published Espressif Arduino core and MicroPython, as well as the Espressif IDF.

Low-power, Real-time Alternative

Obsidian ESP32 consumes significantly lower power than typical Linux single-board computers because it uses a microcontroller running either user code on bare hardware or via a real-time operating system. This allows for a longer battery life and reduced operating energy footprint overall. It shares the form-factor with the popular Raspberry Pi and countless other single board computers, so the end-user can rest easy knowing their project has the flexibility to be easily ported to or from a Linux SBC as the need arises.

Open Source Board Designed with Open Source Tools

The Obsidian ESP32 was proudly designed in KiCad and its design files will be released under the CERN OHL v1.2.

Features

  • Footprint-compatible with Raspberry Pi cases
  • 40-pin GPIO compatible with popular expansion boards
    • 3.3 V signalling
    • I²S for audio DAC
    • I²C and SPI
    • Serial UART available on header or via microUSB
    • I²C GPIO expander with interrupts
  • ESP32-WROVER-B
    • 802.11 b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 4.2 / BLE
    • 16 MB flash
    • 8 MB PSRAM
  • Power Availability
    • Both 3.3 and 5 V on GPIO
    • MicroUSB connector
    • Additional 5 V input through 2 x 2.54 mm spaced holes on the board
  • I²C GPIO Expander
    • Allows full communication through the 40-pin GPIO header
    • Up to 1.7 MHz I²C communication
    • An interrupt for each of two banks of IO
    • Address is selectable via solder jumpers
  • Software Compatibility
    • ESP32 Arduino Core
    • MicroPython
    • ESP32 IDF
  • Hardware buttons for reset and a selectable boot option in parallel with USB controlled signals

Board Layout

A. Dual 3.3 V regulators for ESP32 and GPIO
B. ESP32-WROVER-B - 16 MB Flash
C. MicroUSB for power and programming
D. Analog inputs connecting to the ESP32’s SENSOR_VP and SENSOR_VN pins
E. TRS jack connected to ESP32 DACs
F. Remaining GPIO from I²C GPIO expander
G. Boot option and reset buttons
H. Address selection for I²C GPIO expander on “ID” line
G. 40-pin GPIO

40-Pin GPIO Connector

The high-speed GPIO interfaces (I²C, SPI, UART, I²S) are all directly controlled by the associated ESP32 peripherals. The remaining GPIO that could not be filled by the ESP32 directly are controlled through an I²C IO expander.

Pinout

Stylish 3D-printed Case

Custom-made for Obsidian ESP32, the cases are constructed of a carbon-fiber reinforced nylon by a small company north of Detroit. The board fits snugly inside, while openings allow access to the GPIO. The case will come wth four screws and adhesive rubber bumper feet.

Comparisons

Obsidian ESP32 ESP-WROVER-KIT Generic ESP32 Dev Board Arduino Uno Wi-Fi Rev 2
Module ESP32-WROVER-B ESP32-WROVER-B ESP32 module ATMEGA4809
RAM 64 MBit PSRAM 64 MBit PSRAM Depends on board 6144 Bytes
Flash 16 MB up to 16 MB up to 16 MB 48 KB
Form Factor RPi A Unique Dual In-line Package Arduino Uno
Available expansion boards Many (RPi compatible) Few Non-standard modules Arduino shields
Case Available Yes (RPi and 3D-printed) No No Yes (assorted)
Screen Available via HAT Included, fixed to board No provision Available shield
Audio On-board TRS and I²S HAT No provision No Provision No Provision
Power Consumption Low Low Low Low
Open Source Full HW + SW SW + Schematic SW + Schematic Full HW + SW
Price $35 $40 $4 to $20 $45

More Resources

The Obsidian ESP32 is designed to be a bridge between the microcontroller and single board computer worlds. Using MicroPython and the Arduino IDE allows for a lot of pre-existing projects to be easily ported to this specific board with minimal effort.

Obsidian ESP32 render.

Manufacturing and Delivery

The Obsidian ESP32 will be manufactured by PCBWay and shipped to Michigan. There, they will be individually electrically tested and loaded with MicroPython before being distributed to backers by Crowd Supply. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s shipping process in the Crowd Supply Guide. Be sure to keep your shipping address updated in your Crowd Supply account.

Risks and Challenges

As with any venture, some risks are involved. The design is very stable at this point, so the risks are primarily in sourcing and logistics. The quality yield from PCBWay for this board is not entirely known (for example: how many PPM will have damage to soft plastic components like the TRS jack after running through the reflow oven, any cold joints/shorts on the fine pitch components, etc.) If the rate is too high, there would be a delay in delivery if a second batch needed to be ordered. A second risk is any shortage of components or delays in shipping/customs/etc. Delays will be communicated clearly and promptly with backers through updates to the project.


Credits

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

Creator


PCBWay

PCBA Manufacturer

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