Geekbox

So what is it?

This project was born out of some sort of necessity, deep in me somewhere. I tried to get Project Omega (a configurable card-based electronics platform) off the ground, but the current open source compatible FPGAs were proving just too minimal to be sufficiently useful and I shelved the project until the situation improved.

Anyway, so the geekbox is sort-of a watered-down electronics development platform, made luggable.

I had a bunch of parts kicking around, and a nice waterproof ABS carry case and thought “How much electronics could I wedge in there?”

Geekbox was born – a sort of luggable development platform based around the Raspberry Pi, containing power supplies, both fixed and programmable, digital and analog IO as well as mains power control. The specification is roughly laid out below and will be clarified as the build progresses.

Requirements Spec

Power Supplies

  • Bulk 48V to supply the DPS5005 modules
  • 5V (ethernet switch, Wireless AP)
  • 12V (display)
  • 2 x Programmable (DPS5005)

Control

  • Raspberry Pi 4
  • Built-in Display
  • External HDMI for secondary display
  • BlackIce FPGA w/STM32

Connectivity

  • Digital GPIO via FPGA
  • Analog input via BlackIce STM32
  • Digital GPIO via Raspberry PI
  • Low-speed Analog input (16 channels) via DAQ module
  • 2x K-type thermocouple amplifier
  • SSR 240Vac output
  • 4x Relay 240Vac

Wish List

  • 10 MHz ref in / out
  • RS232 D-type connection
  • SMA analog inputs
  • USB front-panel sockets
  • Bulk storage SSD

Networking

  • 5-port gigabit switch, 3 ports external
  • Wireless Access Point


Current Issues

  • DAQ data connection (Raspi or BlackIce?)
  • Digital GPIO level shifting?
  • Mains connection ports
  • Power supply thermal design and general cooling
  • Source Internal USB hub

Power Supplies

All the internal modules, networking gear, even the display are running from either a 5V or 12V supply. With adequate filtering, a single pair of mains power supplies will be adequate for everything.

A pair of DPS5005 modules, flashed with OpenDPS firmware written by Johan Kanflo can be fed from a single bulk 48V supply. A couple of USB-to-UART modules will allow remote control from the system host.