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Finally publishing my first instructable. I have always wanted to contribute to DIY community especially the maker and OSHW DIY community because it has given me so much, but i wanted my contribution to be special and unique.

The way i chose to contribute to this huge wonderful community was by teaming up with a buddy of mine and building a unique Open Source Hardware development platform for makers and hardware hackers who can build stuffs quickly without worrying about the complexities that comes around with starting one. As you read on, you will see what i actually mean, and how this new developing & prototyping board solves all those genuine problems.

There is a new set of boards in town to join the list of Open Source Hardware development platform. The Winkel Boards are a powerful One Stop Arduino Compatible Development and Prototyping Boards with ATmega128 at the Core.

It is suitable for makers who work on electronic projects which involve a lot of I/O operations and involves using different communication protocols to fulfill different tasks. Winkel Board is also for engineers and hardware hackers who are looking to build and prototype products of tomorrow, but have to spend time looking for the right components to use and then spend more time figuring out how they can be interfaced together as it requires basic knowledge of various chips and their libraries to get started.

Winkel Board helps you achieve all of the above, so that you don't have to spend time on looking for components and studying their libraries and you can quickly accelerate building and prototyping.

Winkel board has almost everything On Board, that a maker would need to kick-start the prototyping of an idea. Be it any product or project, one would primarily need a powerful set of I/O pins to get started with and would need some a simple IDE to embed a code on it. Secondary things would involve using some sort of WiFi controller if the project has something to do with connecting to the internet or providing an adhoc access point, or one may require radio controllers if the project has something to do with creating a mesh or building a robot or a drone. The list of chips and components keeps increasing as the product becomes more complex.

The Winkel boards have everything onboard for a maker to get started with building different prototypes and products of tomorrow. It has a Powerful Controller at it’s core, accompanied by on board WiFi controller, Radio module, Bluetooth, Real Time Clock, Accelerometer + Gyroscope and more in a form factor of just 5cm x 5cm


Why we built The Winkel Boards

Exhaustive //TODO for a maker while building something awesome
  1. Prepare a list of right electronics components
  2. Prepare BOM
  3. Search them locally or online to fit the BOM
  4. Wait for the components to arrive if sourced online
  5. Getting started with prototyping
  6. Go online again studying libraries and figuring out how they can be interfaced on breadboard or etch a PCB
  7. Enter crucial stage
build_prototype();
if(prototype == fail){
check if(any_component == damaged)
{
if(frustrated || want_to_quit){
exit;
}else{
goto step 3;
}
}
build_prototype();
}

Ain't nobody got time fo' dat !!!

Story behind building The Winkel Board

There is a story behind making this board a reality. We were building an IoT product and wanted to experiment with different communication protocols, like radio, wifi, bluetooth and found ourselves in a mess while doing so. Well ofcourse we had an Arduino Board to get started with but had to buy and experiment with different shields everytime and that costed us a lot of time and money. Being from India, such sheilds were really costly to source from outside + it really affected the speed of prototyping. We talked to a lot of makers and electronic hobbyists and found that this was a common problem within the maker community and not just in India but all over the world. Some suggested RPi 3 can be an answer for many projetcs but not every project needs an O.S. And not every project can be housed with an Arduino with all its sheilds, and some projects just require to use many communication protocols at once and need to perform a lot of calculations and I/O operations. To do all these powerfull things with just one small board and to keep it simple and arduino IDE compatible was the idea behind Winkel Board.

There are several other open hardware platforms like an arduino, raspberry pi or say some other controller based boards, but all of them fail to provide a single stop solution.

  • For example there are times when you would require your Arduino to connect to the internet, but you have to buy an extra ethernet sheild or interface a WiFi chip to it in order to do so.
  • You may sometimes want to have accurate times on your controller to fulfil certain tasks at particular intervals, but have to interface an RTC with your controller or read time from the internet for which you will have go to the first point.
  • Or maybe you want to create a mesh network using radio nodes but have a hard time figuring out how to get started with NRF24l01 or buy a radio shield for that reason.
  • You may also find a need to use Bluetooth in your projects, or you want to build a drone but you do not have a starting point on how to interface and use MPU6065 with a micro controller.

Winkel Board provides all you makers with a one stop platform to do everything at once or choose specific on-board components to work with. You can basically use everything at once or specifically choose which on-board components you want to use in your project.

With all said, if you would like to own one of these, head over to this link where we will soon be launching a crowdfunding campaign. You can sign up immediately and wait until final launch to actually get your early access.

If you do not wish to support our crowdfunding campaign, you will still get access to the board designs and BOM that we have used and build your own Winkel Board, because as the crowdfunding campaign progresses we will be uploading them on Github for public access.

Over the next few weeks, you will see more instructables about how you can use winkel board to build awesome stuffs and succeed at your next electronic project. :)

Step 1: How to Configure Winkel Board on Arduino IDE

There are 2 methods in which you can configure Winkel Board for Arduino IDE so that it shows up under Boards section of the IDE.

Boards Manager Installation

This installation method requires Arduino IDE version 1.6.4 or greater.

  • Open Arduino IDE
  • Open the File > Preferences menu item.
  • Enter the following URL in Additional Boards Manager URLs:
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mboxtech/WinkelC...

  • Open the Tools > Board > Boards Manager... menu item.
  • Scroll down until you see the WinkelCore entry and click on it.
  • Note: If you are using Arduino IDE 1.6.6 then you may need to close Boards Manager and then reopen it before the WinkelCore entry will appear.
  • Click Install.
  • After installation is complete close the Boards Manager window.
  • Go to Tools > Board > and you should see Winkel Board

Manual Installation

Click on the "Download ZIP" button in the upper right corner. Exctract the ZIP file, and move the extracted folder to the location "~/Documents/Arduino/hardware"(on linux or MAC this path maybe different). Create the "hardware" folder if it doesn't exist. Open Arduino IDE, and a new category in the boards menu called "WinkelCore" will show up.

Step 2: LED Blink Example - the Hello World of Any Electronic Project

After you have successfully configured winkel board for the Arduino IDE, it now time to test the board to see everything is working fine. In this example we will be performing a basic onboard LED blink test to see if we can easily program through IDE. The winkel board comes pre-programmed with basic Arduino Blink example so you quickly power it on and ensure that the board is working fine.

  • Power on the winkel board using a 5v 1A power supply.
  • As soon as you power on the board, the on-board green LED should continuously turn on for 1 second and and then turn off.
  • This will ensure that Board is working correctly without any issues.

Congratulations, you have configured your Winkel Board for Arduino IDE and have ensured that everything is working fine. You didn't have to perform any wiring at all.

What's next?

The purpose of this instructable was just to introduce you to this new open hardware platform and get started with configuring it for Arduino IDE.

In next intructables, i will show you an amazing feature (OTA Programming) of this board which is the ability to Wirelessly Program the on-board micro-controller using the on-board HC-05 bluetooth module. Programming with wires without USB. Isn't that cool? Stay Tuned.

<p>Thank you for sharing this great new combination of systems and constructing a new, easy to use all-in-one board. I think this will be a great help to me, for instance, and also many others when it's out and about. It's going to make IoT much easier, and hopefully cheaper (?) and more compact. I've a reasonable sized collection of different shields and bits and bobs which could (and will, in the long run) be put together, and you've done it all on one board. Congrats !</p>
<p>Wireless Sensor Network using the winkel board</p><p>https://www.instructables.com/id/Wireless-Senor-Network-Using-the-Winkel-Board</p>
<p>Thanks for sharing :)</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am a Software Engineer with a keen interest and passion in electronics, open source hardware and software.
More by RishiH:Wireless Senor Network Using the Winkel Board The Winkel Board 
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