All posts tagged witty pi

New Product: Witty Pi 4 Mini

After we announced Witty Pi 4, there is no surprise that Witty Pi 4 Mini is also on its way. Today is the day, and we now announce our new product Witty Pi 4 Mini.

Witty Pi 4 Mini has same shape factor as Witty Pi 3 Mini, and the connector locations are not changed. This make Witty Pi 4 Mini and Witty Pi 3 Mini physically exchangeable.

What’s New?

Comparing to Witty Pi 3 Mini, Witty Pi 4 Mini uses USB type-C connector instead of micro USB connector, and it has another unpopulated 7-pin header in the middle of the board.

Comparing to the full-sized Witty Pi 4, Witty Pi 4 Mini uses super capacitor instead of CR2032 battery for off-power time keeping. Witty Pi 4 Mini doesn’t come with an on-board DC/DC converter.

Similar to the full-sized Witty Pi 4, Witty Pi 4 Mini also uses the “single I2C device” design. Instead of exposing the realtime clock and temperature sensor directly to Raspberry Pi, it uses micro-controller (MCU) to emulate one I2C device (with address 0x08), and only exposes this I2C device to Raspberry Pi. On the other hand, it implement its internal I2C bus to communicate with the realtime clock and temperature sensor.

 

Witty Pi 4 Mini’s firmware is basically the same with the one in Witty Pi 4 Mini, except that it has a different firmware ID. Just like Witty Pi 4, Witty Pi 4 Mini’s firmware also maps all I2C registers in realtime clock and temperature sensor into its own I2C device, and you can access all I2C registers in realtime clock and temperature sensor via single I2C device.

Since the address of the single I2C device is configurable, you can always avoid the I2C address conflicting.

Same as full-sized Witty Pi 4, Witty Pi 4 Mini can also turn your Raspberry Pi into a temperature controlled device. You can put it into sleep when temperature is rather high, or the other way around.

Migrate from Witty Pi 3 Mini to Witty Pi 4 Mini

If you are using Witty Pi 3 Mini in your project, you may want to know more details about the the difference between Witty Pi 3 Mini and Witty Pi 4 Mini.  In the user manual, you can find a chapter (chapter 13) about how to migrate from Witty Pi 3 Mini to Witty Pi 4 Mini.

How about Witty Pi 3 Mini?

Witty Pi 3 Mini is discontinued. We unfortunately do not offer the possibility to continue producing Witty Pi 3 Mini, due to the shortage of DS3231SN chip.

We will do our best to help our customers to migrate from Witty Pi 3 Mini to Witty Pi 4 Mini.

Price and Where to Buy?

Witty Pi 4 Mini ’s retail price is 18.00 EUR (about 15.32GBP  /  18.42USD  /  23.74CAD), and you can order it here.

You may be able to order them from our distributors soon.

 

New Product: Witty Pi 4

Today we are very proud to announce our new product: Witty Pi 4!

This is the 4th generation of Witty Pi. Comparing with Witty Pi 3, it has same shape factor and same connector locations, and have some interesting new features.

Witty Pi 4

What’s New?

Witty Pi 4 uses a new structure to organise its hardware resources. Instead of exposing the realtime clock and temperature sensor directly to Raspberry Pi, it uses micro-controller (MCU) to emulate one I2C device (with address 0x08), and only exposes this I2C device to Raspberry Pi. On the other hand, it implement its internal I2C bus and connect the realtime clock and temperature sensor to that internal I2C bus.

Witty Pi’s firmware also maps all I2C registers in realtime clock and temperature sensor into its own I2C device, so you can access all I2C registers in realtime clock and temperature sensor via single I2C device.

Because the address of this single I2C device is also configurable, you can always avoid the I2C address conflicting.

A new feature of Witty Pi 4 is to turn your Raspberry Pi into a temperature controlled device. You can put it into sleep when temperature is rather high, or the other way around.

In Witty Pi 3, you cannot specify the “seconds” in scheduled shutdown time, and that was due to the limitation from the realtime clock hardware. In Witty Pi 4, the alarms for startup and shutdown are implemented by the firmware, and hence you can specify the “seconds” in both scheduled times.

There are other differences between Witty Pi 3 and 4, and you can find a chapter about how to migrate from Witty Pi 3 to Witty Pi 4 in the user manual (chapter 13).

How about Witty Pi 3?

Witty Pi 3 is discontinued. We understand it is not good for ongoing projects who use Witty Pi 3, and we wanted to continue producing Witty Pi 3 for a while. Unfortunately due to the shortage of DS3231SN chip, we can not do so and have to discontinue Witty Pi 3.

We will do our best to help our customers to migrate from Witty Pi 3 to Witty Pi 4.

Price and Where to Buy?

Witty Pi 4’s retail price is 25.00 EUR (about 21.48GBP / 29.80USD / 36.77CAD), and you can order it here.

You may be able to order them from our distributors soon.

New Revision of Witty Pi 3!

Today we are proud to announce Witty Pi 3 Rev2: a new revision of Witty Pi 3. This new revision changes the 5V input connecter from micro USB to USB type C, and replaces the onboard linear regulator (LM29150) with switching DC/DC converter (MP4462). These changes give Witty Pi 3 much better ability to output higher current, and also practically widen the range of input voltage.

What’s New?

The appearance of Witty Pi 3 Rev2 is very similar to the first revision (please see the picture below). The locations of headers and switch remain the same, that means the new revision and old revision are physically interchangeable (except that you need to use type C plug instead of micro USB plug, if you want to give it 5V).

To type C connector and the new DC/DC converter is at up-right corner of the board. The table below compares the two revisions with detailed parameters.

Because the first revision uses linear regulator (LM29150), its efficiency drops very quick when the input voltage increase. That means using it on 12V or 24V system is not practical: even if the regulator can work with extra heat sink, the efficiency will be so poor and that ruins the advantage of using Witty Pi, which is saving energy in most cases. Now the new revision comes with a decent switching DC/DC converter, which can work up to DC 28V without adding extra heat sink, and still keeps the efficiency above 80%, that is indeed a comprehensive improvement.

Firmware and Software Update

Witty Pi 3 Rev2 comes with newer version of firmware (V1.03, with ID=0x23). This firmware allows setting the power cut delay to a bigger value (up to 25.0 seconds). The purpose for this update is to workaround the boot delay caused by USB boot or NOOBS. More details can be found in its user manual.
The software is also updated to V3.12, to allow users to actually set a longer power cut delay. Also the we made some improvements on Internet time synchronisation, to avoid writing incorrect time into system, when the network is not stable.
UUGear Web Interface (UWI) is also updated to V1.01, to support the new revision of Witty Pi 3. When you install the new software, it will install the latest UWI for you (given you don’t have “uwi” folder in your home directory).
Please notice the firmware and software update are not dedicated for Witty Pi 3 Rev2. Witty Pi 3 (Rev1) and Witty Pi 3 Mini can also use the new firmware and software. However you will need to upgrade the firmware by yourself.

Price and Where to Buy?

Witty Pi 3 Rev2’s retail price is 570 CZK (about 22.01EUR  /  19.30GBP  /  26.40USD).
You can order it from our e-shop or you may be able to order it from our resellers soon.

Witty Pi 3 Mini: the New Witty Pi Mini is Here!

Witty Pi 3 Mini is the “Mini” version of Witty Pi 3, and it is also the direct descendant of Witty Pi Mini. Witty Pi 3 Mini has almost the same design with Witty Pi 3, but it is smaller (pHAT shape) and it doesn’t populate the LDO voltage regulator (LM29150).  Users who want to directly connect Witty Pi 3 Mini to higher voltage can solder the LDO on the back of board, or connect an external DC/DC converter to it.

Like the old version of Witty Pi Mini, Witty Pi 3 Mini uses a 0.08F super capacitor for off-power time keeping, and the RTC (DS3231) will remember the time for about 17 hours without external power supply connected.
Witty Pi 3 Mini can be mounted on Raspberry Pi Zero (W) and still keep the whole device small and thin.

Witty Pi 3 Mini can also be mounted on full-sized Raspberry Pi, with the help of stacking header (not included in the package).

Price and Where to Buy?

Witty Pi 3 Mini’s retail price is 400 CZK (about 15.89EUR / 13.60GBP / 17.68USD).
You can order it from our e-shop or you may be able to order it from our resellers soon.

We Now Have Witty Pi 3!

Today we proudly announce our new product: Witty Pi 3, which is the direct descendant of Witty Pi 2, and has more exciting features.

Also, Witty Pi 3 supports the newly released Raspberry Pi 4!

 
 

What’s New?

Witty Pi 3 finally has its own brain: a micro controller (ATtiny841). Thanks to this micro controller, Witty Pi 3 behave much smarter and can detect and process much more complex situation. The firmware for ATtiny84 is developed with Arduino IDE, and is open-source (will be available on GitHub soon). If you don’t mind losing warranty, it is possible to modify Witty Pi 3’s firmware and change its behavior as you wish.

Witty Pi 3 also added an LDO voltage regulator (LM29150) on board, which allows you to power Witty Pi with higher voltage. Now you can directly use 6V or 7.4V battery to power Witty Pi 3 + Raspberry Pi. The 5V micro USB connector is still there, and you can power Witty Pi 3 directly with 5v too.

Besides all those that can be done with Witty Pi 2,  Witty Pi 3 also monitor the input voltage and output current. You can tell Witty Pi 3 to gracefully shutdown your Raspberry Pi when input voltage is lower than certain value; you can also let Witty Pi 3 to wake up your Raspberry Pi when input voltage increase to certain value. All these setting can be done via I2C interface, and Witty Pi 3’s software already takes care of the hard work. You can make a lot of configurations via the software. The software installation is as simple as before, just run two commands:

Price and Where to Buy?

Witty Pi 3’s retail price is 530 CZK (about 20.82EUR  /  18.66GBP  /  23.57USD).
You can buy it directly from our e-shop or you may be able to buy it from our resellers soon.

Can I still get Witty Pi 2?

Yes, but it will be less convenient. Witty Pi 2 is now officially retired and will only be produced on request. We suggest all new customers to choose Witty Pi 3, which has more features and can do anything that Witty Pi 2 can do. I your product is using Witty Pi 2 already, and you don’t want to switch to Witty Pi 3, you can request us to produce some Witty Pi 2 boards for your project.

New Product! Witty Pi Mini is a new member of Witty Pi family

Today we are very proud to announce our new product – Witty Pi Mini.

What is Witty Pi Mini?

It is a new member of Witty Pi family and it has pHAT shape. Comparing to its older brother Witty Pi 2, Witty Pi Mini is much smaller (65 x 30 x 4mm) and has (almost) all the functionalities.
01

What’s New?

It uses a 0.08F (equals to 80,000uF) super capacitor for off-power time keeping, and can keep the RTC time without external power supply for about 17 hours. It is true that Witty Pi 2 with CR2032 battery can keep time for much, much longer, but considering the use case of Witty Pi, that may not be necessary as Witty Pi is suppose to be connected to power supply all the time (otherwise it won’t wake up your Raspberry Pi). Sometimes you may want to move your Witty Pi to another room, or make some special wiring before powering Witty Pi again, 17 hours off-power time keeping should be enough. If you really need a much longer off-power time keeping time, you can make use of the “Vbat” testing pad on the back and connect your own battery for much longer time keeping. You can find more details on page 31 in the user manual.
Different than Witty Pi 2, Witty Pi Mini doesn’t have those colourful jumpers. However the functionalities of those jumpers still exist, but you will use them in a different way. The red and blue jumpers are replaced with two SPDT switches, and the yellow and green jumpers are replaced with zero-Ohm resistor. You can still change the pin used by Witty Pi Mini, but you will need to unsolder the R26 or R27, and wire the pad to the new pin accordingly.
Witty Pi Mini has a red LED on board as power indicator, which will light up when your Raspberry Pi gets powered. This is very handy when you use Witty Pi Mini with Raspberry Pi Zero (W), which doesn’t have power indicator on board. Raspberry Pi Zero (W) should have the 40-pin GPIO header (not included in the package) soldered before connecting to Witty Pi Mini. The plastic screws, nuts and spacers in the package can firmly fix them together.
02
 
 
Although Witty Pi Mini has pHAT shape, it can also be used on other models of Raspberry Pi. In order to get reliable connection and also have access to the GPIO pins, you may need to mount the stacking GPIO header (not included in the package).
03

What’s Not New?

Witty Pi Mini uses the same software with Witty Pi 2, and the process to install the software is the same.  Also Witty Pi Mini uses the same schedule script so you can our web application to generate the schedule script for it:
WP_Webapp

Want to Know More?

You may find more details in the user manual of Witty Pi Mini.
WPMUserManu

Where to Buy?

Now you can buy Witty Pi Mini from our online shop, or from The Pi Hut.

New Revision of Witty Pi 2

Witty Pi 2 is a HAT-shaped add-on for Raspberry Pi that adds accurate realtime clock (DS3231SN) and power management, which allows you to define complex ON/OFF sequence of your Raspberry Pi with simple script. Witty Pi 2 is one of our flagship product and is becoming more and more popular recently. Today we announce the second revision of Witty Pi 2, which only has slight difference on the look and introduces a small enhancement, yet significantly simplifies our assembly process.
The figure below shows the different look of reversion 1 and reversion 2:
rev1_vs_rev2
Until recent days, both Witty Pi and Witty Pi 2 use a rather complex assembly process. The 40-pin stackable header needs to be soldered manually on the board first, and then a plastic pin holder will be pressed on the board, to make the board look nicer.
40_pin_header_assembly
Soldering the 40-pin stackable header is a huge workload, and we could hardly bear it, as the demand of Witty Pi 2 goes higher. So we take the idea from the Sense HAT, and use a surface-mounted female header to assembly the stackable header.

smd_header

Witty Pi 2 (reversion 2)


 
This SMD female header is customised, and has only 2mm plastic height (the one on Sense HAT has 3.5mm plastic height). This slim header can make sure the stackable header be hold firmly, and still has enough length of pin exposed on top. This female header increases the BOM cost, but it saves us a lot of time on soldering the stackable header.
Although the stackable header is fixed in place, you can still take it away if you wish. By doing so your Witty Pi 2 becomes a very slim board and more suitable for portable project. For example, you can connect it with Raspberry Pi Zero:
with_rpi_zero
In reversion 2, we also made a small enhancement on the design, and prolong the delay time (for 2~4 seconds) before Witty Pi 2 cuts the power. The purpose of this enhancement is to avoid “hard shutdown” unintentionally. This change doesn’t make Witty Pi 2 more NOOBS friendly, since the delay on NOOBS menu is way longer. You will still need to avoid using NOOBS, or disable the NOOBS menu to make Witty Pi 2 work. More details about this issue can be found on page 5 of Witty Pi 2 user manual.
The second revision of Witty Pi 2 is now in stock, and the pricing is the same with the first revision.

Witty Pi 2: the New Witty Pi

2

Witty Pi has been in the market for more than a year, and it got public praise at the first place. By integrating realtime clock and power management into one board, it allows defining complex ON/OFF sequence with simple script, which is very welcome by users. Today we go a step further, and announce the new generation of Witty Pi: the Witty Pi 2.

What’s New?

First let’s compare the appearance of Witty Pi and Witty Pi 2:

Witty Pi

Witty Pi

Witty Pi 2

Witty Pi 2

Both boards have exactly the same size. The two pictures are with slightly different scale, that’s why Witty Pi 2 looks bigger. As you can see, both boards are quite similar. The switch and micro USB connector are not moved in Witty Pi 2, so the acrylic case will still fit.
The obvious differences are the jumpers, there are 4 colorful jumpers now. The newly added blue jumper is to enable/disable the pulsing dummy load on board. If you are using power bank to power your Witty Pi 2 + Raspberry Pi, you may need this pulsing dummy load to keep your power bank alive without drawing too much current.
Also you can see a new 6-pin female header on the top-right corner. This header breaks out some important signals (+5V, LED, RTC_INT, Vbat and Switch) on the board, which makes integration with other boards become easier. You can also use this header to connect an external switch (physical or electronic) to control your Witty Pi 2. Driving an external LED is also an easy work now.
You may also notice the chips are different. In Witty Pi 2, we use much better chips (DS3231SN, AO4616L and SA555), which have much wider operating temperature range. This means your Witty Pi 2 can work outside under much tougher environment. More importantly, the new DS3231SN chip is very accurate (annual error < 5PPM), and it has temperature sensor inside! With the new software you can read the temperature around your Raspberry Pi 🙂
chips
There are some improvements that could not be found in the picture too. Witty Pi 2 doesn’t use the TXD pin any more, hence using serial port for (huge) data transaction will not have any problem in Witty Pi 2. Also the famous “dead lock” problem, which is caused by ungracefully power off, is now solved at hardware level. Without the possibility of “dead lock”, Witty Pi 2 has much better reliability than the old Witty Pi.
Also the battery life has been extended a lot, thanks to the low power consumption of the new DS3231SN chip, which only draws about 3uA current from the battery, when no power supply is connected.
It is quite safe to replace Witty Pi with the newer Witty Pi 2, since Witty Pi 2 has the same interface with Witty Pi,  and Witty Pi 2 can even work on Witty Pi’s software (but not the reverse).

How Much?

Comparing to the old Witty Pi, the material cost of Witty Pi 2 has been significantly raised, mainly due to the high price of DS3231SN chip. As a result, we have to raise Witty Pi 2’s price to 480 CZK per unit (about 17.76 EUR, or 14.88 GBP, or 19.68 USD).

When Can I buy One?

We open the pre-order channel for Witty Pi 2 today, and you can pre-order it in our online shop. We will start the shipping of Witty Pi 2 on about 20th July, 2016.

Pre-order Witty Pi 2

How About the Old Witty Pi?

The old Witty Pi is now officially retired. We will not manufacture the old Witty Pi any more, unless our customer request to make a customized batch.
 


 
Update on 2016.07.20:
Witty Pi 2 is officially in stock now.
 

Witty Pi has Case Now

Today we announce the acrylic case for Witty Pi + Raspberry Pi, and there are two colors available (clear and dark brown).
dual
If you need both Witty Pi and the case, you can order the “Witty Pi + Case” kit for better price. See kit with clear case and kit with dark brown case.
Here is the assembly guide: http://www.uugear.com/portfolio/assembly-guide-acrylic-case-for-witty-pi-raspberry-pi/
We hope you like them 🙂

Witty Pi is in Stock Now

We announced our new product “Witty Pi” about a month ago, and sent out a few samples to some friends that are interested in writing a review. Such as Michael Horne from recantha.co.uk and dbv from forum-raspberrypi.de. The feedback are quite good: all reviewers like the features and think the pricing is reasonable. According to the reviews, the only point that needs to be improved is the software, which is in 1.00 version and has very basic functionality. We will of course improve the software and add more new features, such as setting a repeatable startup/shutdown schedule, a GUI for better interaction or even a web interface for remote settings etc.
We opened the reservation process for Witty Pi since two weeks ago. Until the moment I write this post, there are already 276 units of Witty Pi get ordered. We appreciate the customers who trust us and back-ordered Witty Pi, and we work very hard to accelerate the stocking. Finally, we made it today 🙂  We are happy to announce that Witty Pi is in stock now, and more batches are being produced and are coming soon!
We will ship out the first batch of Witty Pi tomorrow. Below is a picture of the package content:

wittypi_package

If you have not ordered yet, you can order it now 🙂