ANN: Freerunner Navigation Board v2 is finally available

Al Johnson openmoko at
Mon Sep 13 13:35:54 CEST 2010

Looks good. It'll be a month or so before I can order one.

On Sunday 12 September 2010, Christoph Mair wrote:
> Dear list,
> after lots of hard work I'm happy to announce that the Freerunner
> Navigation Board v2 is finally available! The team from
> [1] kindly offered to handle orders and shipping.
> The second version of the Navigation Board includes some features which go
> well beyond of what is needed for navigational purposes. The board comes in
> two assembly variants "standard" and "complete". See below for a feature
> description/comparison. The most recent documentation as well as possible
> use cases and bug descriptions can always be found on the wiki page [2].
> Features supported by any board:
> * 3D magnetometer
>     The magnetometer measures magnetic forces on three axes. With some
>     math it can be used as a compass. Alternatively, use it to measure the
>     magnetic fields generated by trains while accelerating
>     (e.g. underground lines).
> * 3D gyroscope
>     A gyroscope measures angular velocity. It can determine how fast you
>     spin your Freerunner around its three axes. Usable to support the
>     integrated accelerometers for inertial navigation (navigation without
> GPS) or to create a wireless game controller (like the wii).
> * Barometric pressure sensor
>     The change in ambient air pressure is a good indicator for changing
>     weather conditions. If the weather is relatively stable and the
> barometric pressure changes, it usually indicates that the height above
> sea level changed. If this value is known the absolute height can be
> calculated without using the GPS.
> * Four channel LED controller
>     This LED controller can dim and make blink up to four LEDs (e.g. RGBA).
> It works autonomously, even if the main CPU is suspended. This may for
> instance be used to indicate unread messages. Large blinking intervals and
> duty cycles enable short flashes to save battery power. Alternatively one
> could connect a high brightness LED and  use the Freerunner as a dimmable
> torch.
> * Seven channel touch controller
>     The chip could actually control twelve channels, but due to space
>     restrictions only seven are available on the FRNBv2. They can be used
> to add touch buttons to your Freerunner or act as proximity detector.
> E.g.: disable the screen lock if you pick up the phone. (*) Four channels
> can also drive LEDs, if you don't need them for something else.
> Additional features of the "complete" boards:
> * 12-Bit analog to digital converter
>     This chip is very similar to the one used on the Freerunner Navigation
>     Board v1 to digitize the output of the gyroscopes. The FRNBv2 does not
>     use it for own purposes, it's completely under users' control. A
> possible use cases would be an ambient light sensor. Or use it to measure
> the current consumption of the FRNBv2 ;-)
> * Programmable oscillator
>     Do you need to generate a rectangular signal with programmable
> frequency between 1kHz and 68MHz? Then this chip is made for you. What can
> you use it for? I thought about a 38kHz oscillator which can be enabled
> and disabled using a GPIO pin. This could be used as generic infrared
> remote control.
> If you really need these two last features, order a "complete" board or add
> the chips yourself to any "standard" board. They come in leaded packages
> and are hand solderable if you have some soldering experience.
> (*) This feature was not tested yet due to a missing kernel driver. I'm not
> sure if it will work as expected.
> (**) The programmable oscillator does not work due to a strange bug. See
> the wiki [2] for details.
> Have fun!
> Christoph
> [1]
> [2]
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