On the subject of the 5V regulator and the Omnima Board, we (Marco) had an interesting development:
Omnima said - unofficially - that the board could be powered with up to 15V DC.
While this is true, the Power Supply to the USB devices is unregulated and Omnima forgot (or didn't realise) this.
Therefore we've plugged a Bioloid SMPS (12V) tot he Omnima and it did turn on. The only "minor" issue was the Webcam that was completely burnt.
The Omnima board offers great value for money - especially when running the latest OpenWRT - but we have the feeling Omnima didn't design the board themselves: they either bought the design or are sourcing it ready made.
Some key points about the Omnima that may not be obvious:
Running the latest OpenWRT Kernel (patched according tot he instructions here http://www.omnima.co.uk/forums/index.ph ... post&p=641 ) the board offers great features:
-- command line linux/shell (a familiar environment for many of us) which makes it easy to design your own custom solution.
-- most of the popular packages ara available via opkg including ssh server, proftpd, python, mjped streamer, UVC drivers (webcam support), FTDI and Prolific drivers, etc.
-- a web interface (Luci
) is included where you can easily and quickly configure exactly how you want the Ethernet and WiFi port to behave (ie if the WiFi should be client OR host, setup all wireless settings including security, etc,)
also offers a Graphical Interface to opkg letting you search and install packages from the Graphical interface as well as access to a number of other configurations.
(Luci is to Embedded Linux what Cpanel is for Webservers: it eases a LOT of the pain and grief involved in setting up and managing the day to day tasks)
-- There is a native serial port at TTL level (3.3V) which can be detached from the console although it will still occasionally receive messages from the Kernel for some reason.
The port can be reused to connect directly to many external devices (such as Arduino, or in the case of Robobuilder the BT socket to gain access to the Serial protocol of the RBC controller).
The latest batch of boards we've received from Omnima (now in stock and ready to be ordered) already comes pre loaded with this OpenWRT Firmware (the was compiled by us
and is the one we're using on the Linuxified Wild Thumper and also being used in the development for Robobuilder)
On the downside (for this price there have to be a downsides
) the board (or OpenWRT) seems to have an issue when combining a USB hub with a USB to Serial Adapter. The FTID (and Prolific) drivers seem to hog the USB bus completely and bandwidth to other devices is significantly reduced.
For example if you're using a Webcam, when you insert the USb2Serial device, the frame rate drops from 30fps to 4fps for no apparent reason (no data is flowing at all).
Marco should keep you updated as we progress