Ali Slim's All-in-One Isolated USB Bus Adapter Heads to Crowd Supply with a Two-Board Giveaway

Adapter board includes isolated USB, UART, CAN, RS485, RS232 connectivity, plus a handy switchable power supply.

Gareth Halfacree
4 years agoDebugging

UPDATE (12/6/2020): Ali Slim has officially launched his Swiss Army knife of interface modules, Ollie. Now on Crowd Supply for $56, the unit comes with a custom protective enclosure — making it the "perfect tool for hackers and field engineers; a compact device to keep in your tool box whether you’re traveling, hacking your car, or just need quick access to power supply without worrying about damaging your laptop."

The original article continues below.

Australian engineer Ali Slim is preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign for an isolated, multi-function interface module designed to offer USB to UART, CAN, RS485, and RS232. Better still, he's giving two boards away ahead of general release.

"This versatile device combines our most commonly used interface modules into one safe, reliable, compact, and affordable package," Slim explains of the board.

"Need quick access to safe power? Ollie’s isolated power output requires that you to set a voltage level before plugging in the host USB, which prevents accidental changes in voltage. Finally, all interfaces are ESD protected."

The compact board includes two isolated UART ports with data rates up to 12Mb/s and 1.8/3.3/5V operation levels, isolated CAN bus connectivity based on the CANable/CANtact open hardware platform and switchable between CANtact and Candlelight firmwares, and an isolated power supply offering 1.8/3.3/5V output with current limits, reverse voltage protection, reverse current protection, and reverse polarity protection.

If that weren't enough, Ollie also includes isolated downstream USB at 1.5Mb/s or 12Mb/s, isolated RS485 with bias and termination resistor switches and error-free transmission up to 500kb/s, and isolated RS232 with a claimed typical data rate of 235kb/s. All ports include ESD protection, and the board comes bundled with a DB9 pluggable connector for CAN, RS232, and RS485 use.

Firmware for the Ollie has already been published on GitHub, with hardware files to follow under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License. Meanwhile, to be notified when the crowdfunding campaign goes live, sign up on Crowd Supply — and in doing so, send Slim a message to be entered into a draw for one of two free sample boards in exchange for providing user feedback.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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