board::mini Is the Ultimate Vehicle Hardware Hacking Platform

Upcoming open source hardware supporting CAN, USB-C, WiFi, BLE, GPS, and more.

James Lewis
2 months agoVehicles

Connecting to a vehicle's CAN bus can open up a world of hacking possibilities. The team at bmc::labs noticed that existing tools had a generic feel to them. Starting from scratch, they are introducing board::mini, an open source hardware platform covering most (if not all!) vehicle hardware hacking needs.

"We believe that it is time for development boards to hand over the baton to product ready boards." — bmc::labs

The board::mini platform consists of a base with expansion boards. On the base board, you can find an STM32F microcontroller with a CAN transceiver, a microSD card slot, support for up to 24 volt supply, an atmospheric sensor, and a USB-C port. For connection to the expansion boards, there are industrial-grade board-to-board connectors.

For the upcoming launch, there are three expansions available. They are called the mini::grid, mini::out, and mini::pit. The mini::grid contains a SIM 868 module for cellular communication and GPS positioning. The mini::out board provides access to all of the microcontroller pins and the CAN bus. It appears useful for development, especially with its JTAG connector footprint. For WiFi and BLE, the mini::pit adds an ESP32 module along with an additional CAN transceiver.

All four of these boards have an Open Source Hardware Association certification UID. Backing up the OSHWA cert, bmc::lab's Github repo has design files for all of the boards mentioned above.

For sales, bmc::labs plans to launch a Crowd Supply campaign soon. You can sign-up for notification on the board::mini preview page to know when they are available for pre-order. There you can also find more details on the individual boards, including the specific ICs used.

James Lewis
Fan of making things that blink, fly, or beep. Host on element14 Presents,, AddOhms, and KN6FGY.
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