Obsidian ESP32 Bridges Platforms

What happens when you combine two popular platforms: the Raspberry Pi and the ESP32? The result is Obsidian ESP32.

James Lewis
3 years ago

What happens when you combine two popular platforms: the Raspberry Pi and the ESP32? The result is Thomas McKahan’s Obsidian ESP32. At the core of this open source hardware is the Espressif ESP32. It breaks out the ESP32’s I/O pins into a Raspberry Pi-compatible GPIO header and maintains physical compatibility with the Pi. These design choices mean you can insert the Obsidian ESP32 into a case designed for the Pi. Even though the mounting holes are physically compatible with the Pi A+ form factor, McKahan also offers a custom 3D-printed enclosure made out of carbon fiber reinforced nylon.

The Obsidian PCB GPIO header closely follows the Pi’s pinout. Based on the side-by-side pinout diagrams, it appears that the Obsidian ESP32 has a second SPI port. This compatibility means you have access to 3.3V (or 5V) compatible GPIO along with I2C, UART, and I2S. Pins 27 and 28 appear to support the Pi’s I2c address pins, which is a nice touch. The main benefit here is that you can use HATs designed for a Pi with the ESP32. That means you can combine real-time access with the low-power consumption of the ESP32.

The Obsidian ESP32 is currently on Crowd Supply for $35 with an estimated ship date of November if funding is successful. The funding period for this project ends on July 30, 2019. One note, the price includes U.S. shipping with an additional $10 charge for international addresses. The custom 3D enclosure is available for an additional $25.

McKahan licensed the board with CERN OHL v1.2, which means we should expect the documentation after finalizing the project. For more information, check out the Obsidian ESP32 campaign page.

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