SBS' Cricket ESP32 Packs Espressif's Popular SoC Into a Raspberry Pi Zero Form Factor

Designed to be pin- and footprint-compatible with the Raspberry Pi Zero, the board comes pre-flashed with MicroPython.

Michigan-based Single Board Solutions has launched its latest development board to be inspired by the Raspberry Pi Zero form factor: the Cricket ESP32, described as being "beta" status but available to order now.

"The Cricket ESP32 is the 3rd board in the Cricket series, it maintains pin compatibility with the Obsidian ESP32 while fitting into a Raspberry Pi Zero form factor," the company says. "This board came as a result of several requests and feedback that a Zero form factor was generally desirable to people interested in my larger form factor board."

"With the discovery of the antenna-less modules that became a feasible concept, and I wanted to try it out. The trade off of this board as opposed to the larger model is the need to supply an antenna to use the Wi-Fi, and the TRS connector and extra header for the unused I/Os on the expander are not available. Being compatible with a broad range of Pi and Pi Zero peripheral boards allows easy prototyping and deployment of ESP32 projects, and means if the project outgrows the ESP32, a Raspberry Pi or similar can be swapped into the project without a large mechanical tear-up."

The boards come pre-assembled bar the 40-pin GPIO header to the top and without an antenna for the radio in the ESP32 module. The microcontrollers themselves come flashed with MicroPython, though the company notes that the ESP32 Arduino core is also compatible with the board.

The Cricket ESP32 is now selling for $15 from Single Board Solutions' Tindie store, but comes with a warning: "The ESP32 contains cryptographic hardware, meaning I can not ship it to anyone outside of the United States without some paperwork that I haven't been able to complete," SBS' Thomas McKahan explains. "Feel free to contact me to let me gauge interest, and I'll investigate the requirements."

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