A new board came in today: SeeedStudio’s LinkIt ONE!

2 minute read

A few days ago, Seeed Studio posted a contest in which 10 pieces of their newest board, the LinkIt ONE, would have been given away to makers who had a good idea on how to use them for an hobby project.

You can find more info about the board here, it’s basically a 32-bit MCU development board which has lots of connectivity options built-in (GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Audio, SD card) and is compatibile with the Arduino IDE. It is based on the MT2502A microcontroller.

I immediately applied for the contest and a few days later they replied saying they liked my idea and they were kind enough to send me a LinkIt ONE.

I received the board today (fast shipping with FedEx!) and it’s very neat.

This is how the whole package looks like. The board is definitely well-made and feels solid.

Center: LinkIt ONE board. Left: Wi-Fi/BT, GSM and GPS antennas. Right: 1000mAh battery (included) and 2 Grove modules I needed (not included). SD and SIM slots on the back.

The info sheet is included in the package: By quickly looking at it, the only complaint I have is the limited number of PWM outputs (2, might be solved with software PWM libraries) and analog inputs (3, can be increased using a demultiplexer) compared to Arduino.

However, the price (79$) is unbeatable considering all its connection options: separate Arduino shields would definitely have a much higher cost. Moreover, the MCU is a lot beefier than your average Atmega. Keep in mind that this board runs at 3.3V.

Here are a couple of shots of the LinkIt alone:

Front view.
Back view.

Software setup was fairly quick and simple: Mediatek provides an SDK plug-in for the Arduino IDE. Sadly, it is not yet compatible with Mac OS or Linux so I had to set up a virtual machine on my Ubuntu desktop.

Yay, it blinks! As you can see, the Arduino IDE stays the same but a “LinkIt ONE” option is added. You can't see it but it has 10MB of on-board memory for sketches!

API and reference material for this board is available here.

My idea is to build an internet-controlled light system, which I already prototyped on Arduino and RaspberryPi. It consists of different clients/light spots which can be connected to LED strips, or 3/10W RGB leds.

I am developing a webUI (hosted on rPi) where you can control colors and modes (fade, random, strobe, maybe sound-reactive) but I also intend to build a “controller box” with an LCD and some pots which can connect to and interface with the different clients.

I have yet to decide if the LinkIt will be one of the clients or the controller, but I will post at least weekly updates here about how my project is going (next in the mail is an LCD display with I2C interface for the controller) and my impressions on this new board .

Stay tuned!