Interesting Expansion on ESP32/FABGL board

The photo above is of the four channel audio wave generator demo running on the little board. It’s a responsive UI with all the frills you’d expect of a true desktop GUI API. Behind that is an extensive VT100 text terminal display that is also well supported. The audio sound mixer and generator is superb, can do voice synthesis without using up much processor speed.

My impression is that this board is the dream hardware I have been waiting on to come along for VAULT-OS/CD-OS for about 25 years. It is almost a super DOS board with the majority of the necessary frameworks already written and tested. A 32 bit system running on FreeRTOS with features that DOS never had and require so much code to support that’s an ordeal in itself.

So far I have the HTTP web server running with websockets, modbus module (custom for ESP32), tiny SQL database, support for audible alarms (important) and two of my existing web pages from VAULT-SYS ported over. To date my compiled binary is only taking up about 184K, which leaves an awful lot to spare. Rather than try to put everything possible into this version I’d rather concentrate on the web application and maybe address one more critical, extremely useful function that is in VAULT-SYS and it would be good to have on a system this small. The barcoder runs on the browser pulling pages from this box, that’s another domain. It’s a big stretch goal but what I’d really like is to hardcode in an interface (HTML or in-built UI) to the Software Defined Radio. That would almost be the perfect server for a shelter at $15.00 a board.

Software defined radio that could theoretically be plugged into the USB jack on the board after it is used dual purpose for programming it. I am going to leave this to much later but it’s a feature that would truly make this system unbelievable when it is ready.

I got the ESP32 development environment installed under Lubuntu, seems to be working really well with the ExpressIF IDE.

I’ve got a drop-in mini Lua in a single include source code file but once you incorporate a scripting language into the device you’re taking the development in a direction you need to commit to. The great thing about that idea is that you could add a Lua editor in an HTML web page and allow the users themselves to participate in the functionality of the machine despite it’s tiny size. That’s kind of a cool idea but still thinking about it to make sure it is a good addition.

I have a transparent waterproof housing coming that should arrive today. I will get the board inside it and sealed up to keep dust off it and waterproof the connectors as well. It’s small enough to mount on the back of the VGA monitor which is a nice compact setup.

Here’s the superb little SQL compliant database, really astonishing piece of work under Apache 2 license. I thought nothing could ever beat SQLite on size and functionality but this things compiles into such tiny code it is hardly even there. I also detect real compatibility for porting to SQLite so later if you want to move databases created here into full fledged desktop app VAULT-SYS after building it in this board, I should make that feature #1 when VAULT-SYS comes out so the two can talk and sync.