M5Stack is a source of beautiful ESP32 development boards that are great for learning, prototyping and more. Their Core series pack serious features and rich I/O into a compact and modular package. I’m still working on a closer look at their Core 2, but you can read more about the Core Fire kit here. Today, they released M5Stack TOUGH – a board bade for outdoors. Made for the toughest of projects.
M5Stack TOUGH is though
Weatherproofing DIY projects can be a nightmare, especially if your custom design requires the user’s input. Makers often refrain from lunch boxes and other sealed containers to protect their electronics from environmental factors. M5Stack wants to put an end to this. M5Stack TOUGH is an ESP32 based platform with a familiar footprint of Core devices. It brings the best features of the Core 2 board delivers a toughened and weather-resistant device ready for project deployment.
Makers will have access to a capacitive touchscreen to interface within bad weather conditions and the water resilient body with heavy-duty mounts. Cables are routed through industrial-grade glands and the entire M5Stack TOUGH looks like it could survive a lot of abuse.
Despite the bullet-proofing, M5Stack TOUGH is still available at a reasonable $49.00 which may seem like a lot, until you read the feature list of the Core 2 series:
- Flash: 16MB
- PSRAM: 8MB
- 2″ 320*240 LCD display – 853nit
- TypeC x 1, GROVE x4
- UV resistant enclosure design protection
- Speakers 1W
- RTC clock chip
- PMU AXP192
- microSD card reader
- RS485 DC Input (12V @ 1A)
- RS485/I2C/GPIO/UART interface
- GPIO header
Thanks to 4 GROVE connectors, you can take advantage of the library of countless modules and extensions, which are plug and play. This way you can develop quickly and test your ideas in harsh environmental conditions while RS485 supports make the board compatible with many industrial IoT standards.
As usual with M5Stack products, you can program M5Stack TOUGH completely wirelessly with visual programming in UIFlow or take the more traditional approach with ArduinoIDE and other ESP32 compatible IDEs.
Wireless programming and configuration will be especially helpful in the field where device installation can make the process of updating or making changes more difficult.
I’ll cover M5Stack Core 2 (review) soon, and in the meantime, I will ask M5Stack for M5Stack TOUGH to have a closer look at. With RS485 support it could be a platform that my work be interested in. Do you have any outdoor projects that could benefit from LCD display and touch interface? Let me know in this Reddit thread.