Cytron CM4 Maker Board Review: Versatility in PCB Form
Malaysia-based Cytron has a historical past of creating enjoyable Maker boards. from Builder HAT, Constructor Pi Picoand robotics targeted Maker Pi RP2040 We have reviewed it, it is clear that Cytron caters to the producer’s market. For the most recent put in, the $56 CM4 Maker Board, we see that the main target has shifted from the mainstream. Raspberry PI and Raspberry Pi Picofor Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4.
The CM4 Maker Board is a Swiss Military Knife, it gives all of the connections we have to join HATs, sensors and quick NVMe SSDs in a 110 x 110 mm bundle. However does this versatility come to the detriment of its performance? To know this and study extra in regards to the board, we put it on the brand new check bench and began testing.
CM4 Maker Card Options
|Energy level||Calculation Module 4|
|GPIO||Full 40 pin Raspberry Pi suitable GPIO|
|5 x Maker Ports (Grove connectors)|
|1 x Stemma QT (Qwiic / QW/ST suitable)|
|10 GPIO LEDs|
|3 x Push button inputs|
|Piezo bell (GPIO 19)|
|Headphone audio output (GPIO18 and 19)|
|actual time clock|
|ports||4 x USB 2|
|USB C (To flash eMMC with energy and OS)|
|1 x Digital camera (CSI) Connector|
|1 x Show (DSI) Connector|
|to retailer||Micro SD slot for CM4 Lite|
|M.2 NVMe for 2230 and 2242 drives|
|Energy||5V over USB-C|
|7-18V through DC jack|
|Constructed-in energy change and breakout for exterior energy button|
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As at all times with Cytron boards, we have been greeted with the distinctive purple PCB. The silkscreen is straightforward to learn and usefully reveals which GPIO pins many ports and LEDs are linked to. Even the M.2 socket has a useful reminder to not use SATA drives with it. The CM4 Maker Board format is extra like a typical PC motherboard than a single board pc.
All the principle ports (USB, Ethernet, Energy, and so on.) are positioned on one aspect of the board. It is good to have 4 USB 2 ports, however I’d like to see a USB 3 port as a result of now the one approach to get excessive velocity storage is to make use of the M.2 NVMe connection. On the alternative aspect are Maker Ports, Cytron’s title for the Grove and Stemma QT connectors.
I did not obtain any cables within the field, however fortunately I’ve an intensive assortment of each Grove and Stemma QT parts. Calculation Module 4 is positioned in the course of the board with display screen printing displaying the path. As with many different CM4 service playing cards, you may set up it in reverse. Make certain the holes are aligned earlier than urgent.
Just under the CM4 socket and to the proper of the CR2032 battery bay for real-time clock is house for an NVMe 2230 or 2242 SSD to be put in. I put in a 128GB Cytron Makerdisk after which put in Raspberry Pi OS on the eMMC of my Compute Module 4 check unit. Subsequent, I copied the set up to the NVMe drive utilizing Raspberry Pi OS’s SD Card Copier.
Unusually, booting from NVMe shouldn’t be as quick as eMMC. Coming round six seconds slower than eMMC, NVMe actually stands out when used for basic computing duties. It has a a lot larger sequential write velocity of 367 MBps in comparison with eMMC’s 70 MB/s. Lastly, I examined the 64GB Class 10 A1 SDXC card and it confirmed the slowest sequential write velocity at simply 29.5MB.
|Header Cell – Column 0||Boot Time (seconds)||Sequential Write Velocity|
|Micro SD||26.85||30214 KB/s|
Utilizing the Cytron CM4 Maker Board
I began the method of testing the GPIO with the OS put in on the NVMe drive. First I needed to regulate the LEDs linked to sure GPIO pins. These are helpful instruments for checking the standing of a GPIO pin and can be utilized to check whether or not a specific programming language’s GPIO library is working correctly with out the necessity for any wiring.
After taking part in with the LEDs I examined three buttons linked to GPIO17, 22, 27 utilizing GPIO Zero. I then determined to check my musical means with the built-in piezo buzzer. Primarily based on GPIO19, I used to be capable of “compose” a brief tune that I hope wouldn’t be picked up by any broadcaster.
Subsequent to the USB-C port are two extra buttons. These buttons are for securely closing the cardboard. Utilizing Cytron’s setup script I used to be capable of set the board to react when each buttons are pressed. It will set off a secure shutdown of Compute Module 4. Simply above it are two pins that do the identical perform of the button. These pins might be linked to a button on the surface of the case. If you wish to bury your Pi in an previous PC case, it will assist.
With the motherboard turned off, I connected a HAT, particularly Pimoroni’s Explorer HAT Professional, a HAT on our Finest Raspberry Pi HATs listing, in addition to a board I exploit to show programming. After enabling I2C and working a number of checks I can say that you shouldn’t have any points with GPIO. 5 splitters within the field, urgent the Explorer HAT Professional’s buttons would get it dangerously near the CM4’s SoC.
The Maker ports lined up alongside one aspect of the board are attention-grabbing. we will join right here Grove suitable parts to digital GPIO pins, PWM, UART and I2C. To simply check the Maker ports, I turned to Adafruit’s CircuitPython libraries as a result of they rapidly took care of connecting sensors and parts.
The primary element to be examined was the 128×64 OLED show utilizing the I2C protocol. After I discovered the library and wrote a check state of affairs, a random star subject began dancing on the display screen. Subsequent, Stemma QT. Truly this port is so small and hidden that I missed it initially. I put in an Adafruit MPU 6050 6 DOF accelerometer and gyro sensor, put in the library, after which wrote a number of traces of code to import the information into the Python REPL.
A fast check of the digital camera is the place I got here throughout my first “caught”. I actually ought to have read the manual. Compute Module 4 have to be configured to make use of a digital camera. After working the required state of affairs, I attempted once more and obtained an exceptionally clear shot whereas testing the digital camera. I used the most recent wide-angle Digital camera Module 3 with auto focus and every part labored tremendous from then on. I have never had an opportunity to check the show port as I can not discover my official show since I moved my workplace house.
What Tasks Is Cytron’s CM4 Maker Board Good For?
The Cytron CM4 Maker Board is sweet for all tasks, particularly these that may work with the Raspberry Pi Mannequin B. for a particular cause.
Cytron’s CM4 Maker Board is extra of a Swiss Military Knife than a scalpel. As an alternative of doing one factor completely, it does many issues properly. Having GPIO and Maker ports is nice, however we will obtain the identical performance with HATs on Raspberry Pi. The built-in NVMe slot is welcome and offers Raspberry Pi OS nice velocity.
Our preliminary thought for the CM4 Maker Board was to make use of it as the idea for an arcade cupboard construct. Aligned ports work like a motherboard in a PC case, offering entry to the ports whereas conserving every part organized. The NVMe driver gives quick entry to emulators and ROMs, and HAT compatibility permits the usage of Pimoroni’s Picade HAT for straightforward cabling. One other venture might be a sensor station that collects information from sensors linked to Maker ports and GPIO.
I beloved my time with this board. Aside from the digital camera concern that required me to learn the handbook, this card labored and did an ideal job. If you wish to use HATs with Compute Module 4, boot from NVMe or use Stemma QT / Grove parts this board is for you. Its adaptable nature fits many tasks; Ensure you have a venture in thoughts earlier than buying.
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