The Framework laptop will no doubt already have caught the eye of more than one Hackaday reader, as a machine designed for upgrade and expansion by its users. One of its key features is a system of expansion modules. The modules are USB-C devices in a form factor that slides into the expansion bays on the Framework Laptop. Framework encourages the development of new modules, which is something [Spacehuhn] has taken on with an ESP32-S3 development board.
The board itself is what you’d expect, the ESP is joined by a multicolor LED and one of those Stemma/Quiik connectors for expansion. The case is handily provided by Framework themselves, and all the files for the ESP32 module can be found in a GitHub repository. We’re guessing it will find application in experimenting with WiFi networks rather than as a standalone microcontroller. Either way, it shows the route for any Framework owners into making their own add-ons. Take a look, we’ve placed the video below the break.
As you might expect we’ve given a lot of coverage to the Framework laptop since its launch, in particular, our colleague [Arya Voronova] is a fan and has shown us many alternative uses for the parts.
An edge use case of a niche product on the fringe of the laptop market: This will interest at least 11111111 people in the word.
Ah and those buttons. Seems like an easy problem for a solution that does not exist. Maybe one can simulate action onthose buttons by connecting to the WLAN of the adapter with the WLAN of the laptop ?
More modules, more fun ☺️.
Truly hope other device makers will add a few of these slots aswell.
I really like framework, and would probably get one if they where available in Sweden.
But I’m also a bit upset with them, the expansion system is great, but you only get 4 ports in total??
It would be plenty if there was like a display port and two usb built in in addition, or if they had dual usb A/usb c modules… But they don’t.
So you better bring a usb c hub, and an assortment of modules.
My current laptop is not a silver bullet but with 2xusbA, 2xusb C, Ethernet, display out and power in, it’s arguably more than what the framework offer, with any configuration of modules.
The new version has six ports.
the usb ports can become a display port by the way ;^)
or you could likely use a usb splitter chip to turn the one usb c port into two! i’m surprised there isnt a module for that yet, those modules are definitely wide enough to fit two usb c ports side by side.
I think we need an ESP32 module *as* a laptop!
… the hackaday comment system strikes again. As a side note if you click “reply”, then cancel reply, on a sub comment the comment still shows as a reply even if you then leave it on the main article.
The port count on a framework seems pretty par for the course if not better than on any similarly thin and light style construction. You obviously can get a bit more in some other similar formats machines, and lots more in some of those giant ‘desktop grade’ type ones… But most modern machines seem to be thinking “2 USB-C total – that’ll do” – the expectation is dongle hell… So at least the framework lets you just take an exchangeable module for whatever port you need right now, which is much smaller and slicker than a heap of docks/hubs/dongles and cables that are inevitably not compatible with every feature across them all…
If your Dev board is going to use USB-C anyway, why not? Just make that portion of the board narrow enough to fit the Framework slot.
Heatsinks, buttons, and bulky connectors go outside.
(Edit) Come to think of it, if anyone wants to a Framework version of the NanoVNA, the TinySA, and / or a digital multimeter, I’m interested.
Less batteries to recharge, and a nice big screen.
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