Teardown: $5 Selfie Remote uses Beken BK3231 Bluetooth HID SoC
The long-story short here is if you have a device that isn’t working, tear it down – and share your findings with others.
That’s what Brian Dipert from EDN did with this ridiculously cheap $5 selfie remote that he was using for Google Cardboard VR control. The first unit from the supplier was DOA, so he tore it down. My takeaway is recognizing that those momentary “plunger” button contact pads – “PCB-integrated switches” – are still the design du jour for buttons for what seems like my whole life – I recall that design in toys I broke open (accidentally!) when I was a kid. (Actually makes me wonder who patented that – I’ll find out!) And of course it’s amazing to see a relatively sophisticated HID SoC in a $5 controller.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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Looks like an old SoC – ARM9 core rather than Cortex-M, 2011 copyright date on the spec sheet, less heavily integrated than some of the newer chips. (Some of the newer ones include the charging controller on chip too.)