Tech

Build a retro Casio from scratch with smart features

Casio hit the nail on the head in 1989 with his F-91W, a chronograph watch that went around the world for its quality, simplicity and price. The F-91W has the reputation of being that digital watch that practically everyone has used at some point. However, times change, and smartwatches are making it difficult for traditional watches. If you have fond memories of this Casio model, you can’t miss this mod published by the manufacturer Pegor. The definitive solution for the Casio F-91W finish turned into a smart watch.

A smartwatch based on the Casio F-91W?

about a year ago, Pegor —a manufacturer under a pseudonym— made public his project F91 Kepler. His goal was none other than to bring the functions of smartwatches inside the Casio F-91W. To achieve this, Pegor built its own replacement board around a Texas Instruments CC2640 ARM Cortex-M3 chip with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capability. The idea was to empty the contents of the original clock and place this plate. That is to say, to replace the basic ASIC of the Casio to place inside it a much more modern, powerful plate with wireless functions.

At the hardware level, the Kepler screen also has its changes. Instead of using the original LCD, Pegor has its own OLED panelalthough keeping the style of the F-91W, only giving the new smartwatch a higher resolution.

A project that is now open to the public

Although the F91 Kepler showed promise, the manufacturer seems to have quite a few Trouble starting the set. By now, the synchronization software for mobile terminals should be finished. And the whole set should be fully functional.

A few days ago, Pegor decided to take a step forward. Due to technical difficulties, the creators of the F91 Kepler have decided open the project. All software work is now accessible for free, so anyone can do their bit by contributing code or new ideas. If you want to take a look, the F91 Kepler files are available in the Pegor GitLab repository, under the permissive MIT license.

With the movement, the F91 Kepler will be able to advance, achieving firmware and software for mobile terminals that allow anyone to make their own intelligent Casio F-91W. We will only have to wait for the software to be finished for the magic to be done.

The first smartwatch based on the Casio F-91W?

sensor watch f91w.jpg

Not quite. Pegor has not been the only manufacturer that has been interested in the Casio classic. A few months ago, Oddly Specific Objects introduced its own replacement motherboard for the Casio F-91W. His name is Sensor Watch. Unlike the Kepler, this model does retain some parts of the original LCD panel from the Japanese watch. This version uses a SAM L22 microchip, which also stands out for having very low power consumption.

In any case, both Oddly Specific Objects and Pegor seek a common goal. The time, stopwatch, and alarms on the F-91W have been made obsolete. Technology has advanced enough today that smart features can be brought to Casio’s successful watch.

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