1. Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.
    Dismiss Notice

Testing the waters--Who's interested?

Discussion in 'Buy, Sell and Trade' started by DerStrom8, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. be80be

    be80be Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,808
    Likes:
    135
    Location:
    morristown,tn
    You should give a CH340G a try it's a cheap USB to tll chip 20 cents
    [​IMG]
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes:
    952
    Location:
    NJ
    Hi Matt and others,

    Note: Thread a few months old.

    Is this project still alive? It does look interesting. I've used the Arduino a lot just for the fun of it really. Anything i did more serious i used a PIC of some sort, so i'd be happy to see a dev board similar to Arduino but with a PIC instead, and not too expensive.

    First, does it have a USB programming interface that goes with MPLab or no?
    Second, dont the PIC chips do well with a couple isolation resistors for programing using three wire or something like that (it's been a while now)? With the resistors, anyone can hook up and program on the fly without a USB interface, just their typical in circuit programmer...but the isolation resistors should be on board for ease of use.
    Third, a version with a DIP socket would be great (price wise), even at the cost of larger size, although the small SMD version is great too.

    So the real question then is, how much do you intend to sell them for? When i ask i ask about the two main versions and USA customers:
    1. SMD already installed, isolation resistors installed, maybe headers installed.
    2. DIP package bare bones (no parts, just the PC board) which would be great.

    You could also juggle the add-on's like a crystal for example, either wired to the chip (just leave it out if not needed) or jumper holes for selection.

    What do you think?
     
  3. Mosaic

    Mosaic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,569
    Likes:
    128
    Location:
    Caribbean
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 1997
    Messages:
    -
    Likes:
    0


     
  5. DerStrom8

    DerStrom8 Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    5,484
    Likes:
    503
    Location:
    Vermont (GMT-5:00)

    Somewhat. I still have the initial batch of boards and would be willing to pick them up again.

    That was partially the reason behind this. I have never cared much for Arduino, so I decided that an alternative using a PIC and the software I was used to would be nice.

    There are two versions in this thread: Rev 3 and Rev 4. Rev 3 uses the standard 6-pin ICSP connection to the PICkit (not included). Rev 3 is still a concept design at this point, but it uses a bootloader and a direct USB connection. Microchip offers a free bootloader program (AN851) that I planned to explore, if this project were to get off the ground.

    Never heard of using isolation resistors. Then again, I'm far from being an expert on the PIC :p

    Rev 1 of this board is one I designed for my own personal use (never intended for release) and was far from perfect. However, it did use a DIP PIC18F1330 with an 18-pin socket. I liked having a removable uC but the board was very large and bulky, and decided to downsize it and use SMD parts instead.

    The SMD type without the USB connector costs approximately $10 to make, so already it's going to be more expensive than the Arduino Tiny. If there was a high demand I could order more parts at a time and get a price break, but I don't think it'll be that popular of a product. The SMD type with a USB connector and bootloader is probably going to cost $15-$20 to make, so that would be even more pricey.

    This is a great suggestion, and I think someone mentioned the idea earlier in this thread. If I could find a crystal small enough I may be able to work it onto the board, but I'd need a complete re-design to fit it. Right now all of the pins are broken out to headers, so you can always add an external crystal. Unfortunately adding it externally would mean it would sit a fair distance from the chip, which of course is not ideal. Again, it would require another re-design, which is not necessarily out of the question.
     
  6. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes:
    952
    Location:
    NJ
    Hi again Matt,

    Since it sounded so interesting i thought i would throw in a couple ideas to help make it better.

    A couple other quick questions...

    The AN851 is about a serial interface isnt it? That means an RS232 port for programming, which is ok with me for one, but it's not a USB connection. A USB connection would require on board USB to serial adapter or PIC internal program to do this, which i am not sure is possible yet. I havent explored this in depth though so i could be wrong here. As i also said though, serial is fine for me. If you could get it to work with USB directly that would be a big selling point i think because many of the Arduino products work directly from USB and people tend to like that because they all have USB ports.

    Working from memory, the so called, "isolation resistors" are resistors that are installed right onto the main circuit board for many products. They have nothing to do with the post programming work function of the board. The only time they make a difference is when programming. They connect from the physical pin of the PIC chip to the real world, so anything that communicates with the chip after programing (using ICSP) has to cope with these resistors, but that usually isnt a problem. A secondary header which we might call the programming header would connect DIRECTLY to the required programming pins, so during programming the programer board would be able to take control of the PIC chip regardless of whatever else is connected to the chip for real world use. So say we had some sort of controller board using a PIC, the i/o pins would run to the external world (soldered directly for a permanent installation). The external world signals might run from 0 to +5v, but because of the isolation resistors the chip would never see any of those signals because there would be a resistor between the PIC pin and the real world, and the programmer board would be connected DIRECTLY to the PIC pins via the programming header.
    Obviously this would not work for every signal application, but how hard is it to jumper out a few resistors (maybe another option).

    Options are usually attractive to buyers because then they can envision lots of usage scenarios. Of course it is up to you which ones you want to implement and which ones that can exist based on pure documentation. Oh yeah, good documentation is nice too :)
    Another option would of course be different part number PIC chips.
    Since you can design boards then i would think you have lots of options for doing this kind of thing.

    I guess i saw a future for something like this because i've always liked the PIC chips too and so the easier they are to use the better for me, and i would believe for others too then.

    Yeah i guess the initial cost would be much higher than a typical Arduino board. What about the cost of barebones boards say with DIP chip package layouts? That's something that a lot of people can deal with.
     
  7. be80be

    be80be Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,808
    Likes:
    135
    Location:
    morristown,tn
    Arduino use a bootloader Pic can use a bootloader too the only reason arduino used a AVR atmega Is because there was a free C compiler for it and, no one at the that time would let them use there C compiler for Pic chips freely. Now year's later you can run arduino on lot's of chip's
    Any thing that can use a boot loader can be used with a Arduino Ide if you want to write
    some files to use it.
     
  8. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes:
    952
    Location:
    NJ
    Hello,

    What files?

    Also, wouldnt the PIC chip have to work with USB directly then, so there would have to be a file for that too ?
     
  9. DerStrom8

    DerStrom8 Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    5,484
    Likes:
    503
    Location:
    Vermont (GMT-5:00)
    There is a USB-Serial adapter chip located on the Rev 4 board (the version with the USB connector).
     
  10. be80be

    be80be Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,808
    Likes:
    135
    Location:
    morristown,tn
    an environment based on the original Arduino™ IDE modified to support PIC32 that also still supports ...
    And pic 18 and no ardunio don't have to use USB and lots of the clone boards don't they use the chip I post above to load there code to the boot loader
     
  11. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes:
    952
    Location:
    NJ
    Hi again,

    Matt:
    Ok thanks.

    Burt:
    Yes ok, but simply stating things doesnt really help, i need details, files, etc.
     
  12. granddad

    granddad Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    Messages:
    750
    Likes:
    75
    Location:
    Worcestershire UK
    chipKIT Uno 32 has all of this on a arduino board layout and runs the ide . I gave it a whirl and got me into C(++) but the arduino ide IMHO is a dog.....
     
  13. be80be

    be80be Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,808
    Likes:
    135
    Location:
    morristown,tn
  14. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes:
    952
    Location:
    NJ
    Hi,

    Anyone check out the Microchip "Curiosity" dev boards yet? They are more for up to 20 pin packages though. Looks like integrated programming and debug too. $20 each.
     
  15. Overclocked

    Overclocked Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    783
    Likes:
    16
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I saw those, and they dont have support for many PICs (such as the 18F series). I think we could come up with something better. It also received a lot of hate on hack a day from users for some reason..
     
  16. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,902
    Likes:
    502
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    ONLINE
    I am always bewildered how someone can give a "1-star" to a product when they bought the wrong thing. The product release for Curiosity clearly states it is for 16F, and some 12F, 8-bit products (http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en-us/family/8bit/devboards/curiosity.html#devices):

    Microchip even gives a list of the chips covered. I find your comment completely off base. It's like slamming the Ford Fusion because it didn't finish in the top 5 at the NASCAR Daytona 500.

    John
     
  17. be80be

    be80be Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,808
    Likes:
    135
    Location:
    morristown,tn
    Because like every thing some one else started it then used someone else's ideas.
    It's like some stuff I fulled with in the first part of the 90s it took open ideas and turned it into a money maker only a small few where happy
     
  18. be80be

    be80be Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,808
    Likes:
    135
    Location:
    morristown,tn
    Microchip "Curiosity" is based on the newer 16f chips its got its own programmer built in
     
  19. Overclocked

    Overclocked Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    783
    Likes:
    16
    Location:
    CT, USA
    In my personal opinion, I think a Microstick II would be better. 16 Bit and 32 Bit PICs in DIP form. I still use 8 Bit PICs. I havent found a use for 32 Bits yet.

    Hold the phone. Im not bashing, I use PIC myself :) See the comments in the link below.

    http://hackaday.com/2015/07/22/revi...y-is-a-gorgeous-new-8-bit-dev-board/#comments

    To sum it up, most people are bashing the architecture and mentioning the fact that the software isn't open source.
     
  20. MrAl

    MrAl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    11,032
    Likes:
    952
    Location:
    NJ
    Hi,

    I decided to take a stab at the Arduino Nano. These have the same functionality of the Uno but on a much smaller board size less than an inch wide and less than 2 inches long.
    Program with the Arduino IDE.
    Too cheap to pass up, maybe 5 bucks for one in some places.
     

Share This Page