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The busy Bee

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large_ghostman

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I know this is 8051, but please can we leave this in general, you will see why when i finish the review. It could help alot of people with projects, its a truly great board at a fantastic price. Yes i got it free to do a review on, but i am under no obligation to be nice about it unless i think its nice. I can say it as i see it so the review is a true reflection of my opinion on it.

First off I have had this a while now, i forgot all about it to be honest, since i got given a sample they have brought out others, iam not 100% sure which version mine is, so I wont link datasheets yet. I need to connect it up and sort out which version i have then post the datasheet etc. I do know its one the cheaper ones you can get for around $20-$25.

the prices do go up and down alot, they often do these kind of boards for $15 on a good day, considering whats on the dev board its worth every cent and alot more.
here is a pic of my one.
busy 1.png
Note it is playing the old space invaders game!!

The board has a joystick, buttons and leds etc etc, i will detail all that later, sorry for the pic quality!
the next pic look at carefully, it shows the board being powered completely by a single watch battery cell, its actually running a oscilloscope! it comes as a demo program but i havnt tried it much yet.

busy2.png
busy3.png

Lets be fair, a $20 oscilloscope on a 8051 is neat.
I need to reinstall the IDE software, all boards come with a special chip that measures current consumption live on the IDE. This is what will really blow you away, keep in mind all the stk kits for sil labs have a header that can connect directly to it using a stand connector. This means all the different add on boards they do can plug directly onto the kit, including bluetooth, or sub gig radio boards etc etc.

Anything shield wise you can get for an arduino, you can get for the different stk kits and then some!! So for arduino fans take a good look, these are serious kit they use a c compiler, most are a ARM core depending on which board youget, so compiler wise you have from free to various paid for compilers you can use, including Kiel.

The IDE itself is really nice. So thats just a warm up.

Iwill get the IDE reinstalled and we can take this for a serious spin and i will do a review. For those like the Mikes of this world, you are going to love these kits!! I have a fair few if people end up liking the review for this one.

So tomorrow or Sunday i will be back with a review and datasheet, some pics and a full run down of this babe can do.

EDIT

Had this longer than i thought!! its the first one they did! the model of this one is EFMBB B1

They do a fair few different busy bees now, the user guide is here for this one
https://www.silabs.com/documents/public/user-guides/ug236-efm8bb1-slstk2020a.pdf

I will track down a datasheet as well.
 
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large_ghostman

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The other boards i will do at some point are Giant Gecko and the leopard Gecko. The giant i have spoke about loads, they do a stk kit which is these small boards, they are real cheap, then they do the DK kits, those cost alot but they go beyond serious.

I have all kind of these kits from the days i reviewed stuff for them, The leopard kit has a special function, it can run one of those 868/915 radio boards, this gives them some serious power. There are many IDE's you can use including MD5, but i like the sil labs one and the open source compiler, i did have atolic studio but its expired. Also they have a configuration application, like mplabx but works will all chips and works well.

All boards are ultra low power and the dev kits all have a special energy monitor chip on, you can watch live power consumption from the IDE, running space invaders including the rgb led and the heart beat lead, runs under 1mA. I will get some screen shots etc.

The leopard board and a radio plus a wonder gecko DK kit (giant gecko like but Cortex M4 with co processor instead of M3) will power the new hexa copter i am going to do. The DK kit has a color ft screen on the board and all kinds of stuff, it makes a great base station, also has the horse power to do all the image analysis and complex maths without having to use pc. Its ARM Cortex stuff so tool chains are plenty, C/C++ all kinds of free IDE's and compilers.

For $25 they blow arduino out the water on every level. The DK kits however or around $300-$400 but honestly most wont ever need those, i got them free or i wouldnt have bothered with the DK kits. The radio chip i will link too, 868 for the UK and i have had 6Km easy out of them at very little power. There is some stuff i dont like about them, but i will go through it in the review.

The Gecko stuff is 32 bit, but they have 8051 chips that blow you away. Forgot to mention ALL test points and connectors etc are gold plated, the quality is second to non
 
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