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'[AD] New PIC prototyping board'
2005\09\09@190032 by olin piclist

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The QuickProto-01 PIC prototyping board is the first in a series of PIC
prototyping boards from Embed Inc.  This board was designed with input from
the PIClist and is now available in volume.  The power supply, RS-232
interface, debug LEDs, ICD2 or ICSP interface, and layout of crystal
oscillator circuit are all taken care of.  You can concentrate on the unique
parts of your project quickly and easily, while ending up with a sturdy
result with good electrical characteristics.

At $40 for singles and $33 for three, these boards cost less than an
engineer's time to scrounge the parts and cobble up the basics, and will be
useful to many hobbyists too.

The QuickProto-01 is for PICs with the standard 28 pin DIP pinout, like the
16F876, 18F252, and many more.  It does not support dsPICs.

For more information, see http://www.embedinc.com/products.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\09\10@020500 by Charles Craft

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Board looks very nice!

>From the web description:

"Board is standard Eurocard size, 160 x 100 mm (6.30 x 3.94 inches). "

I haven't worked with VME card cages in years but for those that do make use of the
DIN connector on the right, it would be nice to have the top row of connectors on the left hand
side of the board. Depending on how close components are to the top and bottom, the board
could then be slid into VME rails to connect to a DIN connector backplane.

Not sure there's a market for this but the Eurocard and DIN references brought back projects
from 20 years ago.  :-)

thanks
chuckc


{Original Message removed}

2005\09\10@095443 by olin piclist

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Charles Craft wrote:
> I haven't worked with VME card cages in years but for those that do
> make use of the
> DIN connector on the right, it would be nice to have the top row of
> connectors on the left hand side of the board. Depending on how close
> components are to the top and bottom, the board could then be slid
> into VME rails to connect to a DIN connector backplane.
>
> Not sure there's a market for this but the Eurocard and DIN
> references brought back projects from 20 years ago.  :-)

There were some requests a few months ago for Eurocard size.  Since the size
I was contemplating was close, I figured there was nothing to loose making
it exactly that size.  I also wanted two rows of .1" pads for putting
various 1x or 2x .1" connectors on the board, so making it mechanically fit
a Eurocard type B was also no big deal.  Otherwise I wasn't convinced that
the Eurocard thing was going to make any real difference in sales volume, so
I didn't want to burden the board with Eurocard issues to the point of
detracting from the main stream use or making it more expensive.  I thought
about putting all the external connectors on the left edge, but that just
didn't work out.  I would have had to drop some features and/or decrease the
prototype area.  I thought that would hurt sales more than the Eurocard
thing would help it.  I guess there's not easy way to know whether that was
the right decision or not.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\09\10@135049 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Olin Lathrop wrote :

> There were some requests a few months ago for Eurocard size.  
> Since the size I was contemplating was close, I figured there
> was nothing to  loose making it exactly that size.

And if it hadn't been so close in size, I doupt that
those requests ever had been put forward.

>  I also wanted two rows of .1" pads for putting
> various 1x or 2x .1" connectors on the board, so making it
> mechanically fit a Eurocard type B was also no big deal.

I'm willing to bet on that a true Eurocard type B connector
never wil be mounted on one of those cards. Probably a few
shorter say 2x10 header blocks (or smaller) depending on what's
going to be connected.

> I thought about putting all the external connectors on the
> left edge, but that just didn't work out....
> ...I thought that would hurt sales more than
> the Eurocard thing would help it.

Probably true, yes.

The Eurocard building format was popular at the time
when you had one "CPU board", one "EPROM board",
one "RAM board", one "ADC board", one "I/O board"
and so on. That just isn't the case any more...

Just IMHO,
Jan-Erik.



2005\09\12@043521 by Alan B. Pearce

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>The Eurocard building format was popular at the time
>when you had one "CPU board", one "EPROM board",
>one "RAM board", one "ADC board", one "I/O board"
>and so on. That just isn't the case any more...

Eurocard stuff is still quite widely used, especially if putting stuff in
racks. The 100mm wide sits on edge in a 3U rack quite nicely.

2005\09\12@045115 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Alan B. Pearce wrote :

> >The Eurocard building format was popular at the time
> >when you had one "CPU board", one "EPROM board",
> >one "RAM board", one "ADC board", one "I/O board"
> >and so on. That just isn't the case any more...
>
> Eurocard stuff is still quite widely used, especially if
> putting stuff in racks. The 100mm wide sits on edge in
> a 3U rack quite nicely.

OK, fine.

Now, what I was trying to say, is that I do not regard it as
a major show-stopper that Olin's board isn't rack-mountable
(in a Eurocard rack or any other building system).

Best Regards,
Jan-Erik.



2005\09\12@051954 by Vasile Surducan

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It looks quite nice. However the analogic PIC inputs are going too
closer toghether (and maybe some too long routes) till the prototype
area boundary. This will cheat the beginner which does not use all AD
inputs and forgot to connect unused inputs to ground. Or when a strong
AC signal is applied near a small DC one on two adjacent AD inputs...
I hope the prototyping area have independent pads and there are not
connected five toghether... Unfortunately IC6 does not respect the PCB
elementary projecting rules if an analogic chip is required to
populate that footprint.  (IC7 design is much better)
The projectant wish, for two different footprints of the master Xtal
complicated the route lenghts and the noise induced by the Xtal on the
board. Maybe the ground plane solve a part from this potential
problem.
However looks to be a nice board.

good luck selling it,

Vasile


On 9/10/05, Olin Lathrop <spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\09\12@094316 by olin piclist

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Vasile Surducan wrote:
> It looks quite nice. However the analogic PIC inputs are going too
> closer toghether (and maybe some too long routes) till the prototype
> area boundary. This will cheat the beginner which does not use all AD
> inputs and forgot to connect unused inputs to ground. Or when a strong
> AC signal is applied near a small DC one on two adjacent AD inputs...

I think you're making a big deal of a very minor issue.  These lines are
hardly longer or more circuitous than they would be on an ordinary circuit
board.  I've designed many PIC projects with longer lines to the PIC A/Ds
and have gotten clean signals.  Remember that PIC A/D inputs aren't that
high impedence anyway.  Microchip recommends not more than 10K.  I don't
think any of the lines are more than 2 inches long, and there is a ground
plane.  Really, there is no problem here in practise.

> I hope the prototyping area have independent pads and there are not
> connected five toghether...

Why?  I've always found it annoying to have independent pads that are not
connected in strips.  What are you supposed to do, thread two resistor leads
thru one hole?  Yuck.

> Unfortunately IC6 does not respect the PCB
> elementary projecting rules if an analogic chip is required to
> populate that footprint.  (IC7 design is much better)

Again, this is a non-issue.  Both have short and straight wires over a
ground plane.  If you're worried about RF issues or noise on high impedence
lines, then you should be worrying about the wires that will be soldered to
the pads, not the PCB traces.  In that sense, the IC6 layout makes it easier
for the connection wires to be short.  The IC7 connection wires pretty much
have to go longer distances.

Also this is a prototyping board or an easy way to do one-off projects.
It's not going to be the right answer for every project.  However I stand by
my assertion that this board will be fine for the frequencies and impedences
encountered by the vast majority of PIC projects, and that the interconnects
added by the user will be the limiting factor, not the traces on the board.

> The projectant wish, for two different footprints of the master Xtal
> complicated the route lenghts and the noise induced by the Xtal on the
> board. Maybe the ground plane solve a part from this potential
> problem.

Having designed many PIC projects, most of which used crystals, and all of
those working fine, I'm quite confident that the extra pads are not going to
be a problem.  First, the traces still are very short and they were carfully
laid out and are above a ground plane.  Second, PIC crystals are usually
20MHz or less.  This simply isn't an issue.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\09\20@102006 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

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Hi.

Three "QuickProto-01" arrived in my mailbox
Yesterday. I think it looks quite nice. I have not
been able to "match" it against other similar offerings
on the Swedish market yet, but I'll do that when
I have the time.

Just a couple of quick (and maybe minor) things...

- The fifth rubber feet (in the center of the board)
blocks the mountings holes for one of the caps
for the TMR1 crystal osc and also the holes for
RB0, RB1 and RC7 on one baord. On a anther
it blocks both caps (C19/C20). The third board
is fine in this regard.

- Is the chinese newpaper they was wrapped up
in ESD safe ? :-)

I'll probably use one of them for a USB prototype.
I hope a 18F2455/2550 will work OK with the bord !?

Best Regards,
Jan-Erik.



2005\09\20@112436 by olin piclist

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Jan-Erik Soderholm wrote:
> - The fifth rubber feet (in the center of the board)
> blocks the mountings holes for one of the caps
> for the TMR1 crystal osc and also the holes for
> RB0, RB1 and RC7 on one baord. On a anther
> it blocks both caps (C19/C20). The third board
> is fine in this regard.

Yeah, the folks in China didn't put the rubber feet where the drawing said
to put them.  Argh!  We did move the center foot on a bunch of them but
apparently missed it on your boards.  I found that they are easiest to
remove with needlenose plyers.  You can get them off with your fingers too,
but the adhesive is surprisingly strong.

> I'll probably use one of them for a USB prototype.
> I hope a 18F2455/2550 will work OK with the bord !?

I haven't tested it with those specific chips, but the pinout is compatible
as far as I know.  I did test these boards with 16F876 and 18F252.  I plan
on doing some experiments with USB and those chips myself, but haven't
gotten that far yet.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

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