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'[EE] Arduino'
2010\03\24@192328 by M.L.

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The "Arduino" has been around for a while now. For those who don't
know, the Arduino is an Atmel microcontroller on a board with an FTDI
USB->RS232 chip and preloaded bootloader. The system also includes
(but is not limited to) host software with which people write very
high-level code called sketches (AKA firmware to the engineers in the
room.)

What function do you see the Arduino serving? It basically seems like
it could be a learning tool and/or a simple means to an end. There is
quite an active group of people using Arduinos here around Boston.

There seem to be a few conflicting feelings I get from the Arduino:

1. I don't know if people are actually learning anything. You seem to
get enthusiasts who know a LOT about the Arduino as a unit, who don't
care that an Arduino is a microcontroller on a board that runs machine
code from flash memory.

2. But: It seems like a lot of people who wouldn't have the background
to get into electronics for whatever reason are able to do really cool
things using the Arduino.

3. However: I wonder if the Make culture steals enthusiasm from
hobbyists who might have become e.g. readers of Circuit Cellar, Nuts
and Volts, CQ, thus replacing their resistors-and-transistors
knowledge with "sparkfun sells a board for that" mentality.

With that said, I don't really care. I'm not planning on getting out
my Luddite pitchfork but I suppose I wonder where the hobbyists are
headed.

--
Martin K.

2010\03\24@224522 by John Chung

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My answers are below.

--- On Thu, 3/25/10, M.L. <spam_OUTmTakeThisOuTspamlkeng.net> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

 Yes.....

> 2. But: It seems like a lot of people who wouldn't have the
> background
> to get into electronics for whatever reason are able to do
> really cool
> things using the Arduino.
>
 Yes... But thanks for plugins....

> 3. However: I wonder if the Make culture steals enthusiasm
> from
> hobbyists who might have become e.g. readers of Circuit
> Cellar, Nuts
> and Volts, CQ, thus replacing their
> resistors-and-transistors
> knowledge with "sparkfun sells a board for that"
> mentality.
>
 Yeah. But that is another route. Expensive that is.



Personal note. Arduino are cheap. Real cheap for development boards. BUT I only use it for a development board. Haven't used the Arduino IDE but the standard WINAVR IDE. So yeah. It has some good points to it.

John


     

2010\03\25@010358 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 7:23 AM, M.L. <.....mKILLspamspam.....lkeng.net> wrote:

> 2. But: It seems like a lot of people who wouldn't have the background
> to get into electronics for whatever reason are able to do really cool
> things using the Arduino.
>

And this single factor is good enough for its existence.

The open source nature of Arduino helps a lot for its
popularity as well.

Want to use PIC-duino? ;-)

http://justanotherlanguage.org/content/jaluino
http://hackinglab.org/pinguino/index_pinguino.html

Or Arm-duio? :-)
http://www.xduino.com/platform/arm-cortex-m3/
http://www.bugblat.com/products/cor.html
http://blogs.leaflabs.com/2009/07/arduino-cortex-m3-maple/

I am actually looking at this one since the author was a
leading developer of OpenOCD at one time.
arttools.blogspot.com/2009/09/using-stm32-based-board-for-arduino.html
(code here http://github.com/mlu/arduino-stm32)


--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2010\03\25@020541 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Mar 24, 2010, at 4:23 PM, M.L. wrote:

> What function do you see the Arduino serving?

It occupies the same niche as The Basic Stamp, or the BASIC52 boards  
before that, except that Arduino is cheaper, more flexible, and more  
broadly supported.

> 1. I don't know if people are actually learning anything. You seem to
> get enthusiasts who know a LOT about the Arduino as a unit, who don't
> care that an Arduino is a microcontroller on a board that runs machine
> code from flash memory.

Cool.

> 2. But: It seems like a lot of people who wouldn't have the background
> to get into electronics for whatever reason are able to do really cool
> things using the Arduino.

Doubly cool.  The way I see it, there are all sorts of neat things to  
be done in the world where the answer is "you should use a  
microcontroller."  The Arduino environment lets people do that without  
having to have the background in electronics or programming that  
microcontroller use generally used to require.  (Like I said; the  
Basic Stamp did similar things.)

> 3. However: I wonder if the Make culture steals enthusiasm from
> hobbyists who might have become e.g. readers of Circuit Cellar, Nuts
> and Volts, CQ, thus replacing their resistors-and-transistors
> knowledge with "sparkfun sells a board for that" mentality.

Nah.  Or rather, I bet that the overall flow of enthusiasm is in the  
other direction - "we" pick up more people on the technology side than  
are lost to the "modular" side.  Unlike the Basic Stamp, for instance,  
the open-source nature of Arduino encourages re-spinning the final  
version of a project as custom-made electronics.

BillW

2010\03\25@022259 by Peter Loron

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What Bill said. It's the gateway drug for electronics. They even make you use it in some schools! Anything that gets people away from the TV and hacking is a good thing.

Seriously, though, in order to use much of anything beyond the "hello world" sketches, you need to learn at least a little bit about basic electronics.

It's all roses.

-Pete

On Mar 24, 2010, at 11:05 PM, William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2010\03\25@051811 by Mike Harrison

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On Wed, 24 Mar 2010 19:23:08 -0400, you wrote:

>The "Arduino" has been around for a while now. For those who don't
>know, the Arduino is an Atmel microcontroller on a board with an FTDI
>USB->RS232 chip and preloaded bootloader. The system also includes
>(but is not limited to) host software with which people write very
>high-level code called sketches (AKA firmware to the engineers in the
>room.)
>
>What function do you see the Arduino serving? It basically seems like
>it could be a learning tool and/or a simple means to an end. There is
>quite an active group of people using Arduinos here around Boston.

The way I see it, it's a way to get people into building embedded things quickly and easily - that
has to be a good thing as some will be encouraged to explore further.
It is also a valuable tool for teaching, and is used by many courses where electronics & computing
is not the core sublject - design/art type stuff.
It is also a handy tool for quickly implementing 1-off embedded control jobs.

Personally I hate the 'sketch' term or anything that calls a program something 'less scary' (patch
being another popular one) and never miss an opportunity to taunt an Arduinist about not using
'real' embedded hardware....

In the same way that software packages to make PC programming less 'scary'  have become popular
(vvvv, max/msp, openframeworks,Processing  etc., etc.), The Arduino software is doing the same for
hardware.

These days there really is little need for  someone with a hobbyist or non-production need/desire to
create sn embedded controller to get into low-level programming to achieve some pretty impressive
stuff.

Of course someone has done a PIC based Arduino which is completely missing the point - it's not
about the hardware.

My biggest criticism of the Arduino hardware is not having put the headers on a 0.1" pitch
 .

2010\03\25@060158 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu] On
Behalf
{Quote hidden}

It's not particularly high level to be honest, it's basically
bastardised C++ with lots of library functions to access the AVR
peripherals and perform various common tasks.  The libraries are all
open source for those that want to learn more or improve/modify things.

Personally I have a couple of Arduino boards, but I don't use the
"Wiring" language since it's just a layer on top of the GCC compiler
which is a perfectly good tool anyway.  I use the Arduino as a cheap,
useful and expandable development platform for small projects.

I totally understand your arguments, though I'm not sure the Arduino is
any more to blame than, say, the Basic Stamp.  Both are often used by
people who just want to perform some simple processing task without
having to get too involved in the underlying operation of the device.

A guy I used to work with some years ago has started his own company and
is developing what is effectively a "Super Stamp"; an Arduino form
factor board with an ARM Cortex running a basic interpreter with
extremely high level functions, making e.g. TCP/IP and USB based
applications possible with very little code.  The same arguments apply
to this of course; is it dumbing down the hobby, or is it simply
providing a tool for people whose main goal is a finished project rather
than education?  If these tools were not available, I wonder how many of
these people would be breaking out the AVR/PIC datasheets and learning
assembler?

Regards

Mike

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2010\03\25@063736 by Russell McMahon

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Gargoyles nice popup ads offered this:

   http://www.nkcelectronics.com/arduino.html?gclid=CKuBt7PY06ACFQVYbQodqHiNvA

which may be well known to all, and/or a list member, or none of these.

LOOKs good.
Vast array of auduino and freeduino hardware etc

Freeduino - open hardware files (unlike original)

  http://www.freeduino.org/freeduino_open_designs.html

Free/Arduino knowledge base

     http://www.freeduino.org/


      R

2010\03\25@101544 by PICdude

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Well I'm glad you asked at this time, because I've pretty much decided  
to pick up a couple of these for a specific purpose.  I agree with  
Mike here -- though I haven't yet actually use one, I've been  
researching and I can't see myself using this for any commercial  
product with any volume higher than a couple pieces, but it seems to  
be a good teaching aid.

I have 4 high-schools interning with me, and we're engineering,  
designing, and building "robotics-type" projects -- ie: projects that  
involve some mix of mechanical, electrical, and software aspects.  
After some research, this seems like a nice simplish way to get their  
feet wet with embedded control systems.  The price is low, the size is  
small (important for some of the projects we have planned), the  
development language seems to be simple enough, and there are a number  
of example projects that they can learn from.

Cheers,
-Neil.




Quoting Mike Harrison <@spam@mikeKILLspamspamwhitewing.co.uk>:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\03\25@112457 by John Chung

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seeedstudio is offering USD 19 boards.....

John

--- On Thu, 3/25/10, PICdude <KILLspampicdude3KILLspamspamnarwani.org> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> > --

2010\03\25@120546 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Mar 25, 2010, at 3:37 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

> Freeduino - open hardware files (unlike original)

That's not quite accurate.  Originally, the Arduino hardware was  
supposed to be open source, and the early designs (serial, USB)  
published both schematics and PCB layouts (eagle cad files.)  Then in  
mid-2007 a new official version (Diecimilla) was shipping, and its CAD  
files were slow to appear in the usual places.  Apparently the core  
Arduino team was having a sort of ownership crisis; while open source  
was important, they also didn't want to see "Arduino" clones from all  
over the world polluting their Brand with possibly poorly built  
copies.  A certain segment of the userbase was unhappy - "It's  
supposed to be open source, and if you won't release the CAD files or  
let us use the Arduino name, then we'll derive the new design from the  
last thing published, call it Freeduino, and let anyone who wants use  
the designs AND the name.  Nyah Nyah!"  Apparently there were also  
issues WRT who was being allow to distribute the official Arduino  
boards.  So... I designed a set of PCBs, NKC ran off a bunch of  
boards, Solarbotics did their own version, and "Freeduino" was born.

Meanwhile, and perhaps somewhat spurred by this activity, the core  
Arduino team got their act together and decided on what they really  
wanted ("Arduino" as a trademark, essentially, but truly open source  
in other respects), signed up new distributers and released the  
official Diecimila (and subsequent version) CAD files promptly.  I  
think everyone is pretty happy these days; the Freeduino board NKC is  
selling occupies a tiny but useful niche (being mostly TH  
construction, and available as a kit), and most of the Freeduino-like  
vendors are distributing real Arduinos as well.  All in all, an  
interesting experience.

(There are a lot of clone Arduino vendors out there these days,  
selling the exact reference design with little or no rebranding.  
Which is unfortunate, I guess...  There are also an increasing number  
of modified designs with minor or major additions, reflecting (IMO)  
the best intentions of the whole open source hardware thing...)

BillW

2010\03\25@132638 by Peter Loron

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I've ordered from Seeedstudio, and am a satisfied customer. Shipping took a bit longer than buying from a local vendor, but not bad.

-Pete

On Mar 25, 2010, at 8:24 AM, John Chung wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2010\03\25@134939 by Walter Banks

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William \"Chops\" Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Arduino is an interesting approach to embedded systems in that
most of the more recent clones and non atmel  support is
primarily building on a core library of functions and tend to use
common C compilers for code generation.

The biggest long term strength will likely be the standardization
of development libraries for embedded systems. One of the biggest
failings of embedded C++ was the lack of application appropriate
libraries.

Arduino may be an important step to moving code generation for
embedded systems from abstracting the processor details with C
to abstracting application details.


Walter..
--
Walter Banks
Byte Craft Limited
http://www.bytecraft.com



2010\03\25@220820 by Russell McMahon

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> Or Arm-duino? :-)
> http://www.xduino.com/platform/arm-cortex-m3/
> http://www.bugblat.com/products/cor.html
> http://blogs.leaflabs.com/2009/07/arduino-cortex-m3-maple/
>
> I am actually looking at this one since the author was a
> leading developer of OpenOCD at one time.
> arttools.blogspot.com/2009/09/using-stm32-based-board-for-arduino.html
> (code here http://github.com/mlu/arduino-stm32)

A friend comments:

NXP (Philips as it was) provide quite an interesting development
environment for their lower-end ARM processors called "mbed" which is
built around a web-based compiler (although I seem to recall seeing
people grumbling about the lack of a debugger  - but that may have
been addressed by now).  I haven't had time to investigate it at any
length so I don't know how effective it is.

The main page is here:

http://mbed.org/

and there is a Circuit Cellar article here:

http://ics.nxp.com/support/documents/microcontrollers/pdf/article.mbed.circuit.cellar.pdf

As far as I know it's free (although you presumably have to buy the
little DIL-packaged hardware module)  - but I imagine you would need
to register.

It would be interesting to see the "license" agreement, and in
particular what the story is as far as design security goes.  No doubt
users are kept apart from one another but I wonder if NXP can resist
the temptation to "peek" at the sort of things that people were doing
and use that information to guide future



               RM

2010\03\26@193958 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Mar 25, 2010, at 11:49 AM, Walter Banks wrote:

> Arduino may be an important step to moving code generation for
> embedded systems from abstracting the processor details with C
> to abstracting application details.

Yes.  Although I suspect that Arduino's biggest departure from "normal  
programming techniques" is in abstracting away the whole concept of  
"ports and registers and bits" into mere "pins", so that would-be  
users don't have to understand binary.  And I can't see that really  
catching on in the technical world ("There are 10 kinds of  
people...")  It's also pretty expensive (20 to 50 times slower than  
direct manipulation of constant register bits.)  Though not so  
expensive as an interpreter...

BillW

2010\03\27@023029 by Russell McMahon

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BCC Iain: You get 'mentioned in despatches' below.

______________________

> Yes.  Although I suspect that Arduino's biggest departure from "normal
> programming techniques" is in abstracting away the whole concept of
> "ports and registers and bits" into mere "pins", so that would-be
> users don't have to understand binary.  And I can't see that really
> catching on in the technical world ("There are 10 kinds of
> people...")  It's also pretty expensive (20 to 50 times slower than
> direct manipulation of constant register bits.)  Though not so
> expensive as an interpreter...


Some years ago my son started a BSc in Computer Science.
Within weeks he was writing code that did complex things via the
internet, manipulating data bases and getting a good grasp of the high
level things that could be achieved. I asked him questions. They were
teaching him nothing about what lay underneath. Awareness of hardware
was almost non existent. A higher level approach would have been hard
to achieve. The things he could do with what he was learning were
powerful and impressive but he had no knowledge or understanding of
how it worked or what lay underneath. I was seriously appalled.
THEN they started to drill down. It got amazingly real rather quickly.
Once he knew what he could achieve and what a powerful toolset he had
and how "easy" it was once you knew 'what', they taught him why and
how. I was seriously impressed.

For some at least, the Arduino may well achieve the same result - or
may be used to this effect by those who choose to use it that way.



                  Russell

2010\03\27@032402 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> ("There are 10 kinds of people...")

Anyone got a list of such jokes? I can use a few to decorate my lessons.
Like: "there is no place like 127.0.0.1".

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2010\03\27@085514 by Jon Chandler

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My plan for the day:  Chr$(27)

Jon

On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 12:23 AM, Wouter van Ooijen <RemoveMEwouterspam_OUTspamKILLspamvoti.nl> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\03\27@091939 by Olin Lathrop

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'William Chops" Westfield ' <RemoveMEwestfwTakeThisOuTspamspammac.com wrote:
> Although I suspect that Arduino's biggest departure from "normal
> programming techniques" is in abstracting away the whole concept of
> "ports and registers and bits" into mere "pins", so that would-be
> users don't have to understand binary.

That's a very useful abstraction, but you don't need a Arduino to get it.
You can still have it at the assembly level on PICs via my /INBIT and
/OUTBIT preprocessor commands.  In the project include files you can write,
for example:

/outbit  led  portb 3 n    ;RB3 low lights the LED

Then later in the executable code you can write:

  set_led_on          ;turn on the LED
  set_led_off         ;turn off the LED

These set the bank appropriately if needed, and use LATx bits when present
over direct setting of the PORTx bits.  You can also perform manipulation of
the PORT, LAT, and TRIS bits of the LED pin symbolically without the
specific port and bit hard coded in the source.  If the LED is moved to a
different pin or rewired to the opposite polarity, the single /OUTBIT line
is changed and the rest of the code will continue to work without
modification.

I'm not pretending this is anything like a Arduino, but just pointing out
that symbolic abstractions are quite possible in assembler.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\27@093455 by Russell McMahon

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Please to change tag at very very very minimum and ideally change to
OT if joke collecting.

I'll join :-)


>> ("There are 10 kinds of people...")

> Anyone got a list of such jokes? I can use a few to decorate my lessons.
> Like: "there is no place like 127.0.0.1".

2010\03\27@110001 by John Ferrell

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I like it! I don't need another project right now, but I think it is a neat
concept. I am going to have to test drive it for myself to be sure.
It appears to be a development board that is inexpensive that can be
embedded in a final project in a practical fashion. The mechanical layout
with the user project as a physical layer (aka "shield") permits an
efficient package for a finished product. It seems to lend itself well to
working out the details of interfacing real world components.

There are many places to find information but I don't know of any that are
as credible as PICLIST. I suggest the ADMINS give some consideration to an
[AR] tag. If that seems to overload the current Moderators then assign a
volunteer to that tag alone. IMHO, the current moderators (Referees?) are
doing a good job of keeping the ball inbounds.

John Ferrell  W8CCW

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves."
-Edward R. Murrow
{Original Message removed}

2010\03\27@112951 by Walter Banks

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William \"Chops\" Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

One of the processors we wrote a compiler for only had
pin addressable I/O pins. When I was rewriting some support libraries
I was surprised how much of our thinking is based on traditional
ports with data direction and 8 bits, I was also surprised how many
applications use mostly single bit I/O.

> It's also pretty expensive (20 to 50 times slower than
> direct manipulation of constant register bits

Arduino would optimize quite well for well written compilers
and still keep the abstractions that would make applications
portable.

Regards,

Walter..
--
Walter Banks
Byte Craft Limited
http://www.bytecraft.com











2010\03\27@143607 by John Ferrell

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I have spent a little time with the compiler & docs and I think that it is a
nice entry product but too limited for one who has tsted the 18F PICs.

John Ferrell  W8CCW

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves."
-Edward R. Murrow
{Original Message removed}

2010\03\27@151758 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 27, 2010, at 9:29 AM, Walter Banks wrote:

>>
>> It's also pretty expensive (20 to 50 times slower than
>> direct manipulation of constant register bits
>
> Arduino would optimize quite well for well written compilers
> and still keep the abstractions that would make applications
> portable.

It's not a compiler inefficiency, but one of the model used.
Both "pin number" and "value" are variables, which pretty much  
prevents the use of the nice bit set instructions, or even the IO  
register instructions.  Instead you have to do an explicit index-
register-based read of mapped pin-to-address, modify the mapped pin-to-
mask as appropriate for the desired value, and write the value  
back...  I doubt that it would be much smaller than 20 instructions in  
hand-written assembler, on AVR or PIC.

Someone did write a macro that detects the use of constants and uses  
more direct code.
One of the ugliest macros I've ever seen!

BillW

2010\03\27@152248 by Byron Jeff

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On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 03:23:18AM -0400, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
> > ("There are 10 kinds of people...")
>
> Anyone got a list of such jokes? I can use a few to decorate my lessons.
> Like: "there is no place like 127.0.0.1".

There's no place like "localhost"? ;-)

BAJ

2010\03\27@171905 by Jon Chandler

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For my own applications, I realized I was often soldering a PIC and a few
components to a perf board, or using a more-costly dev board to do simple
tasks.  I do like the "shield" idea of the Arduino.  I designed a board with
a minimum set of features needed for many applications without any extras.
The "Throw Away Pic" (TAP) board was born.

It has dedicated connectors for ISCP, UART and I2C/SPI, a couple analog
input/gp connectors with power and ground, and a couple PWN/gp connectors
also with power and ground along with a couple switches and 4 LEDs.  It
supports many 28 pin 18F series  PICs.  Additionally, all the port pins are
brought out to two rows of headers to add a daughter board for applications
where additional components are needed.

This configuration seems to fit most my applications, where the PIC is
interfacing with the outside world.  The design is licensed under a Creative
Commons agreement and I'll provide Gerber files to anyone who wishes.

Details are available
here.<http://digital-diy.com/projects/151-tap-28-a-throw-away-pic-board-for-quick-and-dirty-applications.html>

There's also a article on a DS1307 RTC daughter board and an 8-servo
controller daughter board will be published soon.

Jon

2010\03\27@182307 by Olin Lathrop

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Jon Chandler wrote:
> It has dedicated connectors for ISCP, UART and I2C/SPI, a couple
> analog
> input/gp connectors with power and ground, and a couple PWN/gp
> connectors
> also with power and ground along with a couple switches and 4 LEDs.
> It
> supports many 28 pin 18F series  PICs.  Additionally, all the port
> pins are
> brought out to two rows of headers to add a daughter board for
> applications
> where additional components are needed.

This is roughly the same concept behind my ReadyBoard series, although these
contain more of the power supply and support for peripherals like the UART
right on board.  Probably the most important difference is that the
ReadyBoards all include a breadboard area so that the board becomes the
complete project.  They also come fully assembled.  I thought of kits, but
with modern manufacturing capabilities, a kit would be more expensive than
to have the full board assembled.

There are currently two variants.  The ReadyBoard-01
(http://www.embedinc.com/products/ready01) if for generic 28 pin PICs like
your board.  The ReadyBoard-02 (http://www.embedinc.com/products/ready02) is
for a 28 pin USB PIC, like the 18F2550.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\27@183227 by Tech

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This is fairly new, so I don't think a lot of folks are even aware of it yet, but Crownhill
has a new board that supports Arduino shield add-on boards, includes a very nice, and
'free', PIC compiler for the PIC18F25K20 that works with this PIC whether you have thier
board or not.

http://www.myamicus.co.uk/

It's one heck of a deal for free.

Regards,

Bruce
EraseMEtechspamspamspamBeGonerentron.com



2010\03\28@104305 by Walter Banks

picon face


William \"Chops\" Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I think we as seeing the same thing from different points of view.
The ugly macros and detailed data and control  flow once buried
into a code generator can do a lot to make the resultant code
effective.

The second point that may be more important is the need to
abstract embedded systems in general. This over time will
to improve portability and more important will ultimately
reduce application development time.

Standards have the effect of focusing tools and in the
long term instruct sets. You raised a good point that very few
processors support variable accessed pin addresses and
only a few support variable pin values.

Walter..


2010\03\28@105139 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 6:32 AM, Tech <RemoveMEtechKILLspamspamrentron.com> wrote:
> This is fairly new, so I don't think a lot of folks are even aware of it yet, but Crownhill
> has a new board that supports Arduino shield add-on boards, includes a very nice, and
> 'free', PIC compiler for the PIC18F25K20 that works with this PIC whether you have their
> board or not.
>
> http://www.myamicus.co.uk/
>
> It's one heck of a deal for free.
>

Yes this looks nice. But it is actually quite different from the Arduino thingy.
The major difference is that it is not programmed using the Arduino IDE and the
Basic compiler is a proprietary one (crippled in the sense that it is
locked to the
particular chip).

BTW, nice to see you back and not really unsubscribed.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2010\03\28@135410 by John Gardner

picon face
> http://www.myamicus.co.uk/

This is awesome!

thanks, Bruce :)

Jack

2010\03\28@144025 by Jon Chandler

flavicon
face
Olin,

Nice looking dev boards but in fact the concept is really quite different.

I came up with the idea of  the TAP board after 2 recent projects.  The
first was a project for a friend who needed to send a script of commands to
a servo controller to drive a robot.  The robot needed to go through a
simple sequence with "no brains" required.  Push a button, make the motion.
A PIC putting out ASCII commands was all that was needed.  The servo control
board even handled TTL levels.  Due to time constraints, I used a board I
had that's similar to yours but it was entirely overkill for the project.  A
relatively expensive board was tied up supporting this project....and after
several weeks, I still don't have it back.  A better solution is a "throw
away" board that's so cheap I wouldn't worry about getting it back.

The second application was for my servo
clock<digital-diy.com/projects/143-a-clock-for-geeks.html>.
Again, nothing much beyond a basic PIC circuit required.  For the first
clock, I assembled the circuit on a piece of perf board - workable but time
consuming.

A TAP board can be assembled for less $10 if you have a quantity of PCBs
made (I had 30 boards made for $90).  I can use a $10 board and not be
concerned about getting it back.  Not the case for a $90 dev board.  Some
projects justify the cost and can make good use of the breadboard area.

Jon

On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 4:22 PM, Olin Lathrop <olin_piclistSTOPspamspamspam_OUTembedinc.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\03\28@174753 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 28, 2010, at 8:43 AM, Walter Banks wrote:

> The ugly macros and detailed data and control  flow once buried into  
> a code generator can do a lot to make the resultant code effective.

I guess.  If you're willing to have your compiler "optimize" external  
function calls.  There was a discussion on that sort of thing here  
before, comparing C to languages with defined "built-in" "functions."  
I don't remember whether there was any consensus.   Sure, you could  
build a special-purpose arduino-language compiler, but that would make  
the package less attractive from other perspectives...

Besides, we're talking about the difference between a ~2.6MHz and  
~120kHz pin toggle rate here; even most of the people who think they  
need the functions to be faster are wrong, and I suspect that it's  
just as well that it's slower, given the rats nest of long wires that  
frequently end up being used to connect the arduino to external  
devices...

BillW

2010\03\29@074538 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Jon Chandler wrote:
> A TAP board can be assembled for less $10 if you have a quantity of
> PCBs
> made (I had 30 boards made for $90).  I can use a $10 board and not be
> concerned about getting it back.  Not the case for a $90 dev board.
> Some projects justify the cost and can make good use of the
> breadboard area.

Everything is a tradeoff.  It also often too easy to only count the direct
cash outlay costs and forget the other costs.  $63 for a dev board is cheap
when you count the technician time not spent building up the board,
debugging the power supply, adding a RS-232 interface, and adding LEDs for
debugging.  For some hobbyists that value their time near zero the tradeoff
is different, but in any real setting $63 is throw away level.


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(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

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