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'[PIC] MyPIC32 competition - anyone here make the f'
2008\07\28@122748 by M. Adam Davis

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I haven't seen any discussion of Microchip's PIC32 contest on here:

http://mypic32.com/

The progression of the competition is interesting - it's broken up
into several 3 month long phases of design, and at the conclusion of
each design phase only 1/4 of the contestants move on to the next
phase.  They started off selecting 128 of the paper abstract designs
to move to the hardware design phase (which started yesterday), 32
will move on to software design, 8 will move onto the final prototype
phase, and one will win the competition at next year's spring ESC.
Those who move on to each phase also receive quite a bit of helpful
tools and prototyping materials.  You only have to be in the top 25%
of the competition each phase to move forward.  ;-D

Those who register on the site and vote on the designs as they
progress will affect the outcome of each later phase to a greater
degree.

At the last minute (well, a few hours before the deadline) I decided
to submit an idea I'd been mulling over for some time, and apparantly
I made the cut:

http://mypic32.com/web/guest/contestantsprofiles?profileID=50331

Here are the 128 designs moving into the next phase (news marked 7/25/08):
http://mypic32.com/web/guest/news

I was wondering if anyone else here submitted a design, and if anyone
made it into the hardware design phase.  I'm slowly going through the
entries, but I haven't recognized anyone yet...

Of course, all this means is more work on my plate, but it should be
fun and engaging.

-Adam

--
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\07\29@045149 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I was wondering if anyone else here submitted a design, and if
>anyone made it into the hardware design phase.  I'm slowly going
>through the entries, but I haven't recognized anyone yet...

A lot of interesting designs there. Some are variations on other submissions
(several CNC type units, etc), but when I first saw the heading I wondered
if this one was our own Mongol Herdsman ...
http://mypic32.com/web/guest/contestantsprofiles?profileID=22530


'[PIC] MyPIC32 competition - anyone here make the f'
2008\08\04@201027 by Vitaliy
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M. Adam Davis wrote:
> At the last minute (well, a few hours before the deadline) I decided
> to submit an idea I'd been mulling over for some time, and apparantly
> I made the cut:
>
> http://mypic32.com/web/guest/contestantsprofiles?profileID=50331

Excellent idea!

What is the expected range? I understand it will be somewhat dependent on
the position of the nodes and the mode they're currently in, but do you have
any ballpark estimates?

I hope you have plans to make this into a commercial product.  :)

Vitaliy

2008\08\04@214638 by M. Adam Davis

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On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 8:06 PM, Vitaliy <spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTspammaksimov.org> wrote:
> M. Adam Davis wrote:
>> At the last minute (well, a few hours before the deadline) I decided
>> to submit an idea I'd been mulling over for some time, and apparantly
>> I made the cut:
>>
>> http://mypic32.com/web/guest/contestantsprofiles?profileID=50331
>
> Excellent idea!
>
> What is the expected range? I understand it will be somewhat dependent on
> the position of the nodes and the mode they're currently in, but do you have
> any ballpark estimates?
>
> I hope you have plans to make this into a commercial product.  :)

Thanks for the encouragement!  I expect that if I were to move forward
as a commercial idea I'd have a few different models with tradeoffs
for size/range/battery life.  To really be effective they have to be
very long life battery-wise, and have good range - they aren't needed
at small parks where you can maintain visual contact with the kids
easily (Although some parents would buy them even in this case just
for piece of mind), so something on the order of 100 meters on the low
end.  Zigbee radios are available for over 1km range line of sight, so
that would be the high end for the initial units.  The data would be
sent in very short bursts perhaps once every 5 seconds or so so the
main battery drain would be the receiver.  I may increase battery life
by using time slots where the receivers are turned off 90% of the time
once the units are synchronized, and only on during short windows when
the transmitters are expected to transmit, or when a transmitter
hasn't been heard during the expected time.  With crystal clocks and
only a few units conversing with each other I may be able to get the
average radio current down from 20-40mA to 1-2mA.  The next big
consumer is the GPS unit.  I haven't looked at the one Digikey offers
(all the parts in the design have to be listed in the Digikey catalog)
but most GPS units have a low power mode that allows one to get a
reading every few seconds for a fraction of the normal current.

And that, of course, is a very optimistic view of usage - We'll see
what happens when I put it all together and drag it outside...

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\08\04@215644 by Vitaliy

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M. Adam Davis wrote:
> And that, of course, is a very optimistic view of usage - We'll see
> what happens when I put it all together and drag it outside...

I'd be happy to test the system for you. What's the ETA and the estimated
cost of the prototype? :-)

Vitaliy

2008\08\04@224218 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 9:53 PM, Vitaliy <.....spamKILLspamspam@spam@maksimov.org> wrote:
> M. Adam Davis wrote:
>> And that, of course, is a very optimistic view of usage - We'll see
>> what happens when I put it all together and drag it outside...
>
> I'd be happy to test the system for you. What's the ETA and the estimated
> cost of the prototype? :-)

I've got a lot on my plate with another two consulting projects I have
to kick out the door before I can really dig into this one, but the
hardware design deadline for the contest is October 13th, and the
software deadline (assuming I make it into the next phase) is January
26th.  Whether I make it into the SW design phase or not, I expect
I'll have some basic functionality complete by November, and if the
numbers look good for a commercial project then I can work on a custom
enclosure, finalize the BOM and design, and have real prototypes by
next spring/summer.  I'll probably have a few testing alpha prototypes
this fall, but keep in mind that all the schematics and code will be
available on the contest page so even if I don't have anything I can
send out for testing, you can always build your own.

But this idea is a good platform to play with (lots of sensors, GPS,
zigbee, display) that I may make prototype PCBs/kits/assemblies
available just for people to play with and develop on.  There's not
much available for the PIC32 right now, and it could be a good
opportunity until the usual suspects bring out their dev kits.

As far as cost, I don't know - I'll keep in mind that there's some
interest though, and see if there's enough interest for a larger alpha
build in a few months.

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\08\07@002837 by Vitaliy

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M. Adam Davis wrote:
> I've got a lot on my plate with another two consulting projects I have
> to kick out the door before I can really dig into this one, but the
> hardware design deadline for the contest is October 13th, and the
> software deadline (assuming I make it into the next phase) is January
> 26th.  Whether I make it into the SW design phase or not, I expect
> I'll have some basic functionality complete by November, and if the
> numbers look good for a commercial project then I can work on a custom
> enclosure, finalize the BOM and design, and have real prototypes by
> next spring/summer.

Now, these are the words of a man -- not a boy! :-D

Having placed my foot in my mouth a great number of times, occasionally I
still make the mistake of saying "oh yeah, I'll have it done by Tuesday --  
no sweat!"

As Brooks would say it, it's the "pure thought stuff" we're working with --  
what can go wrong?

Vitaliy



2008\08\15@031353 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Jul 28, 2008, at 9:27 AM, M. Adam Davis wrote:

> I made the cut:
>
> mypic32.com/web/guest/contestantsprofiles?profileID=50331
Congratulations!  Looks like a nice idea.

> I was wondering if anyone else here submitted a design
I submitted a quick "pic32 advanced arduino" idea, and kept meaning  
to update it to sound more impressive, but I got pretty disillusioned  
by the number of designs that could have been adequately served by an  
8bit CPU, and sorta decided that mine was one of them :-(  In any  
case, the design as submitted was not selected for phase 2...

The phases are interesting, but I think I preferred the Freescale  
Black Widow phases, where the initial phases forced one to gain some  
familiarity with the parts to-be-used. (IIRC, "Phase 1" was a quiz,  
and "phase 2" was to actually use the tools to write SW to get a web-
access eval system to send morse code...)  I actually learned  
something from failing to make the cut in THAT contest, while the  
PIC32 contest was more of a "eh, I'll actually get to work if I make  
phase 2..."

I'm surprised that there hasn't been more PIC32 discussion in general  
on PICLIST...

BillW

2008\08\15@072043 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of William "Chops" Westfield
> Sent: 15 August 2008 08:13
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [PIC] MyPIC32 competition - anyone here make the first
cut?
{Quote hidden}

It's certainly an interesting part, but I can't help but feel that
Microchip has entered the game rather late with the large number of
established and cheap ARM based parts already in the market.

Regards

Mike

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2008\08\15@174022 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Aug 15, 2008, at 4:19 AM, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:

> I can't help but feel that Microchip has entered the game rather  
> late with the large number of established and cheap ARM based parts  
> already in the market.

I'm somewhat happy to see another 32bit core with multi-vendor  
potential enter the fray, though as you say, it seems a little late.  
On the other hand, the PIC32 MIPS core products are competing against  
the "microcontroller" ARM products (ie those using the Cortex M3  
core), and those aren't as well established.

BillW

2008\08\15@181445 by PAUL James

picon face

All,

I didn't.  But then I didn't really figure I would.  
It was a spur of the moment thing that I entered at all.
So, I'm not too disappointed.  However, it would have been nice
to have made it through.  Oh well, such is life.


                                       Jim

{Original Message removed}

2008\08\15@182041 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
I'm just happy there's reasonable competition in the embedded 32 bit
space - everyone's going to ARM these days, but a lot of vendors
supply powerpc (Freescale, notably), MIPs isn't dead (maybe it wasn't
before, but until Microchip adopted it I hadn't seen anything with it
for years), and Atmel has their AVR32.

So far I've played with all three, and there aren't any particular
strengths or weaknesses I notice - it comes down to peripherals and
pricing, as usual, and the ARM royalty is a negative factor on
pricing.  On the other hand, ARM tools are very mature, so there's a
tradeoff there.

I'm thinking it would be fun to make an embedded 64 and 128 bit
processor just to say that I was the first, but I can't think of a
really compelling application for it.  ;-D  Plus mine would be very,
very, very bad.  But someone would buy it just so they could say they
had it!  Could process a whole CAN frame per instruction cycle.  Come
to think of it, networking and broadband might be a reasonable
application for that, and that field is only going to grow...

-Adam

On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 5:39 PM, William Chops Westfield <EraseMEwestfwspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmac.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\08\21@041302 by Dario Greggio

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M. Adam Davis wrote:

> I'm thinking it would be fun to make an embedded 64 and 128 bit
> processor just to say that I was the first, but I can't think of a
> really compelling application for it.  ;-D  

Why not make it in software? :)
(I know it becomes something like an "interpreter" but, you know, they
did do it on 6502 for instance... a soft-16bit CPU... !)

--
Ciao, Dario

2008\08\21@072252 by olin piclist

face picon face
Dario Greggio wrote:
> Why not make it in software? :)
> (I know it becomes something like an "interpreter" but, you know, they
> did do it on 6502 for instance... a soft-16bit CPU... !)

Here's a idea for a PIC 32 design contest.  It's sortof like the
microcontroller equivalent of a solar powered flashlight.  Create a bunch of
virtual 10F200 machines in a PIC 32 and show that they all run as fast or
faster than a real 10F200.  Each virtual machine gets its own set of 4 I/O
pins.

This would actually be a great learning exercise, but a totally useless
result.


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

2008\08\21@074900 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Here's a idea for a PIC 32 design contest.  It's sortof like the
> microcontroller equivalent of a solar powered flashlight.  Create a bunch of
> virtual 10F200 machines in a PIC 32 and show that they all run as fast or
> faster than a real 10F200.  Each virtual machine gets its own set of 4 I/O
> pins.

Mine was the opposite, but indeed yours makes sense too - for a limited
meanings of "sense" (I'm starting to speak like Russell :-)))

> This would actually be a great learning exercise, but a totally useless
> result.

exactly :)


--
Ciao, Dario

2008\08\23@054547 by Vitaliy

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face
Dario Greggio wrote:
> Mine was the opposite, but indeed yours makes sense too - for a limited
> meanings of "sense" (I'm starting to speak like Russell :-)))

Dario, No! <:-O  There's enough ambiguity here as it is! :)

2008\08\23@080851 by Dario Greggio

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Vitaliy wrote:
> Dario Greggio wrote:
>
>>Mine was the opposite, but indeed yours makes sense too - for a limited
>>meanings of "sense" (I'm starting to speak like Russell :-)))
>
>
> Dario, No! <:-O  There's enough ambiguity here as it is! :)

:))
Ok.
Seriously, I was wondering if it is just common English colloquial that
"for a limited... of..." - something like "for the records" and such...
or if it really something peculiar from Russell...

--
Ciao, Dario

2008\08\23@083140 by Jinx

face picon face
> Seriously, I was wondering if it is just common English colloquial
> that "for a limited... of..." - something like "for the records" and
such...
> or if it really is something peculiar from Russell...

Well, I never thought I'd see "peculiar" and "Russell" in the same
sentence

OMG I'm such a liar ;-)

Russell speak idiomatic English very good. About as well as what
I does

Getting back to PIC32, they look like fun/a challenge. I wish I had
an application for one. Some of them are sampleable (?), might give
it a go

2008\08\23@141201 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 23, 2008, at 5:07 AM, Dario Greggio wrote:

>
> Seriously, I was wondering if it is just common English colloquial  
> that
> "for a limited... of..." - something like "for the records" and  
> such...
> or if it really something peculiar from Russell...

No, I think it's from math/physics/engineering: "For small values of  
X, we can substitute "X" for "sin(X)". or more exactly: "for small  
values of X, additional terms in the series can be neglected."

BillW

2008\08\23@180529 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

> On Aug 23, 2008, at 5:07 AM, Dario Greggio wrote:
>
>
>>Seriously, I was wondering if it is just common English colloquial  
>>that
>>"for a limited... of..." - something like "for the records" and  
>>such...
>>or if it really something peculiar from Russell...
>
>
> No, I think it's from math/physics/engineering: "For small values of  
> X, we can substitute "X" for "sin(X)". or more exactly: "for small  
> values of X, additional terms in the series can be neglected."

Yeah, I know that one, William!
Is "taking that jargon to Spoken English" which hit me, and my wonder
followed.
Thank you.

--
Ciao, Dario

2008\08\27@204209 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
>> Here's a idea for a PIC 32 design contest.  It's sortof
>> like the
>> microcontroller equivalent of a solar powered flashlight.

I resemble that.

>> Create a bunch of virtual 10F200 machines in a PIC 32

>> This would actually be a great learning exercise, but a
>> totally useless
>> result.

The analogy with a solar powered flashlight rather breaks
down, then ;-).


       R

2008\08\28@083512 by olin piclist

face picon face
Apptech wrote:
>> Here's a idea for a PIC 32 design contest.  It's sortof
>> like the
>> microcontroller equivalent of a solar powered flashlight.
>
> I resemble that.

I wasn't thinking of your solar powered flashlight, but the one from the
Japanese uselss invention contest of a few years back.  The picture is
really funny, but I couldn't find it anywhere just now.  I could have said
submarine with screen doors, non-stick Scotch tape, electric fork,
one-station intercom, etc.


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

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