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  1. #21
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    The pin count tends to be excessive in the higher end processors. I been using the DSPIC for my DIY projects, primarily because they are available in user friendly packages.

    The RX looks like a very capable chip. I'd be interested in what you think of the development environment. The kit would be much more useful if it allows the onboard JTAG debugger to be used on other chips.
    That is a huge hit against it too, the JTAG piece. I think the cheapest option for programming your own board is around $120 (mouser prices) ... $60 J-Link EDU edition + $60 RX adapter for it. Yuck.

    Never played with the Microchip processors myself, I know they're very popular though. My latest work has been with the MSP430 (TI LaunchPad) and I got a project in the works for that atm... external grill/smoker temperature monitor (basically 2 thermocouples read once every 5 minutes and transmitted via nRF24L01+). I do like how TI rolled out the Value Line with 14-20 pin DIP parts. The SMD ones are 0.65mm pitch 2-side (TSSOP) and not too hard to solder.
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  2. #22
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Looks like TI is gearing up for their new Stellaris Launchpad next month... introductory price $4.99, includes an ARM Cortex-M4F with what sounds like a shitton of stuff (8 UARTs, 1 USB-OTG, up to 27 timers? curious what that means "up to"...)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpnUvwt2Oq4 -- main TI Stellaris Launchpad prerelease site
    I see some JTAG pins on the emulation header of that board, not populated but I'll bet that's an externally-usable JTAG...

    The "BoosterPack" form factor TI started with the MSP430 LaunchPad is apparently an emerging standard of theirs, they have a document on their processors wiki detailing how it works; there are 20-pin, 40-pin and 80-pin standards for boosterpack add-ons. Stellaris Launchpad will use the 40-pin version while the original MSP430 launchpad uses the 20-pin version. They also rolled out a C2000 Launchpad last month, $17, the C2K is a 32-bit MCU with DSP coprocessor built in ... It is its own thing, not ARM compatible or whatnot. I don't honestly see any reason for me to learn it since I don't mess with that kind of math-intensive stuff.
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    That is a huge hit against it too, the JTAG piece. I think the cheapest option for programming your own board is around $120 (mouser prices) ... $60 J-Link EDU edition + $60 RX adapter for it. Yuck.
    Evaluation boards often have a built in JTAG unit that can be used with external processors. They usually don't advertise it because they want to encourage you to buy the standalone unit. In many cases, they don't go out of their way to cripple it. It's up to you to find out.

    The one on the MSP430 is useable with external value line processors. I tried it. You just need to solder make some minor mods to the board. Note that there is an error on earlier versions. I forget what it is, but it wasn't hard to figure out.

    The C2000 is actually a type of DSP. So are Cortex M4's. The $17 C2000 launchpad is exceptional because it has an isolated JTAG on board. I wonder if it is compatible with TI ARM processors.

  4. #24
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Someone got his hand on that one already: http://www.raspberrypi.org/ ?
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  5. #25
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Nah, I have a coworker itching to buy one soon but I think I got my hands full with the 8/16-bit world still.
    It's getting a lot of play in the blogosphere though ... might match Arduino in eventual hardware/hobby support.
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  6. #26
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    So as an adjunct to my post above about the Renesas RX board, the professor (Dr. James Conrad) who wrote that book about it also has a full semester of lectures up on youtube about it--his Embedded Systems Course:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/stiquitojmconrad/featured

    Watched/skimmed the first 3 lectures, lots of basic stuff I already know so I am going to skim as much as possible to pick up what I need to know.
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  7. #27
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Got my MSP430-based grill monitor external sensor boards last night... soldered one up, I used the LaunchPad FET with jumper wires to program it to blink its 2 LEDs, so far the MCU and battery/boost regulation circuitry works correctly as expected. Writing code tonight to test out the thermocouple amplifier circuits and the nRF24L01+ transceiver.

    Pics:



    (the Baltimore Ravens logo was at the request of my boss's boss... who's going to buy one from me once it's complete and tested)
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  8. #28
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    Looks interesting. Is that your design? What does it do?

  9. #29
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Yep, my design (I used OSHpark.com for the board)... It reads 2 thermocouples every minute or 2 and relays it over RF (the cheap-o nRF24L01+ variety) to a base station attached to a server/PC indoors. Monitors the dome + meat inside a smoker/grill.

    Design goals included permanent outdoor installation (it fits inside a water resistant enclosure -- http://www.polycase.com/wc-22f ) and minimal maintenance, necessitating the use of AA batteries plus a 3.3V boost regulator. This all precluded the thought of trying to rig some kind of WiFi support to make it self-contained, instead I chose the nRF24 because of its low power + cheap acquisition cost.

    There is an expansion I/O port offering four GPIOs and the three Serial Peripheral Interface lines (SCLK/MOSI/MISO) to support whatever add-on gadgets I get the itch to build for it, the thought was to make this a cheap version of the BBQ Guru and related gadgets that normally cost $300+. This unit plus its base station should come in under $120 with thermocouples.

    I'm hoping 2 AA alkalines will get over a year of battery life in this thing. Average power draw should be <20uA with occasional (once a minute or 2) spikes to ~15-20mA for 1/2 second.
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  10. #30
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Looks great !! What boost converter did you use ?
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

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