MPIDE Arduino like IDE for PIC32-Pinguino and Duinomite boards

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With this tutorial video below we will show you how to setup MPIDE Arduino like IDE to work with PIC32-PINGUINO, PIC32-PINGUINO-OTG, PIC32-PINGUINO-MICRO, DUINOMITE, DUINOMITE-MINI, DUINOMITE-MEGA, DUINOMITE-eMEGA.

Here is video tutorial how to install MPIDE and add support for Pinguino and Duinomite boards:

MPIDE installation is also described in our Wiki

Why to use MPIDE?

It’s an alternative to Pinguino IDE and Duinomite Basic. You have one more option to use these boards.

Pinguino IDE  ( pinguino.cc ) was made as parallel project to Arduino but for PIC microcontrollers, instead of Java it uses Python for the IDE, with the latest Oracle – Google lawsuit we still wonder if Java was the best choice for Arduino IDE, but nevertheless Arduino was made earlier and managed to attract huge community. Pinguino community is still small and the demo codes for Pinguino are not so many as for Arduino.

Microchip and Digilent financed the release of MPIDE which is pure Arduino IDE fork and thus more familiar for the Arduino community to use. As MPIDE already have good PIC32 support it was very easy to add support for PIC32-Pinguino and Duinomite there.

Why to use MPIDE and C for Duinomite?

Duinomite boards are low cost but powerful boards initially made specially for project named Maximite.
Two years ago we found interesting project which makes Basic computer with just PIC32 processor.
I started with Apple ][ so it was very nostalgic to see BASIC computer made with embedded processor and to control GPIOs and resources in BASIC.

At that time Maximite was advertised as “open source” project, i.e. firmware sources were available for download. The hardware schematic also was present in JPEG format.

As hardware engineers we immediately spotted some weakness in the Maximite hardware design – the author being mostly software engineer omitted lot of hardware features PIC32 have.

While PIC32 have ultra low power modes, hardware SPI, I2C, UARTs, parallel interfaces which could work with MHz clock speed, for some weird reason the Maximite author decided to implement them by bit-banging purely in software – cripple-ing these interfaces to very low speeds only. Low power modes were not implemented at all.

So we decided to improve the hardware – this is how we made our board with low power design, hardware UARTs and SPIs, UEXT and Arduino connectors so Arduino shields like Gameduino etc could be placed on top of the board and so on.

We completed our hardware design and we proudly offered the Maximite author to check it and tell us his opinion … but he told us that he is not interested and demanded us to choose different name than Maximite. It was a quite surprising open source project author to refuse contribution. So we named our board Duinomite (Maximite is also explosive so we wanted to show where our board roots are).

Being mostly Hardware company we couldn’t implement the software our self, so we contacted Ken Seggler who at this time made port of Maximite for ChipKit board with same PIC32 processor. He was unemployed at that time and he accepted to make the port and even to implement our new ideas we had about low power sleep modes, the new hardware UART and SPI, SETUP command for general board setup, Gameduino commands, we discussed on public forum how to implement editor inside the BASIC and label-less commands etc.

Unfortunately this move really pissed off the Maximite author. He saw the Maximite BASIC port to our board as direct competition as now our hardware had more features than his own.

He closed the Maximite Basic source, then wrote one nasty page about Duinomite on his web presenting him as victim of the big bad company who steal his work and removed his name out of it.
From day one Duinomite Basic fork is on GitHub and anyone can check how true these blames are – Maximite author’s name have been always on our Duinomite Basic fork and display on startup . We had to fork his BASIC just because he refused to support our hardware.

Meantime Ken found full time job and couldn’t contribute to the project anymore, the Maximite author released new version of Maixmite Basic with label-less commands, build-in editor and his new Maximite hardware has … Arduino connectors  (surprise surprise :) ), so after all he has listened to us and took our contributions silently back !

Duinomite software left at that stage as no one was interested to duplicate Maximite Basic work and to run in parallel two same language implementations. The Maximite author had one problem though – while Duinomite quality build hardware cost just EUR 20 the Maximite less capable hardware in kit form cost was something like x3 times more and obviously people were buying Duinomite hardware, so to increase his followers he made Duinomite support and offered HEX compiled version of his Maximite BASIC for Duinomite – actually doing what we originally asked him for to do!

As far for the Duinomite BASIC fork – none of the younger and capable developers is interested in BASIC. Most of Maximite / Duinomite BASIC users are 40+ years and just users but not contributors / developers, so Duinomite BASIC development is pretty much dead.

Although Duinomite boards are still high seller, I guess 99% of people buy them and use them as regular PIC32 development board and use C instead of Basic judging from the tech supports questions we get.

Now with MPIDE Arduino like IDE people who are familiar with Arduino can develop on Duinomite too.

Em::Blocks free C/C++ IDE based on code::blocks framework

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Em::Blocks is free C/C++ IDE based on code::blocks framework targeting embedded applications.

Support for ARM, PIC, AVR, MSP430 is included with GCC compilers and GDB debugging.

The most important feature we like is the Project Wizzard which allow you to start your project with templates which cover the most popular ARM processors from ST, NXP, EM etc.

And according to this forum messages http://www.emblocks.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=70 there is no problem to debug with OpenOCD GDB server.

You can see from this video how easy is to setup project for STM32F4 with the Project Wizzard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coHPJylnzC8

So with ARM-USB-TINY-H and Em::Blocks you are ready to go for embedded ARM work.

OLIMEXINO-5510 ARDUINO LIKE BOARD WITH MSP430 IS IN STOCK

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OLIMEXINO-5510 EUR 12.95 development board is based on MSP430F5510 microcontroller.

First it was intended to run EasyMSP software but this project didn’t move far away, fortunately now there is https://github.com/energia/Energia ARDUINO IDE for MSP430 so this board can move on among the Arduino platform fans.

 

PASCAL is STILL ALIVE :-)

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For those who remember with sentiment the old days of Turbo Pascal there is one good news.

Although Pascal lost the battle as programming language of choice mostly because of the Linux fame, Prof. NIklaus Wirth continued the language development with the project Oberon.

Some of Prof. Worth books which were used by generation for teaching of structural programming are now available for free download: Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs, Theory and Techniques of Compiler Construction.

CFB Software has released Astrobe Oberon language development IDE for LPC Cortex M3 family, so you can now program your LPCxxx microcontrollers in Pascal-like language.

These devices are supported for the moment: LPC1343 / 1313 / 1759 / 1758 / 1756 / 1754 / 1752 / 1751 / 1769 / 1768 / 1767 / 1766 / 1765 / 1764 / 1763.

And there is BSP for Olimex LPC-P1343 and LPC-1766-STK

On this video you can see program written on Oberon working on LPC2378-STK so Astobe Oberon supports ARM7 too.

Here is the Oberon language definition by Niklas Wirth.

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