Duinomite MINI, MEGA and eMEGA back in stock

DuinoMite-Mega

Duinomite-MINI, MEGA, eMEGA boards were made specially to run BASIC on PIC32 processors, but are well packed with features boards, so people were using them not only with BASIC interpreter but also programming them in C.

There were not high runners, so at one point we were selling just few per month and when the blank boards were out of stock we had hesitated if to run them again or not, with the time lot of people signed for notification when back in stock so we decided to run small batch of all these three and re-stock.

Now we got them back in stock.

First PIC32-EMZ64 boards for Embedded World are now testing

PIC32-EMZ64

This board was made from the design idea to mass production in just few weeks 🙂

The PIC32 microcontroller model was choosen January 21st, so we had 1 week to design and PCB layout the board, 1 week to produce the blank PCB, make stencils, prepare software demo code and one week to setup the assembly line and run the PCBs for asssembly.

Today we got first batch of the assembled boards.

PIC32-EMZ64-2

For these who do not remember this board is using the new PIC32MZ2048EFH064 with 2MB of Flash, 512KB RAM, Ethernet, CAN and fast 18Msps 12bit ADC!

On the board you can see:

  • USB-OTG
  • USB Host
  • Ethernet 100Mb
  • Audio input
  • Audio output
  • OLED LCD 128×64 pixels
  • microSD card
  • CAN driver
  • 3x buttons
  • Reset
  • LEDs

all this in compact credit card size format.

At Embedded World in Nurenberg 23-25 of February we will give away these boards but only to registered/approved developers. If you want to take your board at the show please send us e-mail and write what projects you have done, so we can confirm that your board is reserved. Important: we will not give away boards to Embedded world visitors who have no reservation/approval from us in advance.

You can’t visit Embedded World? Do not worry you still have chance to receive free board – just send us e-mail and tell us what projects you have done with PIC or Olimex boards before. We can decide to send you by post one of these free of charge.

LiteBSD for PIC32-HMZ144 released

bsd

LiteBSD is a variant of 4.4BSD operating system adapted for microcontrollers. Currently, only the Microchip PIC32MZ family is supported as a target. It is equipped with MMU with paging support, and 512kbytes of on-chip RAM. These resources are enough to build a compact networked embedded system.

PIC32-HMZ144 support is on the LiteBSD Github

MOD-LCD3310 OSHW monochrome LCD 84×48 pixels board with UEXT connector

MOD-LCD3310

MOD-LCD3310 is Open Source Hardware board released under Apache 2.0 Licensee.
It’s low cost 84×48 pixels LCD which can connect to any of our development boards with UEXT connectors.
The schematic in PDF format and Board and Schematic files in Eagle CAD format are on GitHub.

Examples how to connect MOD-LCD3310 to OLIMEXINO-32U4 (Arduino Leonardo), OLIMEXINO-STM32 (Maple), PIC32-PINGUINO (Pinguino), A20-OLinuXino-MICRO, LPC-P1227 (NXP) and STM32-P103 (ST) are on GitHub.

The LCD panel alone is also available for purchase on our web shop

LCD3310-1

backlight panel

NOKIA3310-BACKLIGHT-2

and the matching connector

LCD3310-CON

which you can use to make your own PCBs with this display for your next project.

New PIC32-HMZ144 Open Source Hardware development board is in stock

PIC32MZH144

PIC32-HMZ144 is low cost development board for the new PIC32MZ2048HCM144 processor from Microchip with these features:

  • PIC32MZ2048EHC144 512KB RAM 2MB Flash
  • USB-OTG
  • uSD card
  • ICSP for debug and programming
  • JTAG pins exposed on 0.1″ step 6 pins
  • EXT1 and EXT2 50 pin 0.1″ connectors for all PIC ports
  • RESET and USER buttons
  • PWR and STATUS LEDs
  • LiPo battery charger and connector
  • UEXT connector
  • Dimensions: 77 x 52 mm

PIC32MZ2048HCM144 is high performance MIPS core processor from Microchip with 10-bit, 500 KSPS, 48-channel ADC module, MMU for real time OS support, CAN, UART, I2C, PMP, EBI, SQI & Analog Comparators, SPI/I2S interfaces for audio processing and playback, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Device/Host/OTG, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet MAC with MII and RMII interface.

Another board with Ethernet and LCD is on the way, PIC32MZ2048 is good candidate to run RetroBSD

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.

Do you have enough program memory for your next PIC project?

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Do not worry PIC32-HMZ144 comes with PIC32MZ2048ECG144-I/PH microcontroller and:

  • 2048KB (yeaaaaaaaaaaah 2 MB!) program memory Flash
  • 512KB of data RAM memory
  • x6 UARTs
  • x6 SPIs
  • x5 I2Cs
  • x48 12 bit ADC
  • USB OTG with power managment
  • user button
  • reset button
  • pwr led
  • status LED
  • LiPo battery connector and charger
  • micro SD card
  • UEXT connector
  • ICSP programming and debug connector
  • 2x 50 GPIO connectors
  • JTAG connector
  • small form 77 x 52 mm

How much? We still have no confirmed price from Microchip but we guess preliminary that this board could be released for EUR 20

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