“A ghost is haunting Europe—the ghost of communism.” said Carl Marx in 1848
We can re-phrase “A Ghost is haunting OpenFest 2016 – the ghost of open source hardware” 😀
We created this Soldering Kit specially for Open Fest as third year in a row we do soldering workshops there:
It’s a very simple board, specially made for novices with small PIC10F206 microcontroller which has only 512 words of Flash memory and 24 bytes of RAM, still enough to write C code like this.
In the good Olimex traditions being overwhelmed with work we totally forgot for the soldering workshop and started the project 3 weeks before OpenFest 🙂
The board was quickly routed with KiCAD and we sent to PCB manufacturer in China, who keep the promise to make the blank PCBs for 1 week and shipped on time but DHL late with the customs clearance and we got the board Friday morning! The workshop was Saturday and Sunday, right on time!
Then we had half Friday fun with Microchip’s MPLABX tools, which refused to re-program the PIC10F206 once it’s programmed.
After few hours we found that MPLABX version 3.35 can program and erase PIC10F206 just fine but MPLABX 3.45 don’t.
Still there was enough time till 20.00 o’clock and we managed to program 200 kits ready for soldering next day 🙂
The initial intention was to make LED breathe but after losing so much time with MPLABX we decided the first version to be simple 10 times blink!
Here you can see people assembling it on OpenFest:
Girls, Boys, Kids all were not afraid and took the soldering irons:
After OpenFest we continued to investigate why the newer MPLABX refused to program PIC10F206 more than once, the problem was trivial, to erase it the Vcc must be above 4.5V:
Still interesting why MPLABX 3.35 was erasing it even without this voltage settings 🙂
This is why working with embedded systems is such fun. You never know where you can step aside and you have to worry not just for the code but also for the hardware as source of mistakes.
Needless to say we had no any assembly instructions for the kit at OpenFest, but now proudly we put them on the web site of the kit.