APE (Arduino, PIC, Extender) Thoughts on a new kit in development

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by blueroomelectronics, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. blueroomelectronics

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    I'm just finalizing the groundwork for a new kit in the works. I enjoy sharing the thought process and of course look forward to any feedback comments you may have.

    Name: APE
    Description: I'm putting this kit together as an I/O expander for Windows, WHS, Linux & MAC computers. And for the first time in a Blueroomelectronics kit it can be built with support for either an Arduino 28pin DIP, 18F2550 DIP microcontroller or even just an FT232R and no microcontroller.

    The APE can be assembled in a variety of ways. The basic device will have
    USB slave device (FT232R AVR), (USB 18F2550 PIC)
    6 Relays
    4 Opto Isolated inputs
    RS422 or RS485 communications
    315 or 433 MHz RX module
    9V - 15VDC supply

    All hole through parts EXCEPT the FT232R (SOIC)
    Originally I was going to use an Arduino Mini to avoid having any surface mount parts but because so many parts are common between the PIC and AVR versions it was easier just to put an Arduino compatible layout on the board. This also allowed for a very basic microcontrollerless version using just an FT232R for control (the FT232R has 5 generic I/O pins that could be used to drive relays or read the opto isolators)

    I'll post schematics & more info in the following days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  2. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    In what area of applications do you think this will be useful?
     
  3. blueroomelectronics

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    HVAC comes to mind, the 6 relays could be connected to a furnace / ac unit. Part of a home alarm system. A PLC.
    A PC or home server perhaps even a linux router with USB could be used to give it web or telnet control.
     
  4. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
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    ;) I don't know if I would even consider purchasing any development kits from someone who can't even spell "development" :D JK!
     
  5. blueroomelectronics

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Oops dang nab it. Fixed the spelling thanks.

    APE would be similar to the popular ELK Magic module.
    http://www.elkproducts.com/products/elk-mm443.htm
    [​IMG]
     
  6. blueroomelectronics

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Update on the design.
    Scrapped the USB port in favor of a simple RS232 port.
    Can be built with one of three CPUs, Arduino, PIC2525, dsPIC33F3013
    The dsPIC has two UARTs, the 8bit CPUs have only one so you'll have to bit bash the RS485 or RS232 (jumper selectable)
    6N138 optos (high speed) useful for MIDI... (not sure if it's worth keeping)
    The dsPIC has very fast UARTs (fast enough for DMX via the RS485 interface)
     
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