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mctrivia
04-02-2009, 11:18 AM
I call it the propComputer.

7 propelers in total:

Master Prop:
*NIC Adapter
*4mbit flash memory
*32kb EEPROM
*Pads for RTC
*5 MHz Crystal
*4 connecting wires to each slave prop(Rx,Tx,Reset,Watch Dog)

6 Slave Props:
*5 MHz Crystal
*Pads for EEPROM address configurable as 0 or 1
*142 pin Header for connection to module board


Module Board(See diagram):
Broken up into 5 parts:
*Power (Vdd,3.3V,5V,+-12V) - 3.3V & 5V supplies included. each are 2A switching supply.
*Propeller Connections (Layed out for shortest trace lengths hopefully allowing AD converter to work, has access to P0-P29, as well as reset. P29 is also the Watch Dog Pin)
*Serial Bus Connections(12 conductors running from Prop 6 to Prop 1 with each prop module intercepting the bus. Bi pas resisters can be soldered on main board.)
*Bus Connections(24 conductors connecting to every module)
*Header Connections(32 conductors that run to the eadge connector)

Pin Definition(Lots of Vdd pins not all must be used but for best grounding the more the better):
1> +12V Rail
2> 3.3V Rail
3> Vdd
4> 3.3V Rail
5> P24
6> P25
7> P26
8> P27
9> P28
10> P29/Watch Dog
11> P0
12> P1
13> P2
14> P3
15> P4
16> P5
17> P6
18> P7
19> Reset
20> Vdd
21> SB0 Out
22> B0
23> SB1 Out
24> B1
25> SB2 Out
26> B2
27> SB3 Out
28> B3
29> SB4 Out
30> B4
31> SB5 Out
32> B5
33> SB6 Out
34> B6
35> SB7 Out
36> B7
37> SB8 Out
38> B8
39> SB9 Out
40> B9
41> SB10 Out
42> B10
43> SB11 Out
44> B11
45> Vdd
46> Vdd
47> H0
48> H15
49> H1
50> H14
51> H2
52> H13
53> H3
54> H12
55> H4
56> H11
57> H5
58> H10
59> H6
60> H9
61> H7
62> H8

63> 5V
64> -12V
65> 5V
66> Vdd
67> P22
68> P23
69> P20
70> P21
71> P18
72> P19
73> P16
74> P17
75> P14
76> P15
77> P12
78> P13
79> P10
80> P11
81> P8
82> P9
83> B23
84> SB0 In
85> B22
86> SB1 In
87> B21
88> SB2 In
89> B20
90> SB3 In
91> B19
92> SB4 In
93> B18
94> SB5 In
95> B17
96> SB6 In
97> B16
98> SB7 In
99> B15
100> SB8 In
101> B14
102> SB9 In
103> B13
104> SB10 In
105> B12
106> SB11 In
107> Vdd
108> Vdd
109> H16
110> H31
111> H17
112> H30
113> H18
114> H29
115> H19
116> H28
117> H20
118> H27
119> H21
120> H26
121> H22
122> H25
123> H23
124> H24

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

mctrivia
04-02-2009, 11:21 AM
Design not entirely done. Was thinking of having pads for NIC, VGA, uSD, audio, keyboard, and mouse on the left hand side and attaching them to the Bus. Would use up 20 of the 24 Bus pins.


Modules could be made with large ram chips, converters to Spin studio headers, any thing you want as long as it can fit in 1.5"x3.5"

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

rjo_
04-02-2009, 12:10 PM
You have enough Props to do full color... real time image analysis, etc. etc. etc. The key is in the clocking... get that right and you are off to the races. Screw it up and everyone is going to say..."that's interesting."

If you build it... I will teach it a new way to find prime numbers.

Anyone who believes that there is a fine line between insanity and genius hasn't spent enough time as a genius:)

Rich

By the way... the easiest way to get stuff into East Africa duty free is to call it a computer or a computer part. So, emphasizing the computer part of what the Prop is has real benefits to the people, who really need the Prop the most.

Post Edited (rjo_) : 4/2/2009 5:16:08 AM GMT

mctrivia
04-02-2009, 12:14 PM
what do you mean the key is in the clocking? My plan is to use separate crystals for each prop. drift is very minimal with a 20ppm crystal. the design is only 90% done so if people think a single crystal plus driver would be better I can put it in instead.

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

mctrivia
04-02-2009, 12:21 PM
48x 32 bit processers(not including the 8 on the master it is for programing and watch dog code)
2 fairly wide buses and a 192 pin header it has lots of power. Not to mention on board 5V 2A and 3.3V 2A supplies.

By the way power rails are 0.1" wide more then enough to handle 2A

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

TJHJ
04-02-2009, 12:29 PM
Why stop at 7? 8 cogs 8 props?........now that they are cheaper

:P

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I owe everyone here a bunch, So thanks again for answering my dumb questions.
Projects. RG500 ECU system. PropCopter. Prop CanSat. Prop Paste Gun.
Suzuki RG500 in a RGV 250 frame.
Bimota V-Due (Running on the fuel injection system)
Aprilia RS250

mctrivia
04-02-2009, 12:32 PM
well because i ran out of pins on the master prop and wanted every chip to be loadable in parallel. also if wd fails on a prop the master can load just that prop or load it with a fail safe code instead of the normal code.

flash can store 16 different prop codes.

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

rjo_
04-02-2009, 12:45 PM
mctrivia... I'm going to defer to the Pro's on this one and hope that they will chime in.

What I mean is that unless you have one master clock you will lose enough determinacy that some types of applications will become problematic. Take a look at what Baggers has done with imaging on one Prop... the general strategy of interleaving cogs is potentially applicable between Props... and strictly speaking as long as you are cycle similar between props you can work around any potential problems... but why solve problems in software when they can and should be solved in hardware?

Rich

jazzed
04-02-2009, 01:00 PM
Rich is right. If you have a big problem to solve that needs big mips having the cogs all running lock-step would be useful. Also, this allows fast serial communications without worrying about finding the middle of bits. Chip had a thread last year where this kind of stuff is discussed ... he also mentioned the possibility of using a master Propeller pin to drive XI clock of the other Propellers in lieu of some other buffering scheme. Not claiming to be a hardware pro ....

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--Steve


Propalyzer: Propeller PC Logic Analyzer (http://www.brouhaha.com/~sdenson/Propalyzer)
http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=788230 (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=788230)

mctrivia
04-02-2009, 01:10 PM
well the master prop has 2 free pins(30,31) and 1 free cog

no software writen yet but my vision is 1 cog for net, 1 each for slaves, leaving 1 left.

So can I hook 30 up to XI of each slave and let software on master generate a stable 5MHz signal?

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

jazzed
04-02-2009, 01:15 PM
I think you can use COG counters for the 5MHz in the background ... verify by looking at the Propeller spec and counter application-note from the Parallax downloads page.

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--Steve


Propalyzer: Propeller PC Logic Analyzer (http://www.brouhaha.com/~sdenson/Propalyzer)
http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=788230 (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=788230)

dMajo
04-02-2009, 04:17 PM
mctrivia said...
well the master prop has 2 free pins(30,31) and 1 free cog

no software writen yet but my vision is 1 cog for net, 1 each for slaves, leaving 1 left.

So can I hook 30 up to XI of each slave and let software on master generate a stable 5MHz signal?


No need to waste a pin on master: you can do your own cristal controlled oscilator with a crystal and a single/double gate ic that can feed the clock on the bus

http://forums.parallax.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=59770

mctrivia
04-02-2009, 07:56 PM
would this be any more or less accurate then using pin 30 or 31? normally i would leave these pins available for prop plug but in this case programming after initial code would be through ethernet.

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

rjo_
04-02-2009, 10:50 PM
You might want to jumper some pins (30 and 31?) ala Phildapill's approach to leaving dual access to particular pins. For example to use a particular set of pins for audio and video on Phildapill's board, you just jumper them and it is audiovideo... if you leave the jumpers off it is just a pin like any other pin. And of course you could put some three way switches in that would do pretty much the same thing.

I personally would leave 30 and 31 alone, because by convention they have particular functionality... but then again the rebel in all of us likes to see conventions broken. If you are going to use 30 and 31 I would recommend doing it with dual purposes in mind.

Regards,

Rich

rjo_
04-02-2009, 10:56 PM
I feel like I'm nit picking... and if that is how it feels to you, sorry:)

Ordinarily, I would emphasize the positive... but in this case there is almost nothing that I don't like so it would sound like...
"wow... that's nice." "Geez that looks great" etc. etc. etc.

mctrivia
04-02-2009, 11:17 PM
well that sounds like praise to me.

design changes needed so far:
*all slaves are kept in sync with 1 clock signal.
*shrink board size some more by changing from .1" header to smaller pitch.(smaller pcb = cheaper.

can the number of bus pins be cut down? do I need serial bus or just parallel?

for module designers can I make skinner? I can make a really small bga ram module.

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

mctrivia
04-03-2009, 10:16 AM
Well it seems it was insanity. I can not find a female header that is not super expensive.

digikey: SAM8252-ND

is the best I can find.

At present this project would cost over $300 each

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

WNed
04-03-2009, 05:59 PM
The trick is in how gracefully you dance back and forth over the line...
How about designing the board to be built incrementally, so you could start simpler and cheaper, then add on depending on funds and/or need?

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"They may have computers, and other weapons of mass destruction." - Janet Reno

rjo_
04-03-2009, 07:37 PM
Well... it isn't insanity. Genius just doesn't come cheap sometimes.

Let's think about this a little from the "other guy's" perspective, with me being the "other guy."

My workspace has become a maze of wires that is meaningful only to me... If you look at it, it looks like an accident waiting to happen. I have room for my project and when I really need to answer just one question... without touching my project, I pop
Bean's mini into my computer, because there isn't enough room to get a proto board out ... wire it up... hook it to the TV and then answer my question.

Contributing to this clutter... I have three power lines running all over the place. So, I figured... why have three 9V lines when I could have one 1.5A line with short connectors? So, that's what I did... I went out to RadioShack and got a 1.5A 9V power supply and three connectors... the connectors cost me about $6 each and the power supply was... I don't remember.... $30?

Whenever I want to experiment with 12V motors, that is another power line and power supply... the supplies I have, but they could be anywhere depending upon exactly what I want.

You have a flash memory area that is large enough to hold two 8 bit images... so that I could have reference images for software development purposes. My only other choice is my Hydra system, in which I already have more than $300 invested and I never touch because I don't want to ruin it:)

You have ethernet built in... there are some other boards with ethernet... but it is a rare offering.

etc., etc., etc.

On the minus side... PropII is coming. I don't know when, but just about the time you get your project out the door, Parallax will be close to releasing the PropII and then everyone's time and attention is going to shift to the PropII.

Rather than designing for the PropI... design this for the PropII. Or better yet... make it forward compatible... or backward compatible...depending upon you perspective. In addition to raw speed, the PropII is going to have a lot more pins to work with... and that is one of your problems:)

Waste nothing... at least put your approach to power into a package... just having 3,5, and 12V lines in a power supply package/kit with 1 mm headers would be useful... but you might also want to include 1.8V. I have some stepper motors that are 40V... So putting in a high voltage line might be useful too.

If you cut out the ethernet and offer the power supply as an option... where is your cost relative to the Hydra?

It isn't a done deal... but it isn't insanity.

Rich

TreeLab
04-03-2009, 07:54 PM
At $300, this is more expensive than the equivalent horsepower in Prop Proto boards, although it would be more elegant.

The nice aspect of the SpinStudio system is the modularity, and there is already a certain user-base that thinks along these lines. Would it be possible to keep the multi-prop design, but provide multiple 2x10 SS headers around each?. Connect to daughterboards via flat ribbon cable so that if a module needs more than 8 I/Os, you just hook up multiple ribbons.

Equally important, it becomes much (MUCH) easier to have multiple daughterboards driven by the motherboard, albeit with a bit more of a rats nest appearance. I think that this would be a major problem with a single large header that acts like a bus in the original layout.

If you used a footprint that would meet/exceed most daughterboard requirements (7.5cmx10cm?), put matching mount holes in all boards, then this would be a versatile design system that would leverage existing work. Surface mount could be used to reduce size.

Cheers!

rjo_
04-03-2009, 07:58 PM
TreeLab...

From my POV, just having a common clock and a relatively open design would be fabulous. Ribbon connectors would be perfectly acceptable. And in terms of design... if you use ribbons, you would only need a configuration area between boards...
so that pin groups could be matched up. If the user didn't like it... he could always use smaller ribbons.

Rich

Post Edited (rjo_) : 4/3/2009 1:09:30 PM GMT

TreeLab
04-03-2009, 08:24 PM
Another way to approach this ...
How many sets of (surface mount prop+3 or 4 spin studio headers) could be shoehorned onto the existing SpinStudio motherboard footprint? It probably won't get to 7, but it would be a powerful and compact board. The power supply could be a separate unit as Rich suggested.

I like the idea of making it PropII friendly. Without knowing the final format of the PII etc, making a flexible design such as ribbon-connectors makes even more sense. I would hope that all design and dev work does not go to the PII however; Mctrivia's board, and the Triblade before it, have the advantage of many cogs, and this is something that PII will not have. Plus, lets not repeat the Osborne I transition-to Osborne II fiasco!

Cheers!
Paul Rowntree

Carl Hayes
04-03-2009, 08:30 PM
TreeLab said...
At $300, this is more expensive than the equivalent horsepower in Prop Proto boards, although it would be more elegant.
It's also more expensive than, say, a 2-processor PC motherboard, which might have two dual-core Intel chips running at 3 GHz, besides all the other peripherals included.· That's what I'm typing this post on.

Compare the processing power of four Pentium cores running at 3 GHz with eight Props running at 80 MHz.· If you do it, you're doing it for the fun of it.· Nothing wrong with that.

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· -- Carl, nn5i@arrl.net (mailto:nn5i@arrl.net)

mctrivia
04-03-2009, 08:56 PM
the prop is a lot more stable then any intel processor system. and a computer like that does not have the io lines for your robot.

I could keep headers through whole and not populate them but I am using qfn package so I don't think to many would want a blank pcb.

ribbons to peripherals would allow me to cut width and only keep a small bus.

I have 4 power rails. only 3.3 and 5v are set. the other 2 can be used at what ever voltage you want.

prop2 layout is unknown but if bga could redesign later to use it.

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

BradC
04-03-2009, 09:02 PM
mctrivia said...
the prop is a lot more stable then any intel processor system.


Excuse me while I laugh loud and hard..

Where do you come up with that comment? I've got "Intel processor systems" (386sx) to be specific that have never missed a beat since 1991 and routinely go 4-6 years without being rebooted (usually to upgrade the UPS). $300 will buy you a lot of very reliable horsepower these days....

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Cardinal Fang! Fetch the comfy chair.

TreeLab
04-03-2009, 09:13 PM
Touche! But of course, that is an apples and oranges kind of thing. I do not even want to think about interfacing a ping sensor directly to a PC via the PCI, nor would I ever put a PC, even running dos, in charge of a safety system for my instruments. You have to work pretty hard and buy dedicated hardware even to make a PC do a decent job of real-time data acquisition.

So there are reasons beyond the fun for using these little monsters.

Cheers!
Paul Rowntree

heater
04-03-2009, 09:58 PM
I hope Intel is stable, there is a 486 inside each of the three primary flight computers of the Boeing 777:)

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For me, the past is not over yet.

mctrivia
04-03-2009, 10:09 PM
the prop has 3 times the mips of a 486 but I was meaning the newer premiums you were mentioning

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

Cluso99
04-03-2009, 10:31 PM
It's horses for courses...
The Intel chips are stable - it's the crap operating systems that give it the reliability problems. Bet there is no windoze (or Unix of any flavour) running those Boing 777 Intel chips. Otherwise I will quit flying.
If I want true horsepower with reliability I could use good old DRDOS 6.0 and Phar Laps Assembler (386/486) on a newer Intel chip http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

If you want some fun, try my TriBladeProps - they come on panels of 5 = 15 Propellers http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/cool.gif

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Links to other interesting threads:

· Home of the MultiBladeProps: TriBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=786418), SixBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=780033), website (Multiple propeller pcbs) (http://bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)
· Single Board Computer:·3 Propeller ICs·and a·TriBladeProp board (ZiCog Z80 Emulator) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=790917)
· Prop Tools under Development or Completed (Index) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=753439)
· Emulators: Micros eg Altair, and Terminals eg VT100 (Index (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=778427))
· Search the Propeller forums (via Google) (http://search.parallax.com/search?site=parallax&client=parallax&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=parallax&proxycustom=<HOME/>&ie=&oe=&lr=)
My cruising website is: ·www.bluemagic.biz (http://www.bluemagic.biz)·· MultiBladeProp is: www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm (http://www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)

Post Edited (Cluso99) : 4/3/2009 3:36:51 PM GMT

BradC
04-03-2009, 10:32 PM
mctrivia said...
the prop has 3 times the mips of a 486 but I was meaning the newer premiums you were mentioning


Personally I think you are mistaking the unreliability of the "lowest common denominator" operating system with the underlying architecture, but then that's just me.

I see plenty of x86 architecture processors in critical life safety systems every day and they all perform as specified, they just don't run any Microsoft software.

For raw processing across all 8 cores, yes the Propeller has more horsepower than the x86. It also has a lot of other interesting features. Conversely (perversely?) the 486 has hardware IEEE floating point, microcode multiply, an MMU and a host of other fruit. The right tool for the right job.

I just think if the application you have chosen requires 7 processors of a particular type you are looking at a #3 torx screw and you only appear to know how to use a hammer, $49 will buy you a *lot* of horsepower in a single chip (and I mean a LOT). Now, from an academic standpoint or looking at it from a hobby perspective (the 'cause I can factor) then go for it.

I'm positive the techniques you develop getting the whole thing to talk will benefit everyone in the long run and everyone will be extremely interested to see how you make it work and what you do with it. (I know I will anyway)

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Cardinal Fang! Fetch the comfy chair.

mctrivia
04-03-2009, 10:50 PM
you are right most problems are os or main board related not the intel chip itself.

I think this could result in lots of cool projects though. the question is how much is someone willing to spend for a low power consuming general purpose parallel computer.

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

waltc
04-03-2009, 11:24 PM
Certainly not for $300.00 unless you demonstrate that your product could outperform a dual core Xenon doing the same tasks.

Not to mention you'd be competing with fully loaded ARM cpu boards running at 500 mhz that sell for almost a $100 less.

rjo_
04-04-2009, 12:50 AM
Cluso99...

I am aware of your very nice work and have been waiting for you to move something over to the sandbox... which is where stuff gets put when it is ready for sale.

Rich

mctrivia
04-04-2009, 01:03 AM
guess I should right up the propmod in there then. will do tonight when I get home.

my biggest problem is money. I have designed many modules for use with propeller but I don't have the funds to stock pile so I need buyers before I can put to production.

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

rjo_
04-04-2009, 01:37 AM
Well, you came to the right place:)

rjo_
04-04-2009, 01:41 AM
I do remember seeing some pretty final specs on the PropII... the innards were not completely described, but the packaging was... I honestly don't remember what they were or where they were posted...

Help anyone?

mctrivia
04-04-2009, 02:33 AM
I don't know all I could find was the release date but that date was over a year ago

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

mctrivia
04-04-2009, 09:26 AM
rjo_ i have placed my propMod in the sandbox. Hopefully can sell enogh to break even. If I could pay off my development costs I will definitely be coming to the prop expo.

http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=796836

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Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.

rjo_
04-04-2009, 09:39 AM
How many do you need to sell?

Cluso99
04-04-2009, 09:41 AM
In the webinar with Chip a couple of weeks ago he said the PropII is 8-12 months away. Sorry to dampen your enthusiasm.

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Links to other interesting threads:

· Home of the MultiBladeProps: TriBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=786418), SixBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=780033), website (Multiple propeller pcbs) (http://bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)
· Single Board Computer:·3 Propeller ICs·and a·TriBladeProp board (ZiCog Z80 Emulator) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=790917)
· Prop Tools under Development or Completed (Index) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=753439)
· Emulators: Micros eg Altair, and Terminals eg VT100 (Index (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=778427))
· Search the Propeller forums (via Google) (http://search.parallax.com/search?site=parallax&client=parallax&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=parallax&proxycustom=<HOME/>&ie=&oe=&lr=)
My cruising website is: ·www.bluemagic.biz (http://www.bluemagic.biz)·· MultiBladeProp is: www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm (http://www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)

mctrivia
04-04-2009, 09:42 AM
to break even. if i can get them all at once. about 40 with the deal I am offering right now.

▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
Need to make your prop design easier or secure? Get a PropMod (http://propmodule.com) has crystal, eeprom, and programing header in a 40 pin dip 0.7" pitch module with uSD reader, and RTC options.