View Full Version : MIT/GNU Tiny form factor Propeller layout around?

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
11-15-2011, 05:32 PM
Has anyone done a tiny form factor Propeller layout which is MIT or GNU which I can build from in Diptrace?

I'm prepared to start working this out, but I suspect this "wheel" has already been invented.


Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
11-15-2011, 05:57 PM
I'd be happy to provide the original PropSTICK design (all through-hole) under an MIT license. It would have to be in Gerber form, though, since it was designed using CADINT.


Duane Degn
11-15-2011, 06:56 PM
Tubular mentions in post #9 of this thread (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?129292-quot-Und3rb3lly-quot-Upgrading-the-Propeller-Proto-Board-to-C3-style-memory)that he was going to make the plans for his Und3rb3lly board available.

These are really small boards. After Tubular told me he wasn't going to sell his boards, he gave me two of them. They are very nice boards.

I'm not sure if he's still planning on posting his work. But I think these are great little boards. (I personally think he sould sell them.)

Aren't there DipTrace files for the QuickStart board? That's not a bad place to start either.

Are you looking for DIP Prop boards or surface mount?

11-15-2011, 07:39 PM

Check out the VPN1513 GPS Receiver (http://www.parallax.com/StoreSearchResults/tabid/768/txtSearch/gps/List/0/SortField/4/ProductID/757/Default.aspx) it has a Propeller on board. I think it's Diptrace.


11-15-2011, 08:43 PM
How about more than one design, because one form factor rarely fits all.

Phil can put propstick up, I can put underbelly into diptrace, and another design that should be here next week that I think you'll like OBC, as it's PP compatible.

The trouble we have is the preferred Propeller Platform format doesn't lend itself to compact boards, there tends to be a lot of space. My solution is to pack that space...

Duane Degn
11-15-2011, 08:52 PM
It would be great to have DipTrace files for your Underbelly board. Those things are just so cool.

I agree with the PP not being very compact. I have a couple of PP boards but I usually want either a smaller board or to fill the space with other components.

To make small Propeller boards, I've also cut up one of Jazzed TetraProp boards (it's painful to cut such a nice board though).

11-15-2011, 10:08 PM
Ok, how about I look after porting these four into Diptrace
* Underbelly (possibly with mcp3208 upgrade)
* Phil's propstick (since I have these already and can easily measure). I also think there is still life in this one, especially coupled with a cheap USB<>RS232 converter.
* PP LCI, a variant of the propeller platform usb
* A half-width PP variant (1.2" / 1.35" wide). Already have a design for this just need to revisit it

I still think we need a really small module that plugs into the usb port, somewhat like Jazzed might be doing when he needs a break from Gcc.

Doing all these at once is probably an efficient way for me to make the switch to Diptrace, which I have paid for but keep avoiding switching to.

11-15-2011, 10:48 PM
I'll provide 32 pin SpinSocket designs in Eagle. I'm not a Diptrace user and probably never will be. I have plenty to do already.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
11-15-2011, 11:37 PM

As far as the PropSTICK goes, have at it. I can send you the Gerbers to use as an error-checking overlay. If anyone else wants Gerbers, let me know. I guess we all need to figure out the licensing requirements for whatever attribution has to be printed on the board. How does this work for MIT? Is Creative Commons any better/easier for hardware designs?


11-15-2011, 11:39 PM
I have a 1" sq design that has prop, xtal (overclocking up to 14.318MHz) eeprom (with WE solderable link), the transistor reset cct (bypassed with solderable link), and SOT23-3 3v3 regulator from 5v external. I am unsure if I want to place the design in MIT. I do have pcbs available cheaply, and cheap stacking connectors. The outline is 36 pins around the edges (I use 4@1x9 0.1" connectors) that has a compatible PropPlug set of pins and a set of 5V+GND pins. I make a number of stackable boards to this footprint (SRAM+microSD; RTC; AVR). You can use the footprint as MIT if you wish.

Here is a http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?134134-Cluso-s-new-Propeller-stackable-and-pluggable-boards-(MultiProps-too)&highlight=stackable+boards
Post #12 has a pic and Post #16 has the schematic.

11-16-2011, 04:36 AM

As far as the PropSTICK goes, have at it. I can send you the Gerbers to use as an error-checking overlay. If anyone else wants Gerbers, let me know. I guess we all need to figure out the licensing requirements for whatever attribution has to be printed on the board. How does this work for MIT? Is Creative Commons any better/easier for hardware designs?


The licensing thing imho, for hardware, is a pain. I'm happy for my prop designs to be used under either MIT or CC (or even others perhaps). But the PP ones are derivative from Jon William's MIT, while the quickstart, which is a useful diptrace starting point, is Creative Commons. For mine the CC variants detract from the value, and MIT is less restrictive and therefore more attractive.

So for PP derived modules, MIT looks like the way to go. I like the simplicity of MIT. Parallax want us to use the PP footprint. The obex is MIT at present. How about we go with MIT?? Any objections??

I also kind of like bucking the current CC trend which restricts some other platforms.

Btw does "OSHW" (open source hardware) logo mandate CC ?

Peter Jakacki
11-16-2011, 06:10 AM
Depends upon what you mean by "tiny" and what you expect out of it, however......

I have so many designs (and leftover pcbs) that I suppose it doesn't really matter if someone wants to copy them or use them. I have about 3 CPU modules based on this standard Puppy footprint plus around 8 or more I/O modules (more coming). The I/O modules have control signals on one side and I/O interfacing lines on the other. This is to allow for high current, short traces, etc and can accommodate up to 8 high-current outputs along with generous power grounds and supply rails which are needed when sourcing and sinking more than just a few amps. So the I/O modules are interchangeable with one another but the original Puppy CPU modules cannot be plugged into an I/O socket as it uses the right-hand connector for signals. The PuppySolo however is designed to be plugged into I/O socket and to be used both as CPU and I/O.

I'm not interested in bringing out all the Propeller I/O as if it were an evaluation board, these modules are designed for real products and get the job done. Some of the modules are designed to be stacked (soldered) such as the ARM option for the Puppy CPU and the microsteppers can be stacked to bring out 2 full steppers on the one dual module.

I can sell the blank PCBs too if anyone is interested.

My artwork is in Protel99SE but I can supply gerbers and may even convert this across to DipTrace unless someone volunteers.
PuppySolo details:
1.8" x 0.775" (side stackable)
3.3V regulator
PropPlug pins available
14x I/O via 220R resnets (including RX/TX)
4x 6A open-drain outputs
MicroSD option (underside)
Indicator LED option
24LC256 (MSOP)
5x3mm crystal or cylindrical


Here's a board with the CPU module and dual microstepper modules.

11-16-2011, 09:11 AM
I posted a smaller clone here (including USB, SD, and the header pin layout):


It is smaller, and runs from USB power or wall wart. The idea was to have an altoid propeller platform. The design relies heavily on GG boards.


Attached are the Diptrace files. The double sided design is not oven friendly, by the way.. :-)


Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
11-16-2011, 11:05 AM

A great response! Thanks gang! It'll take me a bit to look all this over..

@Massimo: I see mention of Diptrace files, but no attachments.


11-16-2011, 11:36 AM
Jeff, They are in the .zip file attached to the thread of his he provided a link to.

You sure got a great collection of boards to choose from now. I may have to pick out a design and get a small batch of boards made or modify something to my needs and have it made. Nothing like having something else to try!!

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
11-16-2011, 11:40 AM

Thanks! Still drinking coffee this morning! :)


11-16-2011, 12:41 PM
Sorry Jeff... my post isn't clear at all.
Thanks mindrobots for helping me...

11-16-2011, 01:35 PM
"Friends don't let friends forum without coffee."

It sounded better in my head! :lol:

11-16-2011, 02:21 PM
"Friends don't let friends forum without coffee."
I'll take that as good advice :) Now for my second cup.

11-16-2011, 11:16 PM
The good news is Diptrace seems to import the Gerbers and drill data easily, as you can see from Phil's propstick.

What I propose is
* Send me your gerbers and drill file info, and your preferred license (MIT, or CC and specify variant of CC). If possible put the license.txt inside the zip file
* I'll put it in diptrace layout and make it available for sharing
* I'll also note the parts used so we can work towards a diptrace library that includes all parts used.
* then we can work towards matching schematics too. This part will take longer.