View Full Version : Is the QuickStart the new standard?

04-04-2012, 04:31 PM
With all the activity around the QuickStart board I was wondering if it was becoming the standard? I have bought many Propeller based boards in hopes of having the standard. I have the Proptoboard, SpinStudio, Ray's PSM and the Chameleon-PIC. After seeing them either become extinct or falling off the radar I have become hesitant. In fact it took me nearly a year to decide to buy the Gadget Gangster USB board at last year's UPENE and now that is being orphaned. It is understandable that third party vendors go where the popular choices are and leave the old stuff behind.

Now with the QuickStart, it is a Parallax product and they have an excellent record of supporting all their boards. It is easy to purchase from retailers, and it is being given as samples for engineers. So I have no question that this board will not disappear.. My only concern now is with the Propeller II coming out soon will all the third party activity move onto the Propeller II leaving the QuickStart board alone? There are some great 3rd party add on boards being developed for the Quickstart and if I do get one should I start buying them since they'll probably disappear with the release of the Propeller II?

04-04-2012, 04:38 PM
Much depends on what you are doing. I am trying to develop some products based on existing Prop boards and have now started down the Quickstart route hoping it will not turn out to be a Falsestart (again). Incidentally, I could do with disconnecting the touch buttons for my application. After the initial use of them I have never used them again. The LEDs are useful though.



Mike Green
04-04-2012, 04:48 PM
As has been stated many times before, the Propeller II will not replace the Propeller I. The Propeller I will always be cheaper to produce than the Propeller II and cheaper to use. The Propeller I will be better for battery or other very low power applications. There are probably some other things I'm forgetting, but I hope you see that the Propeller I will not be going away nor relegated to the "back burner". There'll be some 3rd party add-ons that probably won't be too useful. Memory intensive projects will move to the Propeller II because its design is much more "memory friendly". Projects that need raw speed or some of the special features like the Cordic engine or hardware multiply / divide will move to the Propeller II. That leaves a lot for the Propeller I.

Remember that the touch pads are implemented in such a way that you can use those pins for almost anything without disconnecting the touch pads. They're connected via 100K resistors which would isolate the pads for almost any use.

04-04-2012, 04:57 PM
The Propeller I will always be cheaper to produce than the Propeller II

I wouldn't be so certain about that.

04-04-2012, 05:15 PM
I wouldn't be so certain about that.I am. If prop2 gets approaches the cost of prop1, it'll be redone on new tools.

Duane Degn
04-04-2012, 05:53 PM
After the initial use of them I have never used them again.

I hope you tried more than just the standard demo.

I didn't like the touchpads at first but I eventually found code that worked well with them.

I know Jose uses the toughpads on his QuickStart BOE-Bot (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?137216-Upgrating-my-Boe-Bot-to-propeller)to good effect.

My QuickStart servo tester (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?137197-QuickStart-Servo-Tester)takes advantage of the touchpads for data entry.

I still prefer "real" buttons over touchpads but I've found many uses for the QuickStart's touchpads.

04-04-2012, 09:06 PM
There is considerable less software overhead with real buttons.
And they can be scanned and debounced a lot quicker.
But ya gotta admit, they do keep the cost down!

04-04-2012, 09:17 PM
There is considerable less software overhead with real buttons.
And they can be scanned and debounced a lot quicker.
But ya gotta admit, they do keep the cost down!

They could easily rev the board so the touch pads could alternatively be loaded with a surface mount tact button.

04-04-2012, 09:47 PM
One problem is human male fingers are almost too wide for even tactile switches.

I do note at times the pads seem to respond as far as one or more pads away from intended one. Like just on the verge of a trigger point.

But like someone wrote, they adjusted the code (timings???) and have had good operation with the pads. I need to look into that code myself.

04-04-2012, 09:58 PM
I am. If prop2 gets approaches the cost of prop1, it'll be redone on new tools.

I asked how the Prop 1 is fabbed and how the Prop 2 will be fabbed, and I don't think there is going to be a big discrepancy -- if anything, experience with the Prop 2 might feed back into the Prop 1. I haven't asked for permission to divulge details, but I'm comfortable in my mind about the cost of the Prop 2.

04-04-2012, 10:06 PM
There's no single "standard" because the different "standards" have done different things well.

The DemoBoard is perfect for small prototyping when you know you'll be using video and keyboard; I think a lot of the FemtoBasic / PropDOS / my own PropCMD etc. type projects were built on DemoBoards because you could easily breadboard a SD socket and boom, you have a system. But if you didn't need video or you needed more pins, the DemoBoard sucks because you can't get at them. And if you wanted to make a project permanent the DemoBoard was awkward and expensive.

The ProtoBoard and PropRPM were good for projects you'd make permanent, with the ProtoBoard better if you wanted VGA and/or PS/2 or needed it smaller. Both gave you all the pins and permanent prototyping. But the protoboard method of expansion gets awkward if you want to build more than one or two of something.

Besides being cheap and compact, the QuickStart makes a great basis for a low-volume project where you're willing to make a circuit board but don't want it to be SMT or spend all day stuffing it. You can make a circuit board for a thru-hole shield to break out the I/O you need, wrap it in a laser cut acryilic enclosure, and make ten of them at a time. But it's not standard unless some of those I/O shields become standard; other than playing bouncing-LED games with the touch pads there isn't really much you can do with a bare QuickStart. It's what you can do when you have something to plug into its header (and that something being a lot easier to make than an all-up Propeller system) that's nice.

04-04-2012, 10:16 PM
Prop2 may entirely replace Prop1, for me at least...
But, even if Prop2 were available today, it will probably be about 2 years before I'd want to rely on it for an application.
There's bound to be a learning curve, and I may let others climb it, so I can just coast down...

I seriously doubt there'll be a $25 Prop2 board. So, the Quickstart will probably have a lot of life left...
I think the Prop platform has a few good years too.

I think a Parallax employee initially said that the Prop2 would be about the same price as Prop1.
So, I think the actual chips will cost about the same relative to the sales price. The actual price is more a business decision...

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
04-05-2012, 12:08 AM
The Propeller Platform is far from EOL. Because the USB version product is "open source" the community owns the design. As a result, it is being revised by the community and will be for sale again in smaller quantities. The Propeller Platform kits are out of stock at GG, but are about to be re-ordered.

As the for Quickstart becoming the new standard, it appears that two "connection types" are becoming standard, both the popular PP type and QS style. Quickstart provides one of the most inexpensive platform being mass produced and was the only really viable option to get into retail stores.

I'm a long believer in having some connector standards to rely on. It appears we now have two. One serves the mid-range (Propeller Platform), while the other serves the lower end needs. Vote with your wallet.