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agfa
02-16-2007, 01:58 AM
What would be the bare minimum (cheapest) to get started with the prop?

Bergamot
02-16-2007, 02:09 AM
If you don't mind soldering, the Proto Board (http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=32212) is really cheap.

If you do mind soldering, you could try the DIP Plus Kit (http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=130-32305) or Education Kit (http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=32305).

You should note that the Plus Kit and Proto Board don't come with a Prop Plug.

rokicki
02-16-2007, 02:10 AM
Cheapest? Download the demo board schematic, or the PropStick schematic (probably PropStick is best), and
breadboard the thing. Cheapest all-parts-but-I'm-willing-to-build would be either a PropStick or a
PropStickUSB. Frankly, though, for most anyone starting out, I think the Demo board is the way to go; the
money you spend will more than be repaid by the time you save wiring things up, figuring out why interfaces
don't work (you used the wrong pin number for something), etc. etc.

Another alternative is to download GEAR and then you almost have a virtual propeller. But even though GEAR
is very impressive, I really like seeing the actual electrons move around so I like real hardware. http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

Paul Baker
02-16-2007, 02:12 AM
Welcome agfa,

You basically have two avenues to choose from, you can go the (mostly) pre-assembled route and get the Prop ProtoBoard and Prop Plug ($24.95 + $29.95), though you might want the Accessory kit (which contains the VGA, keyboard and mouse connector) which is another $14.95. Or you could go the experimentor route and get the PE kit ($79.95) which contains everything thats needed to get you started (and there is a companion education series which has a few chapters out already and more will be following).

The cheapest route of all would be to buy a DIP version of the Propeller use it on a breadboard you already own, and wire up your own 3 transistor DB-9 serial interface. If you already have the parts for the interface on hand, you'll only be out $13.95 (the cost of the Propeller).

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Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

Mike Green
02-16-2007, 02:13 AM
That depends on what you already have and what you want to do with it. Frankly, it's hard to get started much cheaper than the proto-board at $25 which includes a regulator, crystal, and the Propeller chip. You need some kind of TTL to serial adapter, but a MAX232 or equivalent will work just fine. If you already have a USB2SER, you can use that. There's also the 3 - transistor converter shown on the Propeller Diagrams web-page ... really cheap if you have a couple of switching transistors on hand and some resistors and capacitors.

If you will want to use the VGA capability and a PS/2 keyboard, you can get the accessories kit.

If you're going to want to do a lot of breadboarding, consider a Propeller Education Kit. It includes a nice breadboard and a PropPlug and is designed for learning.

Bergamot
02-16-2007, 02:15 AM
I don't think there's any way to turn SPIN code into a GEAR-ready binary without a propeller chip connected.

rokicki
02-16-2007, 02:16 AM
Sure there is; just hit compile and then save file. F8 doesn't need a prop attached.

agfa
02-16-2007, 02:39 AM
Thanks to all.

You have given me good place to start.

Agfa

Forrest
02-16-2007, 07:38 AM
If you're into robotics or video and don't mind soldering, I'd check out the Propeller Robot Controller at $42 www.wulfden.org/PRC/ (http://www.wulfden.org/PRC/)

agfa
02-16-2007, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the link Forrest.· I am very "into" robotics and automation.· I have no experience with video though, I will take a closer look at it.

agfa

al-spider
02-16-2007, 10:49 PM
Hello to All !!

I just received my prop dev board and accessories kit . Upon setup everything seems tobe working fine ,
mouse,keyboard,2.5 Lcd.

My problem is with the software my prop tools is unreadable to me unless there something i messed.
Here is a pic of my screen
Has anyone had this promlem if so ,can you please help with a solution.

I've put off buying the prop all last year hoping to get in when the rev came out so i could getoff to a good start but my luck is not that good.
I need alittle help getting started.

THANKS for all the work put in so far .

Last has anyone hacked a PDA style micro keyboard ( i would like to dev a standalone porp dev system.)

al-spider
02-16-2007, 10:51 PM
sorry first pic did not post

Mike Green
02-16-2007, 11:00 PM
The Propeller Tool uses a special font. It may be (for some reason) that the font wasn't installed properly. The Propeller Tool installer was supposed to do that. Try downloading a fresh copy and reinstalling it.

paulmac
02-17-2007, 03:30 AM
al-spider said...
Last has anyone hacked a PDA style micro keyboard ( i would like to dev a standalone porp dev system.)


If it is a serial keyboard there should be no problem if you can figure out the protocol it uses. There are a few examples around of people interfacing to Targus/Think Outside serial PDA keyboards. (which I can't find right now)

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I stand on the shoulders of giants

al-spider
02-17-2007, 03:38 AM
Hello mike :
thanks for looking in my Direction.

Ive tryed that serveral times and iit come up the way .
haven't downloaded a copy of the tools yet maybe i'll try that next.

anything else is welcomed need help getting started

al-spider
02-17-2007, 04:22 AM
well that did not work either the ver that came on the CD was ver0.98.1 and the downloaded ver is 1.05.2 and they boyh give me the same screen .
I'm running win xp on a toshiba satellite . HELP ME PLEASE / OR ALL OF THIS PROP SH.. IS POOP .. LOLOL http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/burger.gif http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/burger.gif :

Stan671
02-17-2007, 04:30 AM
I happen to think the PropStickUSB·is a great bargain.· It is the same 40-pin footprint·as the Prop, but with the crystal, reset button, EEPROM, USB interface & connector,·3.3 volt regulator, etc.·all onboard already.· You can plug it into any prototyping board and run it immediately without needing to do any wiring first.

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Stan Dobrowski

al-spider
02-17-2007, 05:12 AM
HELLO TO ALL:

Listen guys my wife is going to kill me or never let play anymore with these toys if i can't prove to her that i can uses them and and something done that works .
i.ve got lots of hope for this thing, so please will someone help me get into the game before its only 15sec. late in the 4th/qter and no time outs..... http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smilewinkgrin.gif http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smilewinkgrin.gif

this is my investment so far
please help!!11

Paul Baker
02-17-2007, 05:37 AM
It appears that something in your registry got messed up, it looks like its using a hebrew font. The guy that can help you figure this out is on sabbatical at the moment, he will be returning in a couple weeks time.

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Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

al-spider
02-17-2007, 07:36 AM
well ive tryed everything i could think of i even open my vertualPC on my Mac the prop tools work but it cant find the prop it only gives me com3 and will not tranfer to the prop DevBoard

it seem fom that all the parallax prod seem to have some problem built it i've gotten only a few items that wiorked with out alot of fuss most thing are full of trouble for novice and newbees
anyway that it for tonight i'm pooped with this prop mess for now LATER FOR THIS (YOU SAY I NEED TO WAITE FOR THREE WEEK TO GET ANSWERS .IT ONLY TOOK THREE DAY SHIPING TO GET INTO ALL OF THIS... WHAT JOKE THAT IS .........
http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/nono.gif

rokicki
02-17-2007, 07:58 AM
Hmm, don't get frustrated; most people don't have the problems you are having. My Propeller stuff worked great from the get-go.
I'm currently running the standard IDE tool on Windows 2000 and Win XP Pro with no trouble at all.

To try to fix the font problem I would:

1. Try rebooting your PC. (I'm sure you've done that already.)

2. Go to ControlPanel->Add/Remove programs and completely remove everything there by Parallax, and then
reinstall the Prop tool from scratch (the latest version on the Parallax web site.)

One of the best things about the Propeller is the wonderful community here that all helps each other. If you are patient,
ask nicely, and try the things suggested carefully, you'll get excellent help.

But remember, if you are a novice, there will be teething problems; that's true for any technology. The Propeller has
perhaps the easiest learning curve I've seen for this sort of technology, but even with it, you'll make (and I'll make, and
continue to make) the same silly errors and we'll just have to spend time working through them.

cgracey
02-17-2007, 08:12 AM
al-spider said...
well ive tryed everything i could think of i even open my vertualPC on my Mac the prop tools work but it cant find the prop it only gives me com3 and will not tranfer to the prop DevBoard

it seem fom that all the parallax prod seem to have some problem built it i've gotten only a few items that wiorked with out alot of fuss most thing are full of trouble for novice and newbees
anyway that it for tonight i'm pooped with this prop mess for now LATER FOR THIS (YOU SAY I NEED TO WAITE FOR THREE WEEK TO GET ANSWERS .IT ONLY TOOK THREE DAY SHIPING TO GET INTO ALL OF THIS... WHAT JOKE THAT IS .........
http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/nono.gif

Paul and I have been discussing the problems that you're having and the only thing that we can figure is that one of two things might be going on:

1) Your Windows user account may not have adequate administrative privileges enabled, so it is disallowing the installation of the font.
2) You might be running an international version of Windows which is second-guessing the Propeller application's intent to display the font.

Other than those two possibilities, we don't know why you·might be having these kinds of problems. We want to help, but we don't know where to go from here. Can you please tell us a little more about your Windows setup? Like, what country settings are you using, and do you know if you have administrative privileges? These things might shed some light on the problem.

Thanks,

Chip

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Chip Gracey
Parallax, Inc.

Cyberbound
02-18-2007, 09:48 AM
I had the same problem on one of my PCs. I simply went into the c:\windows\fonts folder and double-clicked on the Parallax font. It opened up fine. I closed it and then re-opened the Propeller Tool. The font worked great from then on. Hope this helps.

al-spider
02-19-2007, 02:02 AM
hello: all
well once more on luck cyberbound i tryed your suggestion and when i open the win/font/parallax is also open fine but it showed the same krazzzzzz font.


well all i can say is why mmmeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

by the way i'm running winxp(home),only one user ,even put in a nusense-password,usa florida.

SO ....(Help me OB-one your my only hope...lololo.

Forrest
02-19-2007, 02:17 AM
Al,
I'd be interested in any interfacing info you have on that PDA keyboard.

I have a similar model - Micro Innovations PDA keyboard model TKB160P that was designed for a Palm m125/m130/m500/m515 and I'd like to add it to a Propeller based computer. Despite the huge Palm connector on the outside, I opened it up and there's only 3 wires connected to the keyboard - Vcc, Gnd and PE3 (serial data?). I can interface to the Propeller either over a serial TTL connection or PS/2.

Stan671
02-19-2007, 12:26 PM
It sounds like your Parallax (TrueType) font get corrupted or was not installed correctly.· You can download the font here from this post:

http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=581530 (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=581530)

Unzip the file to get the parallax.ttf file.· You can try double clicking on this to see an example of the font and to make sure it is working properly.· Close this font example window.· Right click on the parallax.ttf file and choose Cut.

To install it into your Windows XP system, you first have to delete the old on there.· Go to the Control Panel and start the Fonts utility.· Find the Parallax (TrueType) font in the list and delete it.· Click on an empy space in this window and select Paste.· The new font should then be loaded into your Windows system.· Close the fonts window.

Try the Prop Tool and see if it is working now.· Let us know how it goes.

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Stan Dobrowski

Beau Schwabe (Parallax)
02-19-2007, 01:47 PM
al-spider,
As an A / B comparison send me a copy of your current 'parallax.ttf' file so we can at least make a determination if it is in fact the ttf file that somehow got corrupted.

Attached is a valid 'Parallax.ttf' file



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Beau Schwabe (mailto:bschwabe@parallax.com)

IC Layout Engineer
Parallax, Inc.

al-spider
02-19-2007, 08:53 PM
hi: Beau

well i tryed once more the same font pops-up i put some pic's up

1st pic prop front onen on my mac not installed just open to see if it's ok and everything looks fine.

2nd prop fonts open on MY PC WinXP and again it comes up wrong or look likes something is wrong with the conversion

al-spider
02-19-2007, 09:08 PM
Sorry my pic's did not load the first time

al-spider
02-19-2007, 09:11 PM
Have all kinds of troublr today

QuattroRS4
02-19-2007, 11:11 PM
I notice you all spoke about windows OS but that looks very like a MAC OS of some description ...

Quattro

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'Necessity is the mother of invention'

Stan671
02-20-2007, 12:54 AM
That picture you attached of the font example on WinXP ... was that of your existing font file or a brand new one you just downloaded?· If it is a brand new one, then there is little chance that it is corrupted.· But it still displays wrong.· So, I suspect that this is something do to with settings in your computer.· It almost looks like the TrueType rendering mechanism is just not handling the Parallax font correctly.

Check the settings particular to your video card to see if there is anything specifically pertaining to fonts in there.

What are the international settings on your computer?· Open the Control Panel and select "Regional and Language Options".· What is your selection for Starnadards and Formats?· In the Advanced tab, whan is your Languauage for non-Unicode programs?· In the list of Code Page conversion tables, do you have 20127 (US-ASCII) checked?

Check the performance settings for display rendering.· Right click on My Computer and chose Properties.· Click on the Advanced tab.· Click on the Settings button in the Performance section.· Which of the four choice buttons do you have selected?· Are there any items in the list of checkable stuff that are not checked?

And intersting experiment would be to try to print a Spin program to see if the fonts are rendered properly to the printer even if they are messed up to the screen.

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Stan Dobrowski

QuattroRS4
02-20-2007, 02:42 AM
Stan - those pictures look like it is a MAC OS of some description ...

Quattro

EDIT - cheers for the heads up lads - Read posts again - missed that ...

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'Necessity is the mother of invention'

Post Edited (QuattroRS4) : 2/20/2007 4:21:21 AM GMT

Forrest
02-20-2007, 05:28 AM
He used his Mac to check the font. FYI Macs have supported TTF (True Type Fonts) since System 7.0 (1991).

My knowledge of the inner working of Windows XP is rather limited - but if it were my machine, I'd delete the problem font, restart the computer and reinstall the font.

mahjongg
02-20-2007, 07:09 AM
I can acknowledge that the parallax font works fine on a Mac (OS 10.3.4) , it installed without any problems. It displays OK on "font book" and I can open text files with the special characters just fine.

Mahjongg

al-spider
02-20-2007, 11:42 AM
hi
yes your aer right the first two pic's are from my mac OS the third is my pc , I also installed the prop tools onto my mac Virtual PC running XPhome it works fine as fore fonts , reading example spin code ,as said before in my first post of my problem but had problem with the come ports tranmitting to the prop it only puts the prop on com3 have not spent much time working on that problem because i do most or all my robotic work on the portable PC . I have deleted and reinstalled this prop tools many times with both versions the one that came with the Program cd,downloaded ver, deleted the front from winXP ,added the TT front as suggested, checked all setting ie. USA,ENG,SINGLE USER WITH PASSWORD. and still no luck . i relly think all of you for your help and suggestion ,i just don't why this is happening but the problem is in my laptop pc i'll just have to solve it somehow.

potatohead
02-20-2007, 02:40 PM
You might try it again, but clean the registry of all things related to the prop tool and that font. Restart after doing this. Be careful and if you are not sure, export keys before you delete them!

Create a new user account and make it a computer administrator account. This should establish a fresh profile and system settings. Log in to that account and verify that all is more or less standard for XP. Disable Active Desktop. Go to your graphics properties and find the advanced tab and the troubleshooting tab. There you will find a graphics accelleration slider. Move it completely to the left for a software only display. Your driver could be giving you fits. (Should this be the case, update it after the fact and try with the slider again, moving it to the right, stage by stage, rebooting between attempts to isolate the issue with more precision.) Set the desktop background to the default solid blue color and turn off any goofy screen saver type tools.

Using that account, install the prop tool, taking the defaults and see where that leads.

Consider removing non-essential software, such as toolbars, etc. as well, prior to attempting the install. Also, how many fonts are on that machine? If there are a lot of them, consider removing a nice batch of those you do not use. Perhaps you've run into some bizzare system limit of some kind.

Another somewhat drastic thing you can try is to uninstall your graphics driver completely. Be sure, you've downloaded a recent copy to reinstall with prior to doing this however. Enter the device manager and remove the graphics driver from the system. You will start up in plain VGA mode. From there reinstall the graphics driver.

Finally, boot into safe mode and try to display the font. Does this work?

al-spider
02-22-2007, 08:09 AM
well hello evertone!!

my problem just will not go away:
i tryed every thing that was suggested to me and even done the utlmite in pulled out the restore disk and returned my laptop to its factory setting and ...........................WALL-LA!!!! (THE SAME UNREADABLE FONTS!!!) I'm at a lost now ... http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/scool.gif http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/scool.gif

THIS IS CRAZZZZZY....

WELL AT LEAST MY BASIC STAMP EDT, WORKS...
help please

al-spider
02-23-2007, 10:08 PM
well i see it hands off for my problem erer But , there was a short lived yeee-ha ,

after running my restore disks i went and updated my win xp (downloaded winXP service pack 2) prop tools came up fine with readable fonts and i thought i had made it BUT!...

when i ran and example program my (zenith 5 tft lcd display blinked as if got the code sent to it but nothing on the display and when i reset the demo board i couldn't get the anything . (the pre lloaded demo will not come back up as before , when i couldn't read the fonts the spin code did load i just could not read the foints mow i can read and edit the spin code but i lost mt display . the display still works i put a small cam on it and everything seems toe in order .
SO please don't tell me that some how my new demo board is fried it just can't be.......NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
. NOOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.MORE HELP NEEDED . http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smilewinkgrin.gif

al-spider
02-23-2007, 11:49 PM
come on now there must be somene out there that can help me . my nomad is never going tobe upgreaded to this prop unit what shame ......

cgracey
02-24-2007, 01:49 AM
Al-spider,

There are two things holding us up on solving this problem. First, the person who made the font, and is the only here who is likely to be able to do anything with it, is out until Monday. Second, we cannot reproduce the problem you are having. Until at least Jeff comes back, there is little we can do. I'm sorry.


al-spider said...
come on now there must be somene out there that can help me . my nomad is never going tobe upgreaded to this prop unit what shame ......

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Chip Gracey
Parallax, Inc.

al-spider
02-24-2007, 02:17 AM
hi: chip

my fonts problem is solved .
I needed to update my WinXP i did so by downloading (WinXp service pack 2) this fixed the fonts thing in the prop tools editor.

But there is a new problem 1st . before wiith the fonts prob i could still upload to the prop, i just could not read the code on screen.
Now i can read everything fine but when i uploaded one on the example spin code i lost my video to my LCD. i'm using a zenith 5" tft LCD and it still works but i think the tv.text spin fried my prop. i can't jet the demo code to run on reset or power up.
at first the prop would flash it yellow LED int on power up no i get nothing only the power green LED.

i only tryed running the ex. code
i'm using a 9v power supply and when i run the code the reb & blue led flashes i think thats an ACK that the f\tranfare took place i think.
and thats it so far .

again thanks for any help getting me started off ...

Paul Baker
02-24-2007, 02:25 AM
It's possible you overwrote the EEPROM at some point so that it no longer contains the demo program. If you are connecting it to a TV load Graphics_Demo into your Tool and hit F10, if you are using VGA load VGA_Demo and hit F10 (both are loacated in Examples\Library folder). If that works, then press F11 and this will reload the EEPROM with that portion of demo.

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Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

Mike Green
02-24-2007, 02:28 AM
It's very hard to "fry a prop". You can't do it by running tv_text.spin. Since you got the development kit, you have the 2.5" LCD display, so connect it to the Demo board. Compile the tv_text_demo.spin program that comes with the Propeller Tool, download it to the Demo board and see what happens. I would also try graphics_demo.spin and graphics_palette.spin (which uses the mouse). keyboard_demo.spin will let you try the keyboard. All of these are installed on your PC when you install the Propeller Tool.

al-spider
02-24-2007, 03:51 AM
hello: paul & mike
I sure hope so . but what happen to yellow P:13-P:23 they used to lite on reset and power up now nothing after running the tv. code . i ran this code because the zenith LCD can handle NTSC and that's tv right?. now niothing.
again this is crazzzzey

Paul Baker
02-24-2007, 03:54 AM
The LEDs light only if the program tells them to light, if you replaced the program with a program that doesn't do so, they wont light.

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Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

Mike Green
02-24-2007, 04:05 AM
Any time things don't work like you expect them to work, you really have to back off, simplify as much as possible, switch to things that you know work, then move forward. It doesn't help to blame somebody else's stuff. Most of the time it's something you did (not always, but mostly). For example, can you run one of the "blink an LED" programs and have it work? Your Zenith LCD is supposed to handle NTSC. Have you tested it? Hook it up to a DVD player and see if it works. It probably does, but the 2.5" LCD display that comes in the development kit is a known thing (at least to Parallax).

al-spider
02-24-2007, 04:17 AM
well mike the reason you miss understand me because you never read all of my post i didn't blame anyone only ask if someone could help
and i did try another video source a small cam as stated in an above post. am not totaly new to this only new to the prop .
sorry if i'm causeing you guys trouble ? only asking for help I guest i'm on my own with this , sorry i made you maid .

Paul Baker
02-24-2007, 04:40 AM
We're not mad, we are only trying to help you. You are saying you think the Propeller is broken, and we are trying to explain that it is unlikely that is what is happening.

The demo program which displays to a VGA, TV and blinks the LEDs in a knight rider fashion on startup was loaded into the EEPROM by us (Parallax) and was on there when you received the board. If you ever replace the program by pressing F11, that demo program will disappear and therefore will not display to a VGA TV or the LEDs anymore. It will instead run whatever program you downloaded onto the EEPROM when you pressed F11.

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Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

Post Edited (Paul Baker (Parallax)) : 2/23/2007 9:45:50 PM GMT

CJ
02-24-2007, 04:50 AM
al-spider, are you loading tv_text_demo.spin or tv_text.spin? nothing will show up if you use just tv_text.spin.

just a possibility

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Who says you have to have knowledge to use it?

I've killed a fly with my bare mind.

al-spider
02-25-2007, 04:59 AM
Hello: To All

Yea, CJ am using the demo codes.

I've found my second problem for some reason the prop did nto like my USB cable ,i changed the thing out and now everything essm tobe in order.


THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP IN (GETTING ME STARTED).
Al Spider http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smilewinkgrin.gif

al-spider
02-25-2007, 05:00 AM
Hello: To All

Yea, CJ am using the demo codes.

I've found my second problem for some reason the prop did nto like my USB cable ,i changed the thing out and now everything essm tobe in order.


THANKS FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP IN (GETTING ME STARTED).
Al Spider http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smilewinkgrin.gif

CJ
02-25-2007, 05:26 AM
good to hear you got it going, now you can enjoy the propeller like the rest of us

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Who says you have to have knowledge to use it?

I've killed a fly with my bare mind.