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View Full Version : The SpinStudio Development system is available now!



parts-man73
08-30-2007, 10:24 AM
SpinStudio is now available for sale!

What is SpinStudio you might ask?

The SpinStudio's design makes it possible to constantly reconfigure your development board. The Propeller Chip is still relatively new, and new things are being done all the time. This system allows new devices to be designed and simply plugged in. Each socket on the mainboard provides it’s peripheral module with 8 I/O lines, plus 5vdc, 3.3vdc, VSS and both I2C lines. Why is advantageous to use plug-in modules?

A modularized design offers 2 benefits-
Anytime there is a new "fad", a new plug in module can be created, and simply be plugged into an existing demoboard. Take for instance interfacing an SD card. A few months ago, it became popular to start experimenting with using an SD card with the Propeller, but you either had to use a breakout board from Sparkfun, or one of the other "do it yourself" methods proposed on this forum. This was the time that I released the SpinStudio SD adapter. Now it seems that all the recent development boards offered by third parties include an SD Socket. Would anyone have guessed that a year ago??? The most current "fad" seems to be Ethernet. Some of the newest development boards also include this feature, but what will the next "fad" be? Only time will tell. And when is the circuit board real estate going to run out trying to include all these features on one dev board? Or are you paying for features that you may never use?
The other benefit is upon the arrival of Prop 2, every current development board will instantly become obsolete. SpinStudio owners will just have to get a new Mainboard, all of the Peripheral Modules you have purchased can be reused. With the possibility of more IO lines on future Propellers, that means more sockets on the Mainboard

Want to do your own tinkering? One of the modules (the Servo/IO module) has a female header that allows direct access to the 8 propeller IO lines in that Socket. It can be used in the same fashion as the Demo board, as jumper wires can be inserted and plugged into a solderless breadboard for rapid temporary prototyping. If you want access to more than 8 IO lines, multiple Servo/IO modules can be used. The SpinStudio Sockets are also documented so that you can create your own circuit board, or use a ribbon cable with a standard 20 pin IDC plug to plug in your own creations.

There are currently 6 different Peripheral modules available, and I have a few more that will be ready soon. One soon to be released module will be a blank prototyping board. It will allow you to make your own, permanently soldered, plug in module. The other modules that will be available soon offer Ethernet and X-bee support.

The use of a socketed Dip version of Propeller means it can be changed easily if needed, not true of surface mount prototyping / development boards.

There is also a way to use many of the current and future peripheral modules with Parallax’s Proto Board with a simple modification. See the documentation on my website, or in OldBitCollector’s Propeller Cookbook (which I also have posted in the “Tutorial” section of my website), for details.

Additional Photos and Documentation is available now on my website, and purchases can be made at ucontroller.com/ (http://ucontroller.com/)

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Brian

uController.com (http://uController.com) - home of SpinStudio

parts-man73
08-30-2007, 10:35 AM
The SpinStudio Mainboard and it's Peripheral Modules are sold in kit form, Assembly is required.

I have attached a photo of an assembled SpinStudio system that I mounted to a piece of Lexan that I bought at a local hardware store. I used standoffs and some special mounting posts. I mounted a set of Parallax's excellent solderless breadboards, and I have a sturdy board to work with.

The SpinStudio mainboard's mounting holes are also spaced so that it can be mounted to a Boe-bot chassis.

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Brian

uController.com (http://uController.com) - home of SpinStudio

Martin Hebel
08-30-2007, 10:46 AM
Brian, looks likea very nice system, and the prices seem very affordable! nice job. I may have to order some for use in my class (just to test out for now).

Thanks,
Martin

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StampPlot - GUI and Plotting Software
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Electronic Systems Technologies (http://www.siu.edu/~isat/est)

parts-man73
08-30-2007, 08:22 PM
Martin Hebel said...
Brian, looks likea very nice system, and the prices seem very affordable! nice job. I may have to order some for use in my class (just to test out for now).


Thank you Martin! That was one of the markets I thought of when I was designing it. I wanted to use all through-hole parts, so that it was easily soldered together. You can learn while assembling it, and when you're done, you feel like you've accomplished something. Much more than you would with a pre-assembled product.

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Brian

uController.com (http://uController.com) - home of SpinStudio

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
09-01-2007, 01:23 AM
Brian,

As you can tell, I'm excited about this design! The double-row plugs of SpinStudio work much better than
simple 1 row pin design for add-ons. I'm working up some more SpinStudio information for the next Cookbook release.

Any chance you'll have those Ethernet and Protoboard addons soon? :)

Oldbitcollector

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The comments and code above are proof that a million monkeys with a million propeller chips *could* write Shakespeare!

parts-man73
09-02-2007, 08:21 AM
OldBitCollector said...
Any chance you'll have those Ethernet and Protoboard addons soon? :)


Yes, working on the layouts now, I hope to have them ready in about 2-3 weeks. The prototyping board I plan to keep it around $5-6. The ethernet board I'm not sure what kind of pricetag that will have yet, I haven't added up all the parts that go into it yet.




Here's a question for the forum - This plug in module I have planned is all empty, somewhat like the current Prop Dongle prototyping area so a standard DIP IC will be able to be inserted and soldered. But since alot of new IC's are only being offered in surface mount format, would it make sense to include a few surface mount pads that would then be brought out to 0.1" spaced holes where wires or headers could be inserted? and what footprints should I include?
SOIC?
TSSOP?
TSOP?
QFP?

It'd be nice to be able to use these chips on a prototype board such as this without needing additional adapters.

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Brian

uController.com (http://uController.com) - home of SpinStudio

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
11-04-2007, 11:42 AM
Finally starting to catch up on my hardware projects!
That book has been really zapping my my Prop time!

Just got my SpinStudio order built. Assembled easily in about an hour, the only
troubleshooting was to check my solder connections along the connectors themselves.
(Still getting used to my new eyes!) I've got PropDOS up and running!

Nice job! I'd recommend this product to anyone...

Now it's time to do some prop-to-prop computing.. :)

Oldbitcollector

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Buttons . . . check. Dials . . . check. Switches . . . check. Little colored lights . . . check.

— Calvin, of 'Calvin and Hobbes.