50 TetraProp(tm) Boards now ready to ship !

TetraProp PCBs are now available. I have 50 bare boards in stock.

PM with your mailing address, and I'll respond with my PayPal email and the total order cost.

Price list (1):
  • 1 to 9 boards at $12.50 each
  • 10 to 19 boards at $11 each
  • 20 to 49 boards at $10 each
  • 50 to 99 boards at $9 each
  • 1x8 headers at $0.30 each
  • Assembled board + headers at $99 each (2)(3)
Notes (1),(2),(3):
  1. California residents add %8.25 sales tax (my rate is higher, but I'll pay the difference).
  2. Introductory price for kits with assembled boards and 24 separate 1x8 stacking headers.
  3. Please allow demand dependent lead time for assembled boards.
TetraProp(tm) is a Gadget Gangster Propeller Platform compatible board design.

TetraProp(tm) 4 Propeller Feature Set
  • Headers allow interconnections for user's design
  • Four independent Propeller islands on one board
  • Propeller and EEPROM are SMD
  • Other components through-hole for easy modification
  • Jumper selectable reset type
  • Socket for crystal
  • PropPlug header for every Propeller
  • All stacker pins on 0.1" grid for connecting to a protoboard.
The strengths of this board are that it allows any connection for the user and saves board cost.
The reset circuit can be configured for normal propeller operation with BOE low or reset hold until released with BOE high.

There are no shorted connections on these boards by design ... sometimes people dream things up to put us down.
The SCL pins do not have pull-ups and are not necessary for eeprom booting; pull-ups can be added if necessary.

Connecting all the chips to one clock was never the intention of this design. Complaining such things is just silly anti-marketing.


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Comments

  • 152 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I might just print that, frame it, and hang it in front of my desk at work...nice job!

    Jonathan
    Free time status: see my avatar [8^)
    F32 - fast & concise floating point: OBEX, Thread
    Unrelated to the prop: KISSlicer
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Looks great! Looking forward to seeing it at UPEW.

    Well done.
    www.mikronauts.com / E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com / Products and Projects:
    RoboPi: The most advanced Robot controller for the Raspberry Pi (Propeller based)
    SchoolBoard ][ Solderless Educational Development Board (Propeller, FPGA, more)
    Advanced prototyping & Parallax Propeller boards - Follow @Mikronauts on Twitter
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I agree with Jonathan, that's a very nice board.

    Any idea on the price of the bare boards? If the price if right, I'd like 10.

    I know other's seem to prefer through hole parts but I've found surface mount parts to be extremely convenient. I'd personally prefer to have the resistors and capacitors surface mount. I think the capacitor holes are close enough to use with a surface mount part.

    That's a really cool board. I hope you have them for sale soon.

    Duane
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ok, I'll be the one to ask a stupid question. I know there will be a list of obvious answers, but why 4 independent props on one board?

    Excellent layout though. Nice and clean, kept everything uniform for each prop pattern. To satisfy Duane's request, it does appear you have almost all the room necessary to double up each passive location with a set of SMT pads (like the Schmartboard layout). Any reason why R5, R6, R11, and R12 are not in the vertical orientation? If they were, you could fit a 1206 package across the TH pads and you could actually use SMT as it exists without doubling up the pad locations. I have used SMT parts across TH pads/holes many times.
    Andrew Williams<br>WBA Consulting
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,767Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hi guys. Q&A below. I really appreciate the opportunity to answer. Thanks for asking.

    @lonesock, Thank you for your eloquent accolade. You made my day!
    Ok, I'll be the one to ask a stupid question. I know there will be a list of obvious answers, but why 4 independent props on one board?
    Andrew, there are several ways to connect Propellers for multi-processing experiments or otherwise. Lots of people have different ways of doing it. I have a certain vision, but it's not the same as others' visions of how to do that.

    Some multiple propeller topographies include:
    • I2C which works well with propeller
    • Point to point serial connections
    • Mesh serial connections
    • Ring connections
    • 10 pin parallel bus
    Now, if someone has a favorite topography, they can use it. And if they need more than one for some reason, I can make the design very quickly (very few traces on the bottom), and produce it for them. Cost of doing a custom depends on their needs and I can be compensated by fee, royalty, or markup - more flexibility. I hope this helps.
    Any reason why R5, R6, R11, and R12 are not in the vertical orientation? If they were, you could fit a 1206 package across the TH pads and you could actually use SMT as it exists without doubling up the pad locations. I have used SMT parts across TH pads/holes many times.
    There is no particular reason for the orientation. I've used SMT parts like that too just last week :)
    I'm happy to change the design to allow this.



    @davidsaunders, I've made my own boards before, but I don't like doing it at all because of chemicals and other things. There are advantages in having a board house do it.

    Cost per board is the biggest driver. The price per board drops as the number of boards built increases. Can't beat that with a stick :)
  • I'd like a couple of those boards as well when you go to production..

    I'm interested in the bare PCB's. This would work extremely well with pass-through connections so that it can be sandwiched between the Propeller Platform and an AV board.

    OBC
    <br>
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,767Vote Up0Vote Down
    Thanks Duane.

    I'll sell individual TetraProp(tm) bare boards at $12.50 each.

    10 to 19 boards at $11 each
    20 to 49 boards at $10 each
    50 to 99 boards at $9 each
    100+ PM

    Custom TetraProp(tm) designs require a minimum order quantity of 20 boards.
    Other custom board designs would be on different terms.
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    I agree with Jonathan, that's a very nice board.

    Any idea on the price of the bare boards? If the price if right, I'd like 10.

    I know other's seem to prefer through hole parts but I've found surface mount parts to be extremely convenient. I'd personally prefer to have the resistors and capacitors surface mount. I think the capacitor holes are close enough to use with a surface mount part.

    That's a really cool board. I hope you have them for sale soon.

    Duane
  • I'm in for 2. Would you like us to pre-order? Set up a scenario that you are comfortable with and I'll bet there is an order for twenty here.

    OBC
    <br>
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,767Vote Up0Vote Down
    Thanks OBC. Yes, i thought about the stacking too, but I don't have room on the board to make stacking super easy.
    I'd like a couple of those boards as well when you go to production..

    I'm interested in the bare PCB's. This would work extremely well with pass-through connections so that it can be sandwiched between the Propeller Platform and an AV board.

    OBC
  • Outside of maybe a CAP, I don't see why this board doesn't lend itself to being stacked.

    I created a single Propeller version of this board last weekend, and have had no issues with resistor/wire jumpers from the inside row of pins to connection points on my board.

    OBC
    <br>
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm in for four.

    I agree with Andrew, I'd like all the resistors in the vertical orientation so I can use 1206 smt resistors.

    Duane
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    I'm in for four.

    I agree with Andrew, I'd like all the resistors in the vertical orientation so I can use 1206 smt resistors.

    Duane

    But then those of us who don't want to have to deal with SMT parts end up having vertical resistors that can more easily bend and break off and generally look messy. It seems like if you're going to cater to SMT you might as well just get rid of the option for through-hole entirely.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm not a big fan of vertical resistors either, but a 1206 plays nice with a 0.35" spaced (or greater) through-hole.

    1206_and_point35in.jpg


    I'm in for one board (sorry it's a small number, and not even a prime number at that!)

    Jonathan
    65 x 195 - 6K
    Free time status: see my avatar [8^)
    F32 - fast & concise floating point: OBEX, Thread
    Unrelated to the prop: KISSlicer
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,767Vote Up0Vote Down
    If it was just me, I would make everything SMD except the large polar capacitor and the headers.

    Anyone opposed to that option? I know there is lot's of "resistance" to that, but it's worth a try.

    The EEPROM pull up resistors have to be either SMD or vertical.
    lonesock wrote: »
    I'm not a big fan of vertical resistors either, but a 1206 plays nice with a 0.35" spaced (or greater) through-hole.

    1206_and_point35in.jpg


    I'm in for one board (sorry it's a small number, and not even a prime number at that!)

    Jonathan

    @OBC, yes stacking is definitely an option.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm not a fan of vertical through-hole resistors. I guess I'd vote for surface-mount, especially since the Props are surface mount anyway.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    First off, GREAT JOB. I love seeing a 4 processor board on the market at last! (Using a Propeller of course.) Kudos to you!

    BTW, I've designed a PCB with SMD parts, but I have never produced it mainly because I can't solder those close pins with my budget soldering iron. Now that I see these are selling in bare boards.... Hmm.... this inspires me.
    Projects, tutorials, and more! http://microcontrolled.com/
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    What are the expected applications for this board?
    Weather forecast? Molecular modelling?
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,767Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ok. Here's the plan.

    1. Board Change: All components are SMD except the big capacitor and the headers. I've added dual footprint bodies for the optional reset circuit so you can have horizontal through-hole or SMD. The top post picture is updated. Make sure your reset BOE* configuration is strapped down for normal operation with the SV jumpers.

    2. Prototypes: I will be building 2 prototype PCBs for design verification on a quick-turn. The 2 board cost will be $110.00. I hope to have one an assembled board available for UPEW.

    3. Production: After I know the boards are good, I'll start a small production build of about 20 boards. This build will cost more than the number of offers on the table, but that's Ok. Hopefully more will come. Given past experience I expect that the boards will be in my hands by June 7th.

    4. Sales Orders: Once boards are ready, i'll take orders according to the price list posted in my response to Duane. Hopefully by that time www.MicroCsource.com will be working. If it is not operational, PayPal transfers can be used.

    5. Assembly Help: For those of you who may need some pointers on Propeller assembly, I'll be looking around for some videos that could help. If I can't find anything demonstrating some "SMD by hand with a fat soldering iron tip" techniques, I'll make a video for you.

    That's the plan. Thanks.


    @william chan, Thanks for asking as It allows me to clarify. I am not delusional about what "super things" might be done with this hardware.

    This board is designed to be used with a Propeller Platform main board such as Propeller Platform USB or the classic kit board to allow 5 (or maybe 9) Propeller experiments. The original intention for the board is delivery to the person who encouraged me to build the board. There has been some interest in multi propeller experiments in the forum before, and there probably will be again.

    The board is designed for flexibility and owners can do whatever they like with it. Some interconnection possibilities for multi-processing have already been listed. Some customization with the basic platform can be done if someone needs it to have permanent connections.

    I will not be personally trying to write drivers for this board soon because I have enough to do already. If you want one example of my experiments which validate my thinking on some of the reset options and other concerns, you can click here for the octoprop thread..
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    SMD and put it the toaster oven.
    (one that is never used for food after that)
    Video of me doing it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j0impc6ebQ
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,767Vote Up0Vote Down
    tonyp12. Nice work.

    This shows something very similar to what I do - go to 1:49s in the video to see.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uiroWBkdFY&feature=related
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    jazzed wrote: »
    Considering the number of multi-prop threads that have appeared I figure I should mention what someone has convinced me to do.

    I guess that would be me! Quite a while ago I tried unsuccessfully to convince Andre' LaMothe that he should have a four Propeller add-on board for the C3. Now that Steve has done this for the Propeller Platform I see that the board is pretty packed and I suspect it wouldn't have worked on the smaller C3 anyway.

    I guess I never really knew what I would do with a board like this but I think it will be interesting to experiment with various distributed algorithms as well as different interconnections between the four Propeller chips. The idea of just having headers and no hard-wired connections allows lots of options.

    One idea I'd like to pursue at some point is a distributed cellular automata engine. I guess the obvious application of this would be to make a distributed version of Conway's "Game of Life". This AVR-based project inspired that idea.

    http://www.ladyada.net/make/conway/

    Each board has a processor that communicates with its neighbors to create a larger "Life" universe. I figured that could be done with a single Propeller by running pieces of the universe on each COG but even better with multiple connected Propeller chips.

    It might also be interesting to experiment with some of the ideas from Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science". I'm not sure if either of these is practical with connected Propeller chips but it would be fun to try.

    Anyway, I'm happy Steve decided to take a chance and design this board even though the idea is a bit off-the-wall. Thanks Steve!
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    jazzed, you can add my name to the list of buyers. Put me down for at least 2, maybe more. I've been looking for a good excuse to try tonyp12's toaster oven technique.

    Also I have to agree with lonesock, the board has great "eye appeal". Probably from the symmetry.

    Good work!

    Paul
    Some times my mind seems to wander..... these days I just tag along.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    This is exactly what is needed! It gives us the flexibility we need to experiment with different topologies in multi-prop designs so that you can optimize network connections for:
    processing power (cogs left over for real work)
    pins(serial connections would leave more left)
    bandwidth(parallel would provide better)
    latency(routing through other propellers would take longer)

    That said, how would this connect to your 32MB sdram board?

    Count me in for 2. I would like it even better if the props and eeproms were already on it (though I would be lifting some legs later)
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    BTW, propforth should run real nice on this one, don't you think so Prof Braino?

    Where are the comments from Humanoido and Dr Mario?
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'd want one or two for playing with multi-prop projects...
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    If I ever have the money I would like to get a couple of these to toy around with. Jazzed always comes up with the good stuff.
    PASM The simplest programming language for the propeller.
    3D Printing pure simplicity with the Propeller..
    Multithreading applications that are thought to be to monolithic in nature.
    A computer made using only Propellers for CPU's, that is a goal (once the next gen Prop is out).
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,767Vote Up0Vote Down
    Looks like we have about a "bakers-dozen" for boards now.
    Glad you're all interested. Hopefully there will be more interest at or before UPEW.

    Thanks.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm probably in for a couple boards.

    Any chance these will show up at UPEC or UPENE? From the point of view of someone who can't attend UPEW, it looks like there is way too much cool stuff premiering there.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    You'll let us know before you place your order right?

    I might want to change my order to 10 (20 also looks tempting).

    I like the newer board layout better than the original.

    Just a thought: Is there room to add a couple of pin number identifiers to the silkscreen? I would be nice to have a little more guidance with the headers. Maybe one or two pin numbers per block of header.

    Man, I keep wishing I had planned to go to this year's expo. I'll be there next year! (that's an absolute maybe)

    All of you concerned about surface mount parts. You've watched the online tutorials right?

    I just followed the examples online and it worked. I think it's doable no matter how cheap your soldering iron is. You just want to make sure and have some good solder wick.
  • edited May 2011 Posts: 11,767Vote Up0Vote Down
    schill wrote: »
    Any chance these will show up at UPEC or UPENE? From the point of view of someone who can't attend UPEW, it looks like there is way too much cool stuff premiering there
    There is a good chance some deal can be made for that to happen.
    I can't really afford to be there for several personal reasons.
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    You'll let us know before you place your order right?
    Absolutely!

    A 20 piece order would certainly be appreciated and will help fund my next project. The next one is a little bit crazy.
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    Just a thought: Is there room to add a couple of pin number identifiers to the silkscreen? I would be nice to have a little more guidance with the headers. Maybe one or two pin numbers per block of header.
    The board house rejected my order yesterday because of a missing file. I'll see what i can do about pin numbers. The best i can do probably is put P1, P15, P17, P31 on the silkscreen. The odd pins are always closest to the Propeller.
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    All of you concerned about surface mount parts. You've watched the online tutorials right?

    I just followed the examples online and it worked. I think it's doable no matter how cheap your soldering iron is. You just want to make sure and have some good solder wick.
    Just make sure not to try cleaning no-clean flux with isopropyl alcohol - that makes a big gooey mess. The first time i tried toaster soldering, i burned the board ... be careful.
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