Prop boards and BlockyProp

Hello!
Okay now that I'm convinced I understand what boards are supported and the mechanism behind the WX concept I decided to ask the obvious:
Among the collection of boards using the Prop that were built by Parallax, what about those boards we as users of the Prop assembled ourselves using either the contents of the discontinued PEK or available materials on the site, would these be supported?

I guess what I am asking is, as the typical computer hobbyist I'd always wanted to build a system from scratch, and presupposing that a successful build for the mythical Prop system happens, would the system be a good candidate for the BlockyProp concept?

This doesn't mean I'm going to build an Ultimate Computer here, I'm just asking a hypothetical question here.

Comments

  • Hello!
    ... would the system be a good candidate for the BlockyProp concept?

    For SURE !

    Think of it this way....

    BlocklyProp is a graphical way to program the Propeller microcontroller.

    The language doesn't mind what type of board the Propeller is attached to. Could be manufactured by Parallax, made by a third party, a protoboard or breadboard, etc...

    It's like SPIN can be used to program any board with a Propeller on. Or SimpleIDE/C.
    (In fact, BlocklyProp compiles to a C project in the background, and if you wanted to, you could download the SimpleIDE project from the BlocklyProp GUI to further tweak or examine the code in SimpleIDE! So yeah- BlocklyProp is a friendly wrapper for programming in C, and can be a handy way to "see how they did that" sometimes!)


    So.... As long as the Propeller exists on the board, and is programmable by either a COM port (USB or PropPlug), or by WiFi with one of the Parallax WX ESP8266 WiFi modules, then BlocklyProp will be able to talk to your Propeller and program it!


    BTW... I think WX stands for "Wireless eXpansion" ... something like that. The point being that the WX symbol denotes that the PCB is ready to accept the WX module for wireless programming. Ie. The latest version of PAB (Propeller Activity Board) became PAB-WX when the ability to program the PAB via the WX module socket was added. You could still connect the Parallax WX WiFi module to an older PAB board (like you mentioned you have), but you'd need to add some jumpers (and maybe other tweaks) to make use of it. A bit of puzzle and could be a fun exercise; at least Parallax publishes the schematics for all products concerned! Bonus!

    Nothing stopping you creating your own "WX" compatible board, as you are hoping! Hooray!. The BadgeWX schematic would show the simplest way to connect the WX module to the Propeller, as the BadgeWX doesn't have the USB programming option. PAB-WX is more advanced, and that schematic will demonstrate how to automagically switch between either USB or WX programming, depending on what is connected and active.
  • Hello!
    Now that I understand the whole concept; it now becomes slightly more complex. In this case, as applied to the BASIC Stamp for example, and even away from it, I do all my work with TTL based logic. Currently on my breadboard is a TI SN74LS467 and a Hall Effect Sensor originally from Sprague. I'm also using a MC14490 to manage an assortment of switches. They are talking to a collection of LEDs. And this is all running at 5volts. The Prop happens to be a 3.3v system. It happens that Motorola who made that CMOS device, and now the company who ended up with that company's logic line make parts who will talk to CMOS at 3v from logic running at 5v, and probably in the reverse direction as well.

    I have not considered how to go about applying a Prop enabled board such as the PAB to grok* the concepts behind all of that, and now my problem is that where do I go from there. I think what I'm asking is "Does the group have any suggestions for making something like that work."

    To further work on it I'll need to track down the documentation for the original PAB, but I'm more interested in using the QS board, or the Propeller Project Board USB one.

    However given what I've read on the forum concerning the Propeller Project Board USB one in this area convinces me that I did choose the right board for a permanent one.

    One of you on this forum should know, is the QS board definitely supported? Or is it definitely not supported by Blockly. Or what about the Mini?

    I confess I'm grasping at straws here.
    * grok is a word from the Martians in the book "Stranger in a strange land" as written by Robert A Heinlein in 1961. Suffice to say it has become part of our culture and language, spoken.

    ---
    And as it happens this message is being sponsored by the Martians of the Martian City which corresponds to South Colony.
  • I've used Blockly with the QS board and old Propeller Activity Board. (I think I also used it with FLIP and with the Professional Development Board.)

    I believe selecting the board type in the New Project Drop Down just restricts the available pins and makes available any circuits/interfaces available on that board. For the QS & PDB I select "Other" which gives access to all the pins.

    Hope that helps.
    Tom
  • twm47099 wrote: »
    I've used Blockly with the QS board and old Propeller Activity Board. (I think I also used it with FLIP and with the Professional Development Board.)

    I believe selecting the board type in the New Project Drop Down just restricts the available pins and makes available any circuits/interfaces available on that board. For the QS & PDB I select "Other" which gives access to all the pins.

    Hope that helps.
    Tom

    Hello!
    Considerably.
    Now to explore the issues regarding interfacing 3.3v logic to 5v logic and to make it work. Our friends at Adafruit, and Sparkfun and also Tinkersphere sell voltage translation devices, but I also saw one for sale from that Belgian company that has largely ignored Parallax.
  • VonSzarvasVonSzarvas Posts: 1,620
    edited 2019-05-02 - 06:51:35
    This might help...

    https://www.parallax.com/sites/default/files/downloads/AN010-MixedVoltageInterface-v1.0.pdf

    or this for more detail...

    http://nutsvolts.texterity.com/nutsvolts/201104/?folio=46&pg=46#pg46


    .. I thought Parallax had a downloadable PDF of that article at some point. Maybe @Publison will have it in his super-archive :)
  • PublisonPublison Posts: 10,958
    edited 2019-05-02 - 20:53:56
    VonSzarvas wrote: »
    This might help...

    https://www.parallax.com/sites/default/files/downloads/AN010-MixedVoltageInterface-v1.0.pdf

    or this for more detail...

    http://nutsvolts.texterity.com/nutsvolts/201104/?folio=46&pg=46#pg46


    .. I thought Parallax had a downloadable PDF of that article at some point. Maybe @Publison will have it in his super-archive :)

    The article in Nuts and Volts was originally published on Chris' site, (savagecircuits.com). Chris shut the site down a few years ago.

    Found with Internet Archive, (waybackmachine). Link will not work.
    http://www.savagecircuits.com/forums/showthread.php?585-Mixed-Voltage-Systems-Interfacing-5V-and-3.3V-Devices
    Infernal Machine
  • Publison wrote: »
    VonSzarvas wrote: »
    This might help...

    https://www.parallax.com/sites/default/files/downloads/AN010-MixedVoltageInterface-v1.0.pdf

    or this for more detail...

    http://nutsvolts.texterity.com/nutsvolts/201104/?folio=46&pg=46#pg46


    .. I thought Parallax had a downloadable PDF of that article at some point. Maybe @Publison will have it in his super-archive :)

    The article in Nuts and Volts was originally published on Chris' site, (savagecircuits.com). Chris shut the site down a few years ago.

    Found with Internet Archive, (waybackmachine). Link will not work.
    http://www.savagecircuits.com/forums/showthread.php?585-Mixed-Voltage-Systems-Interfacing-5V-and-3.3V-Devices

    Hello!
    **Writes as he has a purring Cheetah on his lap.**
    Well actually guys I did see the author's name and thought about our friend. And it had some good ideas in it.

    Please remember gang that most of this is still theoretical. I'm busy compiling ideas. But think about this. An individual who is busy restoring the wonder, (and the awe and splendor) of the S100 bus based computers, chose to use a Prop as an intelligent console board runner. Look here:

    An S-100 Bus Console IO Board

    It is attached to an update on Spin for the heart of the board.

    I confess that I had a similar idea, a Prop rig is minding the needs of an R6502 based system. My problem? No EPROM maker here.

    My next big idea was to have the entire monitor program that the R6502 would execute upon startup, be contained within the program that the Prop would execute upon starting up. Essentially when the board is turned on, the Prop's first job of running that program would be to write out to static RAM that R6502 monitor program, and then wait for the R6502 to run it and then present a prompt to the Prop would then be running the console functions. Serial terminal output for example, or simple video even.

    However this was all before the Blockly language landed here. To my mind it resembles an evolved Scratch. Blockly does. And something like the coding style that the little guy from Britain can use.

    But back to now, all of that was dated from about the time the Prop arrived, call it when the Forum first started taking shape.

    As for your ideas @VonSzarvas and of course you too, @twm47099 all of them are good. But I'll need to work on it.
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