MicroMite Companion: A new Propeller board in production..

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Comments

  • RoadsterRoadster Posts: 209
    edited 2014-09-15 - 08:21:19
    @mindrobots, @David
    I was just thinking the same thing as you, I would modify my board and swap it with David
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,506
    edited 2014-09-15 - 08:26:23
    David Betz wrote: »
    Looks like a good solution but I already have a PICkit 3 so I suspect I could get away with something simpler.

    I don't think so. I still need the PICkit3, it plugs into the top connector on my board and links the 6 pins on the PICkit3 to the proper pins on the target chip. You need those connections to the chip, a pullup (10k) on chip pin #1, all the ground an power connections to the chip, the 10-47uf Tantalum capacitor on chip pin# 20.

    The USB connection is kind of optional but since the PICkit does not power the target chip by default, most of what I've read says it is easier to have the programming circuit power the target chip, so I pull 3v3 off of the serial USB connection (assuming you use a USB/Serial plug that provides 3v3 and 5v.

    The circuit on page 4 is pretty much the minimum ICSP programming circuit for a PIC32.
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • Bill HenningBill Henning Posts: 6,445
    edited 2014-09-15 - 08:41:07
    As you noted PicKit3 will not program chips if there is no Vdd applied to the chip.

    To add to the confusion, you have to decide between LVP and HVP (low voltage programming / high voltage programming)

    I tend to use either 5V or 3V3 (depending on PIC chip, surrounding circuit) to power the chip, with LVP (when available on the specific PIC chip)

    The advantage of HVP is that on more recent chips, if you use HVP, you can use RA3/MCLR as an additional input-only pin.

    Note the more recent PIC chips need 9V for HVP, old ones need ~13V
    www.mikronauts.com / E-mail: mikronauts _at_ gmail _dot_ com / @Mikronauts on Twitter
    RoboPi: The most advanced Robot controller for the Raspberry Pi (Propeller based)
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,506
    edited 2014-09-15 - 09:17:40
    With the chips we are using, I've found it easiest just to use the 3v3 available in circuit.

    One thing I did find is that the Vdd pin from the programmer does need to be connected to the Vdd supplying the target chip, It will not program the target if it does not sense voltage on the PICkit3 Vdd pin.

    We're getting way off track from OBC's thread and even off track from Parallax at this point. There are a few thread discussing PIC programming as it relates to the MMC on Propeller Powered's forum if anyone is interested in programming a PIC for their MMC plus, of course, a growing body of discussion relating to the MMC as more of them get out in the wild..
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-09-15 - 11:44:43
    As it turns out, I have a Uno32 Arduino-style board with a PIC32MX320 chip on it that I can use for the time being. It has a place to solder an ICSP header for programming the PIC32. Unfortunately, it uses an SMT PIC32 chip so I can't just plug in a chip to program it and then move it over to the MMC. It will take some time to get my compiler running on the PIC32 anyway so maybe that isn't a big deal. And, I guess I can just manually wire a connection between the Uno32 and a Quickstart to get most of what I need without the MMC. To get this back on topic for a Parallax forum, I *do* want to interface to a Propeller as the runtime for this compiler. Unlike the MMC, I want my code to run on the Propeller itself, not just use the Propeller as a fancy terminal. I also want to be able to make use of the multi-core nature of the Propeller to run more than one program at a time. So, Uno32+QuickStart might be my best choice for the moment.
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,506
    edited 2014-09-15 - 11:50:16
    Sometimes, I just use my entire MMC as a fancy standalone editor for a Propeller based board running Forth or an Espruino, microPython or some other serially inclined development board. No reason to use the MMC for this purpose instead of a PC other than, "I Can!" :smile: Which is why I do most things around here!
    MOV OUTA, PEACE <div>Rick </div><div>"I've stopped using programming languages with Garbage Collection, they keep deleting my source code!!"</div>
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
    edited 2014-10-08 - 07:15:58
    Been a while since I've posted an update on this project.

    Here's a little photo gallery of what we've been up to...

    http://imgur.com/a/wgpw4
    <br>
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
    edited 2014-10-12 - 11:15:08
    We just launched a MODE 4 (Sprite and Tiles Mode) Christmas Contest.

    Win a fully-loaded Micromite Companion kit for someone on your Christmas List!

    http://propellerpowered.com/forum/index.php?topic=737.0
    <br>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-10-13 - 15:03:48
    Do you plan a revision of your MMC board anytime soon? Is it likely to provide an interface for reprogramming the PIC32 chip?
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
    edited 2014-10-15 - 16:49:43
    It's likely that we'll make some minor revisions to the MMC in the future. In the present there is much to do documentation and examplewise before I can start looking at this.
    Our project is geared more toward programming the onboard language that comes with it than experimenting with PIC32.

    BTW, we just completed a Sprite and Tiles documentation (Instructable) The Propeller really shines in this part of the project.
    It's nearly painless now.
    <br>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-10-15 - 18:11:18
    It's likely that we'll make some minor revisions to the MMC in the future. In the present there is much to do documentation and examplewise before I can start looking at this.
    Our project is geared more toward programming the onboard language that comes with it than experimenting with PIC32.

    BTW, we just completed a Sprite and Tiles documentation (Instructable) The Propeller really shines in this part of the project.
    It's nearly painless now.
    Yes, I realize that your focus is more on using MicroMite Basic but wouldn't it still be useful to be able to reprogram the PIC32 to update the version of MMBasic on the chip?
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
    edited 2014-10-15 - 18:27:30
    My todo list on this project is loooooooonng.. But we'll get there eventually. Bear with me.
    <br>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-10-15 - 18:50:46
    My todo list on this project is loooooooonng.. But we'll get there eventually. Bear with me.
    Do you have a lot of people interested in the MMC? I'm curious because I've been promoting the idea of a hybrid Propeller + some more traditional processor approach for a while. While I'm not a big fan of Basic, it would be nice to know that there are people who accept this approach.
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
    edited 2014-10-15 - 20:37:01
    It's no Raspberry Pi, but it's moving. Honestly the target market is retro computer ethusists. It's an interesting entry point for those who love old computing, but perhaps have never explored microcontrollers.
    <br>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-10-26 - 14:54:54
    I found this board that has a ICSP header to allow the PIC32 to be reprogrammed. I'll use this in conjunction with a QuickStart to make a development platform for PIC32+Propeller until I get code working before moving to the MMC.

    http://www.nedocon.com/store/ncpu32/
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
    edited 2014-10-26 - 17:52:03
    MicromiteProgrammingCircuit.jpg


    Wouldn't just be easier to put the PIC32 into a breadboard with a resistor and cap for programming then move it to your project?
    1024 x 620 - 35K
    <br>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-10-26 - 18:30:12
    MicromiteProgrammingCircuit.jpg


    Wouldn't just be easier to put the PIC32 into a breadboard with a resistor and cap for programming then move it to your project?
    Maybe for you hardware types but I'd rather have a board with a programming interface so I don't have to move chips between boards constantly. I think having an external programming station is fine once you have the code done and are just making copies of chips but not so good during development. Anyway, this looks like it will address my needs until I have a stable code base to move back to the MMC.
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-11-02 - 19:36:04
    I got my new PIC32 board working this weekend. It came with a PIC32MX110F016B chip that only has 16k of flash but I replaced that with a PIC32MX150F128B chip with 128k of flash and then with a PIC32MX170F256B chip with 256k of flash. I think those are the chips that the Micromite uses. I'm able to program these chips with a PICkit3 programmer and I've ported my "notc" C-like interactive language to the PIC32 and it seems to work fine with lots of space left for an editor and filesystem code. This also gives me a platform for reprogramming chips for my MMC. Next, I'd like to get the PIC32 to compile code to run in a PASM VM on COGs in an attached Propeller chip. This will, of course, work well on the MMC board as it has a socket for a PIC32 chip as well as a Propeller chip. I will say that plowing through the 1K+ pages of documentation on the PIC32 was a bit intimidating and I don't feel that I have even come close to understanding all of its complexities. Much easier to get a handle on the Propeller although I don't even know that as well as most here. Anyway, I'm looking forward to working on code that makes use of both processors with the idea of moving my final code to the MMC once it becomes stable.
  • richaj45richaj45 Posts: 179
    edited 2014-11-02 - 22:01:02
    @David

    Did you use the cheep PIC32 compiler or the very expensive optimizing compiler that Microchip sells?

    cheers,
    rich
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-11-03 - 03:54:13
    richaj45 wrote: »
    @David

    Did you use the cheep PIC32 compiler or the very expensive optimizing compiler that Microchip sells?

    cheers,
    rich
    I used the free compiler from Microchip. I was very disappointed to learn that you can't use anything beyond -O1 without paying money for the "commercial" compiler. You also can't generate mips16 instructions which are much more compact than the full 32 bit MIPS instruction set. I thought Microchip was a semiconductor company not a software company. Don't they make their money selling chips? They ought to be giving their tools away.
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
    edited 2014-11-08 - 21:34:58
    A quick and dirty screen shot of the new version of "Graphics Editor" running on the Propeller (MMC).

    I'm in screen edit mode, after designing a few custom character tiles in character edit mode.
    Screen editor allows us to create screen resources using cursor keys and space to place characters.

    The Propeller really shines here...
    819 x 619 - 81K
    <br>
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
    edited 2014-12-12 - 10:19:45
    Still looking for a great "Propeller powered" gift?

    As of 12/12 (today) - 12/15
    All domestic (USA) orders of the Propellerpowered Micromite Companion will be shipped free.

    We are about to unveil a huge upgrade which is compatible with this project, so this is a great time to get your hands on this kit.

    http://propellerpowered.com/shop/?page_id=1946
    <br>
  • David BetzDavid Betz Posts: 13,554
    edited 2014-12-12 - 19:45:50
    Still looking for a great "Propeller powered" gift?

    As of 12/12 (today) - 12/15
    All domestic (USA) orders of the Propellerpowered Micromite Companion will be shipped free.

    We are about to unveil a huge upgrade which is compatible with this project, so this is a great time to get your hands on this kit.

    http://propellerpowered.com/shop/?page_id=1946
    Any chance of a new rev of the board with a PICkit3 connector?
  • sv3orasv3ora Posts: 9
    edited 2019-10-15 - 07:54:31
    Still looking for a great "Propeller powered" gift?

    As of 12/12 (today) - 12/15
    All domestic (USA) orders of the Propellerpowered Micromite Companion will be shipped free.

    We are about to unveil a huge upgrade which is compatible with this project, so this is a great time to get your hands on this kit.

    http://propellerpowered.com/shop/?page_id=1946

    Hi there!
    You are a hard man to reach. Your website does not have any contact information or updates on the project. How should I purchase the micromite companion kit?
  • sv3ora wrote: »
    Still looking for a great "Propeller powered" gift?

    As of 12/12 (today) - 12/15
    All domestic (USA) orders of the Propellerpowered Micromite Companion will be shipped free.

    We are about to unveil a huge upgrade which is compatible with this project, so this is a great time to get your hands on this kit.

    http://propellerpowered.com/shop/?page_id=1946

    Hi there!
    You are a hard man to reach. Your website does not have any contact information or updates on the project. How should I purchase the micromite companion kit?

    Email Karl here:
    http://fireheadfred.com/mmc_build_webpage/mmc_build_guide2.htm

    That's where I got one a few months ago. Jeff seems to be out of the loop.
  • Thanks a lot!
    Is development of it ceased? He talks about 256 colors capable hardware but not supported software yet.
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