P2 Eval board for the rest of us

Since the P2 Eval board will be available in maybe a couple of weeks, I thought their could be a discussion about who will be buying one, and what will you be doing with it.

I am really considering getting one, if the cost is not an arm and a leg. I was hoping that SimpleIDE would be available for coding the P2, but not sure about that one.

What will I do with it, not sure at the moment, but I do have a project, in mind, where it could use the expanded pin count, maybe the smart pins, and of course the ADC aspect. The larger ram amount is a plus, no more worrying about memory limitations, for a while anyway. I guess at this moment I just want to see what will be offered, in terms of functionality. The last sale, it had some expansion boards, wonder what will be offered this time around.

Ray
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  • Rsadeika wrote: »
    The last sale, it had some expansion boards, wonder what will be offered this time around.

    Ray

    Here's the latest:

    The expansion headers on the P2 EVAL have the same pinouts, and so the previous expansion boards (64006) and the prototyping board (64005) remain compatible with both Rev A and the new Rev B Eval board.

    There will be a new HyperRAM and Flash expansion too, with part number 64004. With best intentions, that will also be in the store by the time the P2 EVAL appears.


  • Rsadeika wrote: »
    I was hoping that SimpleIDE would be available for coding the P2, but not sure about that one.

    What will I do with it, not sure at the moment, but I do have a project, in mind, where it could use the expanded pin count, maybe the smart pins, and of course the ADC aspect. The larger ram amount is a plus, no more worrying about memory limitations, for a while anyway. I guess at this moment I just want to see what will be offered, in terms of functionality. The last sale, it had some expansion boards, wonder what will be offered this time around.

    Ray

    Ray: At the risk of going all "Total Spectrum/ERSmith fan-boy" here (guilty as charged BTW), you might take a look at FlexGUI by @ersmith. It's free, ready *now*, basically mature, and lets you code in C, PASM, Spin and BASIC. You can get it here: https://github.com/totalspectrum/flexgui In my mind this critter is the Swiss army knife of Propeller tools. It supports P1 and P2 in all of the above languages. I'm basically thrashing the bejeepers out of the FlexBASIC side of it and it is proving remarkably resilient to even the most egregious of DFC (dumb freakin' coder) issues.

    As to what I'm doing with it, I'm most of the way through making a transfer switch controller / generator speed controller / system monitoring gadget that interfaces with a Perkins 20KW diesel generator and an ASCO automatic transfer switch. This widget provides remote access and management capabilities plus does generator speed control, AC line monitoring (current, voltage, power, power factor, freq), does zero-crossing switching, and has a 640x480 VGA console with PC keyboard and a receipt-type printer to boot. It also monitors the solar voltages and currents as well as some basic load management and makes some pre-emptive transfers to generator when it detects excessive lightning or powerline spike events.
  • If and when I do get the P2 Eval, I will need it to be programmable from a Win 10, Linux, and Raspberry Pi session. Right now SimpleIDE does that for me.

    I now use those three formats to work with my Activity Boards. I noticed that the SimpleIDE Raspberry Pi install was updated at some point, but it is not up to the same level as the SimpleIDE Windows version.

    Yes, I am well aware "Total Spectrum/ERSmith" software. Some time back I was using it to work with some things that I was doing with the Activity Board, but it was not working out.

    I am also hoping that, at some near future point, the P2 will support a WiFi module, so I can do some remote programming. SimpleIDE has that capability, it something that I feel is an absolute necessity.

    This is just a couple of more things that came to mind.

    Ray
  • You might be waiting a while for SimpleIDE on P2 since jazzed has been mia for quite a while now :(
  • Yes, I realize that jazzed has been gone for quite some time. Unfortunately nobody has filled that void. And there is nothing in the works to bring SimpleIDE up to date.

    Now, if the P2 turns out to be a big seller, I think, something like SimpleIDE, will have to become available. I can see some hardcore programmers using command line stuff, but that might just be a few users. I could be very wrong on this subject.

    Ray
  • Someone could do it if they know code.

    Setting up a workstation to do simple ide dev isn't that hard.

    The hard part is doing the ide dev.
    I would have done it if I was any good at it.

    I just stopped at getting it to where it can be compiled and loaded into the QT5.11 dev environment.

    https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/169250/parallaxwx-esp8266-raspberrypi-debian-esp-open-sdk-simpleide-openspin-proploader-devel
  • JRoark wrote: »
    Rsadeika wrote: »
    I was hoping that SimpleIDE would be available for coding the P2, but not sure about that one.

    What will I do with it, not sure at the moment, but I do have a project, in mind, where it could use the expanded pin count, maybe the smart pins, and of course the ADC aspect. The larger ram amount is a plus, no more worrying about memory limitations, for a while anyway. I guess at this moment I just want to see what will be offered, in terms of functionality. The last sale, it had some expansion boards, wonder what will be offered this time around.

    Ray

    Ray: At the risk of going all "Total Spectrum/ERSmith fan-boy" here (guilty as charged BTW), you might take a look at FlexGUI by @ersmith. It's free, ready *now*, basically mature, and lets you code in C, PASM, Spin and BASIC. You can get it here: https://github.com/totalspectrum/flexgui In my mind this critter is the Swiss army knife of Propeller tools. It supports P1 and P2 in all of the above languages. I'm basically thrashing the bejeepers out of the FlexBASIC side of it and it is proving remarkably resilient to even the most egregious of DFC (dumb freakin' coder) issues.

    As to what I'm doing with it, I'm most of the way through making a transfer switch controller / generator speed controller / system monitoring gadget that interfaces with a Perkins 20KW diesel generator and an ASCO automatic transfer switch. This widget provides remote access and management capabilities plus does generator speed control, AC line monitoring (current, voltage, power, power factor, freq), does zero-crossing switching, and has a 640x480 VGA console with PC keyboard and a receipt-type printer to boot. It also monitors the solar voltages and currents as well as some basic load management and makes some pre-emptive transfers to generator when it detects excessive lightning or powerline spike events.

    Given your endorsement I thought I'd give FlexGUI a try. Seems to be missing the flexgui.exe file from the distribution (though it is mentioned on the GitHub page).
  • JonnyMac wrote: »
    Given your endorsement I thought I'd give FlexGUI a try. Seems to be missing the flexgui.exe file from the distribution (though it is mentioned on the GitHub page).

    You'll need to go to https://github.com/totalspectrum/flexgui/releases/latest and download flexgui.zip. That's the binary distribution.
  • Thank you.
  • I will probably end up using flexgui with the P2. When I was using flexgui to work with the Activity Board, I thought that flexgui was very useful software, for the P2.

    Now that I am thinking about this, does the P2 Eval setup have an EEPROM? I know that flexgui does not have a way loading the EEPROM, maybe that has changed.

    Ray
  • Rsadeika wrote: »
    Now that I am thinking about this, does the P2 Eval setup have an EEPROM? I know that flexgui does not have a way loading the EEPROM, maybe that has changed.
    It exists, right next to the uSD slot. Oz may have written a tool to program it I think. A uSD card is quite easy to use though so I suspect anyone not live programming from the comport will be using that instead.
  • You'd want to turn on the FLASH dip switch. This will provide EEPROM booting as well as comport reprogramming.
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  • Here's the topic about the programmer tool - https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/169608/prop2-flash-loader/p1

    The conversations there are a tad dated now but the part about P59-UP is probably still relevant. So I'm not sure if the FLASH dip switch by itself is sufficient.
  • evanh wrote: »
    So I'm not sure if the FLASH dip switch by itself is sufficient.
    I'm currently running my RevB Eval board with just the FLASH dip switch on.
    It boots from reset Ok and also downloads code via serial too.

  • That was a loadp2 issue. It was just too slow at starting the download which kept triggering the timeout. I've fixed it in my edition. I've been poking Eric with the fixes but I think he's busy on other things.

    Maybe I can use git to push updates or something. I'm a complete novice with that though so don't have a clue of correct procedure.
  • Is anybody using flexgui with the new P2 Eval board.

    Since, I doubt that jazzed is going to show up here with a functioning SimpleIDE P2 version, I guess flexgui is the only other GUI option available at the moment. No, Catalina is not for me.

    Since I do use a lot of the propC functions, that are available in the Learn library, I guess everything will have to be built from scratch again, in order for flexgui to be able to work with things like the BME680 module, …, etc.

    Boy, this sure looks like, what 12 years ago, when the P1 became available.

    Ray
  • evanhevanh Posts: 9,867
    edited 2019-10-20 - 15:45:05
    Rsadeika wrote: »
    Is anybody using flexgui with the new P2 Eval board.
    Probably not many are reading this topic. You might do better asking over here - https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/comment/1480127/#Comment_1480127
  • Since the P2 Eval board has been out for a week or so, not sure if this is want I want to experiment with. I think I will wait till the beginning of next year, and see what Parallax will be offering. Maybe Parallax will just be selling the P2 chips, who knows.

    For me, it seems that the P2 Eval board is just a little to complex and terse, on the software side. And I am still not sure of what the best IDE, for me, would fit my needs and skills, that is available now.

    Ray
  • Rsadeika wrote: »
    Since the P2 Eval board has been out for a week or so, not sure if this is want I want to experiment with. I think I will wait till the beginning of next year, and see what Parallax will be offering. Maybe Parallax will just be selling the P2 chips, who knows.
    They are already selling just the P2 chips in a pack of 4 for $100.
  • JRoarkJRoark Posts: 548
    edited 2019-11-15 - 15:21:49
    Rsadeika wrote: »
    Is anybody using flexgui with the new P2 Eval board.
    @Rsadeika Yep. I am! In fact, FlexGUI (specifically the BASIC implementation) is all I've used so far.

    I'm very impressed both by FlexGui and the P2-EVAL (rev B ). The testing crew has discovered some bugs in FlexGUI, but @ersmith has been very diligent in fixing them... often within hours of discovery. Both are proving very stable especially when you consider how early we are in the release process.

  • So I noticed there will be some more Eval boards available on Jan 6 2020. The big question, will Spin2 be available on that day also, or is that being pushed to Oct 2020? Since the P2 is able to do interrupts, will that capability be reflected in Spin2, or will that be only available in PASM2. I guess the question of threads could also be addressed, will that be available within Spin2.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that PASM2 is the language that is being pushed to be used with the P2, which is fine, but I doubt that the hobbyist sector will be interested in the pursuit of the P2, if that is the case. Yes, I am well aware of FlexGUI, that is fine until Eric gets distracted or loses interest, and so goes FlexGUI. I have been around here long enough to see other projects like that disappear. The best example is SimpleIDE, as soon as jazzed left, so did support for that software. Having said all that, I guess Spin2 will have to be some really fantastic piece of software, to fill in all the dead spots.

    Ray
  • The big question, will Spin2 be available on that day also, or is that being pushed to Oct 2020?

    Spin2 is in development now, so I doubt it will be ready for full release by January 6th. Not likely that it will take until October, either, as it's well underway. As you indicated, for the time being there are other tools we can work with.

    Parallax understands the importance of Spin2 for the rest of us. During Chip's presentation last week Jeff Martin said that he is updating Propeller Tool to support the P1 and P2. I have asked Jeff to look at some of the implementation ideas in FlexGUI and adopt them to the updated Propeller Tool (no promise that he will)

    What I would like in Propeller Tool for P1 and P2
    -- toolbars so I don't have open menus
    -- allow advanced users to override command line compiler options
    -- allow specification of library path; multiple folders if possible
    -- compiler should do dead code removal to reduce binary size (I use BSTC for this when things get too big)
  • To bad they can not offer a big sack of money to the author of BST for a new P1/2 version of BST.......
  • Pasm2 is only used so much at the moment because that's what is fully done with every possible detailed way to hit the metal when testing the hardware abilities - of which there is plenty of activity around.

    There is already support for many hardware capabilities in Forth, C, Spin, and even BASIC. I'm sure you can handle changing compilers once in a while.

  • Spin2 will be good but I am enjoying learning pasm2 in the meantime. It’s helping me understand the the P2 better.

    Doc
  • To bad they can not offer a big sack of money to the author of BST for a new P1/2 version of BST.......

    I recall reading at some point that Brad stopped supporting BST because he lost the source code in a hardware crash and it wasn't backed up.
  • localroger wrote: »
    To bad they can not offer a big sack of money to the author of BST for a new P1/2 version of BST.......

    I recall reading at some point that Brad stopped supporting BST because he lost the source code in a hardware crash and it wasn't backed up.

    No, that wasn't the case. Anyway he's moved on now.

    But bst is totally still usable, just like PropTool. No upgrades.
  • Thanks for the clarification, Cluso99. I have the highest respect for software that works well and BST is close to perfect.
  • Yes, I've always used BST since it works on Linux and Mac but mainly because it generated a proper listing. Sure it has lots of other nice goodies on there too. Such a shame Parallax didn't back BST, just think where P1 and Parallax would be today with Brad's input. But now I am using the command line version bstc since I am building Tachyon in a similar manner as I do TAQOZ and using a preprocessor to include files.
  • Yes, I've always used BST since it works on Linux and Mac but mainly because it generated a proper listing. Sure it has lots of other nice goodies on there too. Such a shame Parallax didn't back BST, just think where P1 and Parallax would be today with Brad's input. But now I am using the command line version bstc since I am building Tachyon in a similar manner as I do TAQOZ and using a preprocessor to include files.
    Is there still something that bstc can do that openspin can't?

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