NEW: Propeller Platform SD - Real-time Clock + microSD, Now 100% pre-assembled!

Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
edited 2010-04-21 - 20:32:35 in Propeller 1
The Propeller Platform SD is now available:

4451191361_c5968572a4.jpg
Project Page

Specs;
  • Propeller, 5MHz Removable Xtal, 64kb EEPROM
  • 5v @ 3.3v regulators, 1.5A output with a min input voltage of only 5.5v
  • microSD card slot with pullups connected to P0..P3
  • Comes with Terminal Block and barrel jack power connector
  • 2.8" x 2.5" footprint
  • Breadboard-able. Supports all the other Propeller Platform Modules (Prototyper, El Jugador, TermBoard, DMXIO, LCDUI, OctoDriver, Battery, and more)
  • Optional DS1307 Real-time Clock with power backup

Program without a Prop Plug
It comes pre-programmed with a simple bootloader, too. In the propeller tool, use F8 and select 'save as binary'. Save your program to the microSD card root directory with the name 'run.bin', and pop it in the Propeller Platform SD. When you turn it on, the Propeller will begin running your program. It's not as easy as a USBThumb or Prop Plug, but it will give you an inexpensive introduction to Propeller Programming.

You can also program it with a USBThumb, Prop Plug, Prop Clip, or Bill's upcoming Serial programmer (SerPlug)


DS1307 RTC
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical when people asked for an onboard RTC. But after going through the design verification and testing, I'm convinced it's awesome. The DS1307 uses the same pins as your EEPROM, so there's no impact to I/O. I've been using Kwabena's RTC driver (in the Obex). It's a piece of cake, and it uses only 600 bytes. I made it optional to keep the price low for those that don't need it, but it's really useful and nice to have.

One more photo of the Propeller Platform SD with Prototyper & El Jugador;
4451966710_53d8c1dd02.jpg

Check out the project page for more info. As usual, let me know if you have any questions!

Update: The Propeller Platform SD now comes completely pre-assembled, so you can start using it straight out of the box.

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Post Edited (Nick McClick) : 4/21/2010 5:58:40 PM GMT
«1

Comments

  • mctriviamctrivia Posts: 3,772
    edited 2010-03-22 - 20:13:31
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2010-03-22 - 20:21:39
    It looks great. Data loggers should love this thing.
    One question: from what direction does the SD card get inserted?

    Good job!

    smile.gif
  • mctriviamctrivia Posts: 3,772
    edited 2010-03-22 - 20:23:02
    Looks like from crystal

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  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-03-22 - 20:37:22
    @mctrivia - Thanks! I'm glad I re-revved it to add the RTC.

    The uSD slides in across the edge of the pcb, just like you would expect it to. When the uSD card is inserted, it covers up the uSD card slot pads/pins.

    Here's a picture of it with the RTC using a terminal block instead of a power jack;
    4451192235_fcc9782383.jpg

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  • MagIO2MagIO2 Posts: 2,181
    edited 2010-03-22 - 20:43:50
    Why's the slot for the SD-card on the 'wrong' side? Especially if you mount other boards on top of the SD prop, you have to remove em for updating the SD card.


    PS: OK ... lesson learned ... update if thread opened more than 10 sec ago before giving comments ;o)

    Post Edited (MagIO2) : 3/22/2010 8:50:12 PM GMT
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2010-03-22 - 21:18:43
    Nick McClick said...
    ....

    The uSD slides in across the edge of the pcb, just like you would expect it to. When the uSD card is inserted, it covers up the uSD card slot pads/pins.
    ...

    Okay, that makes sense. To me, at first glance, it looked like it slid in from the crystal side. Apparently mctrivia thought the same thing, too.
  • Timothy D. SwieterTimothy D. Swieter Posts: 1,613
    edited 2010-03-22 - 23:26:00
    Excellent work Nick.

    For the uSD card, I too had the first thought of which way does that socket go and which way does the card slide in. Perhaps it would be good to post a picture with an SD card inserted, it might help anyone looking at this product on your product page.

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  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-03-23 - 17:44:30
    I will have to [noparse]:)[/noparse] It does look a bit weird, but I carefully chose that uSD card slot because it's easier to assemble and a little bit smaller than the other one I've been using. I redid the uSD breakout board using that holder and it gave enough room to label the outputs.

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  • Kal_ZakkathKal_Zakkath Posts: 72
    edited 2010-03-25 - 23:20:10
    Any idea what the current draw of the board is? I'm looking at making some long term dataloggers and wondering how this board compares to the propmodule which mctrivia posted some data on recently: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=893152
  • mctriviamctrivia Posts: 3,772
    edited 2010-03-26 - 02:01:11
    using a 6V wall wart my propeller platform draws
    test lc: 27.3mA
    test hc: 107.8mA

    ▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
    24 bit LCD Breakout Board now in. $24.99 has backlight driver and touch sensitive decoder.

    If you have not already. Add yourself to the prophead map
  • Kal_ZakkathKal_Zakkath Posts: 72
    edited 2010-03-26 - 05:38:24
    mctrivia: is that with or without the RTC?
  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-03-26 - 05:50:57
    I think mctrivia's measuring the Prop Platform (not the SD version), but the current draw should be about the same (maybe a little less for the Prop Platform SD). But current draw is going to vary greatly based on your application and the input voltage.

    For the ds1307, here's the datasheet (pdf). Looks like it consumes 1-2mA when active.

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  • Kal_ZakkathKal_Zakkath Posts: 72
    edited 2010-03-26 - 08:05:17
    Yeah I figured the current will depend a lot of what I am doing, just curious what the lower-bound (i.e. with the prop doing nothing at all) is with the regulators being used etc. For final numbers I'd need one in front of me of course, just looking for rough estimates/comparison between the two boards.
  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-04-08 - 19:48:14
    Boom - here's a photo with a microSD card inserted;
    4503631572_301d8f5e5c.jpg

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  • mctriviamctrivia Posts: 3,772
    edited 2010-04-08 - 20:13:55
    Looking good.

    P.s. I have not herd back from you on my last couple emails. Check your junk box.

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  • HollyMinkowskiHollyMinkowski Posts: 1,398
    edited 2010-04-08 - 22:42:59
    Cool!

    Makes me think of an arduino, except with 8, 32bit cores
    and an sd socket. An arduino w an atmel168(typical) just has
    about 20mips...this board with a 6.25 xtal would be at about 200mips
    or 10x the bang smile.gif

    The bootloader running a start file from the sd is a nice touch.

    EDIT: Just looked at the project's page.
    You should also offer it with a 6.250 xtal in place of a 5.000

    Post Edited (HollyMinkowski) : 4/8/2010 10:51:35 PM GMT
  • RsadeikaRsadeika Posts: 3,315
    edited 2010-04-09 - 09:56:18
    @Nick, will you be offering an option of having the RTC parts pre-soldered? I think some customers may not want to attempt that kind of detailed soldering, the soldering of the header rails looks tedious enough to me.

    Ray
  • KPRKPR Posts: 189
    edited 2010-04-09 - 15:10:31
    Hey Nick.. Nice redesign.. Your board sparks my interest in another prop project.. and the pre-installed rtc would be a nice option as well as the option of the 6.25 mhz crystal.

    k.

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  • Paul Sr.Paul Sr. Posts: 435
    edited 2010-04-09 - 16:04:29
    KPR said...
    Hey Nick.. Nice redesign.. Your board sparks my interest in another prop project.. and the pre-installed rtc would be a nice option as well as the option of the 6.25 mhz crystal.

    k.

    The crystal is "removable" so you can plug in your own 6.25 mhz crystal.
  • Timothy D. SwieterTimothy D. Swieter Posts: 1,613
    edited 2010-04-10 - 15:40:18
    I believe the item comes with the SMT parts already soldered. Nick worked out a deal with a local supplier to assemble the SMT parts. The TH parts are the only remaining parts to be assembled.

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  • KPRKPR Posts: 189
    edited 2010-04-11 - 20:34:49
    I spent the evening reading up on Arduino's and I have come to the conclusion, that although they would be fun to play with, the propeller is the far superior platform..

    Granted that the arduino's have a lot built in.. ram/rom and depending on the chip and lots of addons, price for the money and usability, Propellers still have them beat.

    So I don't think i'll be picking up one soon.. but some of the sheilds available look really neat!

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  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-04-12 - 21:30:40
    Yep -

    It comes 'mostly pre-assembled', so you can set it up the way you want;
    • The pin sockets aren't already soldered on so you can choose where you want to put them (inner row or outer row, pointing up or down),
    • If you want a screw terminal power connection or barrel jack (comes with both),
    • If you're using a Prop plug or Prop Clip,
    • If you want an RTC
    but adding the sockets and RTC is a 10 minute task.

    It doesn't come with the RTC pre-assembled to keep the entry price low. I've been surprised by how useful the RTC is - I might make it default in a re-rev.

    crystal is removable. You can put in anything else. I've tested it with a 6Mhz xtal w/o any problems.

    My only gripe on the Arduino is the weird pin spacing (on one side, the sockets are something like 170 mils apart), so it doesn't fit on breadboards / protoboards. Performance wise, there's no comparison.

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  • HollyMinkowskiHollyMinkowski Posts: 1,398
    edited 2010-04-12 - 22:11:54
    @KPR

    Yes, the arduino is a midget compared to what a similar board setup would be if
    powered by a propeller chip!

    The arduino's 20mhz Atmega168 is a decent chip though...and has a nice free C compiler.

    I use a 168 for projects that don't need the power of the prop.
    And the 8pin AVR tinys are great for small projects and cost
    almost nothing when you buy them in bulk....you can scatter
    them all over a project since they cost so little...they are best
    programmed in asm though since they have only 2k of flash
    in their cheapest form.
  • Brian RileyBrian Riley Posts: 626
    edited 2010-04-13 - 04:50:18
    Nick McClick said...
    My only gripe on the Arduino is the weird pin spacing (on one side, the sockets are something like 170 mils apart), so it doesn't fit on breadboards / protoboards. Performance wise, there's no comparison.

    I have been involved with Arduino Development on and off for three and a half years and that spacing problem was an early on mistake. It has driven me nuts that TPTB absolutely refuse to fix it because of all the shield boards that have been designed around it. If only they had fixed the problem 2-3 years ago it wouldn't be cast in stone as it is now.


    cheers ... BBR

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  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-04-13 - 17:55:35
    It would seem to me that breadboard / protoboard compatibility would be a "Big Deal" when developing a prototyping system. But what would I know... I also have a personal distaste for their licensing, but that's another story.

    @Holly - I really like the ATtiny, they're awesome for simple logic, although they're not as easy to develop for (at least for me). Sometimes I wish there were a single cog prop that sold for $2, but I'm not sure that's possible or practical (and the prop needs a supporting EEPROM, anyway).

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  • mctriviamctrivia Posts: 3,772
    edited 2010-04-13 - 23:47:47
    Nope a single cog prop would not be practicle since they would have to make so many and the market would probably be very little. The real expense isn't the number of cogs but making the silicone to start with. If there was enough space they could have made the prop with 16 cogs for only penies more.

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  • KPRKPR Posts: 189
    edited 2010-04-14 - 00:37:32
    Holly said...
    Yes, the arduino is a midget compared to what a similar board setup would be if
    powered by a propeller chip!

    The arduino's 20mhz Atmega168 is a decent chip though...and has a nice free C compiler.

    I use a 168 for projects that don't need the power of the prop.
    And the 8pin AVR tinys are great for small projects and cost
    almost nothing when you buy them in bulk....you can scatter
    them all over a project since they cost so little...they are best
    programmed in asm though since they have only 2k of flash
    in their cheapest form.

    Sometimes I hate ebay.. I've bid on 6 boards and always out bid.. sorry for not being up to play the bidding game at 4 am est.. so I under bid on a 328 chipped unit and of coarse I won it now that I don't want it.. I paid more for shipping than I did for the board..

    kpr

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  • schillschill Posts: 741
    edited 2010-04-14 - 14:24:09
    Just a couple of comments (continuing a side-track of this thread). But if it helps, I have two of the Propeller Platform SDs [noparse]:)[/noparse] .

    Some of you may know that I'm a fan of AVRs. I think it's a good idea to choose the right chip for the job (I even occasionally use BASIC Stamp IIs in the mix with Props and AVRs).

    The current Arduinos use Atmel 328s, not 168s. This means more available memory.

    You can fit an awful lot of code into the available memory. Although I have played with assembly for AVRs, most of my projects have not required it. There are several good compilers available - commercial and non-commercial.

    You can use Arduino hardware without the Arduino IDE and language. And, you can use the IDE and language without Arduino hardware. It makes a very convenient development platform either way. There is nothing particularly special about the hardware but the array of shields (etc.) is convenient.

    However, I do agree that the pin spacing was a big mistake to keep and it continues to be an annoyance.
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,890
    edited 2010-04-14 - 16:32:47
    Sorry Nick to continue the sidetrack, but I will make a comment about the SD board to justify the post. I bought one of your prototype versions of this board and I really like th eoverall size and ease of use. It fits pretty nicely into the Polycase VM-24 handheld enclosure, so it will be my choice for a few of my handheld projects. You can fit a 9 volt battery, the GGPP-SD board, and the uOLED nicely into the enclosure. Once I figure out how to properly read my stored data back from the SD card from my plungelogger, I will be making a portable "data viewer/plotter" so I won't have to use my laptop to get the results.


    So, for my sidetrack comment: I don't know the Arduino so maybe this is an ignorant statement, but if it is just a fancy/easy platform for an Atmel device, why doesn't someone make a user friendly Atmel development board that can use the existing shields but also has 0.100" spaced headers/holes. (maybe even in a propeller platform pinout!?!?!?!?)

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  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-04-14 - 17:25:32
    @schill - I agree, right tool for the job. Personally, I'm agnostic, although I know how to use the Prop much better than AVR or PIC. The prop is faster than arduino, but it's more expensive. I would argue that the Prop is generally the better choice for the hobbyist (It's a few bucks more, but it's not like you're going to install 100,000 in some other device), but that's opinion. Ultimately, the best tool is the one you have.

    @WBA - next up is a PICaxe platform module (picture), that's almost done, just going through testing. I might eventually do an arduino module, but it's low on my list,there are already a ton of great arduino boards out there and it's a crowded market.

    The nano is breadboard compatible, but then you can't use any shields. I did do an Arduino / Propeller Platform shield converter, but there were some testing problems and I haven't picked the design back up yet.

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