NEW: Propeller Platform USB

Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
edited 2010-06-30 - 13:03:53 in Propeller 1
The Propeller Platform USB includes a Propeller with removable 5MHz crystal, USB programming circuit, dual 1.5A very low dropout regulators, and a DS1307 Realtime clock.
4744492596_9e61805a66.jpg
Project Page

Specs
  • 2.8" x 2.5"
  • Compatible with all other Platform Modules (DMX IO, LCD UI, ProtoPlus, El Jugador, OctoDriver, PropNet, Prototyper, Tester, Battery, VGA A/V, Servo Module, PropNet).
  • Pre-assembled and tested (schematic), except for the power connector - it comes with a screw terminal and barrel jack, and you can solder on the one you prefer to use.
  • Includes 64k EEPROM, 5Mhz socketed crystal, USB, and DS1307 Real-time Clock with Super Capacitor power bakcup
  • Super low dropout regulators - they'll run within 100mV of the output voltage, so 5.1v input minimum.
I made too many prototypes and I have 10 extras. Instead of throwing them away, I thought I'd offer them at a discount for anyone who'd like them before the Rev. C is available.

These differ from Rev. C (which should be available in about a month) in a few ways;
  • Rev. C will have a microSD slot instead of a Real-time clock
  • Rev. C will have 3 power indicator LED's
Otherwise, they're the same.

They're available for $45 right here. Let me know if you have any questions!

Nick

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Comments

  • KPRKPR Posts: 189
    edited 2010-06-29 - 15:46:52
    Nice addition Nick..

    What about a Rev D. board that has the RTC and the SD in the spot you have the headers for the propplug/propclip since you have the usb interface.. ??

    Also I like the face the rev C board has more led indicators.. lots lights are always nice.. or even a single rgb would be cool..

    And what are the chances of getting a socket/header to the i2c bus so one could easily add in Rayman's accelerometer or even a replacement rtc??

    KPR..

    Oh.. any pics of rev C??

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  • KyeKye Posts: 2,200
    edited 2010-06-29 - 16:18:19
    What KPR Said, that would be nice.

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  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-06-29 - 16:23:02
    Thanks!

    Rev. C represents a different approach - getting the cost down and more reseller friendly. Removing the RTC was easy because it's a $4.00 chip, and it needs a super cap. Including a microSD opens up a lot of options, but only has 1/4th the cost.

    Adding a DIP-8 spot would be awesome, but there just wasn't enough room. It might look like there are blank areas, but the other side of the board has plenty of traces. You can still connect to P29..P28 through the headers, though.

    One nice feature - the Propeller Platform USB uses a 'stubby' mini-USB jack so you can install it in an enclosure and still plug in a USB cable.

    I'd love to do a 'kitchen sink' Prop Platform USB, but that will depend on how well this one sells & it wouldn't be for a few months.

    Attached is a photo of the prototype for the Rev. C. One other small improvement - because the super cap is gone, I was able to move the screw terminal out from under the power jack, so both will be available. Both Rev. B and C have capped vias, same regulators, power switch, 64k EEPROM, etc.

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  • KPRKPR Posts: 189
    edited 2010-06-29 - 16:43:03
    Nick

    I see what you mean about space.. Whats the back of the board look like??

    And I agree with you on the RTC.. The super cap causes issues due to its height.. Funny I have 5 or 6 1307 dips laying around without the caps or crystals so I could always wire one up externally..

    But an onboard sd trumps a clock anyday.. I haven't even had a chance to use the sd adapter board I bought from you yet.. I guess I could use it need be..

    So what colour are the led's gonna be ( blue?? hint hint ) and can the board be powered directly from the usb port ??

    KPR

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  • KyeKye Posts: 2,200
    edited 2010-06-29 - 17:03:05
    Ah, but without the DS1307 you can't easily use my massive file system driver.

    Shame...

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  • Ding-BattyDing-Batty Posts: 252
    edited 2010-06-29 - 17:05:46
    Well, for the projects I have in mind, I'd want the microSD pin assignments to be "flexible" because other functions would get pin-assignment priority for overall efficiency reasons. So I'd prefer the RTC version to the microSD version... Hmmm, I may have to order one or two of the Rev. B boards [noparse]:)[/noparse]
  • KPRKPR Posts: 189
    edited 2010-06-29 - 17:18:05
    Hey Kye..

    Same goes for the microSD as well ..

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  • jazzedjazzed Posts: 11,803
    edited 2010-06-29 - 17:23:22
    Nick McClick said...
    Including a microSD opens up a lot of options, but only has 1/4th the cost.
    I find microSD on pins P0..3 to be quite annoying. There are much better uses for P0..8.
    As it is, I'll be hacking away with an exacta knife on the board I bought to get what I want.

    I like the fact that RTC is optional. Timestamps are good for some things though.

    Cheers,
    --Steve

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  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    edited 2010-06-29 - 18:01:47
    Nick,

    Quick question on the RTC...I am curious why you used the DS1307 over the DS1302? I never did test the signal voltages on the DS1307, but the supply voltage is 5V so on the PPDB I used the DS1302 which has a supply voltage range of 2 - 5 VDC. Just curious since I have seen a few people choosing this 5V chip for 3.3V designs I am starting to wonder if I am missing something?

    P.S. - It was nice meeting you at the UPEW. Wished I'd had more time to interview you on Gadget Gangster Saturday.

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    Parallax Engineering
    ·
  • RaymanRayman Posts: 10,470
    edited 2010-06-29 - 18:35:19
    Chris, I know you asked Nick, but here's what I'd say: Why use up 3 free pins when you can use 0 free pins by connecting to the I2C bus on pins P28&P29?

    The DS1307 does run off of 5V, but I2C is open-drain output and recognizes as low as 2.2V as a logic 1, so it works fine directly connected to the Prop.

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    Post Edited (Rayman) : 6/29/2010 7:02:12 PM GMT
  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-06-29 - 18:55:30
    @jazzed & Batty - you don't have to use the microSD. Just remove the resistor array by placing your soldering iron on top for 3-4 seconds and it will slide off. Then, nothing will be connected to P0..P3 unless you put an SD card in the slot. Or you can use the regular Propeller Platform, which doesn't have built-in microSD.

    @KPR - the super cap I use is shorter. I also use extra long pin headers, so it's not an issue.

    @Kye - there still is the Propeller Platform SD. That has an RTC and microSD.

    @Chris - Sorry, I wanted to chat with you, too - but there was too much to do at the expo [noparse]:([/noparse] next time I'm up in Sacto, I'll shoot you a PM. The DS1307 is i2c - that's why I think people use it. i2c is open-drain, so the logic levels are just float and ground.

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  • Kevin WoodKevin Wood Posts: 1,266
    edited 2010-06-29 - 19:04:55
    I'd like to see this with 1) USB programming, and 2) power over USB, with optional external power connection from wall wart/battery/etc.

    This configuration seems fairly common these days.
  • jazzedjazzed Posts: 11,803
    edited 2010-06-29 - 19:07:47
    Nick McClick said...
    @jazzed & Batty - you don't have to use the microSD. Just remove the resistor array by placing your soldering iron on top for 3-4 seconds and it will slide off. Then, nothing will be connected to P0..P3 unless you put an SD card in the slot. Or you can use the regular Propeller Platform, which doesn't have built-in microSD.
    You didn't get what I meant Nick [noparse]:)[/noparse]

    I want to use the SD, but the historical decision to use P0..3 gets in the way of some design ideas that use P0..8 for performance. You should allow some SMT jumper bridges on the back if possible to select an alternative like P20..23 or some other set of pins. The bridges can be connected by default to some configuration or open to avoid the knife; either way it is more *professional* and less prone to board damage.

    Cheers,
    --Steve

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  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    edited 2010-06-29 - 19:10:30
    I keep forgetting about the I2C vs. SPI issue because I don't ever use the DS1307. When I looked at the quick specs I thought for a moment it was the RAM (twice as much as the DS1302), however you're right...with an I2C interface you wouldn't have had to worry about the signal levels. I've actually had my eye on one of the newer chips with the integrated crystal, but don't recall the part # off hand. It may be I2C as well.

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  • MicrocontrolledMicrocontrolled Posts: 2,461
    edited 2010-06-29 - 19:11:06
    Nice! I would remodel my PCT to use this if the USB and the power were on the same side. It's a nice setup and I like that the RTC is built in.

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  • Nick McClickNick McClick Posts: 1,003
    edited 2010-06-29 - 21:46:14
    Here's the bottom of the board, if you're inclined. The capped vias (in both Rev's) make it look much cleaner.

    @jazzed - I follow ya'. Every design is a compromise; The 8 solder bridges would have to go on the bottom of the board. It would require a second stencil, gluing the top side smt parts, and a second run through the reflow oven. It's a significant additional assembly cost. I'd like to keep this as affordable as possible - there are development tools that offer that flexibility, but they're $180. Although the current design will require flexmem users to remove a resistor, I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff.

    I might be wrong, though - I don't know how many people use flexmem. I also don't know how much slower flexmem will be on P8 or P16.

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  • Timothy D. SwieterTimothy D. Swieter Posts: 1,613
    edited 2010-06-29 - 23:56:48
    Nick - do you mean capped vias or tented vias? There is a difference. In looking at your hi-res board shot I believe you mean tented vias. Tenting vias is when the soldermask covers the via and doesn't expose little copper or gold circles.

    Capping vias is when the vias is filled with a conductive compound or solder to gain certain performance criteria.

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  • jazzedjazzed Posts: 11,803
    edited 2010-06-30 - 01:01:20
    Nick McClick said...
    ... Every design is a compromise; The 8 solder bridges would have to go on the bottom of the board. It would require a second stencil, gluing the top side smt parts, and a second run through the reflow oven. It's a significant additional assembly cost. I'd like to keep this as affordable as possible - there are
    The *free* alternative which requires cuts but is easier to specify and reduces risk of accidental board damage is to have 3-way SMT pads (no components) with the default configuration shorted by traces. Such pads are available as standard part bodies in eagle for example. The distance from the pads is small enough that "user" solder blobs make the alternate connection when the normal connections are cut.

    Please consider this approach for your next revisions on any connections for P0..8. The difference in performance in carefully designed applications is 5MB/s -vs- 2.5MB/s byte-wide + P8 signalling pin to hub transfers at 80MHz.

    Thanks,
    --Steve

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  • Timothy D. SwieterTimothy D. Swieter Posts: 1,613
    edited 2010-06-30 - 01:04:02
    Please forgive me, but I am not understanding why the discussion over pins is as important in the Propeller when all pins are equal. Why would P0 to P7 be any different than P20 to P27 for example? Maybe a driver is hard coded, but that is software. I can understand pin order or pin grouping, but which particular pin set is used I don't see the need to fret.

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  • jazzedjazzed Posts: 11,803
    edited 2010-06-30 - 01:31:14
    Timothy D. Swieter said...
    Please forgive me, but I am not understanding why the discussion over pins is as important in the Propeller when all pins are equal. Why would P0 to P7 be any different than P20 to P27 for example?
    All pins are not equal and this has been overlooked because of casual observation. Consider this example:

    dat
    entry   org 0
    
            mov     ptr,    par
    
            ' ... some control code calls receive for len bytes
                    
    receive
            add     ptr,    len
    #:loop  movs    readit, ina wz
            wrbyte  readit, ptr
    if_nz   djnz    ptr,    #:loop
    receive_ret     ret
    
    readit  long    0
    len     long    256
    
    


    You can't do this at the same speed with P20..27. The same could be done with pins P9..17 using movd, but they are on separate headers on the platform. Something similar could be done with pins P9..17 using movd, but they are on separate headers on the platform and the byte is not conveniently placed on bits 0..7 for wrbyte. The practical example is byte-wide NAND flash which has interface characteristics that make it feasible.

    Cheers,
    --Steve

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    Post Edited (jazzed) : 6/30/2010 2:12:34 AM GMT
  • Timothy D. SwieterTimothy D. Swieter Posts: 1,613
    edited 2010-06-30 - 07:54:28
    Jazzed - I am understanding where you are coming from now in that you are going for a speed efficiency using movs/d (I hadn't come across this trick), but I need a little more coaching so I can understand your example fully.

    In summary (please correct me if I am wrong), you are using the movs (or movd) to ensure you are copying a byte (actually 9 bits) from input lines to a temporary place before then putting the byte into hubram. The fact that movs is copying 9 bits doesn't matter because wrbyte is only taking the byte. With this method you are avoiding an operation of anding the mask, and maybe a shift, in order prepare the byte for insertion into hubram. Also in your example there is only two instructions between wrbytes so that means you don't miss any hubram access windows - max speed for reading inputs and putting data into ram.

    A couple questions to help me understand:
    • Why movs? Is there some self-modfiying code going on that I can't see? Wouldn't MOV copy over eveything, but doing wrbyte essentially be a mask?
    • Why the wz on movs?
    • The djnz is decrementing ptr+len (effectively), not just decrementing LEN, so the loop could execute a lot more than len depending on ptr value, right? You are moving from the end of an array in hubram to the beginning, right?
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    Timothy D. Swieter, P.E.
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  • jazzedjazzed Posts: 11,803
    edited 2010-06-30 - 13:03:53
    Timothy D. Swieter said...
    A couple questions to help me understand:
    • Why movs? Is there some self-modfiying code going on that I can't see? Wouldn't MOV copy over eveything, but doing wrbyte essentially be a mask?
    • Why the wz on movs?
    • The djnz is decrementing ptr+len (effectively), not just decrementing LEN, so the loop could execute a lot more than len depending on ptr value, right? You are moving from the end of an array in hubram to the beginning, right?
    Timothy, Your summary is correct.

    1. MOVS lets us read the lower 9 INA bits into a register where other bits are 0.
    2. With wz on MOVS, we can detect 0 only on P0..8.
    3. Since DJNZ executes only if_nz, 0 on P0..8 stops the transfer.

    P8 is set high for the duration of the packet so that $00 does not prematurely
    stop the loop. This is like the Terminal Count signal "TC" in a DMA system.
    That's why I call this Propeller Pseudo-DMA [noparse]:)[/noparse]

    I've used this Pseudo-DMA approach between 2 propellers for dynamic packet size
    bursting in 1 COG. It is possible to get higher data rates with more than one cog.

    Byte-wide NAND Flash tri-states the data on P0..7 when asserting BUSY* at the
    end of a burst. Using 1K pull-downs on the data lines make P0..8 0 on BUSY* if
    BUSY*/READY is on P8. Of course such devices require a clock for getting new
    bytes, but a COG counter does that nicely. NAND Flash does have a setup time
    before data is available, so one has to coordinate with that.

    Using this Pseudo-DMA approach could allow a special TV/VGA driver to load or
    stream vivid high color resolution video graphics from NAND Flash.

    Look at the iPhone's GUI graphics. A Propeller could someday do that too smile.gif

    Cheers,
    --Steve

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