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M44D40+ Propeller Basic Circuit Module in DIP40 Form Factor — Parallax Forums

M44D40+ Propeller Basic Circuit Module in DIP40 Form Factor

WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
edited 2013-04-27 01:27 in Propeller 1
Many have seen the development thread I started on my M44D40+ module and I recently showed them off at UPEW. I still have some modules left, so this will now be the official thread about any further development, feedback, etc.

My module's features are:

1) DIP40 form factor, 0.7"x2.0" (0.6" lead spacing)
2) 44 pin QFN Propeller microcontroller
3) 5 Mhz socketed crystal (Samtec machined socket pins for firm contact)
4) Socketed 32Kb EEPROM, DIP8 package
5) Right Angle 4 pin programming header (Propplug compatible)
6) Two header options:
a) stacking headers
b) machine pin socket compatible headers (0.025"square top pin, 0.018 round bottom pin)
7) 3 bypass caps and EEPROM pullup for SDA line.
8) Pin 1 is the square pad on the module (same end as the programming header)

With the EEPROM ad Crystal removed from the module, it is essentially the same as a Propeller DIP40 chip. (exception is the added bypass caps and EEPROM resistor)

The connections are exactly the same a a DIP40 but since the EEPROM, crystal, and programming header are onboard, the only additional connections for the basic Propeller circuit is to ground the BOEn pin and add a reset button. (See page 17 of the Propeller Manual for the basic prop circuit)

Module Pricing is $20 each plus shipping ($2.50 for First Class or $5.00 for Priority mail, email for international) These will also be offered as a package deal with a PowerTwig for $25.

To purchase, please PM me with your order requests and your PayPal email address so I can send you an invoice through PayPal.
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  • RavenkallenRavenkallen Posts: 1,057
    edited 2011-05-25 08:41
    Thanks for adding the bit about the square hole designating pin 1. I totally must have missed that:).... I can tell you all right now, that there is no easier way(For the price anyways) to get a full propeller setup on a breadboard. I use this little board for anything that i want to prototype fast. In fact, i got one on my robot right now. The only thing you will really need will be an external regulator(And a couple of caps), but that is pretty much it. I think Andrew said that we was working on a regulator backpack??? Great board overall!!
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
    edited 2011-06-23 12:12
    Been busy, so haven't updated this thread with more pics yet, but I will be putting one of my modules with a PowerTwig in the PE Kit style setup for comparison to a DIP 40 or Propstick USB setup.

    Ravenkallen, thanks for the publicity for the module. I did a google search the other day and was surprised to see a Robot YouTube video pop up in the search results! I am pinging the other purchasers to see if they have used theirs yet for more pictures.

    As for the power board, I have a concept, but I have other projects that are priority so it will be a while before it becomes a real thing. Once I get more pics and details out there, we'll see how things really go. I haven't really publicized this at all other than this and the other thread here on the Parallax forums. I would like to develop a simple project that would be of interest to people that would make the module ideal if I preloaded the program. I see a lot of projects on instructables that others don't make simply because it is a hassle to source all of the parts and then tweak the code because the original design used some part that they couldn't buy, etc, etc.
  • GarethGareth Posts: 278
    edited 2011-06-30 14:03
    Why did i miss this posting....... i have been searching high and low for a RBBB type small propeller framework to fit into my mini projects ..... in the end i had to construct my own in a not so tidy freeform fashion.
    I like the modular approach and being able to change the eprom and crystal are real plus factor.
    PS - you may want to "Plug" it into the letsmakerobots website component section .... or send one to a LMR reviewer .
  • WossnameWossname Posts: 174
    edited 2011-07-11 10:24
    Impressive work. And an approach I wouldn't have thought of :) Crowbarring extra functionality into the same footprint, I like this design.
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
    edited 2011-07-14 22:48
    Gareth, thanks for the comments! I actually have thought of a few simple projects where my module would work nicely as a demo/publicity shot, but have been really busy with work, car repairs, etc. I have a setup almost don on a breadboard that mimics the PE Kit that will show nicely. Ravenkallen is the only M44D40+ owner that has posted his work so far.

    Wossname, thanks! The design originally came from the DIP40 shortage that occurred a few years ago and I was finally able to get around to populating PCBs (I have over 600 PCBs that need parts and homes....)
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
    edited 2011-07-22 01:35
    Setup one of my modules that has stackable headers with a PowerTwig on a section of PE Kit breadboard to show how simple it is to use. You will notice only one set of 3.3v/GND wires going to the module. This is because, as opposed to a DIP40 Propeller, the PCB ties all 3.3v and GND points of the QFN Propeller together, so only one set is necessary to the module. With the PowerTwig in the configuration as shown, the Red/Black wires are 5v and the Blue/Black wires are 3.3v. So each side of the breadboard has a different power rail. Obviously, all three PE Kit breadboards would be useful, but I happen to have a full circuit on my other two breadboards. I also took a PE Kit tactile switch and placed it into the stackable header between Reset and GND. Works great and can be yanked right out if I don't need it.

    (I'll take better pics tomorrow when I get my lightbox back from work)
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  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
    edited 2011-08-14 17:30
    So, a few weeks ago, a really obvious idea hit me in the head in regards to my module. Since then, while discussing the module with three other people, they asked me if I had thought of using it in this manner. Strange, I hadn't thought of it before, but by not loading the QFN Propeller and, instead, loading a DIP40 Propeller in the stacking headers, I can accomplish the same basic Propeller circuit in the DIP40 form factor. This enables me to offer another version of my module that can actually be sold as a kit. I will be gathering additional parts this week so I can begin offering a new kit. I am looking into an elevated 40 pin socket instead of the stacking headers though, because it will be a better match to the DIP40. I am also going to try and stack two modules to make a PropGFX Lite setup.

    The first picture shows one of my first modules that was made while I was establishing reflow profiles on my Ersa rework station. Unfortuntely, the QFN did not survive the multiple reflows at adverse temps and numerous IOs were dead. I pulled off the QFN and loaded on a DIP40 Propeller from my project box. The second picture shows both formats (the QFN format has machine pin headers as opposed to stacking headers, but the comparison is there) The thirda picture is the module sitting on a breadboard. Fourth and fifth pictures are end shots showing the stackup. The last picture shows the module on my PEKit setup with a PowerTwig. So, shown is a complete setup to run through the PE Kit book.
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  • GarethGareth Posts: 278
    edited 2011-08-15 05:33
    Salutations Andrew
    I have started to implement one of your M44D40 boards into a RFID security door system documented here at LMR at the moment.

    The board is working well and i have to say its very robust and well thought out....... the socketable Crystal and eeprom knocks me out YAY.
  • MicrocontrolledMicrocontrolled Posts: 2,461
    edited 2011-08-15 06:07
    @Gareth: Wow, that looks really cool!
    @WBA Consulting: I love the look of the module on the breadboard. Very compact, it looks great! I also appreciate that you have adhered to the standard Propeller pinout rather than creating your own, which means I won't have to print/draw out ANOHTER pinout diagram for a new module. I'm remaking my Stingray remote (to be smaller and simpler) and will probably use this module in it.
    I'll give a review here when I do.
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
    edited 2011-08-16 12:45
    @Gareth. Thanks for the video and using the module in such a slick project. Looking forward to seeing the final version and code, etc!

    @Microcontrolled: Thanks! One main goal was a DIP40 compatible layout so that existing DIP40 boards can actually be used if desired. Your statement about a pinout diagram got me thinking. I guess I should throw in an IC pinout label for the versions that will use the DIP40 Prop on the stacking headers.

    General Update: I haven't found ideal elevated headers/socket strips that aren't ridiculously overpriced. The best option is an elevated machined pin socket strip from Samtec, but since it is a perfect solution, it of course has a hefty price tag: $4.20 each (and 2 are needed) So, I have found a couple others, but still need to verify how low the leads on the DIP40 will sit in the sockets. The one in the above pictures locks in fine, but I would like to have the leads have greater retention.
  • GarethGareth Posts: 278
    edited 2011-09-29 15:01
    Latest project using your really bare boards.........
    Test phase - testing possible scale (small is cute)
    Video of it in action can be seen over at ......LMR (Gareth) its still evolving....

    Then a Sharp sensor for obstruction detection.......

    And two IR code detectors for locating other robots in the swarm........(yes i am building a swarm)
    ...... so i will be need more of your boards shortly.........

    I am more than impressed by the form factor of your boards ...... keep up the good work..
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
    edited 2011-10-15 23:37
    Just an update with an additional picture. The modules are now shipped with a label as shown here to eliminate any confusion about the pin 1 orientation. The hole on the end between P15 and P16 is frequently mistaken as a pin 1 indicator. Actually, I just put it there as a way to secure the module with a screw or something....
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  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
    edited 2012-10-10 22:43
    In case anyone is interested, I have 3 modules built (without headers) that are unclaimed from my most recent batch. I won't be starting another batch until I complete the project that is currently taking all my time so it could be January before they are available again. Shoot me a PM if you are interested, I will be letting these go for $17, shipped priority to anywhere in the U.S. As a bonus, a handful of miscellaneous parts will be tossed in the box as well.
  • MJBMJB Posts: 1,200
    edited 2013-04-27 01:27
    If you stack two of those and cut the pins 28..31 and supply only one crystal
    - you have a full prop dev system with logic-analyzer - a really compact solution
  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    Why didn't I see this before?!? :innocent:
  • Chris, not sure other than I haven't really marketed them much, but it sounds like I need to pull out the box and build some up! I will start analyzing my inventory and see what it will take me to build some. For a DIP40 version, I could actually sell a kit of parts with the board soldered up with just the SMT passives. For the QFN version, I just need to buy some Prop chips and make time to bust out my stencil. My advantage is that I have a stainless steel stencil to do it right, so that makes it pretty easy.

    If anyone else is interested, please post comments. As I mentioned on another thread, my goal is to sell a $25 kit which would include the M44D40+ Propeller module, a PowerTwig, and the wireset for the PowerTwig, so all you need is a breadboard, 9 volt battery, and some jumper wires to make this setup:
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  • Chris SavageChris Savage Parallax Engineering Posts: 14,406
    If you get some built up, let me know. I'd buy a couple of each just to have on hand.
  • Chris, I verified my inventory this weekend and for this module, I need to buy more Propeller QFNs, crystals, and EEPROMs. I have everything else. I also have parts for about 200 PowerTwigs and at least 20 of my Sensirion SHT11 modules. After realizing how much I can actually build, I will be planning builds. Looks like Parallax will be getting an order from me very soon.
  • This thread as well as the "Parral dev board" thread reminded me that I had a PowerTwig and used it on a prototype for an encoder project that I'm working on! Thanks for the reminder and yes, I would also like to know when you have more available!

  • Count me in too.
  • Does anyone know if WBA consulting is still around?
  • RS_Jim wrote: »
    Does anyone know if WBA consulting is still around?

    If you reference or PM him Jim, he might get an email notification : @"WBA Consulting"
  • Thanks
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,929
    edited 2020-06-16 18:15
    Yes, still around and still getting PMs and notifications. I check the forums a few times a week but don't post much anymore as I have been spending what little free time I have with other things. Although, haven't really had any free time for about a month now.

    @RS_Jim , Whatcha need?
  • I was mostly curous about you. I recently came across my MD44D40+ and thought this is perfect for a new project I have in mind. Will use it along with the power twig for a servo driven RFID gate lock.
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