Well, maybe … I did read somewhere that in terms of modern sales statistics there is more to a name than traditionally thought. The name attracts the attention and then the pizazz is suppose to sell it.
What I have on offer with the new DEV CC platform is a more extensible platform than before. Yes, I realise that when I read my posts I use that word allot. However, I like the connotation. I like the idea that one PCB can be interlinked with others in such a way that a projects one purpose can be enhanced or that a single PCB can be redeployed in any project.
It’s not as clean as objects and classes, but unless you push for the perfect re-purposeable PCB / Development platform you will never achieve anything.
Shields and Bases
The DEV-CC’s are in fact bases. It is the base of the platform which is then extended by adding shields. But before we get to the shields, lets have a look at the base. Since there is such a rage for low voltage the DEV-CC’s will all have dual power supplies. This means 3v3 for low voltage and 5Vdc for the more traditional PIC development.
There is a jumper that enables you to select between 5Vdc and 3v3. The voltage regultors are LDOs, so you only need to supply a maximum of 7.5 Vdc and you are good to go!
Shown above is the DEV CC – V 40. Breaking down the name:
- Dev: is for development
- CC: Credit Card, since it’s almost physically the same size as a credit card
- 40 refers to the PIN count, although for a TQFP you have 44 pins. 4 of which are NC, so they don’t count :D.
The V40 sports an 18F45K22. If you would like to know more about the device click here PIC18F45K22.
The PIC18F45K22 offers a number of features which make it a useful midrange device. You have plenty of IO, Analogue inputs, 2 USARTS, SPI, I2C etc. The device also has a bigger brother the 18F46K22 and in the future some of the PCBS, may have this device on-board.
Q: Why not the DIP ?
A: Our intention is that this also be used as a training tool, which implies lowest cost possible by standardising production. The DIP socket also adds additional cost and a higher level of manual soldering.
What if you need a DIP version: please forward this via our email address on the main page or to sales at zardynamix dot com.
Moving outwards, all the I/O is tracked to the edges of board so that you have easy access to the I/O and it’s all well labelled so that you can find everything easily. This labelling is mirrored for all the DEV – CC basses that are incoming.
NOTE: Much like the ARDUINO in principle, the bases are interchangeable with the shields and vice versa.
Serial COMs have been added with the inclusion of the MCP2200, which enables high speed USB to RS232 conversion. This interface also enables boot-loader support so you don’t need to worry if you don’t have a PICKIT 3, you can just boot-load the code across until such time as you do get one.
The boot-loader firmware is compatible with the Mikroe boot-loader, which is available as part of the Mikroe Compiler. You have a 2K word compile limit, which does enable you to write code for most applications although if you want to extend to more complicated projects you could buy a license or use the Microchip compiler offering which is free if you install as a student version.
NOTE: A mini USB to normal USB Type A connector is available separately from our site or you can use one that have at home.
As standard, you have an ICSP interface if you want to program your PCB the traditional way. There is also a reset push button switch and a power led the lights up when the power is connected. The reset button is essential for activating the download when using the boot-loader, and the LED is just so that you have visual confirmation the PCB is powered up and running.
Shields … on the way. I would rather not say to much for now but in the mean time I will be publishing some more articles on using the DEV-CC V40, and the DEV-CC V18 which I plan to release as soon as the production is done.
Have a good one, and you can purchase from Tindie if you want one. Discount coupon available for first five purchasers.