The Protodev series has been a very successfull take on a hobbyist and professional development PCB for PICs. Since their release we have shipped product to the United Kingdom, Italy and New Zealand. The home ground also enjoyed product success with orders being placed and delivered to the three key cities of Johannesburg, Durban and Capetown via our distributor and direct orders.
If you are an internet based globe trekker, the good news is that you can now purchase our products on Tindie. Tindie is an online store based in the United States which will enable you to purchase your favourite ProtoDev product and have it shipped from us (ZarDynamix, RSA) to you. This method of purchase and delivery has also enabled us to deliver the same product directly to you at a lower price.
But, the ProtoDev series has been around for a while, since 2009 / 2010. No that’s not that long ago however in terms of developmental change allot has happened and many new ideas for development methodology have been bounced around for the new PCB layout. What is also quite new from Microchip are the 16F1xx series of devices which also mean that the ProtoDev series needed something of a revamp to enable these new devices to be compatible with the ProtoDev series.
The good news is that there are 3 new Development PCBs on the way.
They are the Signum 18, Signum 20 and the Munio. There will also be a Signum 40 and a Signum 64 to follow in due course. The Signum 18 and Signum 20 will replace the ProtoDev 18 and ProtoDev 20. In both cases these two PCBs will include a solderless prototyping bread board which will enable even more rapid prototyping. Additional features will include USB UART, Dual POwer supplies and PICKIt 3 ICSP rediness. They are pre-assembled so out of the box and play.
The Munio is a 28 PIN based PCB specifically for two of the USB devices. This development PCB will include special features, which we will elaborate on shortly.
The SIGNUM 40 and SIGNUM 64 will be more similar to the Munio in appearance and the MUNIO shields will be compatiable with them as well. There is a break in product continuity between the SIGNUM 18, SIGNUM 20 and the SiGNUM 40, SIGNUM 64. The shields are therefor not be compatiable with the SIGNUM 18 and SIGNUM 20.
The reason for the above descision is that the 18 and 20 pin devices don’t take up much PCB realestate with meant that we would need large PCBs just so that the shields would fit. It may seem a superficial reason but when manufacturing costs are factored in, the business frugalness makes it a practical descision.
So, yes. If you have picked up on the new Latin naming convention and the use of the word shield you may have guessed right. The new PCB layout has been influenced by the ARDUINO concept, but we have interepreted it rather than done an outright OpenGL exercise.
Release dates will be announced shortly, but we should be in a position to deliver before the end of March 2013.