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Topic: Dual Core 168 Arduino (Read 22401 times) previous topic - next topic

John_Ryan

The 4021's and 595's are incredibly inexpensive, and the boards in volume were also of a cost hardly worth a mention. The only downside is the time production takes. With delivery, we're looking at about the middle of April before we get our hands on them.

Fortunately, there's plenty of other boards under way to keep us preoccupied in the meantime :)

evilpaul

I spotted a similar idea via Flickr last year. Someone figured out they could use a second 168 ATmega8 to do USB-RS232 and put it on one board.

OK, so the main similarity is that it's Arduino, and there's two ATMega168s ATMega8s on the PCB, but it's still pretty cool.  ;D



Link to project:

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Farduino.tw%2F%3Fp%3D60

John_Ryan

Quote
I spotted a similar idea via Flickr last year. Someone figured out they could use a second 168 ATmega8 to do USB-RS232 and put it on one board.

OK, so the main similarity is that it's Arduino, and there's two ATMega168s ATMega8s on the PCB, but it's still pretty cool.  ;D



Link to project:

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Farduino.tw%2F%3Fp%3D60


My broken English isn't so good, but as far as I can tell it's using two resonators and two completely different bootloaders? is that what he's linking to at recursion.jp? It's not using both IC's as Arduino's, so conceptually it's miles apart.

At circuit level, I can't see any similarities whatsoever, it probably has more in common with an NG, except he's used an extra ATMEGA8 for USB.

Two IC's on one board wouldn't be a world's first, but it does give rise to some very interesting possibilities, particularly the use of an ATMEGA8 for USB functions.

It would be nice to read a proper English translation of the development, the google translator 'undoubtedly' doesn't do it justice.

 

Kronoticas


John_Ryan

The PCB's are a few days away.

Here's a pic of the board  :)


big93

nice, it looks really good, solder em up and tell me how it went!

arduinocnc

I know what I will use it for!!!
first, I would use it to have one drive and LCD based on controls received from the other, or give the status of a CNC job controlled by another (the machine will be either manual or automatic, so I sorta need the extra I/O pins and inter-chip cooperation B - )
but great job putting this together and keeping the size small... I hope you do get to sell the boards eventually... or is there at least an eagle file?

[first post BTW, just got my arduino a week ago, made  it output NTSC video for an art piece I put together the day before it was due, installed a range finder and alarm for another art piece due the same day for a "jail"... and they were both on the same board: I love arduino!]

John_Ryan

Hey Arduinocnc,

Yeah it'll be perfect for that, plus any other projects that need two serial ports and a bunch of extra pins.

Our designer uses the ORCAD Pro Software suite, and it doesn't have an Eagle translator - you'd think a 10k commercial application would, but apparently not.

So the plan is to assemble and test, then put the board into the environment it was built for, then decide what to do with the leftovers.

There's also a sister I/O multiplexer board arriving in a couple of weeks. It'll work with any Arduino and has a daisy chain header so you can connect as many boards together as you like using 5 core ribbon cable. Each board adds an extra 16 douts and 16 dins, and has inline resistors so it can plug n play with LEDs and switches "out-of-the-box".

We have a third board in production, which is a refinement of the dCoreDuino including USB, and has the same pin header spacing as an NG, so it will be compatible with Arduino Shields. For general purpose applications, that might be the better of the two to wait for.

We're looking at having 4 ATMEGA168's on that if we can optimize on space without resorting to SMD's - kits aren't as much fun it the parts are too tricky to solder, so we think the added length will be worth it. The width will be the same as an NG, but the board will be slightly longer.

Since we're buying the IC's in bulk, adding another two won't cost much, but the retail price for that model is likely to be the same as an NG, the dual IC would be about half that again.

And on top of all that, we'll produce code and documentation so there will be dual/quad IC examples to refer to. And we've created a "new brand" moving away from the "duino" since objections have been voiced about the number of compatibles out there using "duino", which we think is fair enough since you don't see cars on the road with the name LancerBMW or SigmaBMW, even though they all use petrol, doesn't mean they should carry the name or part-of anothers more established brand.

Each product should stand it's own ground using it's own branding, and since we already have a commercial outlet for them, that shouldn't be a problem. In the world of OpenSource CMS's - it's called forking :)

arduinocnc

I can probably use the cads for that program too, I soon should have access to a lot of Autodesk software, including AutoCAD and it's related plugins, like electrical... well I cant wait to see the boards fully assembled and tested!

John_Ryan

Arrived "finally" - minus the 2 switch/2-pole/4 pin IC selector DIPs, the only component that's impossible to source locally @#$




The_Bongmaster

B-dui in creation.

John_Ryan

Check this out - good old Ryobi, the things you can do with a 12v power drill battery  :D



The IC selectors down the bottom are missing the two DIP switches, they should be here in a few days - in the meantime, two small pcb jumpers (red) do the job just as well.

Assembly time was about 25 minutes, but most of that's the pins and IC cradles - there's no tight component grouping or SMD's, so the rest is real quick.

Here's it with the mini-usb.




big93

WHOA, WAIT! theres no onboard usb connector??!!

you GOTTA make it, i don't have the money or time to order the additional usb interface...

before i make myself look dumb though, would there be problems with makin onboard usb connectors?

arduinocnc

Quote
WHOA, WAIT! theres no onboard usb connector??!!

you GOTTA make it, i don't have the money or time to order the additional usb interface...

before i make myself look dumb though, would there be problems with makin onboard usb connectors?


most are SMD based components, and if I read the above posts right, they were trying to get away from that (there probably are regular sized USB components, but they would be very large.)

John_Ryan

Quote
WHOA, WAIT! theres no onboard usb connector??!!

you GOTTA make it, i don't have the money or time to order the additional usb interface...

before i make myself look dumb though, would there be problems with makin onboard usb connectors?


This board doesn't need a USB connector, we have an application the boards will "slot into" so the IC's will be programmed once only using a mini-usb. There'll be spares available, but we haven't decided what we'll do with those - they may end up gathering dust.

Adding USB adds cost, so it doesn't matter if we add the USB or if people are buying mini's - it's an added expense nonetheless. For those already with mini USB's or FTDI TTL 232R USB-to-TTL serial cables, this option is particularly cheap. But it all depends on what you want to do with a board with 2 IC's - we wanted inline i2c connecting both IC's and pins for additional i2c devices, plus, we wanted an extra serial port all on the one board, so we have a need for them and they exist for that purpose.  

We're designing a revision after we've put this board through it's paces and created a few example applications. We'll determine how much better this board is compared to whats already on offer, or if it is better, and what advantages it presents, and then decide if we're going to pay the extra $ to have the USB included.

That change will be made along with shield compatible pin spacing on one of the IC's, plus a couple of other tweaks that were an after-thought.

So if the revision does have USB, then that's the one that'll be interesting to those who do not have mini usb's or USB-to-TTL serial cables, and then it depends if people even want dual IC's, or if the guys here come up with a cheap ATEMGA128 in the meantime.

For us, the boards also proved a theory we had that a controller with these capabilities didn't need to cost 10k in design and production. And that it could still be Arduino compatible, so we could eat our cake too. The sharing of components is a measure of efficiency that we thought others would be quick to point out anyway, and so far, the configuration hasn't presented any unforeseen issues.

Another application we have, needs a slim version of the board, RBBB size, but with 2 IC's. So we'll be making that too, and it also will not have USB. Therefore, it might be more practical if we create a plug-in mini-USB for all of these boards that can be supplied as an optional extra - which for us, means a move into retail, and we haven't decided if we have the time for that or if it's worth the bother of selling online for what we anticipate would be a very slim margin.

Maybe we need an entire range to make it worthwhile, and that's something we're discussing with one of our partners at the moment who is in the process of setting up branches in the US, Europe, and Asia/Pacific, for a range of products that have synergy with Arduino/compatible products.    

If we do create a "mega-store" with cheap 24 hour shipping, I'll be sure to make lots of noise about it ;)

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