My name is Martyn Butler I am a student at the University of Portsmouth and for my final year project i have decided to make an arduino compatible board but with built in features for entry level Microprocessor students to have all the requirements in one place. This will aid them to learn about inputs and outputs and the programming required to get from one to the other.
The board will NOT have external inputs or outputs but have on the board integrated outputs and inputs. For example LED's and LDR, POT, motors, IR receiver etc..
In the future I need to finalise what will be on the board to get the best flexibility but also allow me to get the price down as much as possible, the lower the price, the more i can push it.
So far i have the arduino's running on a breadboard and a TTL converter from RS232 i made using a MAX 232 ic using transistors and LED's as communication activity indicators.
I will be making a USB edition shortly from an FTDI RF232L or something similar, (cant remember exact IC number) as soon as they arrive in the post... i will set to work immediately. Its the SSOP-28 package =( not easy to use on a breadboard so have made an adapter with a bit of old PCB converting the SSOP-28 to a standard DIP-28W socket.
The final board i will make in SMD which should help to reduce the final footprint of the board and thus give more space for input and outputs.
I know the arduino is meant to be flexible and i am kind of going against the trend with trapping the end user in with one board without expansion but when i was learning arduino (i came from PIC originally) i found i could integrate all my inputs and outputs from previous, problem was i had to look around the house for these, so i looked online and no board existed with it all these built in and so that’s where my idea came from.
It is not meant to be integrated into people’s projects, it is not meant to be used as anything other than a development board to practice programming and addressing inputs and outputs. Once the basics have been learnt then the student would use a different board or even build their own!
I hope to include a new H file so you can address the outputs and inputs in a more abbreviated language, such as LED1, LED2, POT, LDR etc... Even though they may be fitted to different output and input pins, then as they become more advanced they can address the inputs and outputs manually i.e digitalWrite (1, HIGH); etc… Rather then digitalWrite (LED1, HIGH);
I want to have my own board listed in the Arduino software and am prepared to work to integrate it if required, (I come from a programming background, sadly it was all done with PIC chips and BASIC language). C/C++ is not new to me but I am out of practice with it and so is there someone I should contact.
I don’t have a name for my board yet although have considered Eduino until I realised it’s taken by a serial comms arduino compatible platform, so am left with the choice of Studuino, being the Student Arduino development platform.
Anyway I am basing my design on the ATmega168, there is no point going for the bigger memory option as it would not be utilized and wasted cost, but I did wonder about a bigger ic for better I/O compatibility. In summary of what I am asking for from the Arduino Forum, is assistance on where to get access to the team which create the arduino software, and any ideas or comments as to why or not to do this,
I would appreciate any feedback you have to give on this.
Kindest Regards Martyn