One question. As Arduino 1.0 is still in beta (release 4 so far?) will you attempt to keep up with any final changes to 1.0 that might effect something.
I feel like I've been backhand diss'ed with no offer to respond, so I'll do it here.
"Bobuino. Plenty capable board. But it’s $80! $80! I am way too cheap for that. Also, there is no coherent software distribution. The (hidden) directions ask users to cobble together a system from various places, and then includes a (hidden) package of files which is not under source control. And worse, no source for the bootloader. "
Bobuino is a pretty complex board that is diffucult to assemble without a template for solder paste application, so I haven't offered it up as a kit. Templates are not cheap. I do provide all the files to everyone that purchases a board. It works thru -0022, which is all that is currently released. The "cobbling" is done from 2 respected sources, avr-developers.com and sd16fat's library, which I do not control nor update, so I just point the user to them. I do provide the files I customized for the pinout I used, which maintains backwards compatibilty with old shields. Can't do that on a Mega. SCL/SDA, and SCK/MISO/MOSI are all in the same place on the same pins on the Bobuino. It also has pins for JTAG interface, which will likely just used as more pin breakouts. Okay, so its $80. That includes shipping (to US locations). A Mega2560 + Datalogging shield is $85 plus shipping, there's no RS232 interface driver, so that's another shield that's needed too. A 1284 is not a 2560, but its much more than a 328. If you blow your ATmega2560, you're pretty much screwed. If you blow up your ATMega1284, you pop it out of the socket and drop in another one. And you're still stuck with the big USB connector that everyone complains about. I don't know what the big deal is on the bootloader source, I don't see too many users clamoring to make changes to them. The bootloader .hex file is also provided if you need to reload a part after frying one. I sold a few, I had fun & learned a lot designing & developing it, it was fun building up 10 with my family & friend skyjumper & debugging them and then coming up with test sketches & a procedure to run them thru to make sure everything worked.
That was probably written in haste, I shall clean it up to be less of a diss. The points are all legitimate criticism of the product, though they could be phrased more nicely.
$80 is certainly NOT too expensive for what Bobuino gives you, if you need all of it. But $80 is too much if one doesn’t need SD, RTC, and USB. You’ve seen some of the same debate on the hackaday entry.
On ‘cobbling together’ the software… If someone is going to pay $80, they should expect a simple one-click software distribution, more like what Calunium has. Customers do get files of course, but Bobuino stands out for not maintaining software in an easy-to-find publicly accessible location so you can easily find them later via web search and so other related projects can leverage the work done by the project. (The glory of open source.)
I have bought the Bobuino, and the "small Arduino" boards from CrossRoads. He has went to great lengths to make sure that I was able to get my stuff working. It is a big difference between buying a board from a larger maker than from a individual who is also a Arduino user. If this forum were a "Arduino club", it would be similar to buying from a club member.
He may not be organized in the way you are used to but, when you buy a board from him you will get personal one on one service. I would not expect to Seed or Itead or others places to answer my PMs or E-mails as quickly as he has mine.
In summary, I am happy with the boards and I feel the prices were very fair in relation to both Hardware and support.
Thank you for that cyclegadget.
I agree that the Bobuino is a great tool.
Like the brewtroller, it is a remarkable unit based on the 1284p chip. They have different functions and unfortunately, neither was quite right for my application. However, I wouldn't question the prices charged considering the components on these boards and the production quantities. Just do a digikey BOM of a Bobduino or Brewtroller, the folk that put these devices together are not getting rich offering them.
The device I am working on will be more expensive than either of the above. Just the SMD assy will be on the order of $50 a board in 100 unit quantities. If all you want to do is program a 1284p then a $10 chip and some bits and bobs and a breadboard will put you in business. But the main reason that folk get Mega's, 644's and 1284p's is lots of sensors, I/o devices, etc. and their attendant libraries. That's why the bahbot, Bobduino, and Brewtroller have so much to offer on their boards.
Constantin: If all you want to do is program a 1284p then a $10 chip and some bits and bobs and a breadboard will put you in business. But the main reason that folk get Mega's, 644's and 1284p's is lots of sensors, I/o devices, etc. and their attendant libraries. That's why the bahbot, Bobduino, and Brewtroller have so much to offer on their boards.
Sure. They have so much to offer if they stuff they have is what you want. The reason Arduino itself is so handy is that it leaves it completely up to you to decide which sensors are for you.
Bahbots and Brewtroller are special-purpose boards tuned to do something specific. In that case, you'll have exactly the needed parts because it's purpose-built. For general use, having a 1284P-based mega jr. would be just what the doctor ordered.
Eddy of whighthobbies.net and I created the bahbots controller. There is no special purpose that the board was intended for but rather a general purpose controller board with the ATMega1284P that a hobbyist like our selves would like to work with. We also added the SD socket and xBee socket because it was little extra cost and very useful.
While we have mostly written code for this board with the Bascom-AVR compiler we also did some tests with arduino and WinAVR. At this time I think I will start looking into updating the bootloader and additional support for working with the current arduino IDE.
The main reason for choosing a 18.432MHz crystal was its the highest supported speed on an AVR that is Uart boad frendly. There is no reason a user cant change the crystal and this is also why we choose using a throw hole part for the crystal so that it could be easily changed.
If there are any questions or comments on the BahBots controller I would love to here them...
If there is interest in a '324/644/1284 style duemilanove, I think I have one ready to go:
Based on past experiances and lessons learned shown in past posting here and as implemented recently with the R3 release on the Uno board, should not all consider adding a diode from the AVR reset pin to +5vdc (cathode to +5) for any design using the auto-reset through a series cap function?
CrossRoads: If there is interest in a '324/644/1284 style duemilanove, I think I have one ready to go:
Very impressive board ;)
I'll soon be making my own arduino boards, just as other members are. But mine are for a specific purpose. I'm with CrossRoads- if I'm making something that I want to be useful, I'm going to be there every damn step of the way. Yea it may cost more than a Uno or even Mega, but at least you get a real human to talk to, that speaks english.
Lefty, what's the diode for? I haven't used that on any board and have not seen any problems.
Here are the eagle files if anyone would like to review/critique/suggest improvements. Leo72 in the Italian forum suggested using a PIC something for the USB interface. http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/atmega1284_DIP_NoExtras.brd http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/atmega1284_DIP_NoExtras.sch I think they are in Eagle 5.11 still.
CrossRoads: Lefty, what's the diode for? I haven't used that on any board and have not seen any problems.
It was a problem that a member here uncovered about a year ago and the thread ran for some length. The findings were turned over to Massimo and they in time implemented a change in R3 UNO. It's an insidious problem that can cause a sketch to lock-up under certain conditions after receiving a auto-reset pulse from the usb serial controller, and requiring a manual reset or power down/up to recover. It can be replicated on older as well as the current (pre release 3 UNO) boards. If you look carefully at the schematic of the newest release 3 UNO, you will see they have added a diode between the reset pin and +5vdc to eliminate the problem.
I think this is the original posting and investagation of the symptom: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,64256.90.html
Bottom line, adding a diode can clean up a lurking problem that any AVR mega chip based arduino board using the auto-reset feature can experiance.
CrossRoads: Here are the eagle files if anyone would like to review/critique/suggest improvements. Leo72 in the Italian forum suggested using a PIC something for the USB interface. http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/atmega1284_DIP_NoExtras.brd http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/atmega1284_DIP_NoExtras.sch I think they are in Eagle 5.11 still.
The PIC we suggested is a PIC18F14K50, the same used for the MCP2200 chip: it's a micro that can be programmed to obtain, if necessary, other devices (like the Atmega8U2 or the Atmega16U2 of the Arduino UNO) but it is available in SOIC package too, so it can be soldered easily. Using the PIC there's another advantage: we can completely control the autoreset feature: we can activate/deactivate it, and we can send an HW reset signal to the Atmega using a pin. With a specific firmware, that a member of the italian forum has prepared, we can use the DTR signal instead of the RTS of the MCP2200. Last, but not least, we can have other functionalities available for further needs.
Bob, are these files freely available? Can we use them to derive a board?
No obvious problems to my eye.
BTW, how the hell do you move the schematic around without using the scroll bars?
On Win 7 and opening it with MS Photo Viewer, I have to grab and move it with the left mouse button.