Due Operation Stable?

Hello,

I was thinking of getting a Due, but would like to know the current status of the IDE with the Due.

Does it really work properly without any major issues?
I dont want to shell out the bucks unless i can be sure it will work with the IDE.

Also, how much is involved with downloading new files for use in the IDE, or does the new IDE include everything needed to program and operate the Due board?

Note this is the Arm 32bit Due board i am referring to.

Thanks much :slight_smile:

I have been askin the same question! I teach a class of 15 students this winter and we use both Uno's and Due's. The previous years we have had trouble when porting projects from Uno to Due but this year I think the Due will win due to (!) its much higher clock freq (80 against 16 MHz) and many more options and ports.

We have no real problems with the IDE. I think we have say 14 different windows based PC's plus I have a MacBook Air to run the IDE. For all the years we have run into USB connect problems which are solved by changing the USB port on the PC, restarting the IDE etc. But this year there seems to be less of those kinds of trouble. And it's definitely no worse with the Due compared to the Uno.

Last winter I learned to use a transistor to invert the signal for the soft_serial sw. On Due you cannot use a sw switch to invert the signals on a serial port. But the HW approach is clearer and it runs fine!

This week we have learned how to connect the Adafruit ST7735 TFT screens to the SPI bus of the Due.
4 pins of the SPI are needed and then Ă­n addition 3 digital ports on the Due - quite cumbersome, but it works.

The thing to watch is the Due VCC of 3.3V as opposed to the 5V of the Uno and the 5V of the Due SPI!
I have seen warnings that 5V will ruin the A/D converters of the Due! I have not wished to test this!
We will keep testing, and I will keep posting on the Arduino Forum!

You need to install the SAM boards using the Board manager, by going to Tools -> Boards -> Board Manager, selecting the SAM board package, and clicking install.

Porting from an AVR to Due is always harder than porting between different AVRs, because anything that involves direct register manipulation will be different, and many libraries do that, and don't bother supporting the Due, as it's much less popular than the AVRs.

MrAl:
Hello,

I was thinking of getting a Due, but would like to know the current status of the IDE with the Due.

Does it really work properly without any major issues?
I dont want to shell out the bucks unless i can be sure it will work with the IDE.

Also, how much is involved with downloading new files for use in the IDE, or does the new IDE include everything needed to program and operate the Due board?

Note this is the Arm 32bit Due board i am referring to.

Thanks much :slight_smile:

MrAl:
Hello,

I was thinking of getting a Due, but would like to know the current status of the IDE with the Due.

Does it really work properly without any major issues?
I dont want to shell out the bucks unless i can be sure it will work with the IDE.

Also, how much is involved with downloading new files for use in the IDE, or does the new IDE include everything needed to program and operate the Due board?

Note this is the Arm 32bit Due board i am referring to.

Thanks much :slight_smile:

I have switched to SAM3X8E / ARM , I prefer to use that name since Due is IMHO just poor marketing choice implying some technology continuity between basic Uno, which there is very little of. I use SAM mainly to get away from memory limits of Uno since I prefer to debug my code heavily by using Serial prints ( I know about F macro ) .

As far as Arduino IDE and SAM it has same version issues as Uno.

The main disadvantage of SAM is lack of "industrial strength" users.
You do not need SAM's horsepower to blink LED, simple as that.
So far I do not see the processor speed as big advantage.

The hardware features of SAM3X8E are a big plus, even when most of them are not accessible by Due.
I am sure somewhere exists a full blown board with access to ALL pins!

I am planning to utilize "native USB " port, but current "off the shelf" software ( IDE examples ) is a very poor introduction / incentive to using native USB port.

As far as SAM3X8E / ARM as a teaching aid it really depends on (your) goals.

If (your) teaching motto is "Arduino is a toy" ( not uncommon opinion of a few , not just mine , if that is of any consequence ) it would be "abuse of technology " sort off.

Vaclav:
The hardware features of SAM3X8E are a big plus, even when most of them are not accessible by Due.
I am sure somewhere exists a full blown board with access to ALL pins!

I have just began to look at making what amounts to a break out board with headers and an optional on board power supply and crystal (jumpers if you want to use them). 4 rows of 9 headers (maybe 10 just because you can buy them that way and use the spares for something else) would be an easy two sided board.

outofoptions:
I have just began to look at making what amounts to a break out board with headers and an optional on board power supply and crystal (jumpers if you want to use them). 4 rows of 9 headers (maybe 10 just because you can buy them that way and use the spares for something else) would be an easy two sided board.

We could use something that would plug into a 40 pin socket...

GoForSmoke:
We could use something that would plug into a 40 pin socket…

You lose me at 40 pin socket. The chip has 144 leads. I did this just to get a rough idea of scale. Hmm… attachment doesn’t show in preview. Let’s see if it does when I hit post.

I just really started thinking about it and I’m not close to doing this myself, but the pcb design could be done pretty much anytime. Just one trace per leg to the header and then a place for the power regulator circuit, a crystal and pins to enable them if you want to use them. Really bare bones to take the DUE circuit out of the picture for prototyping an actual product.

SAM_Breakout_Board.png

outofoptions:
You lose me at 40 pin socket. The chip has 144 leads. I did this just to get a rough idea of scale. Hmm… attachment doesn’t show in preview. Let’s see if it does when I hit post.

I just really started thinking about it and I’m not close to doing this myself, but the pcb design could be done pretty much anytime. Just one trace per leg to the header and then a place for the power regulator circuit, a crystal and pins to enable them if you want to use them. Really bare bones to take the DUE circuit out of the picture for prototyping an actual product.

Than you MAY get a different idea AFTER you look at this mess of 20x2 header “breakouts” connected back to back. The rainbow of colors of the wires makes me dizzy.

I think “breakout” concept should be primarily for experimenting , proving the concept, hence making them sub-miniature and stack-able may not be the best way to go.

After all, cost of dedicated , not universal, PCB does not add that much to the final product.

Point taken but the purpose is mainly to be able to more directly work with the chip. You can't really use the DUE to breadboard a design. The UNO is fairly simple to plug in the chip and make your connections. Stackable is not in my vision here. The header layout was taken from the chip.

It's one thing to develop, to a point, on the DUE for proof of overall concept, but the 'embedded' concept is totally different than the UNO because of the complexity of the chip. I wouldn't expect something like this to be commercially viable or even popular among most hobbyists. One is all I'd need but getting them from a place like Batch PCB comes in multiples of three so just get a few people and make an order, share the cost type thing if interested.

Actually trying to run traces I realize I made an 'error in judgment' and it would have to be a 4 layer board. Still, price wouldn't be too bad on something like that even if I did all three for myself.

I appreciate the input though. I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks but had no immediate plans to do it. But the idea is out there and we can gauge interest I guess.

There was a discussion about year ago or more , a fellow was “developing” in the forgotten “stuff on substrate” style. Connections on the outside of the sub boards. Did not heard much from him lately.

But from brief experience connecting Due to TFT LCD - it would save lots of headaches if the I/O were laid out as 8 bits ports. At least on the processor side.

But than it would be no fun trying to shuffle bits around to match the hardware.

I think if you use current Due hardware ( power supply etc ) and build the I/O in headers style as you envision it would fly.

Than of course some folks would want access to ALL USB ports and you are back to “stacking”.

outofoptions:
You lose me at 40 pin socket. The chip has 144 leads.

This was a tough design decision I had to make with Teensy. Well, except using a 64 pin chip, but it's otherwise pretty similar to Due in capability. That 64 pin chip has 39 I/O signals, when you take out the pins needed for power, crystal, USB, and programming. Do you make a big board that brings all the signals to the outside edges for easy breadboarding? Or do you bring out half or two thirds of them, and bring the rest to less convenient interior pads, or not at all? Doing that allows for a small smaller board, which is important for a lot of people. Ultimately, for Teensy 3.x, I went with a 28 pin form factor which brings out 24 I/O signals. The rest are available on interior pads, a few through hole, and several SMT ones underneath the chip.

Now I'm considering these choices again, for a high-end Teensy using a 144 pin chip (which has about twice the speed and memory of current Teensy & Due). There's nearly 100 I/O pins. Bringing them all to the edge would make a very long PCB. A standard breadboard has 63 columns, so 100 pins plus power would be almost the length of a full size breadboard!

I've spent a lot of time thinking about these difficult tradeoffs. But before I write anything more, I'm really curious to hear your thoughts. How big is too large for a "small" bare-bones but very powerful ARM-based microcontroller board? In deciding which pins to make easily accessible, and which to route to inconvenient interior pads or not route at all, which trade-offs would you make?

Paul,
nice of you to join in.
You are one my most respected contributor. ( Thank you cards acceptable, money optional ).

Maybe a combination of " stackable subboards" with mother board as a carrier would work.

I think this is "catch 22" - build a full blown , all I/O accessible as "universal" which will be overkill for average user or design a custom board with selected I/O access geared for specific application.

And who will take such risk, I mean for commercial application, from ground-up, especially with "I am a hobbyist" background designer?

I would guess folks at ATmel who get paid for "dreaming up" stuff like this ( hopefully ?) would fair better.

Hello again,

I have a Due board now, but havent used it yet. I got it about 2 months ago and have not done anything much with it yet besides basic testing of the board and interfaces.

What is holding me back is for one i am testing something else, but the main thing that is holding me back is the lower voltage of 3.3v for inputs and outputs, and also the much lower current spec's on the output pins. That is significantly different than the Uno or others, and i dont like that at all because that means i need very special interfacing devices for just about everything.

Add to that, i cant get specific data on the max input current for the ESD protection diodes. That's a big drawback because knowing that makes it much easier to interface to external voltages that have to be measured such as 1v, 3v, 5v, 10v, etc. Of course i use a resistor divider for the higher voltages, but it is nice to know what kind of over voltage it will take before it blows the internal diode. There's no way to be sure with this chip (ARM), and the manufacturer wont give out any real information on this current spec.

So i am holding off on using it for anything, but in the future i will get back to it. I was hoping to make a specialized tester for other types of electronic components. That would be easy with the Uno if it had a DAC too, but it doesnt, so i am probably going to try to use the Due with it's 12 bit DAC and 12 bit ADC.
Geeze, 2ma on some pins. I just hope the pins dont blow out :slight_smile:

Actually 5V is a vintage voltage, standard is 3.3V (Due, Zero, 101, Tian, even Raspberry Pi) -
many modern boards go down to just 1.8V .

If you have issues with pin or signal levels: use level shifters!

HTH!

:sunglasses:

You could put a lot of pins in very close rows on board space using right-angle pins at increasing height for every successive row. Separation achieved in vertical.

You could put 2 rows of holes along the edges, pins up and pins down.

GoForSmoke:
You could put a lot of pins in very close rows on board space using right-angle pins at increasing height for every successive row. Separation achieved in vertical.

You could put 2 rows of holes along the edges, pins up and pins down.

Another good one.
"double wide" .1 header with flat cables are very common.

It’s difficult to make trade-offs and design decisions. I’ve asked this question many times in various forum threads, if you had to choose some pins over others… and the answers are almost always ideas to have more pins, basically to avoid choosing.

GoForSmoke:
You could put a lot of pins in very close rows on board space using right-angle pins at increasing height for every successive row. Separation achieved in vertical.

Vaclav:
Another good one.
“double wide” .1 header with flat cables are very common.

While these ideas have some merit, the bottom line is many people use solderless breadboards. So you simply can’t make the whole board more than 1 inch wide with more than 0.9 inch spacing on the outside pins, because it wouldn’t be able to fit. Even that size leaves only 1 row of holes exposed, so you can only connect a single wire without having to route to another place on the breadboard.

Double row pins are obviously a choice that’s been popular. Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, CHIP and other linux SBCs have used them. So did ChipKit and probably some others.

Even if double row headers are used, the fact remains: only one of those rows will be usable if plugged into a solderless breadboard. So you STILL MUST PRIORITIZE. Somehow, you have to choose some pins to make easily available for such a common application, and relegate others to the 2nd row that won’t be usable without a cable, extra add-on board, soldering wires, or some other approach that’s a lot of extra work compared to just plugging into a solderless breadboard.

So which pins do you choose bring to the edges, and which pin do you relegate to the “B list” that aren’t as easily available?

Put different hardware ports onto grouped headers to slide cables onto? ISCP header, already done.

Reach up as well as down from added board length?

Make 8 or 16 board pins be bank-select sets of chip pins?

While discussing / suggesting hardware we should keep in mind that the original "spec" / idea was to have a board with full access to the I?O pins. In my view it eliminates trying to make such board to mate with some exiting format , like solder-less breadboard.

The breadboards are OK , there are some commercial software packages which actually lay out the breadboard.

But from small experience with users of solder-less breadboard containing over two wires - power and ground, it is a challenge to most. Of course I am kidding!
But some breadboards I have seen...

I was never sure if the class objective was to apply Boolean algebra or construct birds nests.

I still believe that with proper planning, usage of "virtual electronic circuits " , SPICE and knowledge of PCB layouts ( RF ) "dead bug " bread-boarding should be thing of the past.

OK, back to the subject - would placing the processor and other SMT components on one side of the board and making the other side I/O only work? Such technique is commonly used commercially.

And if the PCB is more than two layers - the cost of making it truly multilayer PCB ( 4 and up ) may not be that much higher. ( I do not know for sure, just guessing) .

I use them.

I don't mind DuPont cabling to header pins on top.