{AVR|PIC} Stamp dev board is simple, fast, has lots of I/O and serial

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Bertho is working on an {Avr|Pic} Stamp development board for his local hackerspace. These USB interface boards are based on the ATmega32A and PIC18F46K22 microcontrollers. Both boards use the MCP2200 USB-to-Serial IC to interact with computers over a USB virtual COM port.

There are often things you want to test quickly when designing something. Most of the time you need some set of I/O pins (often more then fewer) and some quick-and-dirty debugging (i.e. serial) to get going. I was approached at the local hackerspace OSAA if it was not possible to make a few simple boards which would be cheap, have a lot of I/O pins and a serial port via USB. The target was set at about DKK 100,- (that is Danish kroner); or about $18,-. With the price-target set, we had to choose not to go the Arduino route, as they are much more expensive.

Via the forum.

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13 Comments

      1. Ah… I wasn’t aware of that.

        I am from Pakistan, we too have the shipping and customs issue, but I recently ordered from dxDOTcom and got mine without customs and shipping, cause the shipping is free and the customs didn’t bother to check such a small package, I think….

  1. Agreed,

    nice boards, love the DIP compatible formats over the arduino format, much easier to work with from breadboarding to plugging/soldering them into a working PCB without it looking stupid.

    1. That is a nice board too.

      That said, compatibility with Arduino is not an issue. We (I) normally do not use things that way. Besides, programming the SoC’s functions is not a real problem if you have done it a few times. One of my design goals was to /remove/ as much as possible from the board to leave as much I/O as possible. No LEDs, no preprogrammed bootloaders just a running CPU with all pins available and basic serial comms which is detachable.

  2. Don’t get me wrong, I think these look nice and a good job, but I would have thought it would have been easier to simply go with something like one of the 3 Teensy models, which includes the new Teensy 3.0 with ARM Cortex M4 at 48MHz and two AVR models. They are dirt cheap and well established. Yes there’s freight, but it would be minimal, especially if buying a bunch where you can pile a heap into a satchel. On top of that it’s ready made and comes with the bootloader.
    http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/index.html

    1. Well, yes, I did consider it. It only pays off if you can order in really larger volumes (50..100+) to offset the transport costs. But that also means that you have a lot of money on the shelf. For a private person this is no option and single imports become very expensive when you get caught in customs. Also, the ARM power is not required for many things and it does make the entry into using it a little more steep.

  3. I see that your customs are very different to ours, that’s a pity. Transport costs are low if you get more than 2 or 3. For instance, to get that sent Down Under (a lot further than to you I expect), it costs about $10 for one board, but for about $17 they can send 2kg – that’s a lot of boards! If you want it UPS express, then it’s about $100 for 2kg, but even for say 10 boards, that’s still pretty cheap. The ARM model of the Teensy is just one version, they have another 2 with AVR’s, an ATMEGA32U4 and an AT90USB1286.

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