Skip to main content


This section allows you to view all Topics made by this member. Note that you can only see Topics made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Scorpia

Project development, ideas, and suggestions / Microchip MCP2200

i was looking around and i was surprised that i havnt seem any mention of microchips USB-uart chip anywhere the MCP2200.

It looks to me like it could be a cheaper alternative the the standard fdti chip everyone uses. Also being pin compatable wth the 18f44K50 (?) PIC it would be possible to have some nice options on boards that required different firmware.

I am currently looking at getting some usb-ttl boards made up that could be both a replacement for the fdti serial boards as well as a development platform for the 18f chip.

anyone have any comments on this chip or any other information as i havnt got to use one yet so i am guessing a bit.
Web platform / Internet radio addin board.

I have been thinking for a while now that a addin board for the webserver would be a good idea. Also i have allways like the idea of the development kit from microchip.
After a quick PM to ian he suggested to start up a thread so here we are.

My idea is to create a addon board with the same basic features from the internet radio board from microchip to allow it to stream audio and possibly even play mp3's etc from the sd card.

for those not familiar with the microchip board see

from what i can see, the following would need to be implemented.

1. 2 x SRAM chips. may as well start with the micro chip ones.
2. VLSI VS1011E MPEG Audio Codec. again lets start with the same one they use and evaluate from there.
3. LCD display. my idea here is a simple character display as from what i have found and from what ian has mentioned a graphic display is harder to source. lets not rule it out though.
4. some buttons for input.

the first problem i saw was that theres not enough i/o to run all this directly to a addin board. from my calculations there is the 8 i/o on the expansion header and 4 pins for the SPI header.

since the 2 ram and the audio codec seem to be spi as well i figure we can use the 4 spi pins as well as 3 more pins for c/s.
that leaves 5 i/o. now looking at the block diagram in the microchip site the audio chip it seems to require3 more pins. so until i have looked further i will assume that to be the case. leaving 2 more pin, pissibly another c/s pin,
edit: a quick looks at the datasheet for the vs1011  it seems that it requires 7 i/o in total. 3 spi, cs as well as 3 others for data control. On the upside it does have 4 GP io coming out of the chip that we may be able to use for something.

My original idea was to use an i2c i/o expansion board for the lcd like the lcd board on the buspirate. but it seems that we are short on pins.

[s:]Im assuming that if i look i will be able to find a similar chip that uses spi. if it was a 16 i/o chip then we should have enough for lcd + some buttons.[/s:]
edit: quick check of microchips website found a 16 bit spi i/o expansion chip. im sure there are other brands.

At this stage im going to look into this further but if anyone has any idea's and or comments please feel free to post.
Bus Pirate Development / Higher serial speeds?

i was just wondering if it was possible to implement higher serial speeds in the pic to talk to the ftdi chip.

It looks to me that hyper term supports 200, 400 and 900K speeds. (see pic for actual speeds)

and the older version of the ds30 bootloader has 128k ans 256k speeds as well.

so it looks like the only thing stopping it would be the bus pirate firmware. now from memory the bus pirate supports speeds upto 2mb on the uart

anyway. just a thought i had which was jolted after reading about the write/read times for the spi roms in another thread
USB Infrared Toy / windows MCE compatable?

since it looks like this forum is starting to get some answers. ill ask a question that i have been dieing to ask since i saw you were developing this.

Is this board either in its current form or possibble via new firmware.

I would love to see a replacement for microsofts MCE remote. I can buy the logitech harmony remotes to control the sending side of things but without the receiver theres not much point.

Now for the bad news. i have tried searching for some specifications for the MCE remote standard. but i havnt found anything. I do know that windows either has drivers built in or doesnt need drivers. so im guessing its a HID device.

Anyway food for thought.

Also one of the features that the genuine remote reveiver has is that it has 2 external IR led's for controlling external devices like settop boxes etc.
Project development, ideas, and suggestions / bootloaders
With the talk of a new bootloader for the buspirate i did some looking around.

there are a few different ones out there. more than i imagined.

check for one source of bootloaders.

to me the "scene Double" bootloader is very interesting.
check ... llers.aspx

It allows updating from any recent OS via USb without any apps. looks like a memory device to the OS. cool idea.

anyway. i thought it might be interesting to someone. please feel free to move if required.
Christmas card & ornament '09 / My tree arrived
I finally got my tree today from the post office. not sure how long it had been sitting there since i have been away for a week.

Ill try and get some pics of it unassembled and maybe some build pics tomorrow.

pitty its a little late. next year the xmas postal slowdown needs to be added to the shipping i think.
Bus Pirate Support / firmware size - memory issue

I think from what ian has said the current chip in the buspirate is getting pretty full.

is it worth looking at switching a v4 board to be one of the pic 33 series with alot more memory? I assume the pinouts are close enough to the current chip so those with the available equipment could swap the chip on the current boards.

Also maybe start to look at making modules in the code that can be included or not in the compile to suit the memory.
Web platform / External LCD screen = twatch
After typing up a quick email with the twatch sitting here beside me. i came up with another demo idea.

I was thinking it might be cool to have a demo of the webserver sending data to the LCD on the twatch as an external screen.

maybe it would be possible for the webserver to find the ip address of the twatch and then send its ip and the twatch IP to the screen.

anyway. it would make a cool demo i think
Web platform / temp sensor addition
I was thinking that an easy addition to the server would be to add a temp sensor to the board to allow the webserver to show the current temp and log temps etc.

i guess taking it further you could add a humidity sensor etc.

A 1 wire buss temp sensor could be added and allow multiple temp sensors using just one i/o pin.

for example the 18s20 and the 18b20 chips are cheap and easy.
Web platform / Nice Job
This looks like a very nice upgrade to the original webserver board that you made.
I am very excited about this project.

Nice feature with the onboard eeprom to store webpages. but here's hoping the files make it onto the SD card for storage to allow for easier editing etc.

I am a little disapointed that you didnt take the opportunity to add one of microchips little mac address eeproms at the same time to allow for unique mac addresses. ... e=en538613
but hey im allready thinking of ways to stack it ontop of the current chip :)

As for a project suggestion from me. well i may as well look at moving my idea for the old webserver to this webserver.
I have some DIY RGB light controllers that are DMX comatible. they are currently controlled via a PC and some software to do my xmas light display. My long term plan is to turn them into RGB garden lights with the ability to change the light pattern on them, so for me the ability to output a dmx data string would be great. with the idea of expanding it to show different patterns on the lights controllable via the webpage.

Im pretty sure I can handle the hardware interfacing to the devices.

I know its very "niche" but hey. its what i would be looking at after christmas.

overall Very nice Job, I will be ordering one or two very soon. Also if the PCB was available i would be be happy as well as i have most of the parts allready.

anyway its late here so imm off to think about the possibilities.
#twatch network LCD backpack / #twatch V1a
Well my free sunday board turned up a couple of days ago. thanks heaps.

i managed to sit down and go though my parts box and find alot of the parts needed. ( it helps to have ordered more than enough parts for your business card webserver)

I figure ill take your advice and upgrade the regulators from the smt packages you speced for the board.
I also have a 20x4 lcd sitting here so once the rest is working ill add that.
Strangly enough i couldnt find a 5v or 3.3v regulator in a ta220 package here at all. lots of smaller 100ma ones but nothing in a larger package.
I assume the fet isnt to specific, i have some 2n7000 fets here i was gonna check to see if they would work.

anyway here is a pic.