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Topic: Donatello (Read 12245 times) previous topic - next topic


I'm starting a little project.  I'm calling it Donatello (because project need stupid names :)

My intention is to make a combination part ninja and super probe.  The idea is a USB device and a couple resistors to  to  measure transistor, caps, etc., generate signals, count frequency, etc, etc, etc.  whatever I can jam into the code.  My intention is that it will be a HID device and a PC program to display the results and post process raw data, so no display on the device and only raw data collection on the device.  I have designed it based on the basic part tester design that has been discussed here, with one small change.  I have used a 2x3 header for the probe to bring out the 3 pins for part testing plus power and ground to allow me to create "active probes",  like thermocouple amplifier for example.

One thing I am not so sure about is the plethora of resistor values that the superprobe uses,  My choices will be much more limited I'm not sure if that is going to cause trouble.  I haven't really done all my homework on how the superprobe works.

I have designed it to be really, really, cheap.  I made a 1x1.6in golden rectangle board in the SOB form, which I should be able to get for $8 for 3 from OSH park, a pic18f14k50 ($2.10 from avnet) so it should come in at around $6-$8 each and maybe I'll spring for an SOB custom made.

I've attached the files here and I would like some feedback, from anyone willing to provide it.  I expect that people will suggest adding a display, but I don't want to put one on.  I would rather save the code space for more features and I intend to use it with a laptop as the power anyway so why not have a full feature UI on the PC without and display or buttons on the device.

Thanks in advance for your feedback


PS about the name -- think geek ninja and the color purple.

Re: Donatello

Reply #1
All the other resistors on superprobe are used to couple digital functions to the probe (ie pwm, rxd, txd. If you use a pic that has pps you can save on pins and resistors.

Another idea is a more pencillike design, but you gonna use 'external' probes, so no big deal. Also use resistorpacks to save space.

Re: Donatello

Reply #2
I wasn't thinking about a pencil deign as I was going to sort of a transistor tester --- I was thinking more of it like a bump in a cable :)

Thanks for the info about superprobe.  Since I am bringing 9 pins out to the header, I have a lot of stuff covered.  But I am going to look at it again make sure I can use all the peripherals that I bring out.  I may look at putting some function on the empty pin on the header.  Although,  I wasn't really going for "bus pirate junior" with protocol debugging and such, so I may not worry too much about the MSSP pins.  So I think I will focus on the analog pins more.

Re: Donatello

Reply #3
I re-arrange the pins a little to make better use of the peripherals.
I think all the analog pins are represented on the pins in a way that should let them be used.  The MSSP is not, the sck is on the mode led.  So it won't be all that useful for i2c etc..  But that's OK, that's what the bus pirate is for. 

I think I am going to pull the trigger and send the board off to OSH park.

Re: Donatello

Reply #4
The trigger has been pulled.  OSHPark boards and mouser parts on their way.

The board sent is the one above with minor mods.

Re: Donatello

Reply #6
Always nice to get an order done :) A relief, but I try not hunt for errors after boards are sent :)
Got a question? Please ask in the forum for the fastest answers.

Re: Donatello

Reply #7
This project could be merged with the Bus Pirate.

Re: Donatello

Reply #8
It could also test zener diodes, crystal quartz, buzzer, miliohmímetro.
A more complex hardware to perform the tests, but it would be better.

Re: Donatello

Reply #9
[quote author="ian"]Always nice to get an order done :) A relief, but I try not hunt for errors after boards are sent :)[/quote]

It's nerve racking.  It is a very simple design, but Murphy is always ready to strike.

@alexhenrigue:  I plan to jam as much as I can in the firmware and build probes for special tasks if necessary.  The pic I choose doesn't have huge code space, but I am hoping to do most of the heavy lifting in the PC app, so it may be plenty.

Re: Donatello

Reply #10
mouser order arrived.  Waiting on boards.

Re: Donatello

Reply #11
While I wait for boards, I thought I would play around with some PC software.  For a long time I have had in mind to do a GUI with pygame.  So I thought this was a good excuse. I have only done the main menu so far, nothing beyond that works.  You might be able to tell what I have been looking at lately :)

Re: Donatello

Reply #12
The boards are in.  OSHpark boards are so nice!

I hope I can get some time soon to build one up!

Re: Donatello

Reply #13
Nice. The GUI looks good

Re: Donatello

Reply #14
Thanks,  I hope to do some soldering tonight.  I shouldn't take too long, there aren't many parts.  I'm headed to NYC for the maker faire, so not much will happen over the weekend. If things go really well, maybe I'll get it soldered and USB stack working tonight!  I'm an optimist.

Of course, I'm already thinking about things I wish I had done differently :(