Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Bus Pirate firmware and hardware development.

Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:59 am

I starting using my new Bus Pirate to try and debug the contents of an EEPROM (the whole reason I made a Bus Pirate, actually), and I found myself desiring a few accessories that would have made it rather easier.

I am interested in designing a kind of breakout board for the 10-pin cable that would split it into a 10-pin single row header for sticking in a breadboard. I also want to put jumpers for selecting VCC of 5V or 3.3V, some terminals for connecting an external VCC, a jumper for tying Vpu to VCC, and dedicated connectors for the pinouts of popular protocols (e.g., I2C, AVR programmer SPI, 1-wire, etc.), so I can use extension cables from those pinouts directly to the devices I'm trying to use.

I thought I'd check first, before diving in, whether anyone had made something similar, or found (or solved) some problems with the idea.

One trick is that there doesn't seem to be a "standard" I2C header, though I find a lot of breakout boards (like the ChronoDot, and many (though not all) of Sparkfun's I2C device breakouts) use a GND-VCC-SCL-SDA 4-pin connector.

Along the Pirate theme, I was thinking of calling it a "Broadside" or something like that, since I am bad at picking names for things.

Any thoughts on this?
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:21 am

I went ahead and put something together for this:
brd-bp-breakout-0.1.png


You can use a 5x2 to 5x2 cable to connect it to the Bus Pirate. I thought about making it plug right in like the other shields, but I didn't like the footprint I ended up with, and these 10-pin cables are easy enough to make.

It's got:

* breadboard breakout for all 10 pins
* a power connector for providing VCC from an external source
* a VCC select jumper so you can pick 5V or 3V3 from the Bus Pirate (or leave it open for external power)
* a VPU-VCC select jumper, so you can tie Vpu to whatever you have selected for VCC
* a 4-pin "standard" I2C header
* a 3-pin "standard" 1-wire header
* a 6-pin AVR ISP header (can also be used as an SPI breakout)

I ended up making it two-sided in order to route all the connections, so I will be using the DorkbotPDX pcb service again. Granted, I didn't spend too much time trying to make it work on one-side...

Once I get the boards (in a few weeks) and test it, I'll put up some photos in a blog post, and release the source files.
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby ian » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:30 am

Nice work. I notice SparkFun's staggered pin header footprint in there. Have you used it before? Do you like it? I open have a problem with header staying straight, but I use lots of sticky-tack (poster putty?) to hold stuff down when I solder and that seems to work.
User avatar
ian
Crew
Crew
 
Posts: 10803
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:14 am

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby Sjaak » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:38 am

For soldering headers I use a breadboard where I put the header in, pcb on top, and then solder the header.
User avatar
Sjaak
Fellow
Fellow
 
Posts: 3293
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:45 pm
Location: Hiero

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:49 pm

ian wrote:Nice work. I notice SparkFun's staggered pin header footprint in there. Have you used it before? Do you like it? I open have a problem with header staying straight, but I use lots of sticky-tack (poster putty?) to hold stuff down when I solder and that seems to work.


I love these staggered headers from SparkFun. I used them for the 6-pin header on the BPv3-FTDI-0.2, and for all of the headers on the 0.3 version. The 0.2 was the first board I had produced by a fab house, and the staggered header was perfect, it held the header in just the right place without any real difficulty placing it in. This is especially handy for right-angle headers (which I think might have been the original reason the dude at SparkFun developed them.

I've used them on all of my homebrew boards, but honestly, my drilling process (drill-press with squinting-eyeball-based alignment) is not precise enough to say for sure whether it makes any difference. Certainly most of my home-drilled headers are snug, some of them, I have to enlarge (by "drilling" with one blade of my flush cutters on each side until the hole is enlarged enough)

Sjaak wrote:For soldering headers I use a breadboard where I put the header in, pcb on top, and then solder the header.


I like to do this, but depending on the placement of other components or headers, there is not always room, that's why the staggered headers are nice. I use them for everything now.
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:19 pm

The boards came in, so I put it together and took some photos. The writeup and photos are here on the blog: http://schazamp.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/bus-pirate-breakout-0-1/.

front_bare_angle.jpg


The Eagle files are here: https://github.com/schamp/Schazamp/tree ... e-Breakout
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:59 am

I tried using the 6-pin SPI/ISP connect, and there wasn't enough room to fit the tab on the side of the connector (which should be facing the center of the board) next to the 10-pin bus pirate connector.

Removing this tab (I used an Xacto, but a Dremel would do, too) leaves just enough room to plug both in. I'm thinking of releasing an updated version with a little more clearance between those two banks of headers.

I've also been thinking of (preemptively) updating it to make a BPv4 version (which has 12 pins, instead of just 10).
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby Zbig » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:44 pm

Hi

My approach to the breadboarding cable:

IMAG0030.jpg
Bus Pirate breadboard cable


I use the similar approach for AVR programming/debugging, etc. I use single pins soldered to the cables and secured with some shrink tube. I make the labels with Brother P-Touch label maker on a special flexible tape (TZ-FX series). I personally find designing dedicated breakout board just for the breadboarding work a bit of an overkill but that's me and I'm a lazy person ;) Using my solution you don't have to make additional routings from the breakout board pins to the proper pins on the breadboard (where the signals are needed), which kind of defeats the purpose of a breakout board as a way to make your life easier - you just stick the cables right into the rows the particular signals are needed. Additional extra - you can reuse the cable for whatever device with 2x5 (or less) pins connector.

One thing you need to be extra careful about of course is not to short the signals accidentally or let the unused cables dangle all over the place. The simple solution is to get used to a habit of sticking each cable into unused breadboard rows first and only then powering up the device. And don't follow the temptation I once caught myself on to go and stick the unneeded pins into a piece of an (conductive!) antistatic foam some ICs come shipped in ;) Just kidding.

Regards
Zbig
Zbig
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:51 pm

I like your approach. The main reason I wanted this was not for the breadboard, but so I'd have "standard" I2C and ICSP connectors that I could connect directly to other boards (without using the breadboard to break everything out).

Also, I didn't have a spare 10-pin cable I was willing to sacrifice. I really don't like the 10-pin test clip cable that I got to go with the BP, they don't stay on well and are really hard to use. If I get really fed up with it, maybe I'll sacrifice it for something like this.
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby Zbig » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:22 pm

Glad you like it. In fact, I didn't break anything to make this. I bought some cable per meter on eBay and some IDC-10 connectors. Just search for a "rainbow ribbon cable" :-) Or a generic boring-gray AWG28 ribbon. It's AWG28 cable if my memory serves me right. You can also rip some old floppy/IDE cable and give it a new purpose in life :-) It's perfectly fine to buy a wider ribbon - you can split it cleanly surprisingly easy even with your bare fingers and you could always need a wider one later. It's easiest to crimp the connector using vice grips - there's some nice tutorial on ladyada website. Unfortunately, my post "looked too spamy for a new user" so I had to remove the URL. Just google for "ladyada usbtiny ribbon" and scroll near the end of the page. In fact, after doing few of these I like the idea of IDC connectors so much I'm planning on using them every time I need to connect two PCBs or something with more than few signal lines. I bought few kinds of them (with different pin counts) just to have some on hand.
Zbig
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:18 pm

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Sat May 14, 2011 10:39 am

I've got a few people who are interested in this board, and I've been thinking of making another (small) production run. Is anyone else interested in a PCB? They would be $3 or $4, (depending on how many I do) shipping included (anywhere in the US). They will be available available in 2 or 3 weeks.

I have updated the board to allow for a little more room for the SPI connector and the power jumper.

If you'd like one, please reply or message me by midnight CDT on Sunday, May 15 (so I have time to get the order together before the deadline).

If you need 2x5 header for the connector, I have a few of those left, so let me know, and I'll throw one in.
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby tempmj » Sat May 14, 2011 11:45 am

I'll take one. i got one from your previous run and haven't had a chance to play with it yet, but it looks well made/designed. If you could throw in the header that would be great.
Check out my site at http://www.controllerprojects.com I'm always open for some input or suggestions
User avatar
tempmj
Jr. Member
Jr. Member
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby sergeant82d » Sun May 15, 2011 3:52 am

I'd like two also, please. Can you post again where to send funds? Is PayPal okay? Thanks!
sergeant82d
Newbie
Newbie
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 3:50 am

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Sun May 15, 2011 9:43 am

Paypal is fine, send payment to schamp@gmail.com and send me your mailing address. I will let everyone know when I have a better estimate of when the boards will be shipped.
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bus Pirate Breakout Board

Postby schazamp » Sun May 15, 2011 1:45 pm

Here's an image of the updated layout. Note the greater clearance between either end of the 10 pin connector and the connectors (power / SPI). I've also updated the numbering scheme to be 3.2 (instead of 0.2) to match the Bus Pirate version it belongs with.

I'll probably be working on a BPv4 version soon, stay tuned.

Remember, there's still time to get a board in the next run, $4 shipped to the US. Let me know by tonight or tomorrow morning if you want one.
Attachments
board.png
update (v3.2) layout
schazamp
Full Member
Full Member
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:51 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Next

Return to Bus Pirate Development