The Arduino project announced some news at MakerFaire 2011. Here’s a video of a talk from Massimo Banzi:
In a nutshell, they are working on a new release of Arduino called “1.0” or the “1.0 Core” which is going to break some things, but also set the stage for a more consistent and stable platform going forward. There are new hardware revisions for the Uno and Mega boards. The most notable change with these boards is the addition of several pins to support a two wire interface (I2C) bus which will enable much easier and standardized interfacing to shields. There is also a new Arduino that has an Ethernet interface built in, rather than having to use a separate Ethernet shield. (Shields are optional boards you can stack on Arduinos for additional capabilities.) I’m very interested in this board as it also has an SD slot for memory storage. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a logger module for the keyer project. Why? Because I can and it’s never been done :-)
The project is also releasing a WiFi shield which opens up a lot of possibilities. Another dream geek project I’ve had has been to place Arduinos in various places throughout the house and the yard for doing various things like reporting the temperature or sensing intruders. The Arduinos could network via WiFi and report to each other or back to the mothership.
All and all it’s an exciting time in Arduino land. If you haven’t tried using one of these little boards, you’re missing out on some fun. The applications in amateur radio are endless and with the power and functionality steadily increasing, I expect in a few years we’ll be doing things like DSP or perhaps have a rig-on-a-shield.
6 thoughts on “What’s Ahead for Arduino”
I’m really into their API but I’m not into their board(s). The UNO is $30. This is a very good deal for those that want to tinker and learn. For those of use that want to use the processor in projects, the $30’s can add up really fast. Add wifi and ethernet and you’re looking at something at least in the $50 range. Again, I’m not knocking what they have produced and without it I would not have gotten as far as I am. I just feel more at home buying the chips and other needed items and creating something. I will still use their core (API) as much as possible. It works very well and takes a lot of mystery out of programming these chips in C “raw”. I just can’t throw $30 down each time I want to make something new. The XYL would kill me.
It would be really nice to have another UART on the Mega328. I guess I have to go to the pro chip for that. I’m using N1MM logger and a straight key (ad hoc sending). I would really like to use N1MM as my macro sender and then CWType as my add hoc sender. both support WinKey and I’m not sure how they will react if I split the only port the Mega328 has.
IMO, Arduino is just pure awesome. I’m a programmer by trade and the Arduino allows me to solve problems that double E’s would solve with parts, but with software.
The Uno and others also implements programming loading so this makes it really easy for newbies to get started without investing in an expensive ICSP programmer. The good news is that ICSP programmers can be purchased on eBay for $10 and are based on the usbtiny design. I have one and I also have a stk500v2 serial programmer. I also have a JTAG debugging device.
To program a chip you need a programmer and the following parts laid out on a bread board.
1. ATMega328 ($5)
2. 16mhz rock and caps ($2)
3. 6 pin header ($1)
Basically that is all you need to get started. I have a PCB that I built out as a programmer. I added a Zif Socket so that I can switch out chips. I added a resistor and led on pin 13. This allows me to see that programming is occurring. It also allows me to test a chip with the simple blink program.
For serial, you can purchase a USB to TTL cable off eBay based on the PL2303 chip for $5. Use 1K resistors in series on TX and RX of the Arduino.
ATMega328 runs on 5v so I get power off the USB bus of my computer or I have a 7805 “box” I attach to a 12v SLA.
For a couple of bucks more you can get Solarbotics’ Ardweeny kit: http://www.solarbotics.com/products/kardw/ – it’s the smallest non-SMT Arduino-clone.
It’s my understanding that the UNO board and Arduino boards in general were originally intended to be prototyping devices and not permanent fixtures. But folks tend to use them as permanent boards in projects more often than just development and chip programming tools, and of course other boards like the Mega 2560 have soldered surface mount chips making chip burning and removal impossible. But if you need USB interface capability or want the convenience of being able to stack shields, in my opinion the $30 isn’t too steep for what you get.
Regarding your N1MM and CWType simultaneous interfacing, I’m wondering if the Arduino firmware could be rewritten to emulate multiple USB devices on the bus. The other thought I had was some hardware level multiplexing, but that probably would be problematic.
The Arduino Mega 2560 board has four UARTs. Only one is connected to a TTL-to-USB chip, however it wouldn’t take much to add additional chips and make a multiport Winkey keyer.
Yea, I think you are right about the prototyping. That is what I’m doing at home. I have two UNOs. One is in a box with your code. I’ve not used it in a while. The other is on some MDF with a bread board and a box with 9v battery (power supply). I use it to proto. It then build in the raw.
I’ve not toyed with the ether shield but I’m very curios if you could implement an RFC2217 server on an Mega328 with that shield. With software on the Windows or Linux PC you can map com potrs to “com ports” on the Mega over IP.. Now you could have a few programs communicating with the keyer. You could also have your logging. RFC2217 is fairly simple and you can simply ignore TTY set requests like speed changing, parity changing, etc. You just want the data.
I may have to try something like this http://www.wb3w.net/CW_Serial.jpg plugged into the paddle input of the keyer. CWType would use RTS keying and the N1MM could use WinKey.
This may not even be practical for the event coming up. One would have to use the mouse to change focus on the computer. Just easier to pound brass.