Last year Parallax released their latest multicore processor, the Propeller2 or P2X8C4M64P to give it, its full name. It’s been a very long time coming and after a few setbacks it is finally here. It’s specs are very good, featuring 8x 32-bit cores (or cogs as Parallax likes to call them), 512K RAM and 64 GPIO with SmartPin features.
I got my P2 evaluation system (ES) board a few weeks back and designed a couple of P2 ES prototyping wings to go with it.
The first prototyping wing (on the right) is a classic proto board with I/O from two GPIO ports. The other prototyping wing is a breadboard design for faster circuit build and test and features a 3x LED’s and 2x switches
I’ve got a few spare PCB’s which I’ll put on my Tindie store.
I’ve been busy with my big box of PCBs and I here’s my first Z80 system design and build. It comprises of the following:
– Z80 CPU card
– 8K ROM & 8K SRAM card
– 68B50 ACIA card
– 5-slot enhanced+ backplane
It’s pretty much a standard Z80 layout but I’ve expanded the bus to the latest Enhanced Bus definition for all the cards. The 5-slot backplane uses double row (2×39) female pin headers to include the RC2014 enhanced bus and in addition I’ve added an extra set of address lines (A16 to A23) for the possibility of using 16-bit CPU’s (8086/68000) and memory options (upto 1MB) in the future.
I have very fond memories of using and building 8-bit computers during the 1980’s, so I’ve been following Spencer Owen’s RC2014 modular 8-bit computer project with some interest. For those interest the RC2104 is a simple but very modular 8-bit microcomputer based around the Z80 microprocessor.
In its most basic form it uses a number of single row 40-pin headers (or sometimes a 39-pin header) to make a computer backplane and which takes various “computer” and add-on cards to build a system. The add-on cards currently have a choice from various Z80 CPU cards, a 6502 CPU, various sizes of RAM and ROM memory cards, serial I/O and digital I/O cards.
I was fortunate to meet Spencer at Maker Faire UK back in April 2017 and chat with him first hand about the RC2014 project and he was very open and enthusiastic about sharing all aspects of his project. So much so, a small community of fellow builders has popped up and added to the project with their own add-on cards.
I’ve put together a short list of RX2014 related web-sites:
This is a little late but I spotted this tweet from Espressif and a post on CNX about a new variation of the ESP8266 going into beta testing. The company announced the new chip which will support both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
There’s not much more information other than it features a new 32-bit core, the Tensilica diamond 108 instead of the 106 and has 500KB of RAM.
The ARDvance-Pi is an advance Arduino training board. You can use it together with any of the Ardunio Uno or Duemilanove style of boards. The Arduino is plugged into the ARDvance-Pi and DIL switches allow the user to select which interfaces or circuits they want to connect to the Ardunio.
The training board has a number of interfaces
6 x Rotary Potentiometers
2 x Linear Potentiometers
4-Digit, 7-segment LED display
5V/3.3V switchable PSU
8 x LEDs
8 x tactile switches
1-ch Relay (Change Over)
RS232 interface with 9-W D connector
H-Bridge Motor Controller (based on L298)
5V to 3.3V logic conversion for Raspberry-Pi
* Note: if space allows
It was originally going to be called the ARDvance-10 but its name changed when I decided to add an interface port for the Raspberry Pi board, hence its new name ARDvance-Pi. Port Expanders, either MCP23008 or PCF8573 and a 8-ch ADC will also be added to allow I2C or SPI interfaces to be used from the Raspberry-Pi. When its finished, its hoped that the Raspberry-Pi can use the Arduino as a sort of slave I/O processor.