I am planning to get a talk on microcontrollers and embedded computing in our local radio-club and I am gathering some more information.
One of the things I like to show is that the developement boards are for .. well .. development, but once that you actually move it to an actual project (especially if you do not need any shields), there are other options that do not take up as much space (and are cheaper) then the arduino / mbed / whatever board.
I'm compiling a list of DIP or "breadboard-form-factor" options for hobbyists.
Sofar I have are
- AVR and PICs in DIP
- LPC1114 and LPC802 in DIP
- arduino mini and pro-mini + cheap Chinese clones
- mapple mini + cheap Chinese clones
Any other options? Any other options that connect a SMD-size MPU on a "DIP" socket?
The PIC32 works just fine for me on a breadboard so far. You MUST however follow the guidelines in the datasheets for _ALL_ the pins which need connecting or the MCU will not startup correctly.
I use a programmer I built and the MIPS supplied gcc toolchain with my own headers. I don't know what commercial programmers and compilers out there support the PIC32 in a breadboard configuration.
I'm not familiar with the LPC802 and Google doesn't reveal anything. Do you mean the LPC810 ?
The above MCUs (as opposed to boards) are all the ones I know about in PDIP. (There's always the HC08 but I moved way beyond those many years ago and I consider the above options to be better suited than the HC08.)
Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
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I have just been looking for adapters with the chip already soldered on it. There seams to be some out there (I found a couple with a STM32s and also one with a PIC32, ss Simon also mentioned). but not that much.
OK. Point taken :-)
OK. Fair point.
However, concidering this audience (a radioclub), we are probably more looking at "controlling" things, so using a 8 bit AVR/PIC/MSP or a ARM M0-class device.
This is something one can do perfectly on a perfboard.
Well, what would be nice is a mapple-mini type of device with either a STM32F1 with a DAC or a STM32F4. Most of the devices out there use a STM32F103C8T6, the chip on the original mapple. That chip does not have a DAC. :-(
Yes, technically it will fit, but I meant as a 0.3 inch wide unit that leaves all the remaining pins uncovered. Not many modules do that and the OSHChip was specifically designed for that. They had to design special pins to not require the board to be too wide.
There are any number of modules with MCUs on them that can be used. They don't really need to sit on a wireless breadboard socket. I use jumper wires to connect them to a breadboard. Works fine. In fact, the bluetooth modules I have plug directly into the breadboard sockets and don't really work. I think it is because the power routing is poor.
You don't have to be so fancy. I use single row cables like this,
male to male, male to female, female to female. I strip them to the size I need and so don't have to run all bazillion rPi/MCU pins into the socket board. I can also jump between different boards without the socket board.
Once in awhile I find the pins on the MCU board aren't the full 25 mil size that works with these cables. They barely hang on the TI kickstart boards. Not sure what those pins are intended to be for.
When I need a circuit like that, I use SOIC parts on a square-pad board, sometimes 0.05" but usually 0.1" with the pads around the SOIC scribed in half.
It's easier to design - just lay out the circuit like the schematic, no need to bend it around stripboard tracks. No tracks to cut, no need to keep flipping the board over. Surface mount components are easy to place and can often be butted against each other. The circuits you make are much more compact.
DIP does not have a monopoly on prototyping boards, it only does in the mindset of those who grew up with it.
Its main benefit is solderless breadboard, which is fine for short-term experimentation. But if you want to keep it you'll have to transfer it to soldered board anyway. If you do that on a 'breadboard equivalent' protoboard, you end up with a large and clumsy layout. Unless you're worried about reusing the components (which have got much cheaper in real terms over the last few decades) it's quicker just to solder something up from the beginning.