Announcing: MikroElektronika/chipKIT Flip N Click Powered by PIC32MZ

It’s hard to deny. Click boards are pretty cool! Having the ability to swap out just one element for an alternate part, or something else entirely, is a great way to rapidly prototype a design. But we also love our shields, and don’t want to lose any of them just to start using Click boards. If only we could use both!

Well, we have exciting news for you. In partnership with Serbia-based MikroElektronika, we are proud to announce the release of the Flip&Click powered by PIC32MZ! Now you can have the best of both worlds!

The Flip&Click PIC32MZ is a power-house of a board, featuring the 250-MHz PIC32MZ2048EFH100. This processor has 2 MB of Program Flash, 160 KB of Boot Flash, and 512 KB of SRAM, so you’ll have plenty of room for the code to make your design come to life. It runs at 252MHz, which will make your applications blazing fast!

In addition, the Flip N Click PIC32MZ has the following features:

  • Two programming headers, one for Microchip MPLAB tools, and one for MikroElektronika tools
  • USB to UART converter, with control of the reset line (intended for bootloader and serial communications with a host)
  • Micro-USB connector that can run both Device and Host High-speed (480 Mbps) USB applications
  • Two application switches and one reset switch
  • Five user LEDs (four on the Click side, one on the shield side)
  • Four Click sockets
  • Arduino/chipKIT-compatible shield interface

Starting with v1.4.2, which has already been released, the chipKIT-core now supports the Flip&Click PIC32MZ. Simply update the core in the Arduino IDE, and begin using it right away.

The board is available in two flavors, one with a chipKIT-based bootloader, so it can communicate with the Arduino IDE. The other is a bootloader created by MikroElektronika, that can communicate with its development tools, including the PIC32 compilers that allow you to code in BASIC, C, or Pascal. You can program the board with either bootloader, so you can support whichever environment you wish.

Now that we have the power of PIC32MZ, and the flexibility of four Click sockets and an Arduino shield, let’s go create some amazing things!

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New experimental USB stack

We in the chipKIT programming dungeons have been slaving away for the past few weeks to bring you a new, long awaited, USB stack for your USB-based chipKIT boards.

Finally we can say the PIC32MZ based boards have full USB support!

Continue reading New experimental USB stack

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Building a Custom OLED Display

Ever have the need to display real-time data with custom hi-res graphics and text? Super-user Majenko recently built up a cool green OLED display to fit inside a standard hard drive bay on his PC.

A custom mount inside the drive bay

The OLED display is backed by a chipKIT Lenny running the DisplayCore library. Take note of the hi-res scrolling graph along the bottom edge of the display. Not bad for a modest board like the Lenny running Arduino-compatible code. Check out this post that explains exactly how he did it.

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HelveKit Robot: A chipKIT Robot Design

HelveKit Robot

There are plenty of “how to design a robot” tutorials out there; this is not one of them. Why is this one different? Because the author, GastonLagaffe, doesn’t want to tell you what to do, as he doesn’t want to limit your creativity. 🙂 His personal goals for this robot were for it to be small, autonomous, cheap, easy to solder, easy to program, with plenty of holes, and swarm capable, and although the journey to get from concept to implementation took him 12 months, he learned a lot along the way.

So if you want to make a robot, why not dream big as you read about how Gaston took what started as a small wish and made it a reality, Gaston-style. To see his journey, check out this HelveKit Robot Design Journey on Instructables. You may smile as you see his approach and decide you would have done it differently, but that’s exactly what Gaston would want you to do!

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Meet the chipKIT uC32

chipkit-uc32-01

The chipKIT uC32 has been around a while, but Fábio Souza at Embarcados has just published a brand new Overview which is worth a look. The article is written in Portuguese; you should be able to use the “Translate” option in your browser to get the English version if needed.

Fábio’s article borrows some diagrams from Digilent’s excellent Resource Center, and also explains how to load chipKIT-core into the Arduino Boards Manager.

Thanks Fábio!

Note: The chipKIT uC32 is our full-featured, Uno-style board with 512K of Flash, 32K of RAM and 47 available I/O lines. It’s fully compatible with Arduino IDE and MPLAB X IDE.

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chipKIT-core v1.3.0 and v1.3.1 Released and Clicker 2 Support

Clicker 2 for PIC32MX

The chipKIT development team is happy to announce the chipKIT-core releases: v1.3.0 and v1.3.1, the former being the main release, with the latter simply updating the compiler from v1.40 to v1.42.

These two new releases don’t necessarily add any enormous new features, but they do have several nice bug fixes and some good improvements in the functionality available to a sketch. One noteworthy fix in v1.3.0 is the update to the bootloader host application “pic32prog” to support MikroElektronika’s Clicker 2 for PIC32MX. This amazing board provides two mikroBUS sockets for click boards — MikroE’s little peripheral add-on boards — providing for an endless range of project possibilities. Check out the release notes for all the details.

You can obtain the release of your choice in a couple of different ways depending on how you’ve installed chipKIT core in the past. You can either use the Boards Manager inside the Arduino IDE, or you can download the zip file for your platform (Arm Linux, Linux32, Linux64, MacOSX or Windows).

We hope you benefit greatly from these updates!

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chipKIT Drum Set with MikroE Clicks

chipKIT: TouchClamp Click Drum Machine

Drum sets are fun to play! Now you can make your very own noise (or shall we say ‘music’) maker, and all without soldering a thing. All you need are a handful of bottles and cans (which will act as the drum pads) with some alligator clip wires (clips on both ends) connected to a chipKIT Uno32 via an Arduino Uno click shield and two MikroElektronika click boards with audio and touch sense capabilities. The TouchClamp click acts as the input for the drumming, and the MP3 click provides the audio for each “drum.” A clever little idea, we thought.

Why not make some noise with your own drum set. For all the details, check out the chipKIT drum set tutorial!

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chipKIT Lenny: Sneak Preview

chipKIT Lenny Development Board

If you saw our post about the new chipKIT Lenny, and you’re totally excited, we have more news for you! In advance of the production release, Majenko Technologies, originator and designer of the Lenny, is offering early access to this new board. You can purchase a limited edition, sneak preview of the Lenny before the production boards roll out. These boards are production-ready, just without the packaging. So get yours today!

For all the details, see Majenko Technologies’ chipKIT Lenny page.

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Using a chipKIT WF32 and a Raspberry Pi to set up fan control for XBOX

Fan Control Using WF32 and Raspberry Pi
Fan Control Using WF32 and Raspberry Pi

Has your XBOX ever overheated due to excessive use? If so, have you ever wondered what you can do to stop it?

In a fan-control project–developed by Austin Stanton after his XBOX 360 died–this is exactly the issue he is trying to correct. Once he finished grieving for his lost gaming system, Austin was able to focus on how to fix the problem so that his next system doesn’t die. After doing some research, he suspected his entertainment system was the culprit, not allowing enough heat to escape.

Austin decided that the best way to regulate the temperature was to regulate the airflow, which he achieves by using two fans and a servo; the servo was positioned so it would open a door (to increase airflow). A chipKIT WF32 monitors temperature and operates the fans, while a Raspberry Pi was controls the WF32 over Wi-Fi by means of two switches.

Pretty good sleuthing on Austin’s part, I’d say! You can check out the details on the Digilent blog, where his project is broken down into two posts. The first one describes how to set up fan control using LabVIEW, and the second one describes how to add a Raspberry Pi to the whole thing.

Good luck with all your DIY life hacks!

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