Visual Programming for chipKIT

Drag-and-drop visual programming for chipKIT using ArduBlock
Drag-and-drop visual programming for chipKIT using ArduBlock

Newbie programmers, have you ever wanted to program visually by dragging and dropping your “code” instead of tediously writing lines and lines of it? If so, ArduBlock is for you! And Tayeb, of RedAcacia blog, has posted a tutorial to get ArduBlock up and running with your chipKIT board! To get started, you’ll need one of the following: chipKIT Uno32 (or chipKIT uC32), chipKIT Basic I/O Shield, breadboard, light sensor LDR, 10KOhm resistor, and buzzer.

What are you waiting for! 🙂

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chipKIT LED Graduation Hat


If you are graduating or you know someone graduating, help friends and family find the graduate in a crowd by making a unique graduation hat! This “Instructable” guides you through the process to create a hat that will make you stand out in a crowd of boring graduation hats. This tutorial uses a chipKIT uC32 and WS2812 LED (neopixel) strips!

Have fun! And congratulations to all the graduates!

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Murum Lux Ethernet: IPLogika Module

IPLogika's P401 Ethernet Module
IPLogika’s P401 Ethernet Module

You may have already seen previous posts about the Murum Lux (Wall of Light) including a post about the human interface portion. Today’s post refers to the Ethernet portion that Josh wrote about. Using two P-401 Ethernet modules by a Spanish company named IPLogika (one on-board his “e-field” box, and one on-board the Panel/Display board) he created a network by which he communicated the human interface gestures from the gesture panel on the E-field box to the Display.

P.S. Keep an eye out for his tip on using one module to aid in debugging!

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chipKIT Pro and Delays

Screen capture for 20 ms delay (using Digilent WaveForms on Microsoft Windows 7).
Screen capture for 20 ms delay (using Digilent WaveForms on Microsoft Windows 7).

As a follow on to a recent post about chipKIT Pro and I/O Control, the Learn.Digilentinc site has put together a chipKIT Pro and Delays project to teach methods for using software delays in your code. Because the microcontroller executes code so quickly, you may want to slow down the processor to meet the needs of your application. This project includes a background on timing of microcontrollers and requires knowledge of C or C++ programming, MPLAB X IDE, binary math, Boolean algebra, bit manipulation, and I/O Pin Control.

Get your Learn on! 🙂

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chipKIT-Board Microcontroller Specs

A typical description for the specs of a microcontroller
A typical description for the specs of a microcontroller

Integrated circuits (ICs), microprocessors, microcontrollers (MCUs)… These are all similar names for devices like the PIC32 device that is the main IC on your chipKIT board. Such devices have many specifications that might make your head spin if you’re new to this sort of thing. If you’ve ever found yourself intimidated when you see a spec list like the one to the left, or perhaps hopeful that someone might explain to you, in layman’s terms, what all the technical jargon about microcontrollers REALLY means, then look no further. Josh Woldstad at Digilent has put together a quick explanation of the specs of an MCU, namely the one on board the chipKIT Max32 board. Hopefully, he helps dispell some of that fear!

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chipKIT Uno32 with Arduino LCD Shield

Arduino LCD Shield compatible with chipKIT Uno32!
Arduino LCD Shield – Compatible with chipKIT Uno32!

Do you need an LCD for your chipKIT project? Check out this quick “hello world” example to get your chipKIT Uno32 up and running with the Arduino LCD Shield! For a more useful example, check out this example for how to connect and display a Photoresistor or LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) to your circuit and display the value on your LCD!

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chipKIT Task Manager Example

Task Mangement with chipKIT Platform

Besides the many Arduino-based core functions available to you, the chipKIT platform also provides chipKIT-specific core functions for the core timer service and task management.

In this post, we focus on task management, by providing a simple example. Task Management essentially allows for multiple tasks to run in the background, which can simplify the programming in your loop() function. Read the overview on Task Management for more information. The example below animates an LED in the background by using the createTask() core function. Notice how this task-management functionality provides for a simple RTOS-like environment.

#include <SoftPWMServo.h>

char dim = 0;

/* Using the Software-based PWM Servo library, 
 *  the UpdateLED() function below dims the 
 *  PIN_LED1 (You can reference the actual pin 
 *  number for your board using the Board_Defs.h 
 *  file for your particular chipKIT board)
 */
void UpdateLED(int id, void * tptr) 
{
	SoftPWMServoPWMWrite(PIN_LED1, dim++);

	if (dim == 70) {
  		dim = 0;
  }
}

void setup() {

	/* createTask() is a chipKIT "Task Management" 
	 *  core function. In this case, it takes the  
	 *  function we defined above, UpdateLED(), as a 
	 *  task to perform. It provides a scheduling interval
	 *  of 20 milliseconds and initializes the enable 
	 *  state of the task. When the board is turned on
	 *  this setup() will run, and the new task will be
	 *  enabled.
	 */
	createTask(UpdateLED, 20, TASK_ENABLE, NULL);
}

/*
 * Notice, there is no need to run anything else in the loop() 
 *  portion for the UpdateLED() "task" to run in the background.
 */
void loop() {}

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chipKIT Fubarino Mini Pin Diagram

chipKIT Fubarino Mini Pin Diagram
Ever wanted to see the pin functions at a glance for the chipKIT Fubarino Mini? Well, thanks to Brian Schmalz, you have the above pin-mapping diagram!
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Hackster Hardware Weekend Hackathon Series

Hackster Hardware Weekend Hackathon Series - Hack to the Future with the DeLorean
“Hack to the Future” at the Hackster Hardware Weekend Series of Hackathons!

If you’ll be in LA this weekend (or any of the following US cities in the coming weeks) get yourself ready to hack an original DeLorean DMC 12 at the “Hack to the Future” Hackster Hardware Weekend traveling roadshow, or shall we say Hackathon! Microchip will graciously be providing some chipKIT Fubarino Mini boards to help teams build their projects. Teams have a chance to win cash prizes every week, including $1000 for the Best Hardware Hack per city.

To learn more about the Hackster Hardware Weekend visit http://www.hackster.io/hardwareweekend.

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