New FAT File System in chipKIT-core

microSD cards are supported on several chipKIT boards
microSD cards are supported on several chipKIT boards
Did you know that a robust FAT file system is now available in chipKIT-core? Keith Vogel of Digilent recently ported the file system library by ChaN at elm-chan.org. You can use this library to create and access files on microSD cards, as shown in the photo above.

But wait… what is a FAT file system, anyway?

FAT stands for File Allocation Table. It’s a method of organizing data on disk drives. Designed way back in 1977, FAT was the standard file system used on disk drives for at least two decades. While modern computers now use more sophisticated systems, FAT is still the standard for USB sticks, Flash drives and solid-state memory cards.
DSDVOL example in Arduino IDE
DSDVOL example in Arduino IDE


Several chipKIT boards (such as the FubarinoSD, WF32, Wi-FIRE, and WiFi Shield) include a microSD card slot where a solid-state memory card can be inserted. The new library allows your sketch to create and access files stored on the memory card. Files can be used for serving up web pages, storing large amounts of data collected from sensors, or anything else you can think of.

chipKIT-core combines the FAT file system with improvements to the DSPI and SoftSPI libraries. (DSPI uses the hardware SPI ports, while SoftSPI uses any combination of unused I/O pins to create a virtual SPI port.) When a microSD card is inserted, your sketch can easily mount it as a disk volume to access files. An example sketch is included with chipKIT-core, and appears as DSDVOL under the File:Examples menu item. Here is a snippet of code from DSDVOL:
Mounting a volume using the new FAT file system
Mounting a volume using the new FAT file system
Up to 5 volumes can be mounted and used at the same time. While most chipKIT boards have only one microSD card slot, virtual disk volumes in RAM or MCU Flash will be supported soon.
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)

chipKIT Uno32 and Nokia 5110 LCD

I have just finished writing up a new tutorial on using the Nokia 5110 graphical LCD with the chipKIT platform. Nokia 5110 LCD was used in Nokia’s popular 5110 and 3310 model cell phones and is a very popular display among the Arduino community because of its low cost (~$3 on eBay). It is a 48×84 pixels matrix LCD driven by the low-power PCD8544 controller chip. It is powered by 3.3V and includes on-chip generation of LCD supply and bias voltages, thus requiring minimum external components for its operation. This tutorial explores the PCD8544 serial bus interface and its connection with chipKIT Uno32 board for displaying text, graphics, and bitmap.

 

chipKIT Uno32 and Nokia 5110 LCD

Read the full tutorial!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.2/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

chipKIT WF32-based Health and Security Cloud System


Congratulations to Eusebiu Burlacu and Sebastian Pascu from Gheorghe Asachi University of Iasi, Romania, for their tie for first prize in the Digilent Design Contest Europe 2015. Their chipKIT WF32 based Health and Security Cloud System was designed to process a patient’s ECG signal, as well as monitor patient activity, and transmit this information to a doctor via Exosite’s cloud-enabled data platform. Learn more about it on Instructables.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Man Cave Sign – chipKIT with Bluetooth App Control

HC-05 or HC-06 Bluetooth Module

As a follow-on to a previous post about the “Man Cave Sign,” we wanted to share with you the portion that used Bluetooth and Android Apps. This tutorial by Darryl Gardner will show you how you can use the two apps he wrote (on the Google Play Store) along with an HC-05 or HC-06 Bluetooth module and a chipKIT-based device to transmit and receive data to and from the Bluetooth Module and the PIC32 MCU device. He also provides some sample sketches to get you up and running!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

chipKIT WF32 Control from a Networked Computer

Controlling a chipKIT WF32 from a networked computer

In this blogpost and this Instructable from Digilent, check out how you can control your chipKIT WF32 from a remote computer with internet access. Your chipKIT WF32 must be connected to a network, but other than that, all you need is an SD card for your WF32. Check out the tutorial for all the details to make your chipKIT WF32 a host webserver that allows access to the WF32 pins from a web page.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

chipKIT Text-Message-Enabled Sign and Music Light Box (Man Cave Sign)



Using our DIY chipKIT-board tutorial, Darryl Gardner, a student of the University of South Florida, created something he calls the “Man Cave Sign” for his MakeCourse. This techie sign not only displays messages (via 5 LED dot matrices), reacts to playing music, and lights up in different colors (via 2 LED light strips), but is also controllable via Text Message or Android Apps (which he wrote) that allow the user to do many things like change the display message, control the stepper motor, the color of the light strips, and even make your phone talk out loud!

His PIC32BLUE(+) Android App and PIC32BTN Android App allow you to connect to your microcontroller using a Serial Bluetooth Module and do various things like send messages/commands to/from your Android phone and control things like servo motors, LED matrices, RGB lights, LCD screens or anything you’d like. He incorporates other technologies as well, like a microphone to adjust the light strip colors according to sound fluctuations in the room, a stepper motor to rotate a USF Bulls logo, and he powers it all with a 10,000mA battery for a battery life of over 10 hours.

In this Instructable, he provides more details along with a YouTube playlist of some Arduino tutorials he referenced for the project. Keep an eye out for more details on the various portions of this project! 😀

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Unix on chipKIT Fubarino SD



If you haven’t seen this yet, you’ll likely be impressed. RetroBSD (Unix) running on a chipKIT Fubarino SD? Yes, you heard that right 🙂 Hackaday featured this post referencing Serge Vakulenko’s post, where he provides instructions for how you too can run RetroBSD on your Fubarino SD and then compile and assemble away on your mini computer!

Have fun and enjoy!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

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! 🙂

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

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!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)