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 Parking Obstacle Sensor

chipKIT_Range_Sensor Seth Stoothoff recently published a detailed tutorial on Instructables, for a chipKIT Parking Obstacle Sensor. The project uses a chipKIT Pro MX4 dev board from Digilent, and a Maxbotix Ultrasonic Range Finder.

The obstacle sensor uses an LCD to display the distance in inches, cm, or mm depending on the “units” variable selected in the code. It also displays a bargraph along the bottom of the LCD, indicating the effective range of about 6 to 255 inches.

Seth modified a cat5e Ethernet cable to run from the dash-mounted pcb and display to the rear bumper where the range sensor was attached. This project is an effective demonstration of range sensor technology and a great way to hack your favorite ride!
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 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-core is released for use in Arduino IDE

How to use your chipKIT board in Arduino IDE

Did you ever wish you could program your chipKIT board in Arduino IDE? Well, your prayers have been answered! The chipKIT development team is very excited to announce the release of v1.1.0 of the chipKIT-core software! This is the latest version of the chipKIT software, and it has support for all existing chipKIT boards. It is installed into the Arduino 1.6.7+ IDE, just like any of the other available cores.

Kudos to everyone who helped make this possible!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.8/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

chipKIT Wi-FIRE: An EDN Hot 100 Product of 2015

EDN's Hot 100 Products for 2015

Extra extra! Read all about it! The EDN online community has named chipKIT Wi-FIRE one of their Hot 100 Products of 2015 in their Wireless and Networking category! Although they had posted a glowing review of the chipKIT Wi-FIRE back in February, we were pleasantly surprised to have stayed in their good graces. They said, and we quote “Digilent’s chipKIT WiFire board is an awesome little beastie. Powered by Microchip’s latest 32-bit 200 MHz MCU, the Wi-Fi equipped Arduino-compatible platform has been paired with Imagination Technologies’ Flow Cloud service development tools in an effort to make creating cloud-powered embedded applications practical for the average developer.”

Check it all out on the EDN Hot 100 Wireless and Networking Products of 2015!

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

External Interrupts for chipKIT

Interrupts with chipKIT DP32

Jay Weeks of Digilent is back with another very useful “Instructable” about external interrupts. Armed with a chipKIT board, a USB cable, and a piece of wire, he guides you through some example code, so that you can see for yourself how interrupts really work! Using very simple explanations, he discusses polling vs. interrupts, and then he delves deeper into the topic to discuss debouncing, interrupt service routines, volatile variables, and more. Check it all out at Instructables.

Interrupt away!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

chipKIT WF32 Tutorials for Projects in LabVIEW LINX

Connect your LabVIEW™ projects to the real world! LINX from LabVIEW MakerHub is a free, open-source add-on for LabVIEW software. In this series of video tutorials, learn how to use LINX with the Digilent LabVIEW Physical Computing Kit in projects based on the chipKIT WF32™ board.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Plug and Play Pmods with chipKIT and LabVIEW

Plug and Play Pmods with chipKIT and LabVIEW

Extend the capabilities of chipKIT boards by using Digilent’s series of Pmods™, small I/O peripheral interface module boards. In this Instructable, you’ll learn how to connect these Pmod boards to a chipKIT WF32™ board and program with LabVIEW™ MakerHub LINX.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Debug chipKIT Sketches in MPLAB X IDE

Source Debugging in MPLAB X IDE
Source Debugging in MPLAB X IDE

Say goodbye to the Serial Monitor debugging with Serial.println()! Microchip has released a chipKIT Platform Sketch Importer for MPLAB X IDE in their latest version, v3.10. This importer is a plug-in that allows for source debugging of chipKIT sketches directly within MPLAB X IDE. This plug-in is installable via the MPLAB X plug-in portal under the Tools menu. The only other requirement is a separate install of the latest beta release of UECIDE–an alternative to MPIDE–since the desired sketch must first be created in UECIDE and built in that environment at least once. Subsequent builds and full source-debugging are then supported within MPLAB X IDE.

Hooray!!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.3/10 (8 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)