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PICadillo-35T

PICadillo-35T_s_01.jpgThe PICadillo is a board I myself have had a finger in the creation of. So as you can expect this review will be very biased :)

So just what is the PICadillo?

Basically it's a combination of a chipKIT MAX32 with a TFT screen attached to it, plus a couple of other bits.

The big selling point of this board is the built in screen. It's a 3.5" TFT, but even at that size boasts a massive 320x480 pixels! It truly is a lovely TFT screen. Much higher resolution that you get from the same size eBay el-cheapo TFT screens.

Plus it is a resistive touch screen.

How a library can track its own objects

What?

How a what can what now?

You may well ask. Let me explain.

I recently worked on a small project which used rotary encoders as part of the control interface. The project was using the PIC32 as the core chip, and the rotary encoders needed to be interrupt driven. Now, I couldn't find any really suitable code pre-written for this job, so I had to write my own. I could have just written what was needed for the job, but that would be a bit of a cop-out, and not good in the long-run.

chipKIT Pi

ckPI_sm.pngWhile most development boards are stand alone products, the chipKIT Pi isn't. This board is designed specifically to piggyback on a Raspberry Pi. Not only can you communicate between the Raspberry Pi and the PIC32MX250 chip on this board, but you can also directly program the chip from the Raspberry. There is even a specific distribution of Linux with chipKIT's MPIDE pre-installed and configured to get you going.

CHIPINO

chipINO_sm.pngThe CHIPINO is pretty much unique in the Arduino-style boards arena in that it doesn't claim to be an Arduino of any form.

Yes, it uses the Uno's footprint, but that's about as far as it goes.

The chip that comes as default on the board is a PIC16F886, an 8-bit PIC chip. With limited resources and speed these chips are seldom seen in development boards, as the propensity is towards bigger, faster, stronger chips.

Fubarino Mini

FubarinoMini_sm.pngLike it's big brother, the Fubarino SD, the Mini is small board with a PIC32 on it arranged in a DIP footprint. The smaller size of this board makes it even more suited for breadboarding and embedding in your own designs. Especially if you don't need the SD card or raw power of the Fubarino SD.

The PIC32MX250 chip on it has nice peripheral remapping facilities on it, so most of the IO pins special functionalities can be moved around to other pins to suit you.

You get the same USB connection as the SD version, so the same device emulation can be performed.

Due

Due_sm.pngThe Arduino Due is the big boy of the Arduino world. Sporting an 84MHz ARM chip (SAM3X) with 512KB of Flash, and 96KB of RAM it is considerably more powerful than the other Arduino boards.

The header layout is the same as the Mega series of boards, but the arrangement of pins is very different to any of the smaller boards. Any shields designed for the Uno that use SPI or I²C, although they will physically fit, won't work without dangling extra wires around the place.

Fubarino SD

FubarinoSD_sm.pngI think the Fubarino SD is one of the handiest boards to have lying around. It's versatile, powerful, and yet really quite small.

The 56-pin DIP footprint can be plugged direct into a breadboard, soldered onto your own PCB or stripboard, connected to headers for plugging in your own shield designs, whatever. The top-end PIC32 chip has more than enough resources to do most jobs, and the on-board SD card slot is fantastic if you need more data storage.

Stellarpad

Stellarpad_sm.pngAnother wannabe board in a line of wannabe boards from Texas Instruments. Heavily subsidised specifically to undercut everyone else, this board is the ultimate in bang-for-buck. However, that's all it has going for it.

chipKIT DP32

DP32_sm.pngThe DP32 is the first board I have found that is specifically designed to be put in something. Shaped to fit in the Hammond 1591XXSSBK project boxes, this board boasts a PIC32 microcontroller, handy through-hole prototyping area, and a number of on-board extras. Instead of the normal barrel jack for external power there is proper screw terminals, so a much more permanant connection can be made. The USB port directly connects to the PIC32, so with the right software it can be seen as any device you like, and can even be used as a USB host through USB On-The-Go.