Tag Archives: Arm Cortex M3

Pre-Order a DipCortex Now

For the past few weeks we have been overwhelmed with interest in our DipCortex range, to satisfy this we have searched for the best UK-based assembly company with the capabilities to produce our DipCortex modules in volume. We will be placing the order with our selected manufacturer next week.


DipCortex – Pre-Order Now

To ensure that people who are most interested get them first we are operating a pre-order system. Starting today you can secure a DipCortex for just £1. You are free to pre-order multiple boards if you like as well. You will receive an email with a link to our shop as soon as the boards are ready, letting you complete the purchase for your selected DipCortex. Estimated delivery time is currently 6 weeks.

The boards will go on sale priced at :

DipCortex M0 – £18 (£19 with header pins soldered)

DipCortex M3 – £22 (£23 with header pins soldered)

WiFi DipCortex – £35 (£36 with header pins soldered)

Your £1 will be deducted from this price. Shipping will be based upon your location and international shipping will be available. In the UK we charge the standard special delivery rate or uninsured first class post.

SplashTag – Jtag Debugger for ARM and DSP

We have just sent off another batch of gerber files this time it’s for a new product, SplashTag. With our up coming product range we thought it would be helpful of us to offer a Jtag for those of you wanting to write your own code for the board and not use our ethernet bootloader. SplashTag is a programmer & debugging device that will work with Coocox, TI’s Code Composer, Rowley CrossWorks and more. It’s based on the XDS100v2 so should also mean it’s compatible with TI’s free Code Composer license I blogged about previously. We deviated slightly from the standard XDS100v2 and broke out the spare Uart on the FT2232HL giving you a USB serial port, which always comes in handy when debugging.

The SplashTag uses a standard 20pin ARM jtag connector. To make it as flexible as possible we will also sell a couple of adapters allowing the SplashTag to connect to TI’s DSPs via their 14pin jtag connection or to an ARM based microprocessor using a 10way JTag header.

3D PCB Modeling

Being able to see in 3D what a PCB will look like before you commit to getting it made is invaluable, generally the tools to do that are quite expensive. Well that used was the case, now its easy and free! Using google Sketchup and the superb EagleUp you can export your PCB to a set of images and a .txt file. Once you have processed them you import the .txt file in to Sketchup and it draws the board and all its holes for you. Each component requires a Sketchup model but EagleUp has a beginner’s guide to help you get started. So with the Layout complete on our new Home/Garden automation controller we’ve made 3D model’s of the components before we commit to the PCB manufacture. Heres how it looks :

Were still not quite finished, so a few of the components are missing and the image cropping needs some work as were getting crescent shaped pads on some holes, but I think it looks fantastic!. With this model finding an enclosure or getting a custom one 3D printed from the many services that have appeared over the last few years will be easier too.

Update : Jerome Lamy, author of EagleUp has released an updated version that fixes the alignment issues I was having and removes the manual steps needed before.

Network Controller Update

We have been beavering away on our first product, the network controlled relay board ( need a catchy name really! ). Rob’s wasted no time and has a circuit and draft layout in progress. Here’s a simple block diagram of boards features ..

ARM Cortex M3 Powered network controller

For the Cortex M3 we have currently selected the LM3S6100, TI provide the StellarisWare Software library which includes a lot of example code and should make it easy enough to get it running. It also has a built-in Ethernet Mac and Phy to save on the external Phy costs.

The 4 output relays will have 2 modes, they will either be volt free contacts allowing you to attach 4 devices and switch power to them on/off. Alternatively they can be set to provide 12v AC out (from the input power supply) to reduce wiring for certain applications, like Robs garden lights.

An IRDA transceiver will let us experiment with turning the board in to a universal remote as well. This could be set up to fire off a pre-set series of commands to your home cinema whilst turning on the motor for your projector screen for example.

Which in turn is controllable via your iPhone/Android,  Exciting! If any one out there has any feature suggestions, let us know!

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