Friday, 4 April 2014

A Fubarino SD and Retro BSD capable pcb design

I really like my home brew Fubarino SDR, I call it that with the R as it's my layout with a few modifications. I started playing around with the RPi and it was just too slow and was seriously lacking IO. I just couldn't cram all I needed onto a pcb adapter for it. So rather than give up entirely I decided I'd make my own or rather a generic multipurpose microcontroller board.

I had a lot of PIC processors most of which are either usb or Ethernet and they're 8 bit, not really what I was after. I wanted something like an Arduino but I could use for other things such a real operating system. Further research came up with the Fubarino, someone had already beat me to it. But the board was lacking a few things such as on board power regulation and it couldn't run an OS. The original Fubarino, of which a few contained the PIC32MX795F512 which did have enough RAM amongst other things, was able to run an old version of UNIX called RetroBSD. Now we're cooking, a real OS on an 80MHz microcontroller with 96Kb of RAM for programs to run in and SD Card IO with drivers for gpio, analog, spi and i2c. This is what I'm after, it can run as a supercharged Arduino clone using the MPIDE software from ChipKit (Arduino IDE clone as well but for PIC32's) and it can run BSD.

The picture of the layout is below in case you're interested and I'll be etching 4 of these boards. I'll also redo the layout for the 100pin version of the same chip and add the Ethernet PHY as well, making this one tidy little power house. It was actually a shame that Microchip hadn't and still hasn't brought out the 32MZ series which has 2Mb flash and 512Kb Ram, now that would be an awesome board with 200MHz clock. These series of Microcontrollers can toggle the io at the clock rate, so, 200Mbps SPI anyone?!

I'll update this post some more with the etched boards when they're done with a picture of the acetate before and after application with my trusty clothes iron. Yes, that is the only thing I use an iron for, sod ironing shirts that's what body heat is for :)
Fubarino SDR V1.1 64pin TQFP

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