My hardware interface

General discussion and support for the Peaberry SDR V2.

My hardware interface

Postby sternbal » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:19 pm

I really like my Peaberry, but sometimes I miss the feel of knobs and buttons, so I made my own. Don't know if its original or not, but I just like making things.

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Re: My hardware interface

Postby AE9RB » Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:45 pm

Flex sells a big ol' USB knob... http://www.flexradio.com/amateur-products/flexcontrol/
Of course, buying that isn't as fun as building something yourself. If you want to share the design with others, getting PCBs to interested parties without spending money is easily solved by posting it at OSH Park... https://oshpark.com/shared_projects
73 David AE9RB
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Re: My hardware interface

Postby TerryFrench » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:53 am

yes that looks cool :-)
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Re: My hardware interface

Postby sternbal » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:58 am

Thanks. The Flex knob look professional, but I think I like mine better. However, I'm probably biased. Mine uses hamlib so it is compatible with a lot of software and radios. Also, twice as many knobs and two more buttons. I'll look into putting my design up somewhere, after I fix a few things. All first designs have a jumper wire, right? The microcontroller code could use a bit of work, right now it is functional, but not pretty.
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Re: My hardware interface

Postby TerryFrench » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:27 am

Once the PCB is "ready", go for it an publish it (or get it built and sell it), with the parts numbers to order.
If cheap enough, ask around how many would buy a kit and would be ready to fund you upfront if you "kit" it. i.e. you by in bulk-er from mouser/digikey... and have a good-priced kit. Indigogo, kickstarter... are all possibilities, but I think they take 20% off the top, something like that.
i.e. a system where you would put the price of the kit (pcb plus all parts) cheap and with 5 or better 10 buyers, you would consider the fundraising successful.

Then worry about the code :-) i.e. put it out and ask others to contribute to improve it :-)

Other option: tell me how much you will charge for the PCB, and if reasonable I will send you the money by paypal or amazon payments upfront. Do that with a few folks and reach the magical "10+" quantities for the parts and PCB ordering :-)

Thanks!
Thierry
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Re: My hardware interface

Postby VE3LC » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:52 am

I already have the Flex USB Knob interface and it works well with my Flex 1500.

Is there any software available to make it work with the Peaberry V2?

Norm, VE3LC
Ottawa..
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Re: My hardware interface

Postby sternbal » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:19 pm

I'm not sure I've got the bandwidth right now to put together a kit, but I have some ideas for Rev 2, like matching up the mounting holes with the V2 so they could be stacked. I'd also think about switching the microcontroller. I'm using a PIC24 so not everybody would have access to a programmer. It would be nice to have an integrated way to upload new code to the device for people to experiment with.
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Re: My hardware interface

Postby TerryFrench » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:01 am

Let me know whenever you have something to share. I can likely help too.
Recently, I've been playing with a Teensy http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/index.html version 3.1 Cost: $19.x
There's a low cost version to come very soon, Teensy-LC that should be around $11.x
What I like about these microcontrollers:
- micro-usb built-in, so easy to flash/program.
- uses the Arduino IDE (I'm not a super fan, but for hobby-level, that's ok).
- compatible with many libraries, but there are some growing pains. (getting the fancy audio library to work with a servo library was interesting, but the builder of the teensy cards was super helpful and responsive on the forums).
- cheaper than most Arduino stuff
- did I mention these are insanely powerful compared to most Arduino? 32 bits ARM cpu (1 core), tons of IO pins... lots of program space, RAM...
- tiny. I mean really smaller than 2 quarters set one next to the other.
- tons of pins: 34 pins + a bunch of usual stuff (V, GND...)
- RTC chip included. A coin cell battery + a crystal are needed to get the RTC clock to work without main power. (I bought an insane number of crystals, so if you want any, that would cost you a stamp and I'd send it ;-)).
- 3V but the pins are compatible with 5V logic circuits. (avoids the pain of level shifters for Arduino that are mostly stuck in 5V land).
On the "negative" category: these are tiny and therefore not compatible with the Arduino shields. (but some Teensy-shields exist, including one to be able to plug regular arduino shields on it.

Anyway, I'm super happy about these, and don't plan to touch my old Arduino Unos for a while. So while I can help with some coding, where my skills lack the most is around the mechanical design. i.e. I've never designed nor built a PCB, and any attempt I ever made at putting project in a hobby case and having them look good has been met with some (functional) but very ugly results.
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Re: My hardware interface

Postby sternbal » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:01 pm

I've been looking at the Teensy (Teensies?) and they seem interesting. The prices is kinda high and they're big (compared to what I normally use) but when you factor in the ability to do programming, power and communication all over the same usb interface those differences become a lot smaller. I'm probably going to give one a shot in one of my next projects. I'll keep you informed.
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