Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Even more plugs

In Hardware on Sep 12, 2009 at 00:01

This plug thing is starting to become addictive…

I’ve been working on another set of plugs, to extend the interfaces further. Here’s a preview of a few new ones, all using I2C and daisy-chainable:

Picture 1.png

From left to right:

  • UART Plug – a serial port with 64-byte RX/TX buffers and RTS/CTS lines
  • Analog Plug – 8 analog inputs with 12 bit resolution
  • LCD Plug – a piggyback board for LCD displays with a standard 16-pin header

Most of these plugs will have jumpers to allow connecting more than one of them to the same port (as I2C bus). So within the limits of power consumption, I2C bus lengths / loading, and processing bandwidth, this should allow for quite a bit of extensibility.

  1. Awesome. You are becoming my hero. I can’t wait to get all the parts to build some jee nodes…

  2. I was just playing with the LCD so this plug would be very useful.

    I wonder if the pinout of your plugs is the same as on the BlinkM RGB led http://thingm.com/products/blinkm ?

    Both of them open options for the nodes for twa-way communication. So not only to gather data but also to output information. For example to create mood light based on home status.

    • The PWR/I2C header has the same pinout as the BlinkM, but note that PWR is usually +5V or more (the voltage regulator input), while the SCL and SDA signals need to use +3.3V levels to match the ATmega.

      Ah, yes, a mood light (orb?) which reacts to some external status would be really neat. Good example of how wireless can make it easier to spread and use status info all around the house. Now if only we could harvest enough energy somehow to make JeeNodes and everything attached to them run on thin air!

  3. I’m very curious which IC’s you used for the plugs ? Can you tell me ?

  4. Sure – UART: SC16IS740, Analog: ADS7828, LCD: MCP23008. They do all the hard work – I just hook ‘em up :)

  5. I like the UART :-) What is your favourite supplier for these more exotic parts: Mouser , Farnell or DigiKey ? I just ordered the MCP23016 through : http://www.smdshop.nl/product_info.php?cPath=27_33&products_id=73&osCsid=f4786ce54e923bc83dadf7bf321e4bb8

    • I tend to use Farnell and DigiKey for most components. Farnell is quicker here, DigiKey has more. For me it’s really all about searching and datasheets.

      Thanks for the NL link – didn’t know about that one!

  6. I also like these guys, maybe you already know them (or not ): http://www.dickbest.nl/webshop/index.php

    But a really cheap one is ordering through samenkopen.net / Niels Woelders: http://www.samenkopen.net/action_products/411553 Take a look at his PCB service: http://www.makepcb.com

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