Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Meet the Bridge Board

In AVR, Hardware on Oct 27, 2010 at 00:01

As mentioned not so long ago on this weblog, I’ve been doodling with some ideas to simplify using a JeeNode alongside a solderless breadboard. So – tada! – here’s the new Bridge Board:

Dsc 2167

As the name says, it acts as a bridge between a JeeNode (also USB or SMD variants) and a breadboard. All the I/O and power pins in one row, labeled for easy reference (including Arduino pin numbers), with two pins sticking into the power rail for ground and +3.3V. The JeeNode goes underneath, component-side up, with the radio on the right-hand side.

Two LEDs and a push button are also brought out, available for general-purpose use.

In the most basic form, the Bridge Board has just 4 6-pin male haders to push into the JeeNode ports, and 29 (+ 2 power-rail) pins to push into a medium or large size breadboard.

The generality of this setup increases if you hook up more headers between the JeeNode and the Bridge Board. With the SPI/ISP connector included, you get the ability to hook it up to an Ether Card, for example:

Dsc 2165

The reason this works, is that the 20 pins on the right are compatible with a Carrier Board – with the “BTN” and “LED2” pins extra. Note that with an Ether Card hooked up, all four ports (i.e. 8 DIO/AIO pins) are still fully available for your own use.

If you connect the 8-pin PSIX header on a JeeNode v5 (or both PSI and SPI/ISP on the other variants), plus a 0.1 µF capacitor, then the FTDI header on the left side can be used. This is paricularly useful for the JeeSMD, which doesn’t have an FTDI connector of its own.

Some I/O signals are brought out on more than 1 pin on the breadboard: DIO2/AIO2 and DIO3/AIO3. This maintains compatibility with the Carrier Board and also means that Port 2 is available on the breadboard in the standard port header layout: PWR, DIO, GND, +3V, AIO, IRQ if you want to insert any of the Jee Plugs.

Another way to combine plugs with the breadboard is to use stacking headers, so that the 4 ports can be re-used on the top of the Bridge Board. See the setup I plugged into the lower left:

Dsc 2166

Evidently, I had to make sure that all the I/O pins work properly, so I pre-loaded the SMDdemo.pde sketch onto a JeeNode and hooked up lots of LEDs:

Dsc 2161

Yeay – it works!

(note how the push-button has been turned into a reset button – this requires either the SPI/ISP or the PSIX headers to be hooked up)

I expect this new setup to be very convenient for all the endless experimentation going on here at Jee Labs. I’ll be updating the documentation site and shop shortly to reflect this addition to the Jee product line-up. I’ll also be adding 6- and 8-pin stacking header 10-packs.

Long live the breadboard!

  1. I can’t believe the pace in which you deliver wonders to the world. If only all engineering was so seemingly smooth as yours!

    Awsome. /E

    • Thanks :) – but, eh… I’ve had my share of Mr. Murphy encounters, with no doubt more to come!

  2. Great engineering! (BTW, 404 on product link)

  3. Nah… just not quite ready, I only have a few boards in this first batch, will be sending off a new order soon, now that the design successfully sneaked past that Murphy guy…

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