Our current efforts with the Propeller center on WSPR, QRSS and OPERA Beacons, but I suspect the Propeller will find it's way into many of our future Amateur Radio Projects.
Originally I thought the Propeller Micro Processor was just a toy, with it's "Propeller Beanie Hat Logo", it was just a hobbyist micro processor, similar to the Parallax Stamp Micro. Several years ago, I had dismissed the Stamp and Parallax as a less than serious project micro platform. In the last few weeks I have learned that my pre-judgement was WRONG. Now I know the Propeller is a Serious Hobbyist Project Micro Platform, that provides many capabilities that most other micros lack.
I first learned of the Propellers RF PLL Oscillators and other interesting functions via a post by Wardy, it has since been my center project focus.
Many of my previous projects used Microchip micros, or the relatively new Atmel micros. With them I found myself always writing control software to do multi-tasking. In some cases the multi-tasking control software was larger than the desired task. With the Propeller multi-tasking is as simple as one line of code to create a new COG (process). The Propeller contains eight Independent COG's for programs to run. Enough sales chat, back to my project.
Julian, Jeff and myself are working on independent implementation of the Human Interface, see Julian's, and Jeff's Blogs.
(paragraph corrected Mar 1, 2012)
My approach centers around the "Propeller Proto USB" board. The boards are available in groups of four (4) at about $100, or about $25 per board. Note, I could not buy, build or collect enough parts to Homebrew my own platform for $25.
The idea is build a generic project Human Interface with the following attributes or functions:
- Propeller USB Protoboard
- LCD Display
- Audio Feedback (1/2 inch speaker, for beeps and squeaks)
- Real Time Clock
- Chip or Daughter Board
- Two Rotary Encoders with Push Buttons
- Several Generic LEDs (controlled via I2C)
- Maybe a Precision System Clock
- Provide native I2C control
- And, preserve at least 16 lines of direct I/O from the processor for add-on project control
|Initial Stages of Control Integration|
Because the Human Interface will occupy the upper level of the "Propeller Proto USB" board area, add-on projects will be attached below via standard header pins. This combination provides a nice project stack, similar as seen in the Arduino world. Two full rows of holes are available on the right or the lower edge for location of project headers, I need to think more about that soon.
My current Beacon project could really use this type of interactive controls. I am excited and looking forward to more fun projects.
Join the fun, . . . get a Prop.