05 February 2014

Teensy ++2.0

I had purchased a total of four Leo Bodnar's BU-0836X Input Boards and one Phidget LED 64 Advanced Output Board.

Last two weeks of wiring up my pit, and I could see that I am going to run out of available Input/Output ports on all my boards put together. 

Considering each BU0836X provides me with 32 Digital Inputs + 8 Analog Inputs and the Phidget board provided me with 64 Digital Outputs, that is a LOT of I/O ports. But, I have managed to most of them. 

It's a bad design, if I consume all available ports. It's good maintenance practice, to leave a few ports (5-10%) free on each board, for future expansion of the pit, to cater for ports going bad, to cater for later design changes in the pit, and to cater for any unforeseen eventuality with the pit. 

Unfortunately, Leo Bodnar's site has run out of BU0836X and replenishment is likely to take time. Lead time to order the Phidget board from USA is a couple of months for me, and I'm not prepared to wait that long to finish the pit.

Also, both the aforementioned alternatives were (relatively speaking) expensive options. I had been looking for slightly inexpensive options also. 

Discussion on the hornetpit forums, led me to investigate and evaluate the Teensy ++2.00 boards. These boards primarily work in Arduino environment but, using a 'Generic HID' tool, these boards can be configured for Input AND also Output. At about 2,500 Indian Rupees, they are very affordable also. Each board provides 46 Digital I/O pins, 8 Analog pins and 6 PWM pins. Isn't that awesome!!!

A little googling and I found that two online Indian stores were able to supply these boards (Rhydolabz and Fab to Fab). Both of them and one each of these boards in stock. I ordered at both the sites. Both the boards arrived today.

I'm really surprised how "small" they are. I mean, compared to Leo's boards or the Phidgets, these things are tiny. The form factor is smaller than a credit card. Soldering the pins is going to be a job in itself.

Now, off to learn how to program these boards with Generic HID. 

Will post how it pans out.

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