In this blog post, I am reviewing iCircuit Technologies’ iCP12 usbStick development board and their freely downloadable SmartDAQ PC software. These two can be bundled together to construct a very basic 6-channel (analog) PC data logger.
iCP12: PIC18F2550 USB board
The iCP12 usbStick is a PIC18F2550 based USB development board that comes preloaded with Microchip’s USB HID bootloader that allows users to upload an application firmware directly through a PC’s USB port without any external programmer. It provides access to its I/O pins through 0.1″ pitch headers. A slide switch is also provided on board to select the operation of the board in Bootloader or Normal mode. The iCP12 usbStick board is shipped with a preloaded data acquisition firmware (HEX file is also downloadable) that emulates as a virtual COM port to PC. Thereafter, the communication between the PC and usbStick is serial. The firmware also supports basic I/O control and data logging feature. They provide a PC application named SmartDAQ that is specially developed to communicate with the usbStick (data acquisition firmware must be loaded) and control its I/O pins, PWM outputs, and record ADC inputs. Read more
Most embedded projects require the same common stuff, basically I/O devices such as switches, LEDs, LCD display, buzzer, etc. Connecting these things on a breadboard for prototyping every new project is time consuming and boring. Recently, I have designed a general purpose I/O experimenter board that will not only reduce the prototyping time for a new project but also free up plenty of space on the breadboard.
I/O Experimenter Board
I remember when I first stepped into the world of embedded electronics, I started with doing some basic microcontroller circuits on a breadboard. Breadboard is a wonderful tool for prototyping and testing circuits. When the test of a circuit is successful, you can dissemble it and the board is ready for a new circuit. While working on breadboard was a great learning experience, it was little bit frustrating sometimes when you realized after dissembling a circuit that you have to put it together again or just a part of it for your new project. It happens very often because most embedded projects require some common stuff, basically I/O devices such as switches, LEDs, LCD display, buzzer, etc. Connecting these things on the breadboard for every new project is time consuming and boring. If you are a newbie and having the similar experience, here I suggest a general purpose I/O board that will not only reduce your prototyping time but also free up plenty of space on the breadboard for your project.
DIY I/O board for experimenters