Author Topic: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right  (Read 11699 times)

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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #100 on: September 26, 2018, 01:52:31 am »
Case in point, SiLabs for one could not get it right - I have reasons to believe that the CP2102N that I had to replace is secretly an LPC microcontroller in bubblewrap.

No, unless you're using LPC in a generic sense instead of referring to the Philips/NXP ARM product line. There's strong evidence to suggest that the CP2102N is a pre-programmed EFM8 which would make a lot more sense as they are both from Silicon Labs.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline pylo

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #101 on: October 01, 2018, 07:57:41 pm »
No, unless you're using LPC in a generic sense instead of referring to the Philips/NXP ARM product line. There's strong evidence to suggest that the CP2102N is a pre-programmed EFM8 which would make a lot more sense as they are both from Silicon Labs.

I was actually referring to the specific manufacturer devices, but you are probably right. My main point though was that even this "hardware" bridge is just a pre-programmed uC, and I wanted to show that developing something like that is not that trivial, as even a big silicon company like SiLabs wasn't able to get it right, even though their possibilities (both in budget and testing) are obviously way greater than of a lonely hacker's.

On a different note: It seems I didn't get into the Mailbag video, but I'll hope for the next one :) Either way funny to me that Dave tested only two gadgets in the current video. Probably because testing the USB scope took up most of the time budget.
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #102 on: October 12, 2018, 04:51:28 am »
Would you share the information how the deal with the enclosures turned out?
 

Offline pylo

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #103 on: October 12, 2018, 11:51:27 pm »
We managed to obtain a used mold and modified it for the muArt's enclosure. It cost me about 2.2k$ one-time, plus the cases are 0.6/piece at an MOQ of 1000. These are solely production costs. As for tec4data's engineering services, we'll work together on other projects (bartered).
 

Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #104 on: October 13, 2018, 04:29:38 am »
We managed to obtain a used mold and modified it for the muArt's enclosure. It cost me about 2.2k$ one-time, plus the cases are 0.6/piece at an MOQ of 1000. These are solely production costs. As for tec4data's engineering services, we'll work together on other projects (bartered).

Thank you.
 

Offline Jon.C

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #105 on: December 04, 2018, 06:55:38 am »
Hello @pylo

something new ?
 

Offline pylo

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #106 on: December 04, 2018, 08:57:13 pm »
Hello @pylo

something new ?

Hi,

There have been some delays for both the PCB- and one of the cable manufacturers. The other stuff have already arrived to me and I'm only waiting to receive these last two components, then I can ship. I am planning a project update this week to inform everybody about the current status.
 
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Offline Maxlor

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #107 on: January 12, 2019, 04:44:21 am »
I picked up my µArt at the post office (it actually arrived a few days ago, I just didn't get around to visiting the post office earlier) and gave it a quick test run now. I brought up the serial console of one of my Raspberry Pi's that was sitting on my desk anyway for an experiment.

Well, I'm happy that the µArt comes with reverse polarity protection etc., because I misremembered the Raspi's pinout and promptly connected µArt GND to the Raspi's 5V pin. Whoops. The clever PWR led wiring made it immediately clear that something was wrong though, and as expected both the Raspi and the µArt are unharmed.

As far as actual usage is concerned, it's plug'n'play, at least on Linux. But even on other OSes, if you bought the µArt, chances are you installed the FTDI drivers already and it'll just work as well. Connecting the GPI pin to a LED was clever, since that works without any software magic, giving you an additional indicator for some random output pin on the DUT. What I'd like to have seen is an additional LED for the CTS pin (maybe inverted).

The included breakout cable is labelled with heatshrink tubing which is nice; I particularly like that the directional pins have arrows on them indicating the data direction. This removes any ambiguity about whether "TXD" means the host's TXD, or the device's. There's a second jumper cable included, although I'm not sure what the point is there. It's a male/female one, which means it might serve as an extension for the breakout cable, *shrug*. A male/male cable would have made more sense to me, for use when the DUT has female pin sockets instead of pins, like, say, and Arduino.

The USB cable is nice but overkill. It comes with extra wide power wires, metal grips and even two velcro cable ties. A cheaper, more simple cable would have worked just as well for this application (and maybe better if the thinner cable is more flexible). But I guess pylo wanted to create a high quality product (and he did!), so including a high quality cable was a matter of pride.

I can see why pylo is very happy with the case, it turned out very well. But... is there a way to open it without damaging it? As far as I can tell, the tiny thing is held together by 15 (!) rather strong plastic clips, and you need to press down on many of them at the same time to open it. Of course, there's no real need to open it, but still, I like to inspect my hardware.

And an idea just came to me: I have an old JTAGkey2, made my Amontec, but of course they went out of business in 2012, so you can no longer get them. I like the device because it's inexpensive but fast enough to be useful. I believe it uses the FT232H chip. So how about a µJTAG-Adapter with the same style and design philosophy as the µArt? I'd buy it!  ;)
 
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Offline pylo

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #108 on: January 12, 2019, 08:04:36 am »
Hi Maxlor, thanks for your review.

Of course there is a way to open up the case without damage, I promised that didn't I? ;)
Don't start tinkering with each of the tiny plastic clips, instead all you need is a slotted screwdriver. It is kind of hard to see because of the transparency of the enclosure, but above each triplet of clips, there is a horizontal slot (see attached picture). These were made so that the case can be opened. Insert the screwdriver into one of these slots, then twist it slightly just enough to pry the three fingers below it loose. Then repeat carefully for the other 4 slots and the case is open.

EDIT: The purpose of the second jumper cable is to connect the device to female headers. It is not meant to serve as an extension to the squid cable (though it can surely work like that too if that's what you need), you'd use use it in place of the squid cable instead.

Enjoy your µArt!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 08:29:55 am by pylo »
 

Offline Maxlor

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #109 on: January 12, 2019, 09:45:30 am »
Ah, gotcha. I managed to open the case without damaging it. Indeed, I hadn't noticed those slots before, they work as intended.

As for the M/F jumper cable - eh, I guess you're right, but you're not meeting the standard you set for yourself there, seeing how it doesn't have a 2x5 connector attached, nor labelling. As it is, I'll prefer to attach M/M jumpers to the F/F cable to gender change it, that way I can make use of the labels and keyed connector. But whatever, it's a small thing, don't worry about it.

All in all, congratulations on doing a successful campaign, on time (almost) and on budget (I assume), and shipping a quality product.  :-+ You made it look like you've done this before a 100 times. So is there anything you'd do differently with hindsight?
 

Offline pylo

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #110 on: January 12, 2019, 10:29:45 am »
As for the M/F jumper cable - eh, I guess you're right, but you're not meeting the standard you set for yourself there, seeing how it doesn't have a 2x5 connector attached, nor labelling. As it is, I'll prefer to attach M/M jumpers to the F/F cable to gender change it, that way I can make use of the labels and keyed connector. But whatever, it's a small thing, don't worry about it.

My thinking was that the kit is more flexible this way. By also putting a cable into the kit that doesn't have the 2x5 connector, you get the option of not occupying all the pins of the µArt, so some of the pins can go to a different direction on your bench, or with a cable of different length, etc. And once there's no 2x5 connector, I do not see the use of labels (as the other end of the cable can still be easily mixed up - in this case instead of looking at labels you just need to follow the colors through, which imho does the same job only better). But we are getting into very subjective territories here. But I can totally see your point too, that this might give the wrong impression. Do you think it would have been better to make the F/M-cable a labelled squid too? If the majority of people prefer it that way, I can make this change for the next batch.

All in all, congratulations on doing a successful campaign, on time (almost) and on budget (I assume), and shipping a quality product.  :-+ You made it look like you've done this before a 100 times. So is there anything you'd do differently with hindsight?

Most importantly, I realized I need to keep even more control over my suppliers, that one's for sure. I also need to improve my marketing (how to bring in users). I had a couple of sites report of the campaign while it was active, but I actually notified a lot more, so I wasn't very effective. As for communication towards backers, I think I did pretty well, but I might not be able to write this many updates for every campaign. I was lucky this time there was an abundance of topics, but I've got a couple of future projects in my head, and I'm not sure I'd be able to find this many things to write about for most of them (well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating). Btw, I'll mention these in the upcoming update too, but tbh it is a bit too early for me to draw final conclusions. I'll only really know for good once everything's settled down, until then the project is not quite over.
 

Offline Maxlor

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #111 on: January 12, 2019, 12:10:47 pm »
Yeah, I'd prefer a custom made squid cable, because I already have a large collection of regular jumper cables of different types and lengths. I don't really need any more. A squid cable has a clear benefit over those, it's easier to use. Then again, with a male pins, accidentally shorting things (not just the µArt pins, but things on the DUT too) becomes a concern, so maybe only connecting those wires you actually need really is preferable there...

As for reducing the update frequency during the campaign, I wouldn't mind. The number of updates was on the high side of what I'm willing to read.

Anyway, looking forward to reading about your next project!
 

Offline Jon.C

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #112 on: January 16, 2019, 10:38:32 am »
received today !!!

at the moment I see very good quality of manufacture

On Saturday I will try it more thoroughly
 

Online mrpackethead

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Re: Live on CrowdSupply! muArt - A UART converter finally done right
« Reply #113 on: January 16, 2019, 11:04:28 am »
Mine arrived yesterday..   Looks nicely built.
On a quest to find increasingly complicated ways to blink things
 


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