Author Topic: Kickstarter: DeDe  (Read 613 times)

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Offline jimdeane

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Kickstarter: DeDe
« on: July 10, 2018, 10:24:05 pm »
This looks kind of neat.  Blinkenlights and test point access. Could be fun.

Thoughts?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ellutions/dede-debug-and-development-shield-for-arduinos-and?ref=discovery&term=arduino+dede
 
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Kickstarter: DeDe
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 10:59:55 am »
Eeeeeehhh...

It looks nice, but also seems like a total gimmick. They say you can connect your test equipment, which you can just do in the first place without going through this thing. Use a logic probe, that does exactly the same thing as this whole brick. ::) Also "see pulses as short as 1ms", yeah...I doubt it with the naked eye.
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Offline Dubbie

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Re: Kickstarter: DeDe
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 11:57:35 am »
They might have a buffer with a RC delay to extend short pulses. - could be handy if you don't have any test equipment.

That said, this looks pretty useless for any realistic development scenario I can imagine.
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Kickstarter: DeDe
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 03:48:00 pm »
Extending short pulses is pretty useless as most pusles that short are data or something else that needs to be accurately timed. If you extend it, you may mask additional pulses and  make it impossible to check timing.
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*
Voltamort strikes again!
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Offline jimdeane

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Re: Kickstarter: DeDe
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 11:18:34 pm »
I like blinkenlights, but I was also thinking of this as a "what are your IO ports doing" tool for high school electronics and robotics.
 

Offline BBtheEE

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Re: Kickstarter: DeDe
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 03:45:44 am »
Hi guys!  The creator here (full disclosure  :) )

Jim,
  I like blinkenlights too!  I grew up around mainframes with rows and rows of them on the control panel, so DeDe is a bit of a throwback to those days.  :D  The LEDs are driven directly from the buffers without any RC filtering.

The original purpose was for it to be a debugging tool, but after adding the prototyping area and rethinking it, I think it a great educational tool for beginners too.  One can learn a lot of programming when you couple 20 pairs of LEDs and a serial port (the "no additional components required" case), and even more just by adding some pushbuttons, sensors, servos, etc. as people learn more.

Cyber,
  I agree that you can don't have to have something like DeDe to attach test equipment, but it does make it easier.  I used a logic probe for Arduino projects too before I built this (and still do on other boards), but you have to find a place to clip the power leads to (and sometimes have to solder a pin or wire to the PCB to do so), and trying to probe a GPIO while interacting with the project (like pushing buttons on it, for example) isn't always easy.  At least with DeDe, it's like having 21 logic probes always attached and it's easy to get an idea what's happening (or not happening) at a glance.

  I stand by the 1mS pulse visibility.  It was a somewhat arbitrary goal, but I figured someone would ask.  Ironically, it's easier to see the 1mS pulses with my eyes than it was to capture on video (think Nyquist rate).  I had to take several seconds of video to get a snippet where the camera captured it.  It's easier to see on the red LEDs thank the green, partially because the red LEDs are driven a little harder than the green, and I think the contrast between the diffused lens and the ON state is better for red than it is for green.

  You're definitely not going to decode any kind of serial comms with the LEDs, but at least you can see if there's activity or not.  If you're sketch is supposed to read from an RTC module, and you don't see the I2C/SPI lines toggling, then you know something's wrong just by glancing at the LEDs.

  I use a divide and conquer approach when debugging, and DeDe helps with that.  If I have a sketch that reads a pushbutton and take an action based on it, for a simplified example, and it's not working, I can see if the LED for that pushbutton toggles when I press the button.  If it doesn't, I should probably look at the button.  If it does, then I need to look at the code.  Similarly for an output, I can see if the output is turning on or not...if it is, then I need to look at whatever piece of hardware I'm trying to drive.  If the LED isn't toggling (or maybe it's the wrong one), then I need to look at the code.

  Anyhay, thanks for at least checking it out!

  Cheers!!
 
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