Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

The official pyboard running MicroPython.
This is the reference design and main target board for MicroPython.
You can buy one at the store.
Target audience: Users with a pyboard.
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Roberthh
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by Roberthh » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:38 am

USB connection on pin headers, for easier and more reliable mechanical integration.

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kfricke
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by kfricke » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:42 am

I am not capable of designing board layouts, maybe someone is keen on providing (and open-source) board designs for a ESP-WROOM-02 based board with a full or half pyboard foorprint?
The ESP-WROOM-02 is similar to the AI-Thinker ESP-Modules and seems to be Esspressif's own most recent incarnation of ESP8266 modules. It can be purchased for quite low price tag (~4 €), has it's own RF shield and 16MByte flash module.

I could think of some bare-metal features around this module like:
  • All GPIOs exposed to the "full pyboard" footprint, important ones to a half one
  • Jumper or button for the entering UART mode for flashing the ESP
  • Jumper to connect GPIO16 to RST to enable deepsleep wakeups
  • Jumper and voltage divider (high ohm resistors + cap) to connect VIN to the ADC (TOUT pin)
  • Power supply only micro-USB port with an efficient 3v3 step-down converter (NO USB-serial chip)
  • Serial port accessible by attching the USB-TTL, which nearly every ESP developer does own, to the exposed pins
The above should even be possible on a small board which can be hand-soldered using through-whole components instead of SMD parts (okay, all but the micro-USB port, make it an JST connector than). Every hardware hobbyist i know does own a USB-serial adapter and can program the toy by hand, given he has a stable 3v3 300mA power supply (like this puppet has onboard).

The further demands for the missing features of such a board could be answered by more half-pyboard-footprint addons (shield/hats/<you-name-it>) like:
  • A real USB-TTL adapter board
  • A fully fledged LiPo charger board
Such addon boards might on the one hand open a better utility board economy than available at present and will also tackle issues with more restricted ports to MCUs with no on-chip DFU and the like.
Why stuff all these features onto the main board when the final embedded device on the field does not sue it anymore? We have the fantastic pyboard as THE development board already!

Things like battery connector and LiPo charging circuitry is a waste on the ESP imho anyways, because of it's quite high power constraints. Only a few months on battery does not provide enough low-power capabilities imho. A step down converter with a wide input voltage range (4-12v) is more interesting.

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deshipu
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by deshipu » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:45 am

kfricke wrote:I am not capable of designing board layouts, maybe someone is keen on providing (and open-source) board designs for a ESP-WROOM-02 based board with a full or half pyboard foorprint?
I can help you with that, perhaps you could start a separate thread where we could discuss how exactly such a board would look like?

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kfricke
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by kfricke » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:46 am

r
deshipu wrote:
kfricke wrote:I am not capable of designing board layouts, maybe someone is keen on providing (and open-source) board designs for a ESP-WROOM-02 based board with a full or half pyboard foorprint?
I can help you with that, perhaps you could start a separate thread where we could discuss how exactly such a board would look like?
Roger, willdo (and link here)!

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kfricke
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by kfricke » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:11 pm


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kamikaze
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by kamikaze » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:49 am

Damien, is there any news about your plans?

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kamikaze
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by kamikaze » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:38 pm

This processor looks interesting: STM32F469/479

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kfricke
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by kfricke » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:02 pm

I do want a pony! :twisted:

nickovs
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by nickovs » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:46 pm

I'd like to add my support for a LiPo battery charger. Many of the projects I have built myself or seen from others have been 'stand-alone' devices which need to be battery powered. A built in charger circuit so that all you need is to plug the battery in makes doing this very simple.

As many other people have already said, the other thing it would great to see is on-board WiFi and/or Bluetooth. Again, in the vein of being able to build stand-alone gadgets, having wireless on board saves extra components and added complexity.

willie
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Re: Ideas for next evolution of pyboard

Post by willie » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:20 pm

ESP32 makes ESP8266 look unattractive at this point. Whatever chip is used, there should be a BBU for the real time clock.

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