Project:USBGroup/Equipment

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Equipment we have.

All the stuff we have for the USB group is kept in a clear plastic box marked 'USB Workshop/Group' on the storage racks in 23.

USB Complete Cover.jpg
Jan Axelson - USB Complete (2nd Edition) - 'Everything You Need to Develop Custom USB Peripherals'. The book on USB. This is an old version but it covers USB 2.0. We could do with a more up to date copy.
Vinculo.jpg
FTDI Vinculo Development Environments plus PSUs, cables, 64pin LQFP Vinculum IIs, DB9-USBs, UM232Rs etc. Kindly donated by FTDI.

Getting Started - There's a CD that comes with the Vinculo - 'USB Made Easy'.

PicKit3Exp.jpg
Microchip PICKit 3 Debug Express plus 9x 40pin DIP PIC18F4550 Kindly donated by Microchip. Please use the PIC18F4550 chips in DIL Sockets for your projects.

Getting Started - There's a CD included with the PICKit 3 containing tutorials.

Equipment we want.

Lpcxpresso.jpg
LPCXpresso development Platform.
AT90USBKEY.jpg
Atmel AT90USBKEY development Platform.
LQFPtoDIP.jpg
Atmel 64 pin LQFP-to-DIP PCB We could do with some of these to mount the Vinculum IIs so we can breadboard with them.

These look nice, and they are cheap: http://www.embeddedadventures.com/shopdetails/pid/93

Reviews of USB stuff.

Will appear here.

Choosing a USB solution for your project.

Here are the important criteria to consider when deciding which solution to choose for your project. Some are more obvious than others. Please add to this list.

General.

  • Do you already have the skills for (or can you transfer existing skills to) this solution?
  • How well does the product fit the specification of your project?

The Chip.

  • Can you get free/cheap samples?
  • Are they available in small quantities?
  • Are they available in a variety of physical packages (your project may require a small QFN for production but a DIL for breadboarding).
  • Is there a discount for quantity?
  • Does it have an MCU to drive the rest of your project or is it just for the USB side?
  • Are there royalty free drivers?

The Development Environment.

  • Do you have to make your own? Is there one available off the shelf?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Is it mature?
  • Is there a large existing codebase?
  • Can you learn how to use it from out-of-the box working examples then adapt those to your needs?
  • How well is it supported by online forums, IRC channels?