I created the DUO Light as a low cost platform for hobbyists to create fun and useful software. The DUO Light is ideal for anyone who wants a low power computer with video output and keyboard input.
DUO Light Hardware
The DUO Light is a hybrid of the Arduino UNO and the Raspberry Pi, but costs less than each. At the heart of the DUO Light is the ATMega328, the same microcontroller as in the Arduino UNO. This chip connects to a variety of peripheral devices, including a composite video monitor and SD card (in a similar fashion to the Raspberry Pi), PS/2 keyboard, and general purpose I/O ports. The second chip onboard is a 64 KB serial SRAM, which also connects to the ATMega328.
DUO Light Software
Each DUO Light is preinstalled with an interpreter for DUO Light bytecode (DLBC), a proprietary binary language. DLBC programs are loaded from files on the SD card and executed in SRAM. DLBC features over 90 opcodes and a robust argument system.
You can write DLBC programs using either DUO Light pseudo C or assembly. DUO Light pseudo C is a C-like language which includes many features of C and some additional features.
Pseudo C programs I have written include:
- Mandelbrot set viewer
- Expression calculator
- Hex editor
- Text editor
- Assembler (which runs on the DUO Light!)
- Port manipulator
The DUO Light emulator runs on Windows computers and Macs. Using the emulator helps avoid wear and tear on SD components.
The assemblers, compiler, example pseudo C programs, and emulator are available on my website.
If you don't want to make DLBC programs, you can use the ICSP headers on the DUO Light to install your own firmware. You must have an AVR programmer to do this. The default DUO Light firmware is open source, so you many borrow the functions I wrote for interfacing with peripheral devices.
Items Necessary to Use the DUO Light
If you purchase the populated DUO Light board, you will need the following components to operate the computer:
- NTSC composite video monitor (or PAL monitor with NTSC converter)
- Composite video cable
- PS/2 keyboard
- 5 volt DC power supply
- FAT16 formatted low capacity SD card (2 GB maximum)
Several of the items above are included in the reward tiers of this Kickstarter.
None of the reward tiers include headers for GPIO. If you want to use the GPIO, you can solder wires to the DUO Light board, or solder your own headers and plug the wires in.
The DUO Light has already been fully designed and is ready for production. I need a large number of preorders to keep the price of components low. Your funding will go directly toward the parts shipped in each computer.
I hope to form an active DUO Light subreddit where people can share software and discuss the computer.
Thank you for considering the DUO Light!
DUO Light website: http://www.ostracodfiles.com/light/menu.html
DUO Light subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/duolight/
Composer of song in the video: http://www.inversephase.com
My email address: esperantanaso at gmail
Risks and challenges
The stock of parts from electronics suppliers can fluctuate unpredictably. If I cannot obtain enough parts, some DUO Light orders may be delayed. I will notify backers if this occurs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)