What is the Ping2550:
The Ping2550 is an open Hardware board to be used with the Arduino style IDE called Pinguino. The board is build around the MicroChip PIC18F25K50 processor. The 20Mhz crystal is used to generate a 48MHz internal clock speed. The board is designed for 5V from USB or from a 5V power source (or 3 batteries of 1.5v) when no USB is connected.
This board can be used to start your own hardware development. In easy to follow examples you can start making your own electronic devices. With some parts that are easy to order on the internet you can start your project.
Here are some examples:
- Home automation
- Robot arms
- Autonomous robots.
- Pet feeder.
- Model railroad controller.
In general, what you can measure can control a relay, light or servo.
This will make your project options endless.
Why should you choose for the Microchip processor over the Atmega boards?
The Microchip PIC18F has an onboard USB port. Where the Atmega chips need extra software space for the USB support this Microchip processor has a real integrated USB function. This can reduce your project cost because of:
- Fewer components necessary
- Smaller PCB size
- Cheaper development
- Easier to use.
Why make it Pinguino compatible?
The Pinguino IDE is in many ways similar to the Arduino IDE. Because of this similar way of building your programs it is easy to use next to your Arduino projects. The main difference is that it can be used with multiple OS systems. Windows , Linux and Mac OS. Programming is done in Arduino style or in C-code.
The program can be found at www.pinguino.cc
Why did I design the Ping2550 board:
After using some different development boards they all had some problems for my projects. I made a list what my board should look like:
- small size
- USB support
- Exchangeable chip
- Easy soldering
- Easy programmable
- Fits on a breadboard.
What did I design?
- board size 24mm x 50mm or in inches <1" x 2"
- used a PIC18F with integrated USB support.
- DIP shaped chip in socket that can be removed and soldered in your project pcb.
- All conventional components for easy soldering.
- Programmable with the Pinguino software.
The first boards (preproduction run) will be soldered by hand and inspected by myself to optimize the soldering process and make minor design changes. This step is in my opinion a crucial step to get a reliable product.
The Assembly of the boards will be done by hand to keep the initial cost down.
Status of the project:
1. The Prototype is tested.
2. PCB design is finished for prototyping.
If our goal is reached before the end date:
1. We will start an extra batch of production to full-fill the need for the boards.
2. The production of the "project board" will start. The project board is intended to stay in your project. You can free up the Ping2550 to start your new design. The project board is a minimum board that can be populated to the needs of your project. The project board has a smaller footprint on your PCB. This means your PCB can be smaller and costs are lower.
Picture of the board will be placed as soon as we reach the goal.
Why did I start this Kickstarter project?
As a hardware engineer i wanted to design a development board that was exactly as I would like it to be. This is the first step in that direction. When we start distributing these boards it will also boost the Pinguino community to grow. Furthermore I like to develop a cheaper version for educational purposes with children.
What is my ultimate Goal:
With the profits of this Kickstarter campaign I would like to design and produce a cheaper SMD version of the board to teach children on robotics and programming.
This board will be produced as open source hardware. It is based on schematics shared by the pinguino.cc website.
The pinguino software can be downloaded for free from the pinguino.cc website.
Risks and challenges
As in all productions there are some risks involved.
The biggest problem would be that the production can not start in time.
Every part we use are standardized parts. If they can not be obtained from 1 source there are multiple backup suppliers.
We have investigated the delays possible and have constructed our timeline from proven data. The chips will come from reliable international companies to be shore they are of good quality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)