USB clarification, Shields coming soon, Stretch goal update
Once again: Thank you all so much, not only are we so very excited to have such a high level of support for the Digispark - but we love how a community is already beginning to form around ideas, questions, and electronics dreams!
I wanted to answer a common question and clarify the way the USB communications work on the Digispark. The Digispark has 6 i/o pins and two of those are connected to the USB port - what does this mean? If you are using USB to program your Digispark, but your program doesn't use it for communication, then you can use all 6 i/o pins for your circuit. The bootloader puts the Digispark in programming mode to receive code and then back in program mode to run the code, allowing the pins to be used for USB and your project.
If your program does use USB for communication - such as sending serial data to and from the computer, then those two pins will be needed for that and only 4 other pins are available for other functions of your project.
We apologize if this wasn't clear from the outset - while some might be slightly disappointed by that we imagine that most projects will work just as planned and if you need USB communication and more than 4 pins you have a huge variety of options with the on-board SPI and I2C. We'll be posting some very simple tutorials on how to add 8, 16, and potentially 100s of i/o pins using simple and super cheap I2C or SPI expander chips, as well as many other trciks you can use to maximize your pin usage. We, as always, welcome your feedback on this, and hope you'll stick with Digispark, we think you'll still really love it!
We are very excited about the launch of the Digispark website next week - we'll quickly be adding a whole host of community features, tutorials, voting on features, and shields! With the launch of website we'll start accepting pledge increases to add sheilds to your order, the website will present all the options, and guide you as to the amount to increase your pledge to reserve the shields you want.
We'll also have some polls on making some completed shields, already populated with components, including a neat little RGB led shield - and the costs for those. These polls will be to gauge interest but we'll only be able to make populated shields if we pass the $20k goal outlined below - so help spread the word!
Made in the USA?
Because of the amounts added to pledges for international shipping and extras like shields, the actual pledge amount is not a good indicator of the number of Digisparks that will be produced, which is what determines whether we can afford to produce them in the USA or not. So we'd like to propose that our stretch goal use the following formula -
The sum of (The cost of each reward) X (The number of backers getting each reward).
If this passes $15k we will commit to make the Digispark entirely in the USA! In fact if this number passes $20k we'll likely assemble them ourselves and have the PCBs fabricated right near us in Oregon, ensuring every step of the process is held to the highest quality and fastest turn around possible!
We'll keep updating the main description with our progress towards this goal, so you don't have to do the math!
Right now (Aug 11, 11:08AM PST) this number is at $9888
Free shields - we are still looking into offering extra shields for free as an additional stretch goal, I can say it will happen, but I can't say at what level of funding yet - more on this once we get the shields orders going!
Finally - help us meet these goals and help get the word out!
We won't claim to be great at marketing, we need your help! New backers are slowing down a bit, help us keep the momentum, meet the stretch goals, and force us to come up with more ways to make the Digispark more awesome (like maybe a Digispark Pro and more shields)!
Also consider who you might be able to get some Digisparks for, they will be delivered well in time for Christmas, so consider getting some for yourself and some as a gift (what better excuse to get a few more for yourself!).
So please help us get the word out:
- Tweet about us: Click here for a sample tweet
- Follow us on twitter
- Like the project page on Facebook (press the like button under the project video)
- Share our project on Reddit, Pintrest, your favorite electronics forums, etc.
- Tell your friends! Tell your favorite blogs!
Again, thank you all! And as always, we welcome your feedback!