I am very excited to bring to you another Kickstarter. The SAMD HCC Module!
What is it?
The SAMD HCC Module is an Arduino compatible, ready and easy to solder, surface mount programmable micro-controller module. Its purpose is to simplify the process of creating and building your own custom circuit boards without the need of worrying about soldering small fragile components, while still retaining all of the benefits of a tiny, lightweight, and low power micro-controller. Think of it as a way to bridge the gap between breadboard prototypes and full on "solder yourself" custom circuit boards. This is the simplified missing link. You use the module in combination with your custom circuit boards, to solder it directly to the board. No need for programming headers, power supplies, or FTDI chips.
With the seemingly endless supply of low cost custom circuit board manufacturers that will send you a PCB in a moments notice, there is no reason not to incorporate custom designs into your projects!
What is on board?
- MICROCHIP ATSAMD21G18A @ 48MHz, 256KB Flash, 32KB RAM
- Regulator @ 3.3V and 500mA Output
- Reset Button
- 6 x ADC (12-bit)
- Native USB (pre-loaded Bootloader)
- 16 x GPIO (i2c, SPI, UART, PWM)
- 32.768KHz Crystal
- RX/TX Indication LEDs
- Protected VCC INPUT (USB/BATTERY)
- Surface Mountable and Easy to Solder
- Small Footprint (22mm x 18mm)
What makes it special?
If you have been hanging around the electronics community at all, you will know there are a few modules available that are able to be programmed with the Arduino IDE and soldered directly on board, but there are a number of reasons why the HCC Module is special.
1) No Extra Components Needed! - Most surface mount solder on modules will need a few more components to get them working and talking to your computer, specifically a USB to UART device and in most cases a voltage regulator; Don't forget about the small discrete components that make them work! This will typically add 5-15 extra (Tiny!) components that will need to be put into your board design, and then later soldered on. The HCC Module has both a voltage regulator (at 3.3V) and native USB with a preloaded bootloader. This means all you need to do is either place a USB connector somewhere on your board, or solder the USB wires directly for programming.
2) Low Power! - Another problem with some of the "solder on" modules is they require a lot of power to get them running. Since the HCC Module is running a MICROCHIP SAMD21G18A ARM Core M0 with an external crystal, not only does it require a lot less power to start up and operate, it can also be put into low power mode to conserve energy. This is great for a lot of reasons; devices that go to sleep, sensors, anything that needs to go into standby and wait.
3) Lots of IO! - With the HCC Module, you will be getting a lot of Inputs and Outputs. 6 Analog Inputs(also can be used as Digital IO), 16 IO(included i2c, SPI, UART and PWM capable pins), pretty much a perfect amount for any project.
4) Small, thin, and easy to Solder! - I designed the pin spacing to be small but still easy to solder. It has 2mm spaced half cut castellation (hence the name "HCC Mod") which can be hand soldered, reflowed. The thin small surface mount design will allow you to fit the module into all sorts of different applications. You can see how much smaller the module is compared to a regular Arduino by looking at Arduino Demo Board I created.
5) Quick Prototyping - This is the most important aspect to me. Quick prototyping means board design will be much quicker and assembly will take a lot less time. Each time I create a new board, I have to recreate the traces and small components for the micro-controller. This is a repeated and unnecessary step which can waste a lot of time, especially when it comes to making an initial prototype. By using the HCC Module, you can skip this step and get building and assembling your projects faster.
One Size Fits All!
Why custom circuit boards?
Over the last couple of years the cost for custom PCB fabrication has decreased drastically. Because of this, there is less and less of a reason to painstakingly manually wire your own projects using pre-assembled development boards. The benefit of the development boards is that they already contain all of the components necessary to power and connect to a computer to program, as well as a pre-programmed boot-loader(which allows you to put your code on). This is what makes the HCC Module so great! Its small, pre-programmed and includes everything you need to get your board operating. This means you can make a custom design that will fit your project, add sensors, buttons, switches, usb port, in any arrangement that suits your needs. Just stick it on and program it!
If you have watched any of my videos on my YouTube channel, you will see this is generally how I create my projects. I start with a design or concept, design the assembly in CAD, import it into some PCB software such as KiCad, and when it is all put together everything fits together nicely. I'm trying to inspire and teach this methodology to others so that it is easy for everyone to develop their own projects make their ideas and creations real.
In order to use the module you need to have the component libraries and footprints available in your favorite PCB software. The libraries will be available for all of the popular software(right now only KiCad), so you can easy import this and connect it to all of your required circuits for the project at hand.
There are three classifications of rewards, Hobbyist, Enthusiast, and Distributor, which will contain 2, 10, and 100 HCC Modules respectively. I figured there is no reason to have a single HCC module reward, since you will definitely be using more than one!
Early bird rewards are 20% cheaper, but there are a limited quantity!
The Kickstarter Special reward will include two HCC Modules, an Arduino Style breakout board, and the components to get it going(See Below). This will allow you to solder your first HCC Module, and then prototype future projects for it! Only 100 available!
The reward tiers are set to limited quantity to ensure I can deliver at a set date. As the reward tiers get sold I will continue to add more tiers, but with an extended shipping date.
Made in Canada
Aside from the PCB manufacturing and the components, I plan on having the PCBs assembled and soldered in Canada. This will be determinant on the number of HCC Modules sold.
I live in Canada and shipping is always more expensive than it needs to be. So, shipping is included in the cost! Shipping may be upgraded (Faster and Tracked International) which will be setup at a later date, but will require a separate payment to upgrade.
*Once the item has been shipped non-tracked I can no longer be responsible for the item. You must make sure your residing country accepts "Hobby Electronics" which is the label I use for the customs information or it may not make it to you. I suggest upgrading to Tracked whenever possible, but can be quite expensive for international.
** All shipping will have the appropriate customs value, and the receiver is responsible for any Duty or Taxes your country charges for imports. **
Its Open Source!
This project is open source, which means all of the resources you need to build your own are online and freely available. The board files, design files, list of components, and schematics are all available on GitHub.
This allows you to recreate, or even improve my current design! I encourage it.
The HCC Module is a hobbyist level device. Therefore, by purchasing this product you are agreeing that you understand that the HCC Module still requires knowledge in programming and electronics. Each assembled unit will be tested and shipped with a working Arduino Bootloader.
Not much! I just need this Kickstarter to Finish and then I can order the boards. The Kickstarter will end near the end of August. Then it takes two weeks to get the Funding from Kickstarter. I tend to wait for the funding to come through, then order the boards, components, parts and Assemble! I'm giving myself plenty of time to finish them just in case there are any delays on shipping and things like that. I prefer to be early than be late!
Three Successful Kickstarters!
Here are my previous Kickstarters
There were no real issues and I was able to stay on track with my deadlines give or take a week or two. I'm as transparent as possible as to what is going on so that no one is in the dark about what is happening with their reward. I'm still taking in knowledge every day but I have definitely already learned the requirements about what it takes to complete a Kickstarter smoothly.
Check out some past projects!
Join me on Social Media!
Get behind the scenes images and shots about what is going on, future project, and all sorts of useful things!
And don't forget to join me on youtube, where I will be showcasing open source projects that will use the HCC module, and all sorts of other useful things.
Video Instrumentals Licenced and Produced by Chuki: https://www.youtube.com/user/CHUKImusic
Disclaimer: The delivered reward design is subject to change for improvements and manufacturability. All images and renders depicting the HCC module in the Kickstarter and otherwise, may not reflect the final design(colour, shape, size, etc.). Therefore these representations may differ from the product you receive.
Risks and challenges
The board design and delivery is rather straight forward. However, manufacturing large quantities in Canada could pose an issue in meeting deadlines (but it is currently the plan) - if the unfortunate event that I sell tens of thousands of these (this is a joke, I would love to do that!), they may need to be manufactured elsewhere and overseas, which I am willing to do if the need arises.
Some risks include component availability and manufacturing. In the chance there is a limit in component availability, production may see delays. I will continue to keep a constant flow of information (as I have done in my other 3 successful Kickstarters) to ensure everyone is aware of any delays or issues that may arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)