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Thread: Is there a market for a Teensy 3.1 48 pin ARM stamp?

  1. #51
    Senior Member onehorse's Avatar
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    Sorry to be late to the party!

    I love the Teensy 3.1 form factor/pin layout. Especially the smd pads on the bottom with their separate I2C1 bus.

    This makes integrating itty bitty boards with lots of sensors onto the Teensy platform appallingly easy. I stack multiple add-ons onto the Teensy all the time without too much fuss. The modular approach let's each user pimp out (configure, to the layman) their Teensy for each particular use case. Is every function covered? No. But I am adding new boards all the time.

    Would it be a disaster if the form-factor/pinout changed. No. The Teensy LC is different but most of the boards still can work with a little modification.

    For my use and interest, the smaller the Teensy the better. Extended adapter or breakout boards to get access to existing, readily-available pins seems like wasted effort to me. I'd rather concentrate on making adapters that fit on the Teensy than an adapter that the Teensy fits on. But that's just me.
    Last edited by onehorse; 06-09-2015 at 11:03 PM.

  2. #52
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    Maybe then we'll have a thread requesting a 100 pin form factor Teensy?
    ... then you might change the Teensy name to LONGduino.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by onehorse View Post
    Sorry to be late to the party!

    I love the Teensy 3.1 form factor/pin layout. Especially the smd pads on the bottom with their separate I2C1 bus.

    This makes integrating itty bitty boards with lots of sensors onto the Teensy platform appallingly easy. I stack multiple add-ons onto the Teensy all the time without too much fuss. The modular approach let's each user pimp out (configure, to the layman) their Teensy for each particular use case. Is every function covered? No. But I am adding new boards all the time.

    Would it be a disaster if the form-factor/pinout changed. No. The Teensy LC is different but most of the boards still can work with a little modification.

    For my use and interest, the smaller the Teensy the better. Extended adapter or breakout boards to get access to existing, readily-available pins seems like wasted effort to me. I'd rather concentrate on making adapters that fit on the Teensy than an adapter that the Teensy fits on. But that's just me.
    I proposed a few posts back - a board that uses the existing T3 and provided a stacking connector similar to microduino's.

  4. #54
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    I am guessing that not enough people are going to agree on enough design elements to really prompt me (or anyone in their right mind, who doesn't want one as much as the others) to volunteer to lay out the PCB.

  5. #55
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    What you are seeing are several entrenched users that any extra GPIO is worthless to them.

    I see a major obstacle in ever producing a differential form factor Teensy and that is the high cost of the bootloader chip.

  6. #56
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevech View Post
    I proposed a few posts back - a board that uses the existing T3 and provided a stacking connector similar to microduino's.
    If I understand this, you're just asking for someone to solder those special pins into the existing Teensy3 ?

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by t3andy View Post
    What you are seeing are several entrenched users that any extra GPIO is worthless to them.

    I see a major obstacle in ever producing a differential form factor Teensy and that is the high cost of the bootloader chip.
    I do not think the bootloader chip is that expensive for what it does for us. Also, it is possible to 'remote' the bootloader chip in such a way as to have one service many boards using the MK20DX256VLH7. We've done this, where I work, and it works marvellously.

    The biggest obstacle to me producing files which can be used to produce a PCB, which includes a clone of the Teensy 3.1 (with or without dedicated bootloader chip), is that I do not especially want a different form factor of the 3.1 and so I do not want to put much thought into form or pin mapping - if I did just choose a form and then make my own decisions about mapping and additions I pretty much expect hardly anybody would really like it, probably not even me.

    I can see myself happy enough to (schematic capture and) lay out (and route, of course) a PCB where all decisions about additions to the 3.1 clone (grove, regulator(s), whatevers) and form and pin mapping have been agreed on by, even only a couple of, the (at least slightly) more advanced posters on this forum.

  8. #58
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    The biggest obstacle to me producing files which can be used to produce a PCB, which includes a clone of the Teensy 3.1
    There is the "Free" DipTrace PCB program with 300 pins max. limitation. It automatically generates the necessary files for PCB production.

  9. #59
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    ???

    Protel99SE (the only thing I have ever used to produce PCB files, mind you, also in a commercial setting) imposes no limits on design aside from ineptitude of the operator and whatever limitations imposed by how old it is getting.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    If I understand this, you're just asking for someone to solder those special pins into the existing Teensy3 ?
    No not at all.
    Let's just drop this topic.

  11. #61
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    The end of creative destruction ends here.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by t3andy View Post
    The end of creative destruction begins here.
    Pretty sure that is what you meant, and I disagree - tho you can, by all means, choose that for yourself.
    Last edited by robsoles; 06-10-2015 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Dammit! Strikeout used to work here, almost positive :S

  13. #63
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    I think the confusing mess this thread has become really demonstrates how very difficult it is to make the seemingly "easy" design trade-offs that go into these microcontroller boards & platforms.

  14. #64
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    how very difficult it is to make the seemingly "easy" design trade-offs
    Why not just redesign (PJRC), from scratch, a "clean" 48 pin Teensy ARM stamp and be done with it?
    Clean is not easy when you step on many entrenched users.

  15. #65
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Look, I know this isn't the answer you want, but I'm pretty sure the market for a 48 pin version of Teensy 3.1 is far too small for PJRC to invest the time and money to make it.

    Really, it's that simple. The entire market for ALL Teensy models isn't huge. This is a prototyping, learning and rapid development system, not a high volume product like the actual microcontroller chip. PJRC is a tiny company with 3 full time people. If PJRC is going to remain moderately successful and continue to sustain my efforts to develop awesome software and software+hardware stuff (octows2811, audio library, pulseposition, biopotential, 3 more usb types this year, Arduino improvement & contributions, and tons of other ideas I want to do), I have to make wise choices.

    I know you and others want a different form factor. But the hard truth is even if a "large" portion of all Teensy 3.1 users wanted to a different form factor, making 2 form factors of essentially the same product just wouldn't make good business sense for PJRC. We just can't put the time and money into something that's going to at best divide sales of a successful product into 2 different products. One of the things people love about Teensy is the attractive price, and the only way we can achieve Teensy's competitive price is manufacturing fairly large batches. We'd compromise what little economy of scale we currently enjoy, and divert time and money from other stuff, only for a (maybe) small increase in total sales. But if we can't maintain the current prices, odds are also strong total sales could go down.

    This crazy thread started out with such a simple question. Not about stepping on entrenched users, not about competing with Microduino, not about PCB layout, but whether there's a market. The answer is no, there isn't enough of a market to merit multiple form factors. There's not even a huge market for a single form factor, as you can deduce from the small size of PJRC as a company.

    I really want to put this question to rest, once and for all. No, there isn't a viable market (for PJRC) for multiple form factors of the same Teensy model.

    Please, take "no" for an answer.

  16. #66
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    Well put. I look forward to anything you do bring to market. It's easy to want a product your way far harder to make something, support it, and sell enough to both survive and grow a user base to a point where there are enough people using it to inspire each other's imagination. For just 3 full time employees the teensy line is an amazing accomplishment. In many ways they are better than products from the big players. Most of this thread should probably just be in a suggestion thread that could show Paul your interest for features to consider for the next product HE DOES ALL THE WORK for and brings to market.
    Last edited by DaQue; 06-10-2015 at 02:22 PM.

  17. #67
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    Funniest thing for me being that when I chimed in to try to support t3andy's request for the 48 pin (well, pad, till you put pins in ) form; Paul's (practically immediate) response pretty much boiled down to "Why don't you do it?" (actually, that may appear verbatim in his reply.)

    Considering his response I was reasonably miserable that I had bothered chiming in, on one hand, but on the other hand - to answer his question: Because I don't want one enough to want to even start deciding which signals to route to the 'new' pads, nor if any particular 'extra' things would be more worthwhile than any other things.


    I tried to get people (who are interested in other form to begin with) to consider agreeing about a form (and pinouts!) with the bait that a defined enough project could (reasonably easily even) get me to volunteer to produce the relevant files for them; maybe I have posted too much stuff whilst wearing my 'ditzy blonde' cap for anybody to think files I might produce might be worth a damn?


    I'm not a qualified EE, just hobbied in electronics for quite a while now and experience with Protel 99 SE for nearly 10 years (more likely to be more than less, actually, always was a bit crap at tracking time over longer terms); I work for an electronics company (smallish, mind you) and, whereas the (actual) EE there usually takes care of PCB layout for clients, they give me the odd client job to do tho I've completed more designs for inhouse test equipment and such like for them.

    Nevermind, saves me any efforts (beyond my foolish foolish posts to this thread) I might have otherwised made; and any embarrassment I might have accidentally let myself into, so, I guess, thanks guys

  18. #68
    Senior Member Constantin's Avatar
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    Hah, same boat here, a semi-ME dabbling in EE. Never got that EE degree because of electromagnetic wave propagation theory and other requirements that my math skills simply couldn't handle at the time.

    Anyhow, If I find myself with too much time in the coming months, I'll be happy to submit something for everyone to laugh about. But I've found barely enough time to push my projects forward, nevermind putting in the care and time to do a master board design right. All my efforts to date have been task specific, i.e. designing a board for a particular purpose.

  19. #69
    Senior Member onehorse's Avatar
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    Tangential comment.

    I am asked frequently to design custom boards with this or that sensor plus blue tooth and GPS and add wifi is its not too much trouble because I want to see what my (cat, dirtbike, mother-in-law, etc) is up to. This is an impossible request since one-offs almost never make business sense. That is, I can't afford to make one of these Frankenstein boards for a given customer because no one else would want to buy it. And the customer can't afford to (or won't) pay me $100 per hour to do the work.

    I am trying to support Paul's point that many "good" ideas don't make business sense and the best option in this case is for the customer (or dreamer, the guy with the killer idea, etc.) to make one him or herself. If it really is a good idea, other people will naturally want it and a new business might be born. But if its not a business decision, it is by definition a hobby and the hobbyist ought to just practice his craft and make what is wanted.

  20. #70
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    A good business decision might be to hire/contract-with one or two and grow.

  21. #71
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    I see this point in post #69 : Without custom help there is a (large) class of hobby folks out there not being fully served or assisted or finding the tools needed.

    The Teensy is an awesome package - but without docs (GO WIKI) - and 'pluggable' solutions and 'recipes' Hobby folks will move elsewhere, or not get directed to Teensy.

    Indeed everybody has the BEST IDEA - just scan KStarter - many in the MCU category could be done better and faster with a Teensy - and perhaps an obligatory IOT Radio. Though common are Arduino Shields or 'devices' with "solution" shields added on.

    Small is a great feature when you try to stuff it in a mint tin, but the first step for the masses is putting it in front of them and wiring it together without ruining anything as an unpracticed hobbyist. This is what Sparkfun and AdaFruit cater to - harnessing 'chips' in grotesquely awkward (but documented) breakouts to make solutions.

    What I see as missing is not duplicating SFun and ADA - but the couple of readily usable Proto boards to interface to them like onehorse makes in custom things. For instance PJRC uses these custom PCB's by the dozen: https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_libs_SSD1306.html - those among other 'common' tools - are not common to end users to bolt a Teensy down and use it safely.

    What would the average time be to assemble this 'rainbow underpinning beauty' of the long time 50 FORUM posters? Of the 50 newest posters? What are the odds of a working unit after 15 or 60 minutes with a hot iron - no shorts - no dropped pads?

  22. #72
    Senior Member+ Frank B's Avatar
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    @Paul, just as idea:
    You wrote,a K26 -Board would be bigger, because of the 100+ Pins.
    Many projects need SD (and the K26 is perfect for SD!), perhaps there is space for a micro-sd slot (or maybe solder-pads only for as slot) on the backside.

  23. #73
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Yes, my plan for Teensy++ 3.x has been to put the SD card onto the board, using the 4-bit SDIO port.

    I'm also considering a number of other things.... so many feature, so many choices and trade-offs.....

  24. #74
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    ready pinout for similar displays that you used for the spi demos?, or maybe other better displays?

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    It has a lot more GPIO than can fit onto a 48 pin form factor, so of course I'll try to bring as many extra pins as I can to bottom-side pads. Maybe then we'll have a thread requesting a 100 pin form factor Teensy? (nearly the entire length of full size breadboard)
    You totally would(well maybe not after this discussion), I would love 100 gpio pins!


    Quote Originally Posted by mlu View Post
    But, to keep the build format, a million new gpio pins are not wanted
    Maybe to you. Maybe to most. I don't know but it seems to be a split, most of us not caring too much either way. There are a lot of interesting projects in the interface realm where 100+ GPIO pins would be welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    I know you and others want a different form factor. But the hard truth is even if a "large" portion of all Teensy 3.1 users wanted to a different form factor, making 2 form factors of essentially the same product just wouldn't make good business sense for PJRC.
    I had mentioned prior the idea of having one board that was long but had a place one could cut to make smaller (if you put a little extra space and have the holes in a grid it should be really easy to cut). I have seen few other microcontrollers with this feature.

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