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Thread: Prop Shield Beta Test

  1. #1
    Administrator Paul's Avatar
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    Prop Shield Beta Test

    We're going to begin a beta test for the Prop Shield.

    The Prop Shield features 10DOF motion sensors, 2 watt audio amp, high speed 5V buffers for driving APA102 LEDs, and an 8 Mbyte flash memory for images, sound clips, or data logging. It's approximately the size of a Teensy, just slightly longer to allow space for mounting holes and connections for power, speaker, and LEDs.

    PJRC will send free beta test boards to the following people. We'll pay for shipping too. For packages outside the USA, you'll have to pick up any extra tariff/fee the carrier charges upon delivery.

    adrian, Ben, blackketter, cartere, christoph, Constantin, craiglindley, cyborgv2, Defragster, dgarcia42, doughboy, duff, el_supremo, embedded-creations, Epyon, Experimentalist, fms1961, FrankB, GremlinWrangler, Headroom, HWGuy, JBeale, jimmayhugh, joe_prince, johnnyfp, Jp3141, Koromix, kriegsman, KurtE, LAtimes, linuxgeek, manitou, MichaelMeissner, MickMad, monkeybiscuits, mortonkopf, MuShoo, mxxx, Nantonos, nlecaude, nox771, onehorse, pawelsky, Pedvide, Pensive, pictographer, potatotron, robsoles, stevech, sumotoy, syso2342, teachop, Theremingenieur, tlb, turtle9er, whollender, WMXZ, Wozzy, Xenoamor, xxxajk

    Over the next few days, Robin will contact everyone on this list to confirm current shipping addresses. If you're really excited about the Prop Shield, the magic words for a free upgrade to expedited shipping are "I have time to do substantial beta testing". Even if you're busy, we still want to send you one. Everyone on this list has contributed to the community in great ways, so this is our way of saying thanks for all the awesome things you've done!

    I will post more info about the Prop Shield here over the next several days. However, I would like to ask everyone to refrain from posting pictures until we have a pre-order page live on the website.

  2. #2
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    We're going to begin a beta test for the Prop Shield.

    Over the next few days, Robin will contact everyone on this list to confirm current shipping addresses. If you're really excited about the Prop Shield, the magic words for a free upgrade to expedited shipping are "I have time to do substantial beta testing". Even if you're busy, we still want to send you one. Everyone on this list has contributed to the community in great ways, so this is our way of saying thanks for all the awesome things you've done!
    I'll be sending out forum notifications starting today. If you are on this list you can also email me directly - robin at pjrc dot com. Be sure to include your forum user name so I can identify you right away.

  3. #3
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    Cool. I've been waiting for this shield since I learned about it.

    While I can of course not post pictures until you are ready with pre-orders, do I need to keep it away from places where somebody might snap a picture? In particular, if I make something with it to go with my steampunk setup, where it is just part of the costume (and normally hidden away) should I wait until it is more formally announced?

  4. #4
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    Cool. I didn't even know this was in the works. I don't have a lot of time to do much beta testing, but I'll be really excited to play around with one when it comes.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Senior Member johnnyfp's Avatar
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    Can we have the specs for the 10DOF please. And also is the FLASH, SPI connected?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wozzy's Avatar
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    Woot woot.
    This sounds like a fun and useful addon board.
    It combines a lot of the different components I've been experimenting with individally.
    I'll need to order some APA102 strips ASP as I only have ws2811s currently.
    I'm assuming that Paul will help with some libraries to get us started.
    Thanks for selecting me as a Beta tester.

  7. #7
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    Wow, I didn't know this was in the pipeline so this is a great surprise. Thanks for the nod, I look forward to playing with this and hopefully unlocking its potential. I will PM Robin with my address details. Thanks again.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for adding me to that list! How long will the beta test period be?

  9. #9
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    We're going to begin a beta test for the Prop Shield. ...
    Nice, 'Prop Shield' makes sense now after seeing the name dropped. Glad you got over its issues - and to be included, Thanks. Looked at the LC - 5V buffers allows 'output a 5V logic signal'. How many pins @5V? Is this the right family to order: Adafruit DotStar

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    We're going to begin a beta test for the Prop Shield
    Out of interest what were the design goals and intended purpose considering the mix of technologies?

  11. #11
    Senior Member mortonkopf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Experimentalist View Post
    Out of interest what were the design goals and intended purpose considering the mix of technologies?
    Thanks for the opportunity to beta test. A list of key functions and combinations to be tested would be a good starting point. Hammering the memory and component combination playing (issues with multiple SPI) would be a high up my test list.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mortonkopf's Avatar
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    Code snippets and lib links for DOF, amp and flash read write on the Prop shield page please.

  13. #13
    Very excited, finding the email this morning. Would love a link or two, to some reading material

  14. #14
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Here's a first draft of the schematic.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (click for full size)

  15. #15
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Beta test boards will begin shipping today. Here's a picture of all the betas.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When we sell these, 2 options will be available. A low cost version will omit the 3 motion sensor chips, and the full version will have them. Internally, we're called these "wit" and "witout", named after the Philly Cheesesteak ordering protocol. That's why the label on this bin says "WIT". All the betas are "wit".

    I know there's a good number of unanswered questions at this point. Please be patient as I get all this stuff published over the next few days.

  16. #16
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    If I'm reading the schematic right, it looks like the SPI for the flash memory shares the SPI pins MOSI/DOUT (pin 11) and SCK (pin 13), using pin 6 as the select pin for flash and pin 7 as the select pin for the APA102 lights. According to (https://forum.pjrc.com/threads/33014...6072#post96072), I assume that the APA lights would not use the advanced SPI hardware support, but use normal digitalWrites to do the select pin.

    Have the various libraries that deal with APA102 (such as FastLED) been modified to do whatever SPI locking is needed so the flash memory and APA102 can operate independently? This is more of theoretical interest, since I haven't gotten any APA102 (Dotstar) lights yet

    How about using either 13 or 11 for WS2812B lights instead of APA102? Would this work fine? Or would I have to do the read from flash and wait for it to finish and then do the normal sequence to do the lights? Given pin 17 is used for WS2812B on the LC, it might have been useful to have a 3rd 74AHCT1G08 for using WS2812B lights, and reusing scripts, etc. But I can understand these things are full of compromises.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ben's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for selecting me. I just dropped Robin a mail.

    How shall we beta testers share data (like experiences with the shield, code, pictures,...) with PJRC and each other? If PJRC doesn't want this data public, how about a subforum with restricted access or a mailing list?

    Ben

  18. #18
    Senior Member Wozzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    Internally, we're called these "wit" and "witout", named after the Philly Cheesesteak ordering protocol.
    YO! I like dat!

    Tip: Never order a Cheesesteak outside of Philadelphia, It'll only lead to disappointment.

  19. #19
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wozzy View Post
    YO! I like dat!

    Tip: Never order a Cheesesteak outside of Philadelphia, It'll only lead to disappointment.
    At the risk of going waaayyy off topic. Several years ago I was in Philly for work and went to the famous cheesesteak corner to visit Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's. Luckily my co-worker and I read up on the ordering protocol before we went. After than I've never been able to bring myself to order a cheesesteak on the West coast. I miss that sandwich.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Epyon's Avatar
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    I have time to do substantial beta testing .

    At least what the flash storage and audio amp concerns . Coincidentally I'm just designing a new iteration of dataloggers based on the Teensy 3.2, and I'm kinda fed up with the SD+Ethernet quirks. I was gonna look at some SPI flash solutions anyhow. And one of the side-projects I'm working on is audio-related, so bring it on. My boss will pay for the extra postal tariffs .

  21. #21
    Senior Member+ defragster's Avatar
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    Would it be easy to pop up the new Forum - and such that Beta users have exclusive access to it. That way any prop shield discussions or changes wouldn't confuse the final product? Assuming the T_3++ is done before the forum swap - it could be used the same way. In the end the Forum software would be beta tested too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin View Post
    At the risk of going waaayyy off topic. ... I've never been able to bring myself to order a cheesesteak on the West coast. I miss that sandwich.
    Worthy digression I'd say - Spoiled for life - some local places in PA make similar great cheesesteaks - at least where I grew up - WA/west coast rolls are weak and that kills the cheesesteak/sub. The highlight of a flight back east/home was going to Sal's (at least once a day when possible) - they use their 'custom' pizza dough for fabulous rolls.

  22. #22
    Senior Member+ KurtE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulStoffregen View Post
    Here's a first draft of the schematic.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks interesting. Will be fun to play with!
    Could be a fun different version of my "Teensy Arbotix Pro" board, which emulates Arbotix-Pro which emulates Robotis CM-730... The boards I am semi emulating use separate Accelerometer and Gyroscope, mine I have Adafruit BNO055 IMU... I also had driver for Neopixel, really primitive sound... So this shield could take over probably at least half the stuff...

    Again sounds like fun!

  23. #23
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epyon View Post
    I have time to do substantial beta testing .

    At least what the flash storage and audio amp concerns . Coincidentally I'm just designing a new iteration of dataloggers based on the Teensy 3.2, and I'm kinda fed up with the SD+Ethernet quirks. I was gonna look at some SPI flash solutions anyhow. And one of the side-projects I'm working on is audio-related, so bring it on. My boss will pay for the extra postal tariffs .
    Be sure to send me your shipping info (and include your phone number) and I'll get a board out to you right away.

  24. #24
    Senior Member+ manitou's Avatar
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    How does the shield connect to the teensy 3? All of my teensy 3's have male pins for breadboard use.

  25. #25
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    Neat. These look like fun.

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