Thursday, 22 October 2009

USB widgets are go (part 2)

Well, we're getting there on the USB IR widgets - we now have Creactive doing some industrial design for us on the casings and the second spin of prototype PCBs is at the shop - back next week, hopefully.

Our core consumer functions are as they always were - will work with any RC5 remote control, programmable via USB serial port, no install on any major platform. As a result of having sourced some cheap remote controls, we'll also be supporting a proprietory NEC remote protocol and selling moderately cheap dedicated remotes to anyone who wants them (to control your model railway, for example).

We've managed to cram on a few new features for the geeks this time:

  • Boards can be made using 3.3V or 5V parts.
  • SOT-23 LDO so you can power the boards from somewhat unregulated supplies - eg. to use them without being plugged into a USB port.
  • UART, I2C and SPI brought out so you can use them as bridges (not all at the same time, though).
  • More I/Os brought out so you can have ADC inputs and control pins.

And we should be able to open-source both the schematic and the software, though as the software is still encumbered by Microchip's licence for the USB code it sadly can't be GPL.

Oh, we've lopped a couple of millimetres off the size in each direction too :-).

Anyway, watch this space and do get in touch if interested - early product should be available soon and if you ask us nicely we'll sell you some of the pre-production batch.

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