MAKE Controller & I/O board

MAKE Controller & I/O board

Posted on 04. May, 2009 by in Microcontroller Modules

The MAKE Controller is similar to an Arduino except it uses a different Atmel AVR chip. However, the board aims to make it easy for the hobbyist to use the surface-mount chip by including all of the supporting circuitry such as oscillators, voltage regulator, etc.

The board was created by the people who write the popular MAKE Magazine and they have created a suite of software to program the MAKE Controller with which has many libraries for I2C, SPI, CAN, USB, Ethernet, and more. These pre-written libraries mean that you don't have to learn the intricacies of the signal timing and handshaking of the various protocols -- you just include the library in your program and call it when needed!

The matching I/O board has convenient sockets for the various features of the controller, such as USB and ethernet. You can unplug the main controller from the I/O board if you want to, but then you have to do all of the pinout work yourself.

Some of the features of the MAKE Controller and I/O board include:

  • Atmel AT91SAM7X256 microcontroller
  • 35 configurable input/ouputs and 4 dedicated analog inputs
  • 2 Full Serial Ports and an additional 'debug' serial port with no handshaking
  • SPI - 2 available channels to communicate with external devices
  • TWI - two wire interface (Note - this requires the Controller Board v2.0)
  • USB and Ethernet interfaces - can be used simultaneously
  • JTAG port - for on-chip debugging (JTAG connector is not included, but can easily be soldered if needed.)

The MAKE Controller with I/O expansion board is about $85 from the MakerShed, which is MAKE's online store.

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