d.tools: Hardware resources


d.tools uses Atmel ATmega and ATtiny microcontrollers. The main d.tools board is based on an ATmega128. During the development process, we used Pascal Stang's AVRmini v3.1 board to prototype our circuits. We now use the small Crumb128 module from German company chip45.com. The Crumb module is plugged into our d.tools PCBs as a daughterboard. For individual I/O components, we use 8-pin ATtiny45 chips, available from AllAmerican or Digikey.
AVRmini 3.1 module
Crumb128 module

LCD screens

We recommend Purdy Electronics' prototyping kits - these include LCD screens and control circuitry to drive the screens with a composite video signal (RCA plug). In particular, we've used the AND-TFT-25PA-KIT, AND-TFT-25PA-LED-KIT, AND-TFT-35PA-LED-KITand AND-TFT-5PA-KIT screens. If your graphics card does not have an RCA composite video output, you can convert VGA signals into composite video signals using a scan converter such as the GrandTec PC to Video EZ scan converter (we get them from Buy.com).

Buttons, sensors, etc.

Jameco in Belmont, CA and Digikey (somewhere in the Mid-west) are reliable sources. For cheap surplus components, we like HSC in Sunnyvale and AllElectronics for mail-order. Parallax has some neat RFID readers and color sensors. Acroname has Sharp IR Rangers.

d.tools circuit boards

Our custom PCBs were designed with Eagle (4.16) and then assembled into larger batches of Gerber/Excellon files with gbtiler. They are manufactured by Advanced Circuits (Denver, CO). Look for their student special. To view Gerber files, we recommend the free PentaLogix Viewmate viewer (we used 9.2) We have gone through a good number of revisions on these boards; here is a sampling of the latest ones (from newer to older):

Version V0.4B
Features 9 I2C component connectors (6 pin 0.1" grid type) w/ individual decoupling capacitors
1 RFID connector for Parallax RFID reader
4 direct inputs
4 direct outputs (220Ohm protected)

Eagle schematic:dtools-04b.sch
Eagle board:dtools-04b.brd
Gerber/Excellon Files: dtools-04b-gerber.zip; also part of the composite tiled job dtools-tiled-gerber-files-4.zip
(Original Eagle Files are in \\gfx\hci\d-tools\electronics\projects\dtoolsdaughter-0.4)

Precompiled firmware: atmega128-firmware-errorcorrect-0.1.hex (Note: this may be out of date)

Comments Use with Crumb128 microcontroller module (module has pins down)
This version was given out to CS247 students.
V0.4B and V0.4C differ only in the number of RFID readers supported (1 for B, 4 for C).

V0.4A is an earlier design without the RFID connector: Gerber files.
V0.4C has 4 RFID connectors that get temporally multiplexed access to a single UART through a 74153 4-line to 1-line multiplexer. Neat idea, but didn't work so well in practice since the Parallax readers are slow and don't respond well to short read cycle times. Gerber files.

Version V0.2B
Features 1 I2C bus connector in Molex C-Grid format
4 A2D inputs
4 discrete inputs
4 discrete outputs (220Ohm protected)
Files Eagle schematic:dtools-02b.sch
Eagle board:dtools-02b.brd
Gerber/Excellon Files: part of dtools-tiled-gerber-files-2_3.zip
(Original Eagle Files are in \\gfx\hci\d-tools\electronics\projects\dtoolsdaughter2 )
Comments Use with Crumb128 microcontroller module (module has pins up)
This version was used for the tangible drawer project.
Version V0.2A
Features 1 I2C bus connector in Molex C-Grid format
no other inputs or outputs
Files Eagle schematic:dtools-02a.sch
Eagle board:dtools-02a.brd
Gerber/Excellon Files: part of dtools-tiled-gerber-files-2_3.zip
(Original Eagle Files are in \\gfx\hci\d-tools\electronics\projects\dtoolsdaughter1\iocrumb2.*)
Comments Use with Crumb128 microcontroller module (module has pins up)
This is the smallest bare-bones version - if you want to have all wiring off-board.

Gerber/Excellon manufacturing batch files (these are the files as sent to Advanced circuits -they all tile multiple boards onto a larger area to cut down on manufacturing cost):

dtools-tiled-gerber-files-4.zip - Contains the following board versions: 2x V0.4A, 3x V0.4B, 3x V0.4C.

dtools-tiled-gerber-files-3.zip - Contains 135 small component boards for use with V0.2E as well as V0.4A,B, or C master boards.
Eagle schematic& board for all small components: attiny-eagle-files.zip
Precompiled firmware for all small components: dtools-attiny-hex.zip

dtools-tiled-gerber-files-2_3.zip - Contains the following board versions: 2x V0.2 A, 2x V0.2B, 1x V0.2C, 1x V0.2D, 2x V0.2E

dtools-tiled-gerber-files-1.zip - Contains ATtiny45-based component boards and 10x daisy chain bus boards for the earlier (no longer used) C-Grid based connectors.

(Note to self: These files originally came from C:\dev\gerber-files on context)