DuinoMite, the World’s cheapest computer.

DuinoMite, the World's cheapest computer.

By Don McKenzie.

Prices start at around $30, just add PS2 keyboard, VGA Monitor, or TV. Runs BASIC language, or C. Save programs to uSD card, or internal flash memory. Or simply run via a terminal program from any PC. Arduino Shield foot print on many boards.

INTRODUCTION:

DuinoMite is a MaxiMite Compatible Basic computer, originally designed by Geoff Graham, with additional features and Arduino shield like layout. DuinoMite allows you to program in the BASIC language and have VGA and Keyboard interface, so you can develop and write your code in Basic without the need of any computer. You can store your code on the SD-CARD and execute it on power up though autoexec.bas main code. BASIC programs can easily be exchanged and saved to a PC using either a terminal program and a USB connection, or the SD card. An internal flash memory drive can also be used to save up to 256K of programs and files. Development can be done on the USB only connection. Fantastic user support via a very active user forum group.

MODES OF OPERATION:

MODE 1 Stand Alone:

Run as a PC, by attaching a VGA monitor, or TV, and a PS2 Keyboard. Save files to the SD card, or the internal flash drive.

MODE 2 Terminal Mode from a PC:

Use any computer that supports a USB port, and a Terminal program, and you can run BASIC Programs, and develop directly from your computer. Save files to the SD card, the internal flash drive, or your PC.

MODE 3 Any combination of the above:

You can run two keyboards, and two screens in parallel, or remove any single item, and the unit will still operate. If you are running the standard DuinoMite board as a controller, and you don't need a keyboard, or screen, you can disconnect the IO board completely.

FEATURES: (Check individual boards for correct specifications as not all boards have all features.)

  • PIC32MX795 microcontroller
  • micro SD card
  • USB OTG which allow it to act both as Host and Device, so it can accept Android ADK, Printers, Cameras, Keyboards, Mouses, etc USB devices.
  • VGA connector
  • Composite Video connector
  • CAN driver and connector
  • RS232 driver and connector
  • two UEXT connectors allowing Olimex modules to be connected one inside the box one outside the box
  • PS-2 keyboard
  • Audio output connector
  • Arduino like format i.e. can work with Arduino shields

DuinoMite, the MaxiMite Compatible
There are three new boards being produced by Olimex. Because of the re-mapping of the schematic, we have had to get software assistance with a new boot loader and get the existing MM-Basic firmware patched to match. I chose Ken Segler, (http://www.kenseglerdesigns.com) a Back Shed Forum regular, to carry out this task, as Ken has shown his proficiency with porting the MaxiMite code to other platforms, as well as adding many new routines to MM-Basic.

 

New Boards:
Schematics and all other relevant files are available from:

http://www.duinomite.com/files/index.php?dir=Hardware%2FDontronics%2FOlimex%2F

 

DuinoMite-Mega:

http://www.dontronics-shop.com/olimex-duinomite-mega.html

This fits nicely into a plastic box 130mm x 100mm x 30mm.
The box will be laser cut to allow easy fitting.
Arduino footprint can be seen in the middle of the board, however to make use of this, you would need to remove the cover, or remove the board fully from the case. An external shield adapter board will be available, and is listed below.

DuinoMite Board:

http://www.dontronics-shop.com/olimex-duinomite.html

DuinoMite-I/O Board:

http://www.dontronics-shop.com/olimex-duinomite-io-board.html

This will be two boards that plug into each other with a small IDC flat ribbon cable. It was felt that the VGA and Keyboard connectors could interfere with any shields being added, because of the height of these connectors. It would also allow the board to be more readily used as a stand alone microcontroller without the extra connectors, if the user chose to do this.

Connector to the left of the DuinoMite board, is for the I/O board, and the one to the right is the UEXT Connector. More on this later.

DuinoMite-Mini Board:

http://www.dontronics-shop.com/olimex-duinomite-mini.html

This is without the Arduino shield and is built as a minimum low cost system, yet it will still run as a full Maximite Computer as both Keyboard and VGA connectors are installed on the front edge of the board. This board is 64mm x 50m

DuinoMite-Shield Board:

http://www.dontronics-shop.com/olimex-duinomite-shield-board.html

Can be used on either the DuinoMite-Mega, or the DuinoMite-Mini boards, to add the Arduino footprint to the 26 pin IDC header via a flat ribbon cable.

NOTE **** Shield Adapter Boards:
Dontronics DonDuino Cross was designed for the Maximite, however it will also work on the DuinoMite.
DuinoMite-Shield Board was designed for the for the DuinoMite range from Olimex,
however it will also work on the MaxiMite.

DuinoMite Features:

These features will vary with board type, and possibly there will be various levels of component population, so that users may be able to order boards at reduced costs. Again, to be determined.

Standard features:

- USB
- VGA
- PS/2
- SD card
- GPIO 26 pin connector
- Audio connector
- Composite video connector
- User button, Reset button
- Two LEDs

Possible Additional Features:
(May not be fitted to all boards)

- Arduino connector with compatibe port arrangement i.e. SPI, I2C etc connected on proper pins to make maximal compatibility with Arduino shields
- Real Time Clock with battery backup
- RS232 connector and driver as host i.e. male DB9 connector as on PC
- CAN will open industrial and automotive applications
- USB-OTG functionality i.e. USB host/USB device, this is not so expensive but I think it important to have as will allow this board to be used as Android ADK as well, if you do not know what is this, it's easy way to interface Android tablets and phones, here is demo on Microchip site http://www.microchip.com/microchip.webcontent.provider/Video.aspx?id=HXhgJvFQ6v8
- DC/DC power supply to allow wide range 9-30V input power supply adapters to be used
- Li-polimer charger and battery connector, this will allow the board to work with Li-Po batteries
- UEXT enables WiFi, Zigbee, Ethernet, RELAY-IO, RFID etc modules to be connected
- Ethernet on board will just rise the cost, once we have UEXT we can connect MOD-ENC28J60 or MOD-WIFI to implement internet /ethernet connectivity.

NOTE ****
UEXT Connector is available on all boards.

Please Note:

Dontronics ships world wide at a current cost of around $12USD internationally for all packages. As an Australian company, we have no mechanism to charge VAT or any state taxes. As most items are low value, customs usually allows these items through. You will generally find our prices cheaper than places like Element14 (Farnell) and Mouser. Order today, we ship tomorrow. In business since 1964, and on email 365 days a year.

Firmware Alternatives:

How about a 12 pin GPIO DuinoMite that is a 100% hardware compatible MaxiMite?

DuinoMite hardware is now supported by Geoff Graham, the MaxiMite designer. Please note that this is limited hardware support, in as much as only 12 of the 20 IDC GPIOs are supported by Geoff's firmware, which is to be expected.

But it does give you a 12 pin GPIO Maximite at a third of the price.

It takes only a few minutes to do a firmware change from the DuinoMite hex file, to the MaxiMite hex file, and just as easy to roll it back into a DuinoMite, if you choose to do so. This means you can build it into what you want very quickly and easily, so you can choose the features you want.

This new MaxiMite version for the DuinoMite  is available for download from: http://geoffg.net/maximite.html#Downloads
Our thanks to Geoff Graham for making this available.

Wish to program the DuinoMite in C?

Olimex Pinguino IDE supports the DuinoMite even now. No need for a special linker script as there is one for the 795 already. Use the existing bootloader that is programmed into the board.
Tsvetan of Olimex.

The World's First Arduino Computer
I believe the DuinoMite-Mega version is the correct model to call "The World's First Arduino Computer", as it is not only boxed, but is a complete computer system in the true sense of the word. OK, you can't get to the Arduino footprint without an adapter, or taking the top cover off, but the shield footprint is there for users, if they choose to go this way.

But I know there will still be the knockers that will spin the facts around, and say otherwise. :-)

If one of these boards doesn't cover the definition of "Arduino and Computer", then nothing ever will.

And there may well be a user application that needs perhaps the CAN feature, as well as an off the shelf Arduino shield, so they may fit it all into a new case, or not even have a case at all.

Already the Maximite has been adapted to run TRS-80 Basic, as well as Unix, and there is no reason why it can't be used for C language development, the same as the Pinquino board has done in the past.

TRS-80 Model I, level II on a PIC32 See:
http://kenseglerdesigns.com/cms/sites/default/files/trs-80.jpg
for the thread:
http://www.thebackshed.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3937&PN=1

Maximite Computer now running Unix, 2.11BSD. Thread at:
http://www.thebackshed.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3925&PN=1

 

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.