the Bridge Between PICs and Arduinos
By The CHIPAXE Team
There are so many different options for
building an electronic project, it would
be nice if they all worked together in
some way with some kind of standard
connection scheme. The popularity of
the Arduino module has essentially
created one popular standard with their
plug-in modules called shields.
Unfortunately, that standard has a
unique pin-out spacing that makes it
difficult to directly plug a shield into a
breadboard. Because of this, users are
essentially locked into using them with
an Arduino base, and most of them use
the Atmel microcontroller. This is fine
unless you are a Microchip PIC user and
have your favorite set of tools to
program your PICs. You probably don’t
want to switch to the Arduino module.
This is where the new CHIPINO module
comes to the rescue to help expand the
use of this connection standard, and get
more people from different micro
choices to share shields.
A CHIPINO Module and Starter Kit to go with this
article can be purchased online from the Nuts & Volts
Webstore at www.nutsvolts.com
or call our order desk at 800-783-4624.
FIGURE 1. CHIPAXE adapter board sketch.
The CHIPINO is a PIC-based module with the Arduino connection scheme. The CHIPINO was developed by the Chipaxe team of chipaxe.com. It was designed specifically to match the board outline, mounting holes, connector spacing, and
most of the microcontroller I/O functions found on the
popular Arduino module. It offers a PIC user the
opportunity to use their existing compiler and
programming tools with all the great shields available to
the open source world of Arduino.
The original idea we had was to create an adapter
board for our popular CHIPAXE modules, similar to the
concept sketch shown in Figure 1. This was quickly
thrown out as the height of the CHIPAXE module would
hit the bottom of the shield being stacked on top. We also
liked the idea of having a built-in voltage regulator on the
base, so we designed the CHIPINO module shown in
Figure 2. The other choice we made was to eliminate the
bootloader programming method used in Arduino. At first,
you might think this is a mistake since many people tend
to think using a programmer is expensive and difficult.