RoadTest: EasyPIC Fusion v7
Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Development boards : Microchip Explorer 16 PIC32 Ethernet Starter Kit Compiler : MPLAB X + XC32 + Microchip Libraries for Applications
What were the biggest problems encountered?: The mikroC libraries which aren't enough complete. (TCP client is missing by default, we can found a working TCP library on LibStock.com, at http://www.libstock.com/projects/view/107/network-ethernet-library, however there is a big lack of examples and documentation for making a TCP client application, an dsome usefull functions such as printf, which is very easy to use in XC32, weren't present, and we had to use the sprintf)
The EasyPIC Fusion v7 is very well presented both on the mikroE website and on the packaging.
The board is extensible to 3 Microchip PIC's family, which are the dsPIC33, PIC24 and PIC32 for the microcontroller side and for the peripheral side, you have classic headers providing you access to the most on the controller pins and 2 mikroBUS sockets compatible with a great range of "click boards" that you can find here : http://www.mikroe.com/click/.
With the board, you'll receive an EasyTFT module already installed, which can be replaced by a GLCD at the same place.
This is a really nice and protective packaging, the space is well used and nearly everything is included inside.
There is two trays in the main box :
The board has nice printings, is thick enough to have a high toughness as the MCU card insertion needs a bit of strenght (you can add a optionnal rubber foot on the drawn circle behind the board), and everything is well organised. You also have all the PORT headers of the bottom of the board which are duplicated at the right side.
There is a great bunch of on board peripherals which can be disconnected with the switches :
All those peripherals can be extended with the two mikroBUS extension connectors.
There is a led and a button for each PORTx pin, you can choose to turn on or off the leds and the button press level (3.3v, none or GND) by PORT, and you can select a pull up/pull down for each pin or simply none of them.
There is also 3 GND test points useful for an oscilloscope for example. One just below the power supply zone, and two on the right side of the board.
Take a look to the various examples, there will be a "9A display" directory inside the examples folder, you'll have to use those examples if your TFT display has the 9A revision code printed on. In fact, the initialization routine is a different one as the TFT controller has changed ( TFT_Init(320,240); is replaced by TFT_Init_ILI9341_8bit(320,240); ) There is examples for nearly all the onboard peripherals
Go take a look at the http://www.libstock.com/ website which contains lots of useful library for various projects. You'll need the Project Manager (http://www.mikroe.com/package-manager/) to install them.
For a project I had to dump an SPI flash, so I used the board as a programmable interface between the USB (as device) and the SPI.
I went to LibStock, downloaded the USB Device library, used the MassStorageDevice provided sample, added and SPI Flash driver and adapted the MSD routines to read and init the flash. Just had to hardcode the chip size to gain some time.
I soldered small wires on the flash chip and connected the to one of the mikroBUS connectors as there is SCK, MISO, MOSI and a pin to use has CS.
I powered the board, connected my computer to the usb device and used linux to easily use the dd command to make an full image of the flash.
I'll join the project files later...
Another simple usage, was to use the board as simple USB to 3.3v UART with the FTDI, I programmed the PIC to ensure it doesn't use the UART, turned on the dipswitch of the UART A or B and used the mikroBUS connector to have the USB to 3.3v UART as I don't yet have one. Here the PIC is useless.
More to come