This is simple prototype board for development of USB application with PIC18F4550 microcontroller. The power of the 18F4550 is that it has USB hardware built into it so that you can program different USB stacks directly onto the IC. Microchip provides these free USB solutions for their microcontrollers which are openly available. The USB HID Class firmware can help you to build a mouse or other Human Interface Devices for Windows, USB CDC Communication class device, USB Mass Storage firmware (add your own USB disk drives to your computer), USB-to-RS232 driver. The prototyping space allows you to easily add on sensors, relays and other peripheral devices to interface to USB. The board can take power from USB or from an external supply with small jumper selection.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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Has on board power supply (5V). Reset button provided. I changed to PIC 18F45K50. Changed crystal to 16Mhz. I am going to replace the socket with a ZIF and use it as a programmer. I see this board is no longer available from Sparkfun. If Sparkfun is considering a new board it should have a switchable 3.3V or 5V power supply and a socket for the crystal.