Member Since: September 26, 2011

Country: United States

  • Yes, and I remember fondly my trips to Trans Am Electronics on Canal Street in NYC in the early/mid 1980s. Not only all sorts of surplus electronics gear and parts, but also a hangout for many of the area hobbyists. The fellow who owned the place -- can't recall his name, unfortunately -- was free with advice and project ideas.

  • Oh, 'bout four decades ago, I recall piggybacking 2112 RAM chips and soldering pin-to-pin on my KIM-1 to double the memory to a whopping 2 KB. I used an early generation battery-powered solding iron, a Weller I think. My girlfriend had to hold the the piggybacked chips steady until I soldered a pin or two.

    Recall, also, that all consumer electronics was soldered point-to-point before the advent of printed circuit boards around 1960 or so. My first shortwave radio, a Hallicrafters S-38E was point-to-point. Inside, it looked like a semi-organized rat's nest, and gave the sense of mass-produced DIY. Ah, nostalgia just ain't like it used to be.

  • Interesting idea, but it would be nice if the '328 were a socketed hole-through chip, rather than an SMD. That way, if you burn out the '328 -- an all too common event when tinkering or developing a project -- it's a simple $4 fix, rather than having to throw out a $45 project board.

  • I have discovered that some of the newer 20x4 LCD displays work at 3.3 volts. Dimmer than at 5 v, but still quite usable. Just think, direct connection to a Pi, Beaglebone Black, or PCDuino without level shifters. Has anyone tried these particular displays at 3.3 volts?

  • Download a bootable Ubuntu image for the PCD Lite here:

    Note that the Ubuntu image for the regular PCDuino doesn't seem to work on the Lite. Note also that when expanding the partition to the max size of a 16 GB micro SD card, resize2fs takes about half an hour to run. Probably correspondingly longer for a 32 GB card. So, be patient.

  • These little redboards are great for prototyping with a solderless breadboard. Just make one change when assembling -- use stackable headers instead of the supplied ones. The pins on the stackable headers need just a little tweaking to get them to fit into a solderless breadboard, and voila, you've got a complete hardware development system. And if you should somehow blow the '328, just get a new one for a couple of bucks and plug it in.

    This item is a hidden treasure, and Sparkfun should do more to publicize it.

  • Well, the next version of this board will probably be a killer. Here's what the pcDuino needs.

    1) Get rid of the semi-compatible Arduino headers and instead have a socket for plugging in an ATM328 coprocessor daughter board that accepts Arduino shields with no adapter needed.

    2) More video output options, including RCA jacks for NTSC/Pal monitors, a VGA jack, more HDMI video modes supported, etc.

    3) Socket the SOIC chip, so it can be replaced if blown.

    Well, hey, I can always dream.

  • Hey, Sparkfun. You know what the pcDuino needs to make it a runaway bestseller? A conversion kit or set of cables to enable it to interface with a Motorola Atrix lapdock, just like the Raspberry Pi can do. Yeah, so for under 100 bucks extra, you can get a single-unit HDMI display, with keyboard and trackpad to hook up to the pcDuino. Is this doable, or what?

No public wish lists :(