Arduino inside your computer (on a mini-PCIe card)Designed by Gergely Imreh in United Kingdom
What is it? PCIeDuino is an Arduino board with a mini-PCIe card form factor. It is based on SparkFun's Pro Micro 3.3V/8MHz board, but targeted at being closely attached to the host computer boards. I…Read More…
PCIeDuino is an Arduino board with a mini-PCIe card form factor. It is based on SparkFun's Pro Micro 3.3V/8MHz board, but targeted at being closely attached to the host computer boards. It's using the USB line of the mini-PCIe connector, thus it should be compatible with all common single board computers that have a full-size mini-PCIe connector.
The board is based on the Atmel ATmega32u4 microcontroller, uses 3.3V power line, runs at 8MHz, breaks out all 13 digital channels, 6 analog input, have ISP port for programming, onboard reset button, TX/RX/Power/D13 LEDs (different colours for good fun!).
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Embedded single board computers could also use the power of Arduino, but USB connections are flaky. It is much more reliable if things are screwed in, instead of just being plugged in. This Arduino can add many functionalities to the host computer:
... and a lot more.
What single board computers you can use it with?
List of as of yet untested boards that should theoretically work! (I repeat, untested!)
Will add to this list over time! Please let me know if you found another host that works by sending a short note to email@example.com! :)
In Linux it only needs the USB CDC ACM (Communications Device Class Abstract Control Model) driver enabled, and the board will show up as a
/dev/ttyACMx device, can be used in the Android IDE. Get the SparkFun Pro Micro definitions from the SparkFun GitHub repo.
The firmware is the same as the SparkFun Pro Micro 3.3V/8MHz board, you can get the support files from their SF32u4_boards repo. The firmware is
Caterina-promicro8.hex, and PCIeDuino ships with that flashed. How to tell? When the board is powered up, the D13 LED will do a 1 second period version of the Fade script (will fade in/out).
The board shows up as a ACM device (eg.
/dev/ttyACM0). For this the running kernel has to have CDC ACM support!
The Arduino IDE is not very well supported on ARM boards, apparently (on Debian e.g. the available version is 1.0, while at the time of writing the latest is 1.6.5). Need some software work, but can cross-compile: create the program on another machine, copy the resulting
.hex file and flash that with
avrdude -v -patmega32u4 -cavr109 -b57600 -D -Uflash:w:HEXFILENAME:i or similar (where HEXFILENAME is the filename of the compiled program).
For flashing over the USB line, it seems one needs to put the board into "bootloader mode" (pressing the Reset button x2 with the SparkFun firmware).
The firmware don't seem to be flashable over the USB line, only through the ISP headers (but need to investigate).
There's also plan to provide a port of the popular Optiboot firmware for this board, but this is currently in preparation (contributions are appreciated!)
PCIeDuino is released as open hardware with a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license, just as the original SparkFun Pro Micro (since it's ShareAlike!). If you have any questions, ideas, feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shorts: while the power lines are connected to the host machine through a resettable polyfuse (1.1A trigger) to protect your devices, shorting the pins can cause damage to both the PCIeDuino and the host! Be careful with wiring, and adjust wiring while the board unpowered
Firmware: it's possible to damage the firmware with the
avrdude flashing. If that happens, you might have to reflash the board's firmware through the ISP pins. There are many resources online how to do that, and you might need additional tools such as another Arduino, USBTinyISP or something else. Likely also need some contact probes for temporary connection.
Mounting: a mounting screw will ship with this board that I know works for the VAB-600's case, but might be different for other hosts. In that case you have to source your mounting screw!
Import duties: you are responsible for possible import duties for this board. For the purpose of your planning, to the best of my current knowledge, the applicable Harmonised System (HS) codes for this board are US: 8542.31.0000 / UK 8542.31.1000, but I'm still working on clarifying this (not official number yet!).
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