Galvanically isolated RS-485 line transceiver with integrated ATtiny814 MCUDesigned by LeoNerd's Store in United Kingdom
Still active despite the COVID-19 situation; though shipping times will be slightly slower at the moment.
Summary RS-485 half-duplex line driver 1kV galvanic isolation ATtiny814 microcontroller I²C / SPI / GPIO breakout header Standard AVR UPDI header What is it? This board contains an isolated RS-485 …Read More…
This board contains an isolated RS-485 line driver combined with an ATtiny814 microcontroller. It allows the ATtiny chip to communicate with a shared-bus RS-485 line while electrically separating it with a 1kV isolation barrier. This lets the RS-485 line operate at a different electrical potential - useful if the line has to travel some distance, especially between buildings or if there's a potential for different systems running on different electrical power phases. This is often used in stage equipment that uses DMX-512 for example.
The USART of the ATtiny814 is connected directly to the isolated RS-485 line driver, allowing a complete application to be built on the board such as a DMX transmitter or receiver, or other control interface.
All the remaining GPIO pins from the microcontroller that aren't dedicated to the RS-485 driver are brought out to the labelled breakout header; these are PB0-1, PA1-6. Because the ATtiny814's SPI and I²C modules are connected to these pins, this makes it convenient to operate the board either as an SPI or I²C slave or master, as part of a larger project. Alternatively, these lines can be used directly in an application, either as GPIOs, ADC inputs or PWM outputs. A separate 2x3 header connector allows the ATtiny814 to be programmed via the usual Atmel UPDI method.
I've been building a lot of DMX-512-controlled equipment. A DMX receiver is ideally supposed to be electrically isolated from the sender, to avoid electrical issues across stages. It's also useful whenever the line has to travel a long distance; which is typically where RS-485 is most used. Additionally, DMX-512 operates at a fast line rate of 250kBaud, which puts quite a tight timing requirement on other work the MCU might be doing at once. By offloading the DMX receiving part of the application into a separate microcontroller, the timing requirements can be carefully handled here away from other things the main controller is doing.
Unlike most of the other RS-485 driver modules you tend to find, this one combines the power and logic isolation elements right there on the board and connected to a dedicated application offload controller, giving a complete RS-485 handling in one convenient place.
If you're just looking for an isolated RS-485 line driver without an onboard microcontroller, perhaps to attach it to an existing MCU or other async serial-talking device, you might instead be interested in the RS-485 Isolator product.
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