The DonDuino Patch
On the Saturday, I spent a couple of hours on a project with Mick, all via email. I had an idea. We pushed it around. He designed the board artwork.
We should end up with a simple, low cost, Arduino shield addressing patch panel, that uses shunts and jumpers to cross configure all Maximite signals that drop into the Arduino shield format.
I have hunted the web, and found nothing even close to what we can achieve with "The DonDuino Patch". This isn't just for Maximite, it is also a new Arduino Shield product.
Mick completed the artwork on the Sunday, and we submitted it to our PCB manufacturer on the Monday.
This idea was based on thoughts I had when I first saw Geoff Graham's Maximite Computer in Silicon Chip magazine, however I imagined it for a parallel bus system using the 26 pin IDC cable principle.
I had spoken with Geoff about doing something like this, and he welcomed the idea, however we were not talking about Arduino shields, but about a parallel bus system.
When it came to applying it to the Arduino shield stack, it made even more sense, and was possibly easier to implement.
It is a little hard working from a B&W overlay, and not an actual picture of the board, complete with various examples of configurations of jumpers and shunts.
So here is a quick advanced no nonsense, no pictures summary:
Easiest way to explain this is, you populate the board with two sets of stacker header pins.
The J1 pins will insert into the board below the patch board and become the male pins of the patch board.
The J2 pins will effectively be the sockets up to the board above. This means you may have to cut the male pins from these sockets, as they may foul with the board components below.
In the middle of the board, there are four R/A male headers. Two by 6 pin * 2, and two by 8 pin *2.
The lower pins are for the bottom board, and the top pins for the upper board.
All signals except the grounds, can be isolated.
To reconnect them together, you use shunts or test links to join common signals between the two boards, and either 50mm, or 100mm wire jumpers to cross patch your signal selection.
This will allow you to redirect and connect any signal of the bottom board, to any signal of the top board.
This can be either a permanent or temporary connection, it is up to you.
Boards are now available.
The DonDuino Patch will only be available as a bare board, or as a kit of parts.
Constructors should be able to build this in 5 or 10 minutes I would think.