DB101 - The Butterfly's big brother

Go To Last Post
372 posts / 0 new

Pages

Author
Message
#1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Atmel just announced a new small AVR board in the style of the Butterfly, but bigger and meaner:
- Mega1281
- 128x65 graphical LCD
- Battery powered (short lifetime, though)

http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?family_id=607&family_name=AVR+8-Bit+RISC+&tool_id=4221

Dean (abcminiuser) has a Review on his blog: http://fourwalledcubicle.com/blog/archives/43

I have not found any information about pricing and availability. At least digikey does not have the part yet.

Markus

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Yes, it's playing-time again :)

Nard

A GIF is worth a thousend words   She is called Rosa, lives at Mint17.3 https://www.linuxmint.com/

Dragon broken ? http://aplomb.nl/TechStuff/Dragon/Dragon.html for how-to-fix tips

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Usual post, usual reason ;-)

(OK, I know this isn't the FIRST traffic about the DB101 but, still, we can live in hope)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Well, just in case...

Perhaps it is time for a new t-shirt deal ;)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Oh, yeah ! I didn't thought about T-shirts, what an oversight ! Me too !

Markus

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

I was thinking about 'buy an avrfreaks tshirt and get a db101 for free' kind of things.

Edit: They should call it dragonfly or something.. DB101 doesn't sound so interesting compared to butterfly or dragon :)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Don't know about your country but here DB has quite an "interesting" meaning. (also known as the "Mutt's Nuts" ;))

This thing certainly sounds like "the dogs ..." !

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:

I have not found any information about pricing and availability.

AFAIK Atmel has not announced any pricing on this thing yet. With the exception of Deans prototype its still "vapourware".

"He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack, or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track. Oh the engineers would see him sitting in the shade, Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made. People passing by, they would stop and say, "Oh, my, what that little country boy could play!" [Chuck Berry]

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

I like Dragonfly, sounds meaner than Butterfly and is a real name. CountZero, you should depose a trademark and trade it with Atmel for a sample :-).

Johan, I hope you are planning for a 'carrier' like the ones for the Butterfly !

Markus

P.S. DB101 sounds like a train to me (DB=Deutsche Bahn). We get some of those venturing south over the border into Switzerland.

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:

Johan, I hope you are planning for a 'carrier' like the ones for the Butterfly !

Huh? A mix-up here? I have not been involved in any Butterfly carrier boards.

Anyhow, I am not planning anything for a DB101 until I have one near me, or at least know where to buy and what the price will be.

"He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack, or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track. Oh the engineers would see him sitting in the shade, Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made. People passing by, they would stop and say, "Oh, my, what that little country boy could play!" [Chuck Berry]

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Cliff, That one I had to google :)

Here in Sweden we don't usually associate (as far as I know anyway) any parts of dogs with positive things :)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Oh, :oops:, my brain is mixed up ! Should have been Smiley, but he is still silent for now.

Markus (hiding under his desk...)

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

The DB101 sounds like a great alternative to the Butterfly. Though, the Butterfly is a spiffy little machine.

I'm wondering if the cost will be below $50.00, Maybe Atmel got the graphic displays by the millions and at a really good price break.

But then too, $20.00 would be a terrific price but, well, it's a fantasy...

It would be nice to see some hard data on what this thing really is.

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:
Usual post, usual reason
Yes, it looks cool, guess this time I need to post also :D
/Lars

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

For a product just announced, withotu date and price the documentation is quite decent:
Software Users Guide: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc8094.pdf
Hardware Users Guide: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc8073.pdf

It looks like there will be a nice set of libraries to drive the features of the card in C. The type of compiler used is not mentioned, though.

I like it too that they list the unused ports upfront. With the butterfly I felt always uneasy using ports I was not sure they were used for something else because I misread the schematics.

Markus

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

DB ... Deutsche Bahn indeed ... my first brainwave was Daimler Benz :)

A GIF is worth a thousend words   She is called Rosa, lives at Mint17.3 https://www.linuxmint.com/

Dragon broken ? http://aplomb.nl/TechStuff/Dragon/Dragon.html for how-to-fix tips

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:
It looks like there will be a nice set of libraries to drive the features of the card in C. The type of compiler used is not mentioned, though.

Software for IAR is available already (the disc icon):
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?family_id=607&family_name=AVR+8-Bit+RISC+&tool_id=4221
/Lars

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Nice! let's hope the price will be nice too... The LCD looks interesting as well, with both a serial and a parallel interface.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Well, at least it doesn't look like AVR (by Another Vapourware Release). That would be fantastic for me two years before. I hope at least the price would be interesting, since graphic LCD (by the probable amount Atmel would buy) are not this expensive. 30€ would be really nice.

Guillem.

EDIT: DB101 sounds like powerful speaker? 101 dB huh?

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:
DB101

Sounds more like a really big connector :)

edit:
Dean is probably thinking "BigButtLoad" about now :roll:

Last Edited: Mon. Sep 24, 2007 - 02:15 PM
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Unlike the Dragon debugger, the DB101 even has a parts list.

It's a shame Atmel wont make the Dragon parts list available.

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

COOOOL toy... Very droolable.

Oh...the LCD! It's so huge!

There are pointy haired bald people.
Time flies when you have a bad prescaler selected.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

DB = Dragon Bite :idea:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Looks like a great entry point for experiments with graphics displays.

/Carsten L

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

I'm not sure when the official price will be announced, but the number I got privately and can't repeat (sorry) was too high to interest me. You might be able to get a price from your Atmel sales rep.

Smiley

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Actually the meaning of "DB" is quite mundane: Display Board

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

[when I saw that there was an EW post at the end of the thread, I eagerly opened it anticipating pricing and availability info ... ]

:(

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

smileymicros wrote:
I'm not sure when the official price will be announced, but the number I got privately and can't repeat (sorry) was too high to interest me.

Smiley

The Butterfly is $24, the DB101 is at least twice as good, so at least $50 :-).

It my well be that it is closer to $100, what makes it too expensive to just fool around.

It's probably plain stupid to discuss like this, we all will know in due time.

Markus

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

See, that's the reaction I had to the name, too! "That's one bigazz plug there!"

But yeah, I saw Dean's review and immediately hit the Atmel site. Thar she ar! Then I went to Digikey and... nuthin'. Same with Mouser. Aaaah, Dean, you're killing me! It's like a kid who's got an in with a toy company flashing next year's coolest toy and saying, "Prototype... don't you wish you had one?" Waaah!

Seriously, that looks cool. I can't wait to play. Cripes, if the price is right that could make a number of my own vaporware projects way WAY more doable. (Of course that would mean I'd have to get off my butt and do them, too... Hmmm...)

Tom

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Just found the display for my 'next generation, all the performance for almost nothing' frequency standard.
(depending on whether the contrast is better or worse what Dean's photos)

Kasper

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

I took a quick look at the hardware PDF. The first thing I notice was the lack of expansion headers on the front. More reading shows that the expansion is predominantly serial on the back. I also noticed that the clock is an external Xtal optimized for serial coms. I have not looked to see how easy this is to access and overclock. MIDI coms work best with an even cristal, 4,8,16MHz. The 8K Sram does solve a few issues. Ideally one would like 32K for buffering SD and other media type applications.

Still it looks like fun ...

-julie

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:

Just found the display for my 'next generation, all the performance for almost nothing' frequency standard.
(depending on whether the contrast is better or worse what Dean's photos)

I'll try to take some higher quality ones tomorrow. The contrast is adjustable, from barely readable to pitch black - nothing to complain about. My prototype's missing the RGB backlight, but I'd say that would make it even nicer to read.

Quote:

The first thing I notice was the lack of expansion headers on the front.

There are through-hole connectors for all communication interfaces along both the bottom and the sides of the board. Only the side ones have pin-headers mounted, so if you wanted to make a "master" board for this to slot into you could arrange the pin headers on your bottom board, place the DB101 over it then solder the pin headers to the top of the DB101.

Again, I'll take better photos tomorrow.

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Yep, I'm in again.

Ken

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:
Looks like a great entry point for experiments with graphics displays.

I've been wanting to play with graphic displays for a while, but never gotten around to buying one. I would buy this in a heartbeat.

Regards,
Steve A.

The Board helps those that help themselves.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Well, I found that this beast, also really susceptible to be used as Human Machine Interface, it lacks of conectivity. With this amount of pins that the uC has, only few are available, thus not many ampliations possible. OTOH, the level translators for all serial ports makes the thingie really interesting for this kind of issue, altough prevission for RS-485 and RS-232, even without phisical connection, would be a nice thingie.

Guillem.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

I took a look at some datasheets for the LCD, and I didn't found any information about contrast ratio on them. Also DisplayTech have few different LCD sizes for 64 x 128 and RGB backlight, and I couldn't find the one used at DB101, just to compare to the LCD that I'm using in my current products.

Anyway, this tool can lead to many interesting tools (graphic datalogger, mini osciloscope probe, logic analyzer, TWI/SPI/USART analyzer) for hobbysts.

Guillem.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Ok, I managed to quickly snap a few high-resolution shots. Still a little shaky as I couldn't find the tripod for the camera (will have a look tomorrow as I originally planned) but it does give a lot more detail than my original cruddy shots.

Check out the pictures at: http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com...

Quote:

it lacks of conectivity.

The board's designed to be the interface to another, master board. It has I2C, SPI and USART communication channels already set up, which you can use to transfer UI information back to your main controller board. Still, you could always hang a few SPI or I2C port expanders off of it.

Having both logic and RS232 level serial is very nice, handy for both AVR and computer needs.

After MyUSB, I'll be re-writing the drivers for GCC I think - the code's only for IAR. Mucho fun to be had!

- Dean :twisted:

EDIT: Can't wait to see my site bandwidth graph tomorrow... ;)

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Guillem Planisi wrote:
Well, at least it doesn't look like AVR (by Another Vapourware Release).

Hey Guillem, I own the copyright on that phrase! :lol:

Anyway, the board looks interesting, but I'm curious about the lack of expansion capability (i.e. ports).

Jim

Your message here - reasonable rates.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

DB can denote "database" so DB101 is a freshman course in database technology. You need a lot of resources to put SQL Server on uC! :P

C: i = "told you so";

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

well you can get MySQL for arm9 linux targets, maybe also for the AVR32 linux distro. :)

/safari

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

JimW52 wrote:
Anyway, the board looks interesting, but I'm curious about the lack of expansion capability (i.e. ports).

Et least compared to the butterfly I see no lack of ports. There is a list of 7 unused ports in the documentation and those are all brought to headers. If you need more, but don't need SPI, UART, etc you can always use those as well.

Yes, 7 ports is not much for a M128, but it is designed for graphics (DB=DisplayBoard), not I/O. You can always hang off a second AVR over SPI is you need more I/O.

Markus

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

theusch wrote:
[when I saw that there was an EW post at the end of the thread, I eagerly opened it anticipating pricing and availability info ... ]

:(

Lee

Oh, I'm sorry Lee. In general, I try not to get to involved in pricing and availability. I've already got a lot on my plate rather than trying to keep track of that stuff.

... But I just did some checking around and the DB101 is launched, its on the website, so it should be available "real soon".

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Well, Markus, for a M128(1) and a graphical display, it could had more ports. Of course, there is always the possibility to use SPI/TWI/USART to increase theyr capabilites. I told that because I had developed another system with M128 and graphic LCD, USART, SPI, TWI and I still had more pins available, but, of course, I didn't had three PWM outputs for the backlight (it is always on), or two different SPI, or trhee analog inputs to measure batt voltage, current and external voltage.

Anyway, thanks to Dean for theyr posted pictures, that seem that this LCD has a pretty good contrast and readability even under flash light conditions. The whole board looks promising for many tools.

Perhaps for the future project that I would probably start at the beggining of next year, it could be helpful.

Guillem.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:

Well, Markus, for a M128(1) and a graphical display, it could had more ports.

A glance at the schematic showed that nearly all the pins are "used up"--connected to the display, joystick, and other circuitry; brought out to the communications; or going to mysterious N.M. J102-J108.

Aaah--not so mysterious anymore after looking at Dean's pictures--those come to marked through-holes.

So J102-J108 is 7 pins, plus "spare" communications pins. The rest are used up.

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Guillem Planisi wrote:
Well, Markus, for a M128(1) and a graphical display, it could had more ports.

It's alway a compromise. And as is happens with compromises you'll design for the minimum unhappiness of your customer base. You estimate what your target customer set needs and you design for that population.

What I fear is that the design will have too many unnecessary toys for the professionals (rgb backlight, etc), but be too expensive for the hobbyists. I can personally live well with the limited amount of ports, but not with an high price. This is true for many of us. If I need many ports I'll have to design a complete circuit around it anyway, so the DB101 is not useful option.

Markus

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:

This is true for many of us.

Yes, the attraction will be if it has a "low ball" price like the Butterfly or USBkey--a price that we could not build them for that in low quantity.

Lessee--roughly, a $10 AVR and $25 LCD (Optrex F-51852), $2 joystick, $3 dataflash, $2 regulator, $3 battery/holder, 100 parts at $0.10 (mounted) = $10, circuit board $1. About $50-$60.

My guess: $100. [We could have a pool. I'll guess DigiKey qty. 1 listed at US$97.99. Hmmm--need a prize. How about closest without going over gets a slain Dragon? ;) ]

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Lee,

But isn't your pricing based on one-off pricing? Surely things like the $10 AVR and $3 Dataflash will be more like $4 and $1 at "cost" price in quantity. If it's anything like the Butterfly then it seems they sell those at cost price as a "loss leader" to get more folks interested in the product range. So I'm going for $49.99 based (roughly) on your costing.

Cliff

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Quote:

But isn't your pricing based on one-off pricing? Surely things like the $10 AVR and $3 Dataflash will be more like $4 and $1 at "cost" price in quantity. If it's anything like the Butterfly then it seems they sell those at cost price as a "loss leader" to get more folks interested in the product range. So I'm going for $49.99 based (roughly) on your costing.

Correct about the one-off: It will be attractive to use if it is priced >>less<< that I could build one or a few of an equivalent device. If it is >>not<< priced at that "cost" price then it is not very attractive, as per the discussion compromises may be needed to do an app.

[I'm off on my display cost: cut that $25 in half
http://www.radionics.ie/cgi-bin/...@@@@1965719791.1190754076@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccdiaddmdhhhlfmcefeceeldgondhgj.0&cacheID=ienetscape&Nr=avl:ie
]
Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

ok, so my guess is $34.43 :)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Yes, that is exactly the way I feel. I've got a couple of butterfly's some of them never taken out of the box because it is cheap and simple to start a small project with them. Most of the time I use only 10% of its capability, but the savings for a custom circuit is not worth the loss in comfort. But if the savings start to approach a reasonable amount (maybe $50) I suddenly start to do a lot of work to avoid the spending. This is even quite rational, my time is more or less 'free' (hobby) and spending is real hard cash, so spending (and even sometime the final result) looses. The result is to 99% my personal satisfaction anyway. Most of the normal people don't see the significance of the microcontroller based lighting of my daughter's toy farm, even if it is the most advanced lighting in the entire house :-).

Markus

P.S. No Butterfly for the lighting app, a tiny is overkill enough...

Markus

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Well, lets see, €12.32 ($17.42) will buy me this 128x64 panel with a KS0108 on the back:

http://ledsee.com/index.php?page...

At the end of the day it seems the DB101 is just a 128x64 panel with an (admittedly slightly more intelligent!) controller on the back but by comparison I guess it can't really be much more than $25. Otherwise why don't I just pay $17.42 for this if I want some pretty pictures? Are the few extra IO and a serial interface to it really worth the $8+ difference. Or to put it another way, why don't I just spend $4 on a mega88 or something and stick that on the back of this LedSee panel to add a bit more intelligence/interfacing options?

Cliff

Pages