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G80TH & G30TH modules deserve a 3.3v Regulator + SoM Version


#1

Hello GHI
I want to file a complaint against the person who send me those 2 modules that i bought last month (OrderID: 07252017-334A) :cry:

i actually received them this thursday & i was really so happy but unfortunatlly my happiness was broken when i plugged them to my laptop to discover that they cant even be detected as an usb hardware!! only the usb power led was working (same problme for both G30 & G80 modules)

So i sit for more than 24 hour googling for a solution or to find someone that have posted the same problem like mine in any place in this world … i found lot of post talking about doing a reset & uploading new bootloader & all those stuff to solve the problem, but nothing of those solution was usefull for me because the module was undetectable as a device !! i already seen hell with FezCerb40 & Netduino that i really tortured until the end so i know the tricks of bootloader Lol

That probleme was totally different this time & after choosing to do hard way by checking the schematic by myself i found that someone forgot to connect the power supply of the microcontroller with the USB VCC through a 3.3v regulator that dont even exist (i tough that the D1 component was a regulator but it wasnt)

Its really not funny … i already know that i have the most bad luck in the world, but not until that level
i found some components not soldered also in the G80 module (C3 & the big pads of the usb connector that fix it in board) i fixed them & i burned the LED with hot air :sweat_smile:

i was admiring every detail of the boards like if they was somthing precious Lol

Oups i forget to say the solution
before plugging the G30 or G80 module that have the same problem like mine just connect an external 3.3V alimentation to the 3.3v PIN to turn on the microcontroller & then plug the module to the usb of ur laptop voila it will be detected & work well … that is all :sunglasses:

i hope its only me that had this problem :joy:


#2

The TH boards are system on modules that have a USB connector for making things easier for you but non of them has on board voltage regulator. This was done for a very important reason, needed by commercial customers.

I believe the product page and the docs are clear about this. I wish you knew this earlier so you would not have to get frustrated.

In the future, just come here and ask and we will be ready to help.

Now, what was the complain about? You mean the order took too long? What country and what shipping method did you use?


#3

I can understand the frustration but did you take the time to read all of the documents for the G80TH?

This page clearly states you need 3.3V and that the USB will not power the device.

https://www.ghielectronics.com/docs/340/through-hole-developers-guide

ONE FOR GHI
On the schematic, I am not a fan of using VCC as a power label, especially when this is actually 3.3V. VCC was generally used for 5V in the old days :slight_smile: and in fact, most IC’s these days use VDD labeling but I would prefer if you used something that reflected the actual voltage instead. This would save a lot of confusion for newbies. Us older dudes will work it out from the datasheets but those for many newbies are considered gobbledegook.


#4

Hi dear Gus

Removing an essential component like the 3.3v regulator & RTC crystal from the module dont really make things easier & yeah those thing can be tolerated if its a surface mounted Module like a G120 System on Module but not a TH module. The FezCerb40 was perfect as a design decause it include everyting & there is no need to look for external parts to play with it
when i bouth the G30 & G80 i thought that it was already included after reading their overview that say:

Most signals are exposed on 0.1 inch spaced pads, making it easy for direct wiring or for adding headers. The module only needs 3.3V to operate, even if a USB cable is being used. However, the USB voltage is available on a pad for wiring a regulator.

this descriotion aonly mean that there is nothing to worry about … just plug & play

Mr @Dave_McLaughlin montionned this link too [quote=“Dave_McLaughlin,
post:3, topic:20635”]
https://www.ghielectronics.com/docs/340/through-hole-developers-guide
[/quote]

it just say

Warning
Keep in mind that the board cannot be powered from USB. Even with USB connected, you must connect a 3.3V power supply to the 3.3V and GND holes.

There is really a big difference between both descriptions :expressionless:
& i didnt expected that one day i should matter about that king of problems in & modules that i bougth with love.

a SOT 3.3v regulator on board dont hurt anyone if it was added at least !!

for the complaint its not about shipping time or the shipper … its exclusively for that issue that i wish to not find anymore in my future toys.

i have a wish list too :yum: but firstly i want to ask if its possible to be the CEO of GHI Electronics for the next 6 months … ofc i will be payed for good results & well payed if i invase the world :grin:

U already have the magic wand but i cant find my needs yet in your amazing products :innocent:

Gus, when u said:

… This was done for a very important reason, needed by commercial customers.

i disagree with u in that point unfortunately because Its better to impress all the commercial customers instead to be so specific with the needs of some particular customers… that will only mean more sales & more satisfaction for everybody.

Im sure that the specific customers will be more happy with a G30 & G80 surface mounted module in that case :wink:

There is already some space for a little 3.3v regulator like the FEZCerb40 :slight_smile:


#5

Correct, not easier. It is made for commercial use to be flexible, not easy.

Use FEZ for easy.


#6

Okay
Thanks for ur time


#7

Glade to find a little place with the right pins position to solder a 3.3v regulator :joy:

i know its not something important but its important for me because where i live ther is no PCB manufacturers so i just handle my things by wires for for my prototypes


#8

I recommend these with a breadboard.


#9

Unfortunately, there is no difference in the text in those two places. It is how you’ve interpreted it that’s different. And unfortunately you’ve hit this issue - but it’s great you’ve seen the way forward. We look forward to seeing what you make.

But to highlight these statements I think it’s important to ensure clarity here. “The module only needs 3.3v to operate, even if a USB cable is being used” means that the USB cable isn’t providing the 3v3, and something extra is needed. “However the USB voltage is available on a pad for wiring a regulator” explicitly says that you need a regulator as well. “Even with USB connected, you must connect a 3.3v power supply to the 3.3v and GND holes” again says you need to externally provide 3v3 power, and can’t rely on USB.

I debated FOR including the regulator on these when GHI initially put out the design, so I’m obviously like you and not the full commercial customer, but here’s the thing… Many customers want to just worry about the digital signal portion of a design, and a 0.1" header socketed PCB is more than effective module to plug in (and even potentially be replaceable), so GHI have done exactly what those customers wanted. For the rest of us, the TH modules with a little power work, or a FEZ board instead, are the ways we can get the best of both worlds


#10

There’s a reason people wouldn’t want the 3.3v regulator on the board. The big reason is going to be supply capacity.

If G30 offered a 3.3v regulator on board and exposed it for use, you’re going to burn up your most expensive component, the MCU, the first time someone tries to drive a pack of 16 relays off of a darlington array (as an example). I’ve got a relay board I’m designing right now that takes 16 GPIO outs from a G30 and uses it to drive 16 240v 15 amp relays. This needs a totally, radically different VRM / power management structure than you’d be able to place on a small throughole module designed for a DIP40 socket. (ETA: Plus it’s bad PCB design practice to mix your VRM setup with your signal traces but that’s an entirely different subject matter; you want your VRM and power inputs to be physically isolated on the board and not run smack in the center of your signals)

These products are designed to allow new users - mainly C# programmers with no embedded experience - to “gently explore” the world of embedded computing and discreet circuit design. With that in mind you have to be careful about what assumptions you choose to make when designing things.

You (the OP) would have been better served initially if you’d bought a FEZ, or G30/G80 development board. Those have everything on board for power, display, connectivity, and so on. You can plug them in to USB power and be off on your merry way exploring how to write code that does things in the real world.

The throughole modules are designed as an interim step for prototyping on a breadboard prior to actual production.

In the end, after you have all the bugs worked out, me (and I’d imagine most folks) who go to commercial production end up with something like this in their hands;

I very first started working with the first GHI dev board in early June.

By end of June I’d written several drivers for both I2C and SPI chips that I want to use in my designs (GPIO extenders, ADC, etc, etc)

I “graduated” to designing circuit boards in Eagle in early July.

Now, second week of August I have my first production board created over in China, sitting on my desk waiting for assembly.

Rather than get frustrated at some of the harder obstacles I encountered along the way (like transitioning from VB.NET to C#, learning how to use CAD software for the first time, trying to wrap my head around how transistors and resistors and capacitors and diodes and stuff work), I poured myself in to the problem space, spent two and a half solid months learning and looking things up ad-neaseum, and arrived closer to my end destination.

Think about it man.

Two and a half months and a corporate VS.NET database forms / SQL programmer was transformed in to building my own circuit boards from scratch, with no prior experience whatsoever in discreet electronics.

I’d say GHI is doing a hell of a job.

And instead of complaining, you need to look in the mirror and take a deep breath, then go back to reading datasheets before you jump in feet first. When it comes to electronics, if you DO NOT study the data sheets extensively, you’ll find yourself making one very expensive mistake - and serious setback - after another!

Do not take this as an attack against you. Take this as advice from someone else who has tackled the same sorts of learning curves you are tackling, and take reassurance that with diligent study and determination, you too will arrive blissfully at your end goal and hold your own electronics in your hand. Far more rapidly than you could have 10 years ago and much easier to program.

Peace.


#11

Awesome :sunglasses: thanks.

But to be fair to @HAMUZAO I think we could make the description a bit clearer. He was a bit too frustrated, which explain the way he worded things. Passed this obstacle, I think (and hope) he will have a great experience using our products.


#12

Good documentation is always important. There’s a number of suggestions I could make if you want? I’m going through all of this for the first time with a fresh pair of eyes and could give you some feedback on things that confused me.


#13

Feedback is always welcome but hold for a week please. We are updating some more.


#14

No dont worry about that :yum:
i acatually tried all the mistakes that you montionned Lol & i dont regret anything because all my mistakes pushed me to try to discover other ways & tricks :wink:

You cant imagine how much time & money i have spend of to learn this art …
Google was my only source of knowledge where i learned everything & i still learning
I actually had all the conditions to fail & to give up but instead doing that i choosen to go forward to make my dream !! & now i can tell u that i made my magic wand by myself i can make things now.

Unfortunately, the day i started something real i discovered that i was in the wrong place to do this things (a 3rd world country where only food business work well )

Its was sample as idea to shrunk an arduino mega into a surface mounted module to be easy to integrate in may porject idea & reduce time & effort of design & PCB wiring (http://duinocore.greathings.cc )

It was in fact a solution of my problems for quick & flexible prototyping of my boards firstly & to solve the problem of local PCB manufacturers in my country that they still in ice age

All the complexity is inside & the fun is outside

It also allows u to focus on the main idea & do modifications if needed without affecting the whole design

i guess that asurface mounted G30 & G80 module looking to that design with organized pins & full optimized to be ready to be soldered directly in the PCB will be more practical than a TH module

i want to invest more on it to add more features on it to improve it to be more easy to use !! but i stopped doing that anymore until i found a way to move to a better place where those things (Business) works well :stuck_out_tongue:


I also agree with u in that too :relieved:

I actually descovered GHI boards trough a Netduino board that i had received as a gift from a friend
My first steps in NETMF world was with this board that i tested everything on it & killed it by burning its microcontroller by mistake too :sweat_smile: but it get back alive & working again after 6 months or reset :joy:

I wasnt really satisfied with its capabilities & then i descovered that there is also GHI Electronics that provide all my wishes in their boards but unfortunately they was expensive for my wallet in that time :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: so i bought just the most low cost FezCerb40 to test all my dreams in it … well documented & amazingly satisfying my codes, handling interruptions & debbuging feautures trough VS was fascinating … & when i seen some videos of @Gus_Issa talking about the future so i wanted to be part of that future too & to see how it look like.


#15

Well i admit that my english is not good enough Lol u can see that in my posts with tones of gramatical mistakes :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: in fact English is my 3rd language & sorry for any misunderstanding caused by that :grimacing:

Dont worry im not gonna make a T800 with those G30 & G80 modules :grin: i was just planning to do some demo applications of this LRF sensor that i sell in my tindie store

Finally, the company that provide me those modules made one of my little wishes true by upgrading the sampling frequency from 5hz to 20hz but unfortunatelly they changed the instructions of the module too !! so i need now to test that new module to see how it will fail to the extreme applications again


#16

Im :yum: & i wish to find more options that match my needs in one place

for the title i know i was a little bit cruel but i was just playing on the human curiosity REGISTER :grin:


#17

And I didn’t mean to point that out more than anything. And again, I love the fact that you’ve found the way forward and are happy to be here - we’re happy to have you here.


#18

Glad to know u all guys :wink:


#19

i changed th thread title to be more accurate + wish :yum:

i will open another soon for more wishes :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#20

Awesome and cool work by your side - good experience

I am too (Graduated as Software and System Engineer and working at Faculty too) also as Corporate MS SQL Database and WinForms/ASP.NET developer

I found way spontantenous to GHI Electronics and i bought on Black Friday - Fez Spider Kit II
i’n meantime i played with .NET Framework for STM32F4 Discovyer and Nucleo (glad for that i found here my heroes that do not hesitated to help me) and the other things all are history

all what i want to say is that
GHI Electronics fulfilled my missing gaps (.NET for Microelectronics) in other side I’m lucky i found my way here.