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Migrating from Panda II


#1

I believe I have reached the limits of my Panda II (and there is so much more I want to do)
I continually struggled to stay below the User RAM limit, but I have now hit the 148K user application limit. It also seems that Panda II may be nearing it’s end-of-life.

The CPU speed was good enough, but faster would be fine.
I need Ethernet (I have the W5100 ethernet shield)
I need music (I have the music shield)
I need 2x RS232 (I currently have a Arduino RS232 shield hooked up to my Pioneer receiver and a UART output hooked up to a Nuvo Grand Concerto through a Max232 chipset)
I need various digital, pwm, and analog i/o that all the current boards seem to have.
I have well structured C# code, so I am not worried about migrating the software.

I was wondering what the best “upgrade” path would be.

At first glance, it seems like the FEZ Cerbuino Bee would be a good bet:

  • relatively new product?
  • more memory, faster cpu
  • able to re-use the Arduino shields that I have? (RS232 & music shield should work) I’m fine getting a ENC28 & keeping the old ethernet shield with the old panda II (for other smaller projects)
  • good selection of new gadgeteer modules if I need them

Or is there a better choice/

FYI the project is a modular interface for a whole-house audio amp (NuVo Grand Concerto) that includes a Pioneer Amp as a virtual zone and multi-source, appleTv source with metadata, DirecTv source with metadata, … Plus a custom door-bell/intercom interface with motion-sensing, animal noises, etc. Plus many future ideas.


#2

I like cobra. Almost unlimited resources with pins to write your circuits and gadgeteer options.

Are you going to share some pictures of your project? :slight_smile:


#3

I would say if you’re hitting memory limits you would want to go to anything but a verb-family device since the stm32 device family isn’t a huge change from usbizi… so go EMX or G120 based, I’d go with a Cobra 2 as the current generation device (as Gus says)


#4

Thank you for your suggestions. The Cobra II sounds great.
I will partition the design and keep the doorbell/music/motion sensor/speaker part on the Panda, so I only need internet, and two RS232 ports. Ill check my budget. Cerbuino Bee+ENC28=$60 (reuse RS232 shield & reuse MAX32 circuit). Cobra+ENC28+RS232=$140 (reuse MAX32 circuit). Im pretty sure everything would fit in the Cerbuino after I partition it… but after reading the specs, I really like the Cobra too (and would love to add the touchscreen when I can afford it). When I am finished, there is a good chance that others will want to build this controller (or have me build one for them), so price is something to think about. Although once you add your own music server, the official Nuvo product that offers similar features is $3500, so the $60 difference may not be important.

The first pic is the maxed out Panda II: music shield, rs232 shield, Ethernet shield – most arduino pins used. Deploying assemblies for a total size of 146956 bytes - having to comment out debug code to make room for bug fixes.

The second pic is the Nuvo wall pad showing appleTv meta-data (The panda grabs the data & controls the display as well as map the buttons to appleTv IP control commands.)

Once I do a bit more testing, I do plan to submit this on codeshare as two projects.
(Unfortunately, my real job gets in the way of my coding … especially when we start a new chip)


#5

Very cool, please share more.


#6

I just got my Cobra II! It will be nice to restructure my code with good “software engineering” principles instead of designing to minimize memory.

I am having trouble with the update process, but I will post my issues in a new topic.