Bus Pirate preorder 1 ships

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A few weeks ago we held a pre-order for the Bus Pirate V2go, the first official Hack a Day hardware. We had initially hoped for a group purchase of 20 or 40 Bus Pirates, maybe 200 if it was extremely popular. In total, nearly a thousand Bus Pirates will be made.

The first 350 Bus Pirates (pre-order 1) have already been manufactured and tested. Seeed Studio has done a great job handling the orders, pre-order 1 should start shipping more than a week early. How long will it take to get to your mail box? It will vary for everyone, but our packages usually arrive from Seeed in 7 days.

Seeed sent us pictures of the Bus Pirate depaneling, programming, and quality control process. Check them out after the break.

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Parts: 4×20 VFD character display (NA204SD02)

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Futaba makes vacuum florescent character displays that can be used as a drop-in replacement for common character LCDs. VFDs have a wider viewing angle, and generally look cooler.

Futaba’s character displays can be interfaced using the standard 8-bit or 4-bit parallel LCD interface, or a simple two-wire protocol. The protocol type is set by resistors on the back of the display, so it’s not particularly easy to change without a hot-air rework station. Today we’ll demonstrate a serially-interfaced VFD using the Bus Pirate.

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Last day to preorder your Bus Pirate

Bus Pirate banner by Aaron Silber http://theajblog.com/

Update, Saturday July 4th, 2009: All preorders are closed.

Today is the last day to pre-order a Bus Pirate. Get your own Bus Pirate, fully assembled and shipped worldwide, for only $30. We don’t plan to make more soon, this could be your last chance.

A special shout out to our partner, Seeed Studio, who handled the rush of orders like pros. The first pre-order is already being manufactured, and will ship as soon as possible. Seeed still has a few V2a PCBs if you’d like to roll your own Bus Pirate.

You’ve made this pre-order a huge success, and we’d like to make more projects available in the future. Were you just interested in the Bus Pirate? Should we arrange pre-orders of future Hack a Day hardware? Are there any past projects that we should revisit?

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How-to: Bus Pirate probe cable

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Update, Saturday July 4th, 2009: All preorders are closed.

A probe cable makes it easy to connect the Bus Pirate to a circuit and get hacking. Good test clips make quick connections on cramped PCBs without causing short circuits. We made two cables for the Bus Pirate v2, keep reading for an overview of our designs and list of part suppliers.

Friday, July 3, 2009 is the last day to pre-order a Bus Pirate. There’s only two days left to get your own Bus Pirate, fully assembled and shipped worldwide, for only $30.

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Mixed voltage interfacing with the Bus Pirate

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Most of the parts we use operate at 3.3volts, but we still run into a lot of old 5volt stuff, and an occasional 2.5volt or 1.8volt part. This post explains how to use the Bus Pirate’s open collector pin mode to interface with parts at different voltages.

We’ve got more details and some example scenarios below the break. Yup, this is another Bus Pirate post. It’ll all be over soon though, because there’s a few days left to get your own Bus Pirate for $30, fully assembled and shipped worldwide.

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Parts: SPI EEPROM (25AA/25LC)

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Microchip’s 25AA/25LC EEPROMs are data storage chips with a simple 3-wire interface. The 25AA/LC is an SPI version of the common 24AA/LC I2C EEPROM.  It comes in capacities of 128bytes to 128kilobytes. We looked at the smallest, the 128byte 25AA010A.

There are Bus Pirate demonstrations for most types of serial EEPROMs. Check out our previous 1-wire (DS2431) and I2C (24LC1025) EEPROM posts.

Continue below to see our test circuit and a demonstration of the 25AA010 EEPROM. We used the Bus Pirate to play with this chip from our PC.  For a limited time you can get your own Bus Pirate, fully assembled and shipped worldwide, for only $30.

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Bus Pirate preorder update

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We’re only four days into the Bus Pirate pre-order, and we’ve exhausted the supply of PIC24FJ64GA002s available in Shenzhen. Thank you for supporting Hack a Day’s first official hardware pre-order. You helped make it a huge success, and we definitely want to do it again in the future.

We weren’t kidding about the PIC shortage. Seeed sourced all they could from Shenzhen, and then tried Hong Kong. It’ll take 4 to 6 weeks to get more.

If you already ordered a Bus Pirate then nothing changes, your Bus Pirate will ship ASAP. In fact, PCB production should start a few days early. The first pre-order item name starts with “[Preorder]”.

New orders are now forwarded to a second pre-order. The new pre-order will take 4 to 6 weeks longer. It should ship about 6 to 8 weeks after July 3, 2009, but we’ll try our best to get it out sooner. The new pre-order item name starts with “[Preorder 2]”.

Read more about the Bus Pirate in our latest How-to. Thank you again for your support!