USBPIC Controls Just About Anything

Over the last few years, [Michael] has been developing a PIC microcontroller board. He calls his project USBPIC, and with the addition of a few FET drivers, H-bridges, and LED drivers his homemade dev board can handle just about anything thrown at it.

[Michael]’s board is build around a PIC18F2455 microcontroller with both an In Circuit Serial Programming header and support for a USB port included. Instead of going for a modular format where the board can expanded through shields or expansion cards, [Michael] decided to make three different versions of the USBPIC.

The TRANS USBPIC includes eight FETs for switching off high current devices totaling 32 Amps. The MATRIX board has twice as many outputs as the TRANS board, but uses ULN2803 or UDN2982 chips for driving smallish-current devices. Finally, the HBSW board takes a TRANS board and replaces four FETs with a an L298 H-bridge chip for driving two DC motors.

For what [Michael] lost in modularity, we think he gained a very tidy microcontroller board capable of driving everything from robots to LED matrix displays.

9 thoughts on “USBPIC Controls Just About Anything

  1. So my question is this: are you finding the USB interface to the controlling device (be it PC or Arduino or something else) to be reliable? I mean USB always locks up; something else happens to cause a condition which requires a reboot on either side of the jig – I mean it may be just me but over time the USB is guaranteed to need a reboot so there goes my question: not a 1-2 day of testing but more like a year of continuous communication? How does it fair?

    1. I’ve used other USB Pic chips and the the USB protical has always been as reliable or more reliable than RS-232. the only errors you may get are your own programming errors. since you shouldn’t be dynamically allocating memory in a pic chip errors usually appear immediately so you an correct them. on the PC side I have never had to reboot the computer for a programming error (however if you short your USB power you will have to reboot)

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