Monday, November 15, 2010

Sceptre library update

The December issue of Elektor (now on sale) includes a 32-page supplement dedicated to microcontroller projects. In this supplement you will find two articles related to the Sceptre.

First of all there is a 4-page article about Oberon-07, a high-level PASCAL-like programming language, but object oriented. If you know MODULA-2 you will quickly find your marks, if you don't, well then it is pretty straightforward too. Oberon-07 has special features for microcontroller programming. It is f.i. very simple to manipulate bits and registers. Oberon-07 compiles very quickly in very efficient code. The Astrobe IDE makes things even easier thanks to its many libraries and comfy editing options. Serial comms, I2C, math & strings, and much more, it is all ready for you. Go check it out.

The second Sceptre article presents an extension card with a Nokia 6100 mobile phone color LCD, a Blackberry trackball and a 16 Mbit flash memory chip on it. All is controlled over an SPI bus, so the card doesn't use a lot of the Sceptre's I/O. Thanks to a nice open-source driver it is easily possible to display images at a framerate of more than 10 per second!

The fun thing of this card is that it doubles as a universal Arduino shield adapter for the Sceptre. A 16-bit I/O expander from Microchip together with some more Sceptre GPIO make the Sceptre compatible with an Arduino. You can now simply plug an Arduino shield on the Sceptre and use it. As there are many shields available, this unlocks a huge playground for Sceptre enthusiasts.

CAD (Eagle) files and software for this project are freely available together with a library update for the Sceptre. New functions (f.i. RFID), new examples (including a real MIDI file player!) and improved modules (better Bluetooth) make new applications easier. Go get your download here.

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