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DPRG: Kip's design and some suggestions

Subject: DPRG: Kip's design and some suggestions
From: Eric B. Olsen robojoc at worldnet.att.net
Date: Thu Jul 3 01:11:20 CDT 1997

Kipton Moravec wrote:

> For a robotic controller, I would use the same core.
>             80C552,
>             XC9572 or XC95108
>             32K EPROM, or Flash EEPROM
>             32K or 64K RAM
>             Two TBD h-bridge circuits using the 80C552
>                 built in PWM for speed control.
>             7805 Voltage regulator with additional transiant
>                 supression circuitry
>             max232 (RS-232 serial interface),
>             sockets for 2 I^2C devices.
>             headers, and sockets for TBD devices
>             prototype area
>             Test connector
> > 
>             The processor has a built in 10-bit ADC.
>             one or two sonar sockets,
>             8 servo headers (3pin),
>             lm386 (speaker amplifier),
>             These devices would be supported or not depending
>             on how the XC9500 was programmed.
> How much would you pay for a board like this? What other features would
> it have?
> Regards,
> Kip


I can't really comment on the price I'd pay, since I've already built
something very similar!  However, my experience in electronics suggests
that you need to retail for at least double the cost you build ... 2.5
times the cost is even better if people will buy!  (That is, if you want
to make money!  There's nothing wrong with that.)  

As far as extra features,... support is needed to monitor optical wheel
encoders,... maybe this can go into your Xilinx.  Don't forget that a
good micro-processor supervisory circuit is needed, such as a Maxim
'691, or equivalent.  A good supervisory circuit will include support
for RAM battery back-up, so you should add this ... it won't cost much. 
I'd replace (or complement) the 7805 with a switching regulator from
Linear Technologies or National Semiconductor ... this provides better
power support on your board, but does jack the cost up.  The cost is in
the coil and regulator, but there are cheap sources for the coil.  And
last, but not least, add a DIP switch, so that your customer can select
different program options.  You'll have to add some circuitry for this.

Good Luck!

Eric Olsen
Las Vegas, NV


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