Ran across this small computer card/chip gizmo recently. The price ($40) was enough to induce me to buy one, especially since it includes an embedded BASIC interpreter. I haven't seriously programmed in BASIC since I wrote some programs to control an airgun array from my Apple ][ computer back in ... hell, the 80's? Sometime long ago. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to mess around with. It connects to a terminal program (Hyperterm) on my laptop PC via the USB port. Which also powers the board, making code testing remarkably easy and sort of portable.


Then, of course, I had to find some project where it would be USEFUL! I wrote some code fragments to see if it could be used as a controller for a TAPS or similar acoustic backscatter system. It has an SPI port, so it would interface with the DDS, ADC, and DAC. You can generate pulses on the several I/O pins. The internal ADC is only 10 bits, marginally adequate for a small echosounder but potentially usable (although the code presently only allows one sample per call) if running an external ADC is not feasible.

The major drawback -- just like the original 68HC11 controllers for TAPS -- is the lack of mass data storage. So I purchased a micro-SD card breakout card from Adafruit to see if I can figure out how to write files on this mass storage device. Been busy with another project, however, and this looks a lot harder than I was expecting, so this application is still on the "to do" list.

My first actual project became a
GPS speedometer for my lakester. I've described it in the RACING section under BONNEVILLE so no need to duplicate it here. Let me just note that the basic wiring of the GPS module and the LED display to the EZsbc1 consisted of FOUR wires (exclusive of power and ground)!