Mostly my fault, but I just haven’t felt like writing anything on the blog lately. Every once in a while, I think to myself that I really need to update the blog so people know things are occurring, but then I decide to go work on something else, and the blog is forgotten again for another month.
Here is the current status: OPP firmware has been moved from the PSOC4200 to the STM32 and everything that MPF supports is supported by the new firmware. Regression tests have been run, and so all past functionality has been verified including switch matrices. (Those were the tall straw that ended up taking the longest because the newer processor is significantly faster and thus the capacitance of the inputs for a switch matrix needed a little help.) All the new code is in the repository so version 18.104.22.168 should be fully qualified. Thanks for the big help from cobra18t for helping me test the switch matrix stuff.
After finishing that up at the beginning of January, I started talking to Jan about what is the best interface to support for MPF and Neopixels. After a little bit of discussion, I feel that I have a small efficient interface that should work well with how MPF wants to send updates to a pixel controller. That is work that is on-going, and even if I finish the firmware, it will still be a couple of weeks until the interface to MPF is finished. (OPP PSOC4200 boards supported Neopixels, but I never wrote the interface necessary to make it work seemlessly with MPF. I’m now making a concerted effort with the STM32 because I feel it has the bandwidth necessary to make that interface work well.)
The STM32 processor is cheaper than the PSOC4200 processor boards, and all of the wing boards work with the new processor without any modification to the wing boards. (That was one of the main design goals). The plank boards can only be used on the left side of the processor because the USB to serial port takes the center two pins on the right side. Cobra18t has boards that can convert from a STM32 to the same form factor as the PSOC4200 so those small breakout boards could be used. (Contact him on pinside if interested.)
Here are the two main threads in the MPF user group discussing the updates to OPP, testing, and where it is going next:
That’s all I have for tonight. Just got the DMA running properly to update the NeoPixels, but haven’t verified the output yet to insure the pixels are being lit properly. That will probably happen in the next few days. Hopefully in the near future OPP can provide a cheaper way to use pixels without the expense of the current offerings.