The Matrix USB prototype board provides an easy-to-use solution for rapid prototyping of microcontroller applications and is ideal for those learning to program microcontrollers for the first time. It has a Microchip PIC18F24K50 high-performance 8-bit processor which is programmed with a bootloader that allows you to download programs directly from a PC and execute them seamlessly.
The bootloader is open-source, so other USB-programmable projects can be based on it. Files can be sent to the chip using the free mLoader utility. The board also is compatible with Flowcode 6.
Two single-in-line headers provide wiring holes to connect the prototyping area to the 19 input/output pins of the microcontroller. You can connect these to the prototyping area using wire or micro leads. The solderless prototyping area consists of 17 rows of holes that are split into two sets of five interconnected holes per row. Circuits are completed by placing additional electronic components into the interconnected proto area holes.
The board is powered normally at 5V from a standard USB socket or a USB hub. The bootloader for the on-board PICmicro chip is based on open-source Microchip code. The board includes a resettable fuse and other components which offer protection for the board and your PC's USB circuitry, though microcontroller pins are not protected, so care must be taken not to exceed the allowable levels. A complete step-by-step course in developing simple microcontroller circuits is available online. A USB cable is not included.
Allowable Voltage/Current Levels
- Maximum voltage applied to any I/O pin: 5.5V
- Maximum output current sink or source by any microprocessor I/O pin: 25mA
- Maximum total current sink by all microprocessor ports: 200mA
- Maximum total current sourced by all microprocessor ports: 185mA
Programming with Bootloader The microprocessor is pre-programmed with a bootloader, which sets the internal clock active at 48MHz and flashes the Green LED awaiting program download from mLoader and the host PC USB connection. This simplifies programming from a Flowcode-created program. After approximately four seconds, the LED will stop flashing and any previously downloaded user program will run. The LED flash period is reduced to approximately one second if no USB host is detected. Pressing the on-board Reset button causes the bootloader to restart.
USB Prototype Board Resources
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