Parallax Hack Chat

Everything Parallax makes is intended for invention and/or education, join us to talk with the designers!

Friday, May 5, 2017 12:00 pm PT - 12:30 pm PT Hack Chat
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Join the Hack Chat by clicking on the JOIN HACK CHAT button. Then, request to join #Hack Chat.

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Parallax joins us in the Hack Chat

Friday, May 5th at noon PDT, @Chip Gracey from Parallax is joining us in the Hack Chat.

For the last 11 years, Chip has been working on the Propeller II.

Chip is helped by a motley group of forum participants who've been programming the new Propeller chip. The Propeller concept is 8 or 16 separate cores, connected via a shared central memory and I/O pins.

This makes for very fun programming, as the architecture is intended to be understood at the assembly-language level, making disparate real-time feats very achievable.

About Chip Gracey:

Chip grew up in northern California during the 1970's and 80's when computers were becoming accessible. Interested in electronics since childhood, he began programming an Apple ][ and built cross-platform development systems for the C64 while a freshman in high school.

Between graduating high school and bombing out of his local junior college with a 0.95 GPA, he and a friend started Parallax in 1987.

The company initially flirted with different product ideas, but found its niche in microcontrollers and development tools. Everything Parallax makes today is intended for invention and/or education.

Bring your questions and projects about anything to do with Parallax design to this week's Hack Chat!

We're meeting in the #Hack Chat on May 5th, noon PDT.

Here's the list for discussion and questions, add yours to the sheet!

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 684.88 kB - 05/03/2017 at 14:37

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  • (edited) Transcript for Parallax HackChat

    Sophi Kravitz05/05/2017 at 19:31 1 comment




    This is launch control: T-10 minutes and counting! All chat participans are "GO!" for chat with Chip Gracey! :)))

    Carol Lynn Hazlett Am I here yet?

    Lutetium welcome @Carol Lynn Hazlett !

    Arsenijs Hi!

    Hi @Jordan Bunker !

    Joshua Reisenauer Hi.

    Jordan Bunker Howdy @Sophi Kravitz!

    Jon Thomasson hi to all the propeller head

    Anyone with questions or something they want to discuss can use this sheet:

    Chip Gracey I'm ready.Antti Lukats, hello.

    Carol Lynn Hazlett Hi Ken!

    Ken Gracey Wow, lots of familiar faces here.

    hey @Ken Gracey

    Seairth Jacob @Ken Gracey because we can't get enough of the propeller!

    @Chip Gracey from Parallax is joining us today

    Chip Gracey Hello, Everyone.

    @Chip Gracey can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you're working on? Well...I've been into electronics since I was about 10. Self taught. Started Parallax right after high school with a friend from junior high. Parallax slowly grew to look like a company.

    Chip Gracey What else? Ah, working on a new chip called the Propeller II. It has sixteen 32-bit cores and has been much designed by the community on the Parallax forums.

    Chip Gracey I've been busy in Verilog for most of the last 17 years.

    Carol Lynn Hazlett @Chip Gracey Will the new chip br compatible with Blocklyprop?

    Chip Gracey Anyone can ask me anything, if there's something they're interested in.

    Chip Gracey Yes, we will make a BlocklyProp front end for it.

    Jon McPhalen Can the P2 do set-and-forget fixed-frequency, variable duty-cycle PWM? I use counter updates in a loop now -- would love to dump the loop.

    Chip Gracey @Jon, yes. Each pin has a brain of its own.

    Jon McPhalen I've been so busy coding the P1 that I haven't kept up with the P2. Can go into more detail about the "smart" IO pins?

    Chip Gracey By starting up the smart pins on the same cycle, any number of them can be synchronized.

    Chip Gracey Ok...

    JDat Please tell more about "pin brains".

    Chip Gracey says:3:10 PM

    Let me get something I can paste here...

    // %MMMMM: 00000 = smart pin off (default)

    // 00001 = long repository (P[12:10] != %101)

    // 00010 = long repository (P[12:10] != %101)

    // 00011 = long repository (P[12:10] != %101)

    // 00001 = DAC noise (P[12:10] = %101)

    // 00010 = DAC 16-bit dither, noise (P[12:10] = %101)

    // 00011 = DAC 16-bit dither, PWM (P[12:10] = %101)

    // 00100* = pulse/cycle output

    // 00101* = transition output

    // 00110* = NCO frequency

    // 00111* = NCO duty

    // 01000* = PWM triangle

    // 01001* = PWM sawtooth

    // 01010* = PWM switch-mode power supply, V and I feedback

    // 01011 = periodic/continuous, A-B quadrature encoder

    // 01100 = periodic/continuous, inc on A-high

    // 01101 = periodic/continuous, inc on A-rise

    // 01110 = periodic/continuous, inc on A-high, dec on B-high

    // 01111 = periodic/continuous, inc on A-rise, dec on B-rise

    // 10000 = time A states

    // 10001 = time A highs

    // 10010 = time X A-highs

    // 10011 = for X periods, count time

    // 10100 = for X periods, count states

    // 10101 = for periods in X+ clocks, count time

    // 10110 = for periods in X+ clocks, count states

    // 10111 = for periods in X+ clocks, count periods

    // 11000* = USB host, low-speed (even/odd pin pair = DM/DP)

    // 11001* = USB host, high-speed (even/odd pin pair = DM/DP)

    // 11010* = USB device, low-speed (even/odd pin pair = DM/DP)

    // 11011* = USB device, high-speed (even/odd pin pair = DM/DP)

    // 11100* = sync serial transmit (A-data, B-clock)

    // 11101 = sync serial receive (A-data, B-clock)

    // 11110* = async serial transmit (baudrate)

    // 11111 = async serial receive (baudrate)

    Shantam Raj You said u have busy with Verilog for 17 years..... i myself wanted to get started with FPGAs and verilog, what do u think is the best way to do that, any good resources out there. I have a background in electronics so i am not really looking for...

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Bart Grantham wrote 05/05/2017 at 18:56 point

"Your application is pending."
Really, guys?  I figured I'd come over here 15 minutes before the discussion started and get login and whatnot all sorted.  This whole "hackchat" thing seems like a really, really bad fit for public events.  First there's the requirement to have a login, then request invitation to the "project", then wait and possibly miss the event if the organizers don't approve you in time... what were you thinking?  The barriers to entry are pretty damn high, are you actively trying to discourage people from joining?

PS - the announcement ( was poorly worded: "Log into, visit that page, and look for the ‘Join this Project’"  I ended up joining the hackchat event itself at first, not this one.

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