An open source development platform focused on Biomedical Instrumentation, Analog IO, and DSP.

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The Hammerhead

The Hammerhead board is an open source hardware development platform targeting applications that require many analog inputs/outputs.The idea came when Maxim Integrated released the MAX11300 IC, I was disappointed to learn the eval kit is windows only and cost a lot money, I wanted something cheaper and open. I also wanted a development platform similar to my other projects (MakoDSP & the AHD) using the LPC4337 but with more IO, a smaller footprint, and better cost to IO ratio.

- NXP LPC4337JBD144 ARM Cortex M4F Dual Core 204MHZ
- Maxim Integrated MAX11300 20 Channel DAC/ADC/GPIO
- Arduino Leonardo shield headers
- USB 2.0 x2
- JTAG debug and program
- USB Program flashing
- Bowler Communication System for USB connectivity (wireless in the future :))
- Programmable in C or over USB tether using the Neuron Robotics SDK
- Firmware built using c makefile

System Overview Document


- Uses the Bowler Communication system ( )

- Connection over USB 2.0 with either of the two available ports

- Bowler Expansion Port for accessories ( 5v Logic )

- Programmable with the Neuron Robotics SDK ( )

- Bare metal C/C++ support (possibly mBed support too but not yet decided)

- NXP LPC4337JBD144 ARM Cortex M4F/M0 asymmetrical dual core digital signal controller, both cores clocked at 204MHZ

- 20 Analog Channels that support analog input and output at 12 Bits and GPIO via the MAX11300, these channels are 5v compliant.

- Arduino Leonardo Headers double width for more IO breakout, these ports are 3.3v ONLY

- RTC Crystal circuit implemented for projects that require RTC, I may include a jumperable battery clip on the bottom of the board for untethered deeply embedded applications.

- Configurable PID Control Loops for real time control applications (the amount of simultaneous loops allowed is yet to be determined).

Specialized Applications (applications that set Hammerhead apart from the others)

- Analog sensor interfacing

- Biomedical Instrumentation

- Digital Signal Processing

- Multichannel real time DSP

- Open hackable DAC interface

System Overview:

Project Overview Video

NOTE: Nothing has been built yet or prototyped, this is all I have so far, Many more updates to come this week as I have a bit more time to devote to this.

System Overview Document:

More To Come!

  • 1 × LPC4337JBD144 Microprocessors, Microcontrollers, DSPs / ARM, RISC-Based Microcontrollers
  • 1 × MAX11300 PIXI, 20-Port Programmable Mixed-Signal I/O with 12-Bit ADC, 12-Bit DAC, Analog Switches, and GPIO
  • 1 × TPS2115A Power Management ICs / Power Supply Support
  • 1 × LT1054CS8 Power Management ICs / Switching Regulators and Controllers
  • 2 × TPS54327 Power Management ICs / Switching Regulators and Controllers

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  • Video/Design Document

    AVR08/21/2014 at 03:47 0 comments

    Design Document  (Posted for the contest, soon to be revised)


    Detailed schematic can be found in the Github repository for the hardware.

  • Minor Changes update

    AVR08/20/2014 at 20:40 0 comments

    After sitting on the completed design and giving it a lot of thought I decided I'm going to make a change. The goal of hammerhead is to be a research tool with applications in many areas. I have decided to galvanically isolate the MAX11300 section from the rest of the board. This allows the hammerhead to be of use in applications where isolation is important, an example would be bio-medical engineering projects that require interaction with humans. 

    The isolation is being performed by an Linear Technology LTM2883 module. The LTM2883 provideds isolation for the SPI bus interfacting the LPC4337JBD144 with the MAX11300. Also the LTM2883 provides isolation for the power supply of the entire MAX11300 circuit. The design document will be revised when soon when the hardware has been changed to support the new isolation topology.

  • Hardware Design Completed

    AVR07/26/2014 at 19:44 0 comments

    This afternoon I finished routing the remaining traces of the hammerhead. You can compare the picture in this post with the last one to see how much has been done. The next step for hardware is to make a comprehensive bill of materials (which will be posted here) and perform some cost analysis. I have found in my experience with personal projects in the past that if you don't make a BOM and assess your costs before ordering any parts you will most likely go over budget, since this is a rather expensive design with expensive high end parts I want to be very thorough in the planning stages before purchasing anything. When the BOM is completed I will tweak the hardware design for costs, this is usually how I do my boards, I start with a schematic that goes through several revisions then I take  a first pass at the PCB, after the first PCB I tweak it a lot before readying it for fabrication. Since this board is a cousin/derivative of the first two unmade Mako DSP designs and the AHD there shouldn't be much tweaking, a lot was learned with the other boards. 

    Finished first Rev:

    Three Dimensional representation:

  • Routing Progress

    AVR07/22/2014 at 17:11 0 comments

    The last update was about how I changed the design of the powersupply, that was the last major change to the schematic other than some pin swapping here and there to make the routing smoother. Since the last update I have been working on turning the schematic into a PCB. A picture of the PCB as of 7.21.14 has been added to the project pictures to give a good idea of where I'm going with the design. The PCB has been going very fast and should be finished in a day or by the next post. 

    On another note I received my MAX11300 PMOD kit from Maxim Integrated in the mail. With this PMOD and the NXP LPC4330 Xplorer dev board I have I will be able to start working on the firmware and top level software for the hammerhead. The plan is to dev almost if not all of the software dev with the MAX11300 wired to the LPC4330 board on a breadboard. The programming jig will also function as prototype of the hammerhead before the PCB is ordered, this will allow me to test a number of things and fix bugs in the PCB before I order it.

  • Power Supply Topology Changed

    AVR07/14/2014 at 01:19 0 comments

    Today I changed the power supply. I decided the STM 5VDC LDOs and my NXP 3.3v LDO were too large to hit the size I want for the PCB so I found new regulators and changed the circuit. Using Ti TPS79650DRBT for 5VDC and AVDD, and a Ti TPS73733QDRBRQ1 for the DVDD rail (3.3v). Expect updates to the git repo later this evening!

  • Submission and Source Files

    AVR07/12/2014 at 22:27 0 comments

    This first post is to announce the submission of my Hammerhead dev board project to the Hackaday Prize. With the posting of the project page I included the schematics and early stages of the PCB as well as a PDF on github, have a look, there is more to come!

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David Cook wrote 07/14/2014 at 04:00 point
The MAX11300 is a pretty cool chip. I hadn't heard of it before your entry. Thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

AVR wrote 07/27/2014 at 00:20 point
Thanks for skulling my project! I've known about your website since I was 12, I even checked out your book (although it was beyond me then) from the local library, and boom now you are commenting on my project on hackaday, this is pretty cool for me, so thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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