exploring the fubarino SD

A PIC32MX795F512H dev board I intend to poke with a stick and see what happens...

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Finding some use for the fubarino SD I got from being one of the winners of the fubarino contest.

PIC32MX795F512H - 512K Flash, 128K RAM @ 80MHz 32-bit MIPS core
MPIDE (MultiPlatform IDE - a fork of the Arduino IDE)
45 Digital IO - 1980 charlieplexed leds ;)
15 Analog inputs (10-bit) (3 potentiometers for each finger)
2 hardware serial ports (UARTs)
3.3V device (many IOs are 5V tolerant)
SD card slot gives storage capabilities (readable through usb)

Price: around 24EUR gives you 4 projects as an example how you could use it and there are some videos in the playlist featuring student projects, which could have been made with an arduino as well. This board is a lot beefier than the arduino and teensy boards, so it doesn't feel right to make leds blink (again).

Since there where 19 winners with me in that contest, I thought it would be a good start to check, whether some of those guys did a project with it. Not everyone had a blog or page but only a video of their easter eggs. Searching the blogs and pages for fubarino would not give me anything but their contest entry except for one -

This board got more hate than the arduino on comments since its name resembles an abbreviation for "fucked up beyond all recognition" but comes from - "Fair use building and research".

The onboard chip is also on the chipkit max32 dev board and a search for it on gave me this project:

So much for my search of inspiration, I came up with two or three concepts like a robot control thing, checking the digital signal processing capabilities, a multiple protocol remote like a sonic screwdriver or a plant caring device.


Searching the blog for pic32mx gave me a project on that used the fubarino, but was not tagged with fubarino!

Searching projects with the tag "PIC32" showed me, that D-DAQ is also using the PIC32MX795F512, as well as the Mini BSD computer. The D-DAQ uses a PIC32MX795F512L which happens to have 100 pins, where the Mini BSD computer uses the PIC32MX795F512H which has 64 pins and is also used on the fubarinoSD.


I don't now how I could have missed that, but one of my favorite projects on here also uses the PIC32MX795F512L. It even is one of the semifinalists of "the Hackaday Prize" :)

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jaromir.sukuba wrote 01/11/2015 at 17:54 point

In project description, you write "2 hardware serial ports (UARTs)". Not sure what pins are broken out on Fubarino board, but I hope there is more than 2 out of 6 hardware USARTs on the headers.

Anyway, I like those PIC32 MCUs. I've done a few projects with them, like #643. MiniBSD laptop computer or #1757. PP04 - Camel computer (and some more projects, not documented here). The USARTs (and other peripherals) came handy in those projects.

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davedarko wrote 01/11/2015 at 18:20 point

That is taken from the fubarino webpage, I didn't now the PIC had 6 UARTs, so I checked some of the pins that are UARTs and they are routed! I guess they aren't prepared for the fubarino or documented because they are reserved for other functions like SPI / SD port or IIC. I guess that's like an Arduino analog pin that can be an input - keep it simple for starters.

Your MiniBSD laptop is already featured in the description section :) I think I want to build a game boy camera / printer device at some point where I will need mostly the RAM but also the capability of communicating with two devices.

Thanks for sharing!

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jaromir.sukuba wrote 01/14/2015 at 22:34 point

GB camera and printer? Sounds familiar to me; when I saw this I immediately thought of building smething similar and tried to remember where the heck I put the camera module...

Thanks for mentioning the #643. MiniBSD laptop computer . After contest month (december) I finally took out the PIC32MZ (relatively new MCUs

) DIY module from my drawer and think of using it for MiniBSD. Upgrade to 512k of RAM (from 128k of current PIC32MX) would be sweet. The PIC32MZ can be also handy for the camera/printer project, as image processing is always simpler with more memory.

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davedarko wrote 01/14/2015 at 23:12 point

Yeah, I had that idea too, and figured I would need some RAM for pictures, since I worked with the printer before. But when I bought the parts the article on hackaday came and it was kind of a downer... there was no spirit of "haven't seen that before, gotta do it" anymore. I might make this the mainboard of may r2-d2 instead. Not really sure, since I gathered some dev boards from guys of this community, too - #1853. The Atmega Hearth and hopefully soon the #1239. Reactron Overdrive ... I don't want to "waste" that kind of power the fubarino offers to blink some LEDs and move a servo.

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Michael O'Brien wrote 08/28/2014 at 02:59 point
The PIC32 is a little bit more efficient in architecture than ARM from my readings. If you're familiar with hacking about you can bend MPLAB X to your FOSS will. I was new to embedded but I liked what I saw on the PIC32 line and I've not been disappointed so far. When I get D-DAQ off the ground soon, I'll be largely anticipating it running at full burn to see what it can do. Thanks for the link back, btw.

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davedarko wrote 08/28/2014 at 07:03 point
Ha, completely overlooked that it isn't an ARM board - I wasn't even thinking about that an embedded 32bit thing would not be ARM... I'm not a big fan of the arduino IDE and will probably look into others. Thank you :)

Looking forward to see D-DAQ in action!

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davedarko wrote 08/27/2014 at 19:20 point
Those are some great projects as well, and I'm sorry that I haven't featured them here. The reason why I focused only on the PIC32MX795F512 is that I'm new to ARM processors and the PIC family and I wasn't sure about compatibility, but since I've now learned that the PIC32MX795F512 is somewhat the highest beast I should consider those as well. Sadly I have no TV anymore and it would have been a PAL signal one, since I live in Europe.

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