Well, it’s February already and we’ve not really got much to show for 2013 yet. It’s been all work, work, work and little chance for play. But hopefully all that’s about to change – thanks to some fantastic FREE samples from Microchip that arrived in the post this morning:

We’ve got quite a range – including some monster 16F877A 40-pin chips, to make a couple more word clocks, some of our new-favourite 16F1825 chips as well as some beefy 18F4550 USB-based chips so we can have a go at getting USB working with Sourceboost. The little tiny teeny chips are some 16F455s which looked intriguing, not least of all because they offer a full USB stack on a 16F chip. They also have an internal oscillator running at 48Mhz, so getting the required 96Mhz for USB should be quite straight-forward!

And while we’re on the subject of our word clock, Matt from BuildBrighton kindly donated an RTC with battery backup. It provides a nice easy SPI interface to get the current date/time. We’re going to put one of these into our word clock, so that we don’t have to keep setting the time every time the main power source is removed.

 (these boards also contain a small eeprom chip to store the current date/time)

(battery backup means they keep time even when power has been removed)

With BuildBrighton regular Thursday nights back in full swing after the New Year, we’re hoping to get making some cool stuff again, really soon!