Using Dwengo board as a Pinguino

December 31, 2009 at 3:35 pm 1 comment

The Pinguino project is a relatively new project that tries to build an Arduino-like project with a PIC processor. The project comes with a nice and simple IDE and a bootloader so programs can be placed on the PIC very easy.  I found the Dwengo board I own is compatible with the Tiny-4550 Pinguino board, so it is possible to use the Pinguino IDE and bootloader with the Dwengo board. 

Here are the steps I followed on my Ubuntu (Karmic) machine to get things fired up:

  • Install wxPython as explained here
  • Download the latest Pinguino IDE from the hackinglab dowload index. Extract the archive. Run the IDE by running the Python script from the terminal. Put sudo before it to run it with administrator rights, because otherwise you’ll get a ”Could not change device” error! The IDE looks like this:

  • With the PIC18F4550 we need the second version of the bootloader (see Pinguino tutorial site). It can be dowloaded here. To put the bootloader on your PIC, I used xwisp, which is a Windows program (I ran it in a Virtualbox virtual machine).
  • Once the bootloader is on your PIC, connect your board via a USB cable to your PC. Hold the reset button and the “up” button on your board, then release the reset button. The bootloader program knows you want to place a program on it now.
  • Open up the Pinguino IDE and type e.g. this program in it:
// Testing input with Pinguino
// jean-pierre MANDON 2008
// modified kr3l for DWENGO
#define PIC18F4550
void setup() 
pinMode(0,INPUT);         //button
pinMode(21,OUTPUT);    //led
void loop() 
if (digitalread(0)) digitalWrite(21,HIGH);
else digitalWrite(21,LOW);
The pin numbers used here are as in the Tiny-4550 schematic:
so pin 21 as used in the program is actually pin 19 of the PIC processor.
  • press the compile button, then the “put program on pinguino” button. The program starts running after a few seconds. If you press the center button one of the leds will go off.

I think the Pinguino project is a really cool initiative and I hope they keep working on it. More experiments will be conducted soon!

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