FAQ for AR40A/B + PS40A/B

Autonomous Robot, Manual Robot, DC Motor Driver, Stepper Motor Driver, Servo, Multi PWM chip.....

FAQ for AR40A/B + PS40A/B

Postby ober » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:19 pm

1. What is the difference between AR40A and AR40B?
AR40A is older version of Autonomous Robot Controller Board which uses Bootloader method to load program (hex), while AR40B is an upgraded version of AR40A with added features such as:
a. on board USB programmer.
b. Protection against over current and wrong polarity voltage input.
c. Better back EMF protection from brush motor.
d. Extra General purpose output, 12V, 5V and Gnd for external connection.
e. ZIF socket for ease of changing PIC MCU.
Anyhow, AR40A is being stopped for production.

2. What is the difference between PS40A and PS40B?
Basically is the same as the previous answer. However, since PS seldom download program and to prevent mis-erase of program, PS40B does not include on board USB programmer. Therefore, if user need to change the firmware of PS40B, please use an AR40B or any programmer to load the new firmware.

3. What is the difference between AR40 and PS40?
AR40 is mainly being used for autonomous robot where user is required to make the wiring for brushless motors (tyre), sensor, brush motor(mechanism); further develop the software for it. Thus, the board come with on board programmer (AR40B).
While PS40 is designed for Manual Robot. It will provide port for WIRED SONY PS2 joystick connection. User needs to plug the necessary brushless motor and brush motor (mechanism), load the program (it should be pre-loaded with a firmware) and manipulate the robot through PS2 joystick.PS40 does not has on board programmer to prevent mis-erase of firmware.

4. Where can I obtain the sample source code for AR40A/B?
Sample source of AR40B come with the board. It is burned in CD.

5. What is the source code language in? Assembly Language? C or Basic?
AR40B source come in 2 types of language: Assembly (16F and 18F) and PICC Lite C Language. Most of user uses sample source code in PICC Lite. Please install PICC Lite C Compiler together with MPLAB IDE before compiling (convert to Hex) the sample code. The sample source code is given in module form, user is requires to integrate module to have a complete software for autonomous mobile robot.

6. What Microcontroller can I use for both AR and PS board?
Only PIC Microcontroller can be used. The connection to ZIF socket is being designed specially for 40 Pin 8 bit PIC MCU. For the time being, user may choose PIC16F877A (come with board), PIC16F887, PIC18F452 as the microcontroller. Other 8-bit PIC model might fit to this board, but it is not tested.

7. Is the source code for PS40A/B open? Where can I get it?
PS40A/B source code is being customized specially to communicate with WIRED PS2 joystick, thus it is not open to public. However, if you like to Do It Yourself, you can always get a SKPS, do some simple modification. Connect PS40B to SKPS through UART, develop the program through sample source from SKPS, you get yourself a new PS40B with your own style of control and it support wireless PS2 joystick.

8. How long is the warranty period for both these controller boards?
Standard 6 months, however if there is modification such as soldering, changing of components and so, the warranty is void.

9. Can I modify the controller board to add some interface? Will this void the warranty if there is?
Yes, you may, but the warranty is void once you did any modification.

10. Can I change the program on PS40B so that I can change the action when I press PS2 joystick?
No, it is not open source. But you can modify the PS40B by adding in a SKPS and communicate it with PS40B through UART. Of course you need to write your own program for it. In this way, you are free to do what ever you want with the PS2 joystick. It can even support wireless PS2 joystick

11. Can I add extra Input/Output pin on AR40B?
Yes, You may refer to schematic of the board and add the I/O accordingly. However, any modification is at your own risk.

12. Can I use other Programming language such as Basic, or CCS, MikroC for AR40B?
Yes, you may use other programming language that support PIC MCU. Please refer to schematic and obtain the interface for you to start I/O assignment.

13. Where can I obtain the schematic of AR40B? The User's Manual schematic is not clear.
We have uploaded the schematic under AR40B product page, please visit the page for the schematic.

14. More coming......
Ober Choo
Cytron Technologies Sdn Bhd
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:03 pm

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