Add a Transceiver
to Your ZeroG
By Fred Eady
If you invested some of your precious time and hard-earned money in last
month’s Trainer Expansion project, you’re about to receive a dividend.
This month’s project will reuse last month’s base hardware technology and
add a high-powered Microchip 802.15.4 transceiver to the mix.
Last time, we took a cue from Nuts & Volts Magazine
and replaced the ZeroG - PIC24FJ128GA006 Trainer’s
original PIC24FJ128GA006 with a 32-bit
PIC32MX795F512H. We also lost the ZeroG Wi-Fi module
and electrically attached an XBee-Pro 802.15.4 transceiver
to our electronic Frankenstein via a garage-brewed
perfboard carrier assembly. While we were slinging solder,
an SP3232-based RS-232 portal was installed along with a
Microchip Explorer 16 vintage LCD.
This Trainer project will again take a cue from the
Design Cycle column over in Nuts & Volts. However, the
SERVO version is sans USB. Otherwise, the
PIC24FJ/PIC32MX Trainer printed circuit board (PCB)
basking in the lights in Photo 1 is virtually identical to the
Design Cycle PIC24FJ/PIC32MX USB Trainer PCB showing its
teeth in Photo 2. The only other difference worth noting is
the location of the voltage and ground feeds that provide a
power path to the auxiliary board.
Can This Be Done?
The peripheral that I would like to add to our existing
Trainer is a Microchip MRF24J40MB IEEE 802.15.4 2. 4 GHz
transceiver. The MRF24J40MB is the higher powered version
of the MRF24J40MA.
There are no preexisting PIC24FJ128GA006 hardware
PHOTO 1. The PIC24FJ/PIC32MX Trainer is designed to
accommodate any 64-pin PIC that is pin-compatible with the
PIC24FJ128GA006. Eligible microcontrollers include the 16-bit
USB-capable PIC24FJ256GB106 and the multi-talented 32-bit
PHOTO 2. The PIC24FJ/PIC32MX USB Trainer is the
USB-enabled variant of the Trainer. This PCB is designed to host
any microcontroller that is pin-compatible with a
PIC24FJ256GB106 or PIC32MX795F512H.
SERVO 06.2010 67