Author Topic: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket  (Read 36817 times)

digistump

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2013, 01:48:19 am »
I don't think it is any desire for label acknowledgement - I think it is a combination of the lack of recognition that it even exists when asked directly, ignoring any mention of it, and perhaps more importantly - that the marketing language around the Trinket seems to imply things are wrong with the Digispark that aren't true at all


Do I think they should put "Inspired by the Digispark" on the product page/PCB/etc - definitely not, who knows if it was or not


Do I think they should acknowledge or at least not ignore our existence? yes


and perhaps even have a friendly email session of comparing notes, I'm sure that would have been helpful to them going into it - I would have happily shared all I knew


I think any foul air here is about attitude (very likely not isolated to just this product) and not at all about formal recognition


All that said, they can do what they want, and we can talk crap - in the end it doesn't change much of course, but generally I hope that open source companies will get along a bit better, especially the big with the small, but then again my complaints are a bit biased


More than all of the complaints and perhaps lost in them - I am very glad the attiny ecosystem is opening up!




Embedded-Creations

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2013, 05:00:10 pm »
@digistump I understand what you mean now.  I won't try to read anything into why they didn't acknowledge the existence of the Digispark after knowing about it, but it is odd.  It doesn't feel so "open" but who knows, maybe they're just too busy to keep up with what's out there or reach out.  I didn't hear from you for the first time until after the Digispark Kickstarter campaign was already complete.  I could have assumed you were just out to profit from my open source contribution, but knowing you now, I don't think that was the case.


I met Limor at the Open Hardware Summit, introducing myself as the person who made the first ATtiny85 VUSB boot loader.  We had a very short conversation, but she volunteered that they didn't use my boot loader as they wanted AVRDUDE compatibility without modification, and she didn't mention micronucleus or the Digispark.  She said something about paying for a signed Windows 8 driver, which is why I assume they have a unique VID/PID for the boot loader and don't want anyone else to use it.  That might explain using a more standard vs an optimized protocol like micronucleus uses, though I don't know much about what a signed driver implies.


I also think its great the attiny ecosystem is growing.  I'm glad to see that Adafruit's product is significantly different from the Digispark, so there's definitely room for competition based on features.


bobricius

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2013, 02:29:12 pm »
I am surprised that trinket arduino core is only one file with few lines.

zapta

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2013, 06:23:46 pm »
The newest revision of the Digispark Pro has a button (if we can make it useful), 15 i/o, mounting holes, micro usb plug (with thru hole reinforcement), and can be made in 3.3v or 5v from the same PCB - and it is smaller than the original Digispark!

The micro usb is a major improvement IMO, and yes, the through hole reinforcement are important, I peeled two in the last month. ;-)

When will this pro version be available?

Will the button be used to initiate programming (this how the teensy works, no need for 5 sec delay). The 5 seconds delay is a major disadvantage in my next application.

I like the form factor of the Trinket.

MichaelMeissner

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2013, 07:16:03 am »
The newest revision of the Digispark Pro has a button (if we can make it useful), 15 i/o, mounting holes, micro usb plug (with thru hole reinforcement), and can be made in 3.3v or 5v from the same PCB - and it is smaller than the original Digispark!

The micro usb is a major improvement IMO, and yes, the through hole reinforcement are important, I peeled two in the last month. ;-)

When will this pro version be available?

Will the button be used to initiate programming (this how the teensy works, no need for 5 sec delay). The 5 seconds delay is a major disadvantage in my next application.

I like the form factor of the Trinket.
I do tend to like micro-B female usb ports, since a lot of other devices have switched to it due to European laws mandating a common charging platform (except Apple).  On the other hand, I've seen reports that a lot of micro-B usb in consumer electronics pull off if you are doing a lot of inserting and removing of the cord.  You don't see it in cell phones as much because the plastic casing prevents some of the stress.  I've seen speculation that the reason Adafruit has remained with the now deprecated mini-B port is it is more stable when soldered to the boards.  For programming, I just bought the new generation of Cerebus USB cable from Sparkfun that has one cable that connects to the computer, and it has a mini-USB hub in it with the original B male (Uno), mini-B male (Trinket/Gemma), and micro-B (Teensy 3.0/DigiX).  The old Cerebus just connected all three ports together, and it could have signaling issues with high speed devices.  Unfortunately, it does not have standard A female for the Digispark.  But for some things, the standard A male plug on the spark is better.

In terms of form factor, I much prefer standard dip packaging where you have all pins in parallel rows with 0.1" spacing, and separate the two rows by 0.2" of dead space so it fits in a standard breadboard.  I dislike the positioning of the ground/power/vin on the spark, since it doesn't fit in some of the breadboards/perfboards I have collected (particularly the common 170 hole mini-bread board that has no power rails, but also some breadboards with power rails that aren't aligned with the normal pins).  So in this regard, I prefer the teensy 3.0 over the spark (possibly the trinket too, if mine weren't bricked).  One other thing I like about the Teensy 3.0 is by paying a little more, I can get it with the pins soldered in.  I seem to have bad luck with soldering.

In terms of a button, hopefully it is better than the trinket/gemma.  I have bricked both of mine, and I can't get them to reboot.  I really, really, really do not want to have to remove my hands from the keyboard or mouse to press a button at just the right time to begin the programming.  A common complaint on the Adafruit forums, is people not getting the timing just right, and having to repeat/rinse/lather until they get the board reprogrammed.  In this regard, I prefer the Teensy 3.0 and Uno R3, in that I can start the compile/download in the IDE, and it automatically does the download without pressing a button or reconnecting the board at just the right time.  Occasionally, I do have to press the reset button, but that is not the norm.  On the Teensy 3.0 in fact, I like when I press the reset button, it does reflash the last program I compiled under the IDE.

digistump

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2013, 01:52:01 pm »
Michael - this is some of the most constructive feedback I've had yet on the Pro - thanks! Also on the shortcoming of the Trinket.

The micro-Bs do have issues with board pull off, but we fixed that on the DigiX with a micro-B that is surface mount but has two posts extend through the board and soldered in place - I think it makes it more robust than most mini-Bs - I've swung them around by the cord to test (not recommended though!).

I wanted to give the Pro a standard A plug, I know some hate it, but I see it as the Digispark's trademark look - but it would have made it bigger - right now it is the same size as a Digispark so that saved area gave room for the extra pins and crystal. The original Digispark isn't going anywhere though.

The form factor will be backward compatible with the Digispark to allow the use of Digispark shields - but if you aren't using Digispark shields or your first shield on the stack is a Pro shield then you need not populate the 5V,GND,VIN pins with a header as they are also present in the main rows of pins - so it can be used in a DIP format and have all pins broken out.

Pre-soldered headers may happen - if we have the labor to do it, we will.

I can't disclose how our button is going to work - but it will be an addition to the existing micronucleus setup - in other words it will be very reliable and build on the reliability we've seen with the bootloader on all the Digisparks. Not to say Digisparks don't get bricked, but not because of the bootloader. I'm pretty sure it will work so that you have to hold it down for a second and then you can hit upload at any time, so no delicate timing.

In this regard, I prefer the Teensy 3.0 and Uno R3, in that I can start the compile/download in the IDE, and it automatically does the download without pressing a button or reconnecting the board at just the right time.  Occasionally, I do have to press the reset button, but that is not the norm.

This is a great feature - but it is possible because these boards either use a USB to Serial converter or use a proper CDC implementation with a chip that supports a proper bootloader - my goal is to give as many options as possible. I have some ideas how a bigger core might be able to do this - so it may be an option for those who don't mind giving up another 1.5kish of space (the pro will have 16k total) - but the button will also be an option, and unplugging/plugging or using the prog tool will also be an option/is always a failsafe.

Thanks again for the feedback!








digistump

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2013, 01:54:18 pm »
When will this pro version be available?

Will the button be used to initiate programming (this how the teensy works, no need for 5 sec delay). The 5 seconds delay is a major disadvantage in my next application.

I like the form factor of the Trinket.

Launching in Kickstarter in the next monthish - it is pretty ready to go, but I have to get DigiXs out the door first.

There will be several options for programming - button with no delay, delay (use button pun as i/o), and possibly the auto reset functionality seen on the Arduino Uno.

The form factor will be DIP/breadboard friendly but also backward compatible with Digispark shields when needed.

gogol

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2013, 02:22:21 am »
one good tip I was reading in the last weeks, that it is very recommended to put several vias in those regions, where connectors are soldered on the surface.
The vias work like small anchors for the pads, far away from through the hole, but ways better, than just relying on the connection between pad and pcb.

MichaelMeissner

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2013, 05:29:16 am »
Michael - this is some of the most constructive feedback I've had yet on the Pro - thanks! Also on the shortcoming of the Trinket.

The micro-Bs do have issues with board pull off, but we fixed that on the DigiX with a micro-B that is surface mount but has two posts extend through the board and soldered in place - I think it makes it more robust than most mini-Bs - I've swung them around by the cord to test (not recommended though!).

Yeah, it may have been on the digiX comment list, I started reading about micro-B's pulling off.

I wanted to give the Pro a standard A plug, I know some hate it, but I see it as the Digispark's trademark look - but it would have made it bigger - right now it is the same size as a Digispark so that saved area gave room for the extra pins and crystal. The original Digispark isn't going anywhere though.

You might want to consider offering a USB 2.0 A to Micro B adapter in your store like this product: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-USB-2-0-A-to-Micro-B-Standard-Mini-Data-Cable-Adapter-Male-Male-Black-/360660652301?pt=US_Video_Cables_Adapters&hash=item53f90cd10d

The form factor will be backward compatible with the Digispark to allow the use of Digispark shields - but if you aren't using Digispark shields or your first shield on the stack is a Pro shield then you need not populate the 5V,GND,VIN pins with a header as they are also present in the main rows of pins - so it can be used in a DIP format and have all pins broken out.

It sounds like the best choice, allowing backward compatibility and such.

Pre-soldered headers may happen - if we have the labor to do it, we will.

I can't disclose how our button is going to work - but it will be an addition to the existing micronucleus setup - in other words it will be very reliable and build on the reliability we've seen with the bootloader on all the Digisparks. Not to say Digisparks don't get bricked, but not because of the bootloader. I'm pretty sure it will work so that you have to hold it down for a second and then you can hit upload at any time, so no delicate timing.
If you have to press a button or power cycle the board, at least the way you do it of having a prompt in the IDE telling you when to power cycle is better than the Trinket which you have to guess how long the compilation step will be and press the button just as the thing is ready to upload.  I believe you have a longer timeout period than the trinket, and I can understand the pros and cons, that if you are primarily using the gadget and not programming, it takes to long for the timeout to finish.  That seems to be a common complaint in the various boards.

In this regard, I prefer the Teensy 3.0 and Uno R3, in that I can start the compile/download in the IDE, and it automatically does the download without pressing a button or reconnecting the board at just the right time.  Occasionally, I do have to press the reset button, but that is not the norm.

This is a great feature - but it is possible because these boards either use a USB to Serial converter or use a proper CDC implementation with a chip that supports a proper bootloader - my goal is to give as many options as possible. I have some ideas how a bigger core might be able to do this - so it may be an option for those who don't mind giving up another 1.5kish of space (the pro will have 16k total) - but the button will also be an option, and unplugging/plugging or using the prog tool will also be an option/is always a failsafe.

Thanks again for the feedback!
Yep, there are tradeoffs in each approach.  The extra chip that the Uno has adds to the cost, but it allowed the USB/serial port to remain consistent while the newer processors break the connection when rebooting which can lead to periods when the connection isn't there and the USB port being renamed on the debug OS.  In terms of debugging, the Uno was the best, because I could leave the serial port open, while with the teensy I have to re-establish the port, and lose the first few messages.

Speaking of debugging, it would be nice if somehow gdb support could be added into the processor stack like you have in the more commercial embedded development processes (or typical hosted environments).  Yeah, as you get down the ATtiny85 boards like the spark, it becomes rather difficult (and if you have fewer pins like the gemma, nearly impossible).
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 10:47:21 am by MichaelMeissner »

saywhat

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2013, 04:58:00 pm »
Quote
I don't think it is any desire for label acknowledgement - I think it is a combination of the lack of recognition that it even exists when asked directly, ignoring any mention of it, and perhaps more importantly - that the marketing language around the Trinket seems to imply things are wrong with the Digispark that aren't true at al

I am no fan of Adafruit, trust me.  Nonetheless, Digistump, get off your high freaking horse...

I agree that comparing notes with you guys would have been useful and beneficial... But, it's Adafruit's call to do so. Why, you ask?  Well, if you dig deeper you'll see that the Trinket's firmware/bootloader was developed by non other than Frank Zhao who may or may not be a full time employee there.  In case you didn't know, he is quite knowledgeable on USB bootloaders, and have been doing so (in an extremely Open-Source way) since way before your time:

http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=8571.0

He is the creator of USnoobie, and other Open Source projects, so before going on your little rant about how Adafruit neglected you, please do some reasearch.  I like the Digispark, and I've seen how you guys have acknowledged the projects (usbasp, etc.) that you've used to build on... But yes, I had to create this account to set the record straight.

 >:(

« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 05:01:59 pm by saywhat »

digistump

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Re: Digispark competitor from Adafruit: Trinket
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2013, 07:31:29 pm »
It's totally their call to do whatever they want, of course - just like we can rant about it - its not like we sued them, published an article about them, we talked about it in our community forums, so welcome to the discussion! I'm not sure what Frank Zhao's involvement or how long he has been in the game has to do with our disappointment that Adafruit ignored that the Digispark exists when asked about it. I'm very aware of his works, think he is a great member of the open source community, and didn't direct any of my rant towards him. His contributions to it are awesome, truly open source, and his intentions unquestionable - my rant was about Adafruit and in direct response to questions asked. The shortcoming of their bootloader, that I and others brought up aren't a challenge to Frank's competence - I didn't know he was involved until recently - but are fair criticisms, most echoed in the Adafruit forums - much as there are many valid criticism of the Digispark bootloader, no one is on a high horse for pointing out what we've done badly/could do better.

I'm not sure what record you are setting straight since I didn't snub Frank nor did I say Adafruit was obligated to share notes with us - is it that you feel we are on a high horse? I'd think this thread should be viewed in the context of several frustrated community members and in light of the fact that the issue was fairly quickly left to die and turned instead into suggestions on how to make the Digispark better - sure I had a good rant, but given that I dedicated about 1/1000 of my week to it and then moved on, it seems you may have read more importance into this thread then it actually has around here.

Of course, your rant is as welcome here as ours - but since you created an account it'd be great if you'd join us on other threads too!

I left the ranting part of this to die so I could continue working on our products, anyone can join in of course, but personally I'll leave it at this.

Thanks for your input and support of the Digispark! Welcome to our community, I hope you'll consider contributing on our other threads as well.
-Erik