We’ve seen some interesting USB hardware hacking/debugging boards in the last two months with Tigard, Ollie, and Glasgow Interface Explorer each with their own price point and features, but with the goal of replacing multiple other programming or debug boards you may need for your projects.
Protocol Droid is another one of such USB boards for electronics designers and hardware hackers. It offers I/O connectivity via terminal blocks for I2C, CAN Bus, RS485, UART, SPI, and other interfaces.
- MCU – Unnamed STMicro microcontroller
- Host interface – Micro USB port
- Core Interfaces:
- I²C controller & peripheral modes
- SPI controller & peripheral modes
- RS485 controller & peripheral modes
- CAN Bus
- 2x PWM
- 2x ADC
- 2x DAC
- Debugging / programming interfaces – 7-pin JTAG/SWD unpopulated header
- Power Sources – 3V & 5V DC with limited current via 2-pin terminal blocks
All interfaces are available simultaneously through the USB port., and the developer provides a program to control the I/Os from Windows, and a Linux version of the program will be available once the board ships. Since the project is open-source, hardware, firmware, and software will be made available, but currently, only the PDF schematics have been made available on the Github repository for the project.
Protocol Droid has launched on Crowd Supply with an $8,000 funding target, and a $79 is asked for the board, plus $12 if you’d like a cable set comprised of a male MicroUSB to male USB Type-A cable, 20 single-pin, male-to-female connectors, and 20 single-pin, female-to-female connectors. Shipping adds $8 to the US, and will vary for other countries. Backers should expect their rewards(s) to be shipped in March 2021.