Propellerpowered’s Retro Style, Mini Computer Kit for 2014 is here!
We’ve combined the power of two unique, open source systems, (the Parallax Propeller, created by Chip Gracey, and the Micromite MkII, created by Geoff Graham) and created a platform capable of both retro time travel and modern day microconroller fun in the same package.
The Micromite Companion is easy to build, and use. It has a powerful up-to-date BASIC interpreter that includes capabilities to run “old school” programs as well as new commands to control sensors, servos, LCD modules, and more. Create games using sprites and tiles to control objects on screen, or move the action into the real world with servo controlled robots and gizmos. Most recently, Micromite Companion projects have been attached to the Internet using those inexpensive ESP8266 modules.
The Mircomite Companion begins as a replica of all of the best concepts from the computers of the 70’s and 80’s, but at closer examination, it provides a powerful gateway to Microcontroller electronics education. From programming in structured BASIC using the Micromite to programming in C, Spin, and assembly using the Propeller.
The Micromite Companion is perfect for the following:
* The “retro” enthusiast looking for a great project to enjoy or share early computing.
The powerful MMBASIC interpreter is capable of running BASIC programs written over the last three decades, many times with little to no modification. MMBASIC accepts GWBASIC style “line numbered” code, as well as QBASIC style “structured” code. In addition, the Propeller is BASIC accessible as an I2C video/audio device allowing for 16/64/256 color modes, sprites, tiles, and SID music. The Micromite MMBASIC is capable of executing up to 23,000 lines of code per second.
* The “student” learning about microcontrollers.
The Micromite’s MMBASIC provides simple BASIC commands to control modern microcontroller projects including LEDs, servos, sensors, LCD displays using modern connection protocols which include serial, One-wire, I2C, and SPI. The Micromite Companion is also perfect for home-school environments, compatible with existing PS/2 keyboards and VGA monitors which as usually already on hand.
Programming connections for both the Parallax Propeller and the Micromite are provided, allowing the Micromite Companion Kit to go in completely new directions. A breadboard experimentation area contains easy connections to all of the I/O pins of the Micromite as well as the open I/O of the Parallax Propeller. The Micromite Companion is programmable in it’s on-board MMBASIC, as well as the C, Spin, and Assembly languages of the Propeller.
Micromite Companion Specifications:
- 32K, 8core Parallax Propeller (used for video, sound, and I/O).
- PIC32 installed with MMBASIC with 50k+ free memory. (Shipping with the Micromite MkII!).
- Full sized SD card slot for program storage.
- Nunchuck Game Port
- IR port.
- Solderless Breadboard Experiment Area
- All Micromite pins available, open Propeller pins available.
- 4 different video/audio modes including sprites/tiles. (Expandable to 254 modes)
- *** 80×30 Micromite Companion Mode
- *** 40×50 Commodore/Atari Style Retrotext Mode
- *** 128×96 Fat Pixel Mode
- *** 256×192 64 color sprite/tile mode.
- Software currently supports up to 64 colors. Hardware supports 256 color mode. (coming soon!)