DMX Development Board

The DMX development board - a printed circuit board assembly

For a number of projects I’d like to work on in the future, I needed a development board of sorts for testing both hardware and software.

At the core of this development board is an Atmega328PB. This seems to be a rather interesting chip. It looks like after Microchip acquired Atmel, they looked at the Atmega328P (popularized by Arduino) and saw potential in improving this chip that already had a substancial foothold in the hobby market. So they added additional USART, I2C, and SPI peripherals, two timers, a peripheral touch controller, and more IO. Not only did they add all of these peripherals, but they also released the chip for about $0.50-0.60 less than the 328P. Rather interesting.

Connected to the Atmega328PB is a RS-485 transceiver for a DMX interface, PCA9685 (I2C 16-channel 12-bit PWM generator), 2 relays, and 4 MOSFETs (via the PCA9685 and a gate driver).

The scope of my senior project shifted after some testing with this board and reevaluating our team’s goals. Details on that project can be found here.

Written on June 30, 2019