Wednesday, August 7, 2013

K9 SmorgasBoard

A new toy:

While I was on vacation, the great folks over at Practical Micro Design sent me a geeky new toy to play with, the K9 SmorgasBoard!  This awesome board has just about every sort of I/O you might want if you're working on machine control using a BeagleBone.  There are Pololu sockets for the 3D printer crowd, more traditional DB25/LPT connectors for "legacy" motor drivers as used in LinuxCNC, analog inputs and outputs (including support for thermocouples), RS422/differential encoder inputs, and lots more.

I saw one of these at the LinuxCNC dev-fest in Wichita, but it's a lot more fun having one to play with!  Not to worry if you have a BeBoPr, however...I am keeping my BeBoPr and bridge board setup as the controller for my MendelMax printer, and I'm going to use the K9 for experiments.  I'm currently planning on building a slightly modified Mini-Kossel, but I'll have to see how it turns out.  It may wind up being more than just slightly modified.  :)

If you're not completely living on the bleeding edge and trying to drive all your machine control applications with a BeagleBone, checkout the other products from the PMDX folks.  They have a lot of stuff that might help you move motors and make some chips.  Also, drop them a line if there's something you REALLY want to see in a BeagleBone expansion cape, or if you'd like to have them make a BeagleBone product at all.  The K9 is mostly a proof of concept and test platform, so pipe up and let them know if you want to see a real product or it may never happen!

Oh, and if you want to get geeks writing code for you for free, send them some nifty new hardware to play with (hint-hint!).  Let's see, I could use a...  ;-)

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