Author Topic: == New SBC66EC and SBC66ECL Boards ==  (Read 15443 times)

Rick314

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Re: == New SBC66EC and SBC66ECL Boards ==
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2011, 11:02:28 AM »
The TCP/IP stack is a very complex piece of software. As described in your previous posts, you have been making many modifications to it...

I think there is a mistake here.  I didn't do anything with my SBC66EC software other than re-build the provided code -- 0 modifications.  I had several older posts related to the SBC65EC, so that might be the mistake.  My problems with the SBC66EC were "right out of the box".

The problem is NOT the SBC66EC, but the software. The is a very high quality board, using brand name, industrial quality components. It has been extensively tested, and works perfect. Working with a TCP/IP stack is very complex, and can take many months to get to know. The software running on the SBC66EC is a ported version of the Microchip TCP/IP stack. Only minor changes were made, seeing that the SBC66EC uses some different ports than the Microchip hardware.

This is an important comment.  I have now spent months with the Microchip TCP/IP Stack and TCP/IP Demo Application.  (It took me awhile to realize they are two different sets of files.)  I agree that code is complicated, and learning it on the Microchip PIC32 Ethernet Starter Kit hardware really helped in understanding it.

But as to the Modtronix SBC65EC and SBC66EC, it took me many hours to figure out some important differences, and I think the following could be clarified in your advertising.  Feel free to correct me if the following seems wrong.  I think Modtronix products are great and I am trying to help.  Here are what I see as some important differences between the two products:

SBC65EC: Complete drop-in solution, based on the now-old Microchip TCP/IP Stack v3.75 (2006-08-14, about 14 releases old), with extensive Modtronix modifications.  Large user base, with good hardware *and software* support here in the Modtronix forums.  Does what it does very well.  Provides hardware control via HTTP web pages or UDP packets, and also has an RS-232 system-control interface.  Code development requires *no additional hardware* if programming is done with the Modtronix Network Bootloader software and Modtronix Embedded Debugger software (low-cost board, low-cost development).  For simple control projects, this has been and continues to be a great choice.

SBC66EC: Based on the latest Microchip TCP/IP Stack v5.31 (2010-10-19), with very minor Modtronix mods.  (I verified this, very minor changes indeed.)  Great if you need more recent Microchip TCP/IP Stack features.  Get hardware support through Modtronix, but *hope for software support through Microchip*.

If anything, my "complaint" regarding the SBC66EC is wanting Modtronix software support for anything to do with getting the SBC66EC plus provided source code (without modifications) to compile, load, and debug *with all possible development environments* -- all supported Microchip/Modtronix  software tools, programmers, emulators, etc.  Also, I would hope Modtronix would support anything related to *hardware-specific* questions related to the software, specifically anything to do with hardware differences between the Microchip PIC32 Ethernet Starter Kit and the Modtronix SBC66EC.

Joseph (Jiju)

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Re: == New SBC66EC and SBC66ECL Boards ==
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2011, 07:19:03 PM »
Hi Modtro2,
Any tentative date for the release of the custom/modified code for the SBC66EC?

Many thanks in advance.

dgoadby

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Re: == New SBC66EC and SBC66ECL Boards ==
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2011, 04:06:06 AM »
I think Rick314's analysis is spot on.

We needed something like the 66EC for a large project that required more performance than the 65EC's we currently use.  We also had an issue with the TCP/IP stack on the 65EC with heavy UDP traffic which needed fixing so it made the 66EC a good next generation candidate so we bought one. Fairly quickly we discovered that, the 66EC was not an easy upgrade.

As the 66EC is really a naked product compared to the more comprehensively supported 65EC we have abandoned it. We are now using an ARM based Linux board which, although it has increased the hardware budget by $50, has significantly reduced the software development budget.  We now have a fairly standard embedded Linux platform with lots of memory, comprehensive I/O and a thoroughbred low cost (free) software stack.  We can even do automatic remote software updates.  We also did not need to spend budget on more development tools adding more savings.

We spent more money on the hardware but saved $1000's on software - a real no brainer which we probably would not have realised if the 66EC had been a more suitable (ie drop-in) upgrade option.

We will still use the 65EC for small low-cost project and have generally been pleased with it but the 66EC is not a straight replacement or upgrade path so that's the end of the line for us.

Regards

David Goadby, North Wales, UK