Wiring S Review

Since I have so many units for physical computing now, I figure it’s time to review some of them. Perhaps somebody will find the review useful for when they are searching around for opinions about certain products.

The Wiring S board from Rogue robotics

Specs:

  • Manufactured by Rogue Robotics
  • Price ~$27 USD
  • Uses an Atmega644p (surface mount)
  • 64Kb of Flash (double arduino uno)
  • 4Kb if SRAM (double the uno)
  • overall size (2″ x 3″ x .5″)
  • 16 Mhz
  • 7-12v input or USB
  • 2 hardware uarts
  • 1 hardware spi
  • FTDI USB to serial interface

First thoughts:

I started off trying a few common things such as accelerometers, switches, sd cards and various other things. Most of the basic stuff from a standard Arduino will work except the SD card will you to program it through the SPI library. The form factor has changed a bit from Arduino in that they have used standard 100mil spacing. Also, they have separated the headers in to groups of 8, you can access each of these as ports instead of straight pins. you could do this with the Arduino but the pins were not always contiguous. Also, using the 644 is great because you get two hardware UARTs. very nice! Other than the changes mentioned, it is pretty much the same as an arduino and the software looks and functions almost exactly the same as the standard Arduino IDE. It all has very good fit and finish and is reasonably priced and functional.

Pros:

  • Better pin locations, based on a grid of 100 mill unlike and Arduino which has one row of headers off by 50 mil.
  • Better pinout usage. Ports are aligned along the header and power,rst and aref are on their own separate header, much better.
  • Easier to reach reset button if a shield were on the board.
  • more flash and SRAM than standard UNO, double to be exact.
  • inch based form factor (exactly 2×3 inches)
  • provision for pins or terminal for direct power feed rather than barrel or usb
  • reasonable cost, not super cheap or expensive, comparable
  • Switchover jumper for usb power and external
  • Canadian Made!

Cons:

  • Used huge USB connector like Arduinos. Most others stay away from these since they’re huge and most people don’t like the large cords.
  • For the same reason that the header placing is good also makes it bad if you like to use shields for the Arduino
  • sd library isn’t implemented but that’s not a big deal
  • slightly larger for factor (as per area) than the Arduino but not by much.

In closing:

This product is great for anybody who uses the Arduino or is learning. It’s better in almost every waythan an UNO and is offered for a  reasonable price.

Pop by robotshop or roguerobotics if you’d like to pick one up