More I/O pins Available

Hi, i’m new to your product. I recently purchased an X2 controller, I got the top of the line unit.

I’m in need of a 6X6 (36) key button matrix. With only 18 i/o pins available to me, it only leaves 4 pins free.
I still would like to have feedback from the DC motors,( using optointerupters ) , ultrasonic ranging, and one of your 8 servo controllers.
I was wondering why you didn’t use a serial LCD? I have an matrix orbital 2x20 lcd with 25 btn keypad encoder built in.
It takes RS232 serial input, can be set fot TTL level inputs, I2C or dallas one wire, and has 6 general purpous outputs for driving lite loads i think of under 10mA ea.

Is there a serial out command to be used with any of the i/o pins? (TTL levels of corse)

Also, will the SPI work between different microcontroller familys? I have a PIC18F8722 controller, it has 70 i/o pins if it can talk to yours, it would be great.

Thanks in advance - Navigator (James)


Thanks for your suggestion. Making Orangutans with higher I/O pin counts is something we’ve considered, though we probably won’t have more I/O than the X2 any time soon since many of the AVR’s I/O lines go to the built-in hardware on the Orangutans.

In your case, you do have a few options. First, you don’t have to use the parallel LCD; you can use the LCD connector to get access to those I/O lines, and you can use your serial LCD with just a few of those lines (a hardware UART is available, and you can bit-bang serial output, too). You can also connect other products, including your PIC with many I/O lines, to the other I/O lines. We don’t recommend using the SPI port unless you really know what you are doing since those lines are used for programming; if your peripheral happens to interfere during programming, you could potentially permanently disable (“brick”) your X2.

- Jan

Thank you for your prompt responce.

I have 3 different controllers now, each with strong points of there own.
I have a C-Stamp from A-WIT, A PIC18F8722 from FUTURLEC, and of corse your X2.

I plan on using robotic arm and chissis parts from LYNXMOTION.

Your X2 seems to be the most veriatile controller with the lcd, and motor controll.

I see as the ultimate a ATMEGA128 as a primary, and the 644 as the secondary with the same LCD, DC MOTOR, and
up to 16 servo motor controll on a three board stack similar to what you offer now.

Because i currently have the 8722 and 6520 ( A-WIT ), i was interested in the SPI interface.

The lack of I/O, and the need to bit bang serial comm being the only reasons your controller isn’t on top of Mt. Everest with me.
PLEASE, don’t take me wrong, you have a great controller, i just need a little more.

I am now off to the expirimenters cloud nine. Thank you very much, James