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 Post subject: Status on Release of Studio to resolve HPWM woes?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:25 pm 
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Master

Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:01 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Eau Claire, WI
Greetings BM Folks,

Any ETA on the update of BM Studio that will resolve the HWPM woes of the Nano 8/18s? I believe Tauro found and provided a workaround but was BM ever updated?

Thanks-Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Status on Release of Studio to resolve HPWM woes?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:38 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Nottingham, England, UK
Hi Brian,

BM USA will soon be dropping the Nano Range from the line-up BUT BasicMicroUK will be taking over the Nano range and one of the first things we will be doing is updating the IDE to fix any outstanding problems such as Nano-8 pin out mix up's and including the PWM fixes you mention,

We will then continue to supply and support the Nano range including all the Nano Prototype PCB's as well as some new ones like the Nano-28 to Arduino board and we are working on new CPU products now with a Nano-18x, a double speed version of the Nano-18 that will be ready to ship early 2014, this will be great for applications when you need more I/O lines than the Nano-8 but not as many as the Nano-28 but you need faster processing than the standard Nano-18, there will be two less lines of I/O than the standard Nano-18 as these are used for the external resonator but that still gives you 13 I/O pins to play with,

The Nano forum content will all be transfered over to our BMUK site and we are working with BM USA now to get the data needed to allow us to retain all the old users BUT all users are being moved over to the new site so if we are unable to retain the existing passwords then each user can email us and we will give them and new password so they can log in and reset it to what ever they want,

At BasicMicroUK we are committed to continuing and improving the Nano range long into the future,

Checkout our range of products at http://www.basicmicro.co.uk

UK Contact Number :- 01623 720730
Email us at :- sales@basicmicro.co.uk

Many thanks
Dave

BasicMicroUK


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 Post subject: Re: Status on Release of Studio to resolve HPWM woes?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Master

Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:01 pm
Posts: 134
Location: Eau Claire, WI
Greetings Dave,

Thanks for the explanation in what I would consider a rather lengthy delay in getting BM Studio updated to resolve the HPWM concerns.

Additionally your explanation is also the reason why I have not been able to acquire any of the Nano boards from BM USA site I will assume.

While I don't expect my opinion to sway anyone and I am not a marketing person but here is my two cents (and this is why I assume BM USA is getting out of the Nano business due to low sales):

1) I hate programming in C; this is why I like working with the BM products. I know that only real programmers use C but I am not a programmer nor are most the individuals who are using these Micro-controllers are hobbyist. A recent article published in Model Railroading Magazine featured an article that used an Arduino; this article went basically unnoticed in my opinion once people saw the code complex code examples (vs. when coding in BASIC). I also know the limits of BASIC especially when trying to write functions.

2) The existing manual needs to be updated and include more examples of how to use the commands. This was one of my first frustrations of working with the BM Products was a lack of examples in the manual; I personally didn't like or use any of the code examples included in BM Studio because they didn't demonstrate how to use a single command with all the various formats. I have posted some tutorials in the forum that you are welcome to use/include. I am an educator in my real job so I am use to writing labs and am pretty good at figuring out how to generate documentation to get something done. Maybe we can work out for some type of contribution to a manual :)

3) We need to bring the Mad Hatter back! I would love to see a board that use all of the pins of the Atom Pro 64.

4) Get Sparkfun to carry the BM products (I would do this only after the manual has been updated) and go after that Arduino market-share.

I'm looking forward to seeing some new products for the Nano line released but honestly don't want to have to pay the credit card fee for doing business overseas; btw I did engineer a device that received has a US Patent on it using a Nano-28. It is possible IF this device gets off the ground that a order of 500 Nano-28s may need to be purchased so I hope this won't be a problem in the future.

Thanks for keeping the Nano Product line alive and well-Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Status on Release of Studio to resolve HPWM woes?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:38 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Nottingham, England, UK
Hi Brian,

YES there have been a number of comments from users made to us and on the forum re errors with a number of the Basic Micro range products and some as far back as a year ago and Basic Micro have commented at the time that the fix has been done but will not be available until the next update to the IDE and my option here is its far better to fix these problems swiftly rather than have to answer the same question time and again when a product does not work as expected, we sell Digital Phase Converters in the UK and we offer a technical helpline BUT if we let an error in a product or a manual for that matter run for over a month we would end up spending more time talking people through a work around that we would be better just to update the hardware/software/manual ASAP, any assistance on this would be very welcome from any users with information to add to the documentation,

We plan to add new example code and a range of Nano "How To" Videos are in the pipeline starting from the very basic hardware set-up and basic commands right up to covering advanced hardware interfacing and using interrupts etc, these will include whole projects and cover both hardware and the required software,

We have a list of technical problems we have found ourselves and other users have brought to our attention as well as errors and omissions to the manual including commands with insufficient data on the many variations and even some commands that have no documentation at all in the manual but are very useful such as time delay routines and even a stepper motor driver routine for example, all these will be fixed as soon as we can but we are held up right now by lack of the correct files being sent over from BM USA as they are very busy right now on other projects, we have one customer that reported to us he ordered some Nano product via the web site and nothing arrived in a month and then he made phone calls for 2 weeks and every time he got the answer phone so he left many messages but none of them got replies and this customer had paid for his items and was only trying to chase them up and after 6 weeks he ordered them from us, i do not know if he ever got his money back or if the items ever arrived but i have to admit i did not believe him 100% as it did sound very bad BUT i then spent 2 weeks myself calling them almost every day and at times in the UK that they should have been in the office in the USA and each time i got the message service and each time i left a message and never got any replies and in the end one afternoon i finely got hold of Nathan and he was then as always very helpful, i know they prefer to answer questions by email but that level of service was that bad it must have lost some customers for them !,

YES BM USA have now removed all PCB's for the Nano range from the web site and they will not be selling them anymore in the USA and normally all enquiries for Nano PCB's are directed to us, we have in stock all the Nano PCB's and even some of the early prototype ones with breadboards etc and we have many blank PCB's on the way over from BM USA very soon and again its communication holding things up with this but as soon as they arrive and we will get the parts on order and then we will build them up but we have the ready made stock to cover us until we start building the new batch of PCB's up here in the UK,

I do suspect the Nano range lost out to Arduino and the various other micro controllers out there BUT we feel its a fantastic product with lots of scope and I agree a lot of Arduino customers have been put off with writing in C and prefer BASIC, i started on BASIC programming in the 1980's on a Z80 based machine called a Research Machines RM380Z and then after that on the BBC Micro Basic, all these were school machines and during this period i made my own Sinclare ZX-80 so i used BASIC and Z80, 6502 and later IBM 8088 machine code BUT the Arduino does have a great following and because of that there is some great shield hardware out there at a great price and that was the reason for the design and manufacturer of the Basic Nano-28 to Arduino PCB you can see in our http://www.basicmicro.co.uk shop, this lets you use the Nano-28 or 28X and interface to Arduino UNO format shields,

We like the Mad Hatter BUT again here lack of sales forced this to become discontinued however we still have 5 in stock should anyone need one and into the future we may port the BM IDE over to the PIC32 range in Arduino Mega format, the hardware is out there already but we will have to see how the standard Nano range does and decide where to go from there, if the Mad Hatter did not sell well there may be no demand for a PIC32 version,

We will look at other sales outlets as you say once we have a rounded package up and running as i would hate them to take off selling well while the range is still not perfect and the documentation is not up to scratch and right now we are talking to a supplier of educational electronics about a possible schools project like the Parallax Stamps in Class and this will include Nano range with a custom learning board like the Simon(We also have those in stock if anyone needs one) or Nano Prototype PCB for programming and we hope one of the Basic Micro Robot Products to take place of the New Arduino Robot, once we have things sorted we can approach Spark Fun and other robotic suppliers with the new range,

If you need 500 Nano-28's sometime in the future thats not a problem at all, we have the stock now to handle this size order in the standard DIL format and we can do them in any other format so your not just restricted to PDIP-28 package if you want to go surface mount on your project, good luck with it, i hope it takes off for you !,

Many thanks
Dave

BasicMicroUK
http://www.basicmicro.co.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Status on Release of Studio to resolve HPWM woes?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Citizen

Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:22 pm
Posts: 26
Dave (UK Basic Micro),
Last year I bought a Nano18 and spent literally weeks attempting to get it to communicate
with any computer. Even tried a new chip. It never worked. Turns out the documentation
on how to hook the Nano to a serial port is incredibly flawed, wrong and vacant of real
information. It doesn't say that you need an MAX232 chip between them. The diagram does
not even mention it.
One of the first things you should fix is the programming documentation! Reliable first impressions
will have a long lasting positive effect (as negative ones have in my case).
On the forum I received at least 5 different diagrams which people said worked for them. None worked
for me. Apparently I am not alone with this problem.
The Nano is potentially a great product. You should fix the problems it has and advertise it as
the easy-to-program Arduino alternative. I bought it because of that and the floating point math.
Others will too. I wish you the best of luck with the Nano line.
Meanwhile my (potentially lucrative) project sits dormant because all I get is the stupid message "You need to connect a Nano..."
Arrrrrrgh!

Dean


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 Post subject: Re: Status on Release of Studio to resolve HPWM woes?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:38 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Nottingham, England, UK
HI AOA,

YES i agree totally with your comments here, Nano data sheets do need updating urgently and we have had customers who have connected Nano devices up as you say and blown the device because the data sheet does not mention the signals can not be direct RS232 they need to be TTL levels,

See the forum post below for exactly this same problem :-


atomnano-f485/help-no-comms-between-studio-and-nano-t10044.html


There are also minor software problems with Nano to be resolved BUT an IDE update has not been done for a long time and each time a user comes up with the problem its a time consuming support issue,


We are working very hard to try and secure the source to the manuals and data sheets and to have the ability to basically take over the Nano range here at BMUK so we can address all these problems as a matter of urgency as well as starting an improvement program and include new manuals, software and tutorial videos and new hardware for example the Nano-18x we are working on right now, this is a Turbo version of the Nano-18, we can do these new products right now BUT all these projects are far easier to do when we get help from the suppliers BasicMicro USA and we are struggling with this right now as they are so busy right now with other projects BUT we will continue to follow it up,
Image

I can also say that the simplest way to get up and running with the Nano range is to start with one of the tried and tested Nano prototype PCB's and use the Nano USB programmer as that's solves all the problems and normally works first time leaving you to concentrate on your projects but thats no excuse for poor documentation,


I would like to mention that BMUK offer a very good technical help service open to everyone who has purchased goods from us and if you had called or emailed us all this time ago when you were having problems with the Nano-18 we would have very quickly got you up and running and we would have replaced any damaged device if the problem was caused by errors in the supplied documentation, please contact us if you still have problems and you have not found an alternative device for your project and we will assist however we can getting your project up and running with the Nano range,


I hope this helps,

many thanks

Dave
BasicMicroUK
01623 720730

http://www.basicmicro.co.uk


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