trying to figure out what microcontrollers these are
October 7, 2006 6:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm not sure what these microcontroller/robotics components are for or what their prices are. If anyone knows any information on what they can do and what they go for please let me know (I was thinking of making a midibox SID).

Breadboard SYB-46
PSM-01 Microcontroller
PSM-03 Microcontroller
Scirbe tools

also if anyone knows about making a midibox and a cheap place to get components (in Montreal), let me know.
posted by Napierzaza to Technology (8 answers total)

A bunch of stuff for sale including those item numbers:

Only reference I quickly located on the SYB-01/03 stuff described them as 'threaded Java microcontrollers', to wit:

I don't have a clue of their capabilities or their relevance to MIDI, but there are scores of devices out there that have UARTS that can run at MIDI baud rate. It's not that big a deal.

The first link above seems to be suggesting that they are robotics components. My experience doesn't relate the two closely. A lot depends on what you want to do. Free or cheap would be the last criteria on my list as a designer for one-up systems.

Also, what kind of MIDI box? More info if you want a more detailed response.
posted by FauxScot at 8:20 PM on October 7, 2006

Response by poster: I apologize: the midibox SID is a Commodore 64 based synthesizer where you remove the chips from the system and wire them into a pic board. YOu can build a modular syth from it!

Anyways it's specific PICs I need.

I am really looking for the components for the system at the cheapest price possible, I actually saw that Kijiji thing and was hoping to buy some if they were actually useful in some way to the project (or might be for future projects).
posted by Napierzaza at 9:05 PM on October 7, 2006

Google has very few hits for it, but the SYB-46 looks like a run-of-the-mill small solderless breadboard. If that's the correct SYB-46, then there's nothing unusual or special about it; any electronics store (even a radio shack) ought to have something equivalent.

Can't find info on PSM-01 or PSM-03, without more information — I'm guessing the threaded Java microcontroller is a red herring. Where do you see these part numbers mentioned? My guess is that they're PICs (probably a 16'877) programmed with particular firmware.

In the US, good mailorder sources for parts like this are DigiKey, Mouser, and Jameco (there are plenty of others); I don't know if Canadian sources would be substantially cheaper or not. You'll need to either build a PIC programmer or get someone to program one and mail it to you.
posted by hattifattener at 10:27 PM on October 7, 2006

Duhh, I was answering your question from the wrong end, thinking you were trying to find parts to build a SID thingy.

So if your question is, should I buy some of this surplus lot?, the only things in that lot that look useful to me for your project are the breadboard and possibly the PIC starter kit, if it includes a programmer you can use to program the particular type of PIC used in the midibox design you're building. Of course, you should compare prices against other sources.

I'm guessing the Scirbe tools are carbide scribes, that is, pen-shaped objects with a hard carbide point, which you can use to scribe marks into metal or glass. They've become popular for graffiti vandals in my city in recent years, since they can mark shop windows easily and indelibly.
posted by hattifattener at 10:40 PM on October 7, 2006


hattifattener's recommendation for Digi-key, Mouser and Jameco is great.

If you're going to build anything with a micrcontroller, the one thing you definitely need is good documentation on it. It's abundant on-line for the types of micros those companies distribute, and the prices are low.

Unless the PSM01/3 come with good documentation, or you just happen to know and be intimately familiar with their processor, there's a good chance you'll buy paperweights.

There are a ton of great micros out there for education, experimentation, and prototyping. Too many, actually, to list. Most companies offering them have low cost development kits that allow evaluation of the parts and give some basic programming capabilities. Dallas Semi, Freescale, Microchip, Phillips... you've got a huge choice.

Check Nuts & Volts magazine, and Embedded Systems Design magazine for hobbyist and professional level tool ads, etc.

Check the available dox for the surplus hardware AND the programming environment before you invest a lot in PSM01/3 parts. It's not what you pay for something, it's what it costs you, as they say.
posted by FauxScot at 6:04 AM on October 8, 2006

Response by poster: anyone know anything about a MC6820? I'm not sure what can be done with those, but I have a few...
posted by Napierzaza at 4:39 PM on October 8, 2006

MC6820 = ancient Peripheral Interface Adaptor. Approx 20 I/O lines for a 6800 (not 68000) processor, like a 6803, 6805 or 6809. Slow. Ancient.

The Chip Directory might help you figure out what other parts you have.

BTW, if everything else you have is as old as the 6820, the date codes will be in the range of 79-85. Date codes are 4 digit numbers on the chip that represent the year and week the chip was made (like 8322). Don't confuse them w/ the device number.
posted by jdfan at 8:34 AM on October 9, 2006

Wow, I bought some of that lot!

PSM-01 and PSM-03 are PCB numbers. The PSM-03 board used a PIC 12f629, I don't know what the other board was, but it would have used a different PIC.
posted by Chuckles at 1:46 PM on July 9, 2007

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