This is the breadboard friendly 28 pin DIP version of the microcontroller used in our USB Host Board. You can now use any of the firmware we have for the USB Host board by using this chip on your own PCB design.
The USB Host IC is a 24FJ64GB002 microcontroller which contains a built-in full-speed USB host controller. This allows it to interface with and control most types of USB slave device - flash drives, keyboards, digital cameras, bluetooth dongles, and much more through the use of our preprogrammed firmware. The IC has a bootloader installed and loading of different (or updated) firmware can be done over a simple serial connection.
The USB Host IC is designed to be as simple to use as possible. All of the complex USB programming is contained in the chip so there is NO USB coding required in your application. This saves valuable programming space and saves you from having to code and debug USB interface routines.
The EEprom on the USB Host Board is not needed for normal functionality. All settings will be stored in flash memory on the chip itself if the eeprom is not detected. The reason for the eeprom on the board is that the flash memory is erased when new firmware is uploaded, so settings will be lost (the settings will go back to defaults). The eeprom on the board avoids this.
NOTE: the chips are programmed to use a 16MHz crystal rather than the original 8MHz
USB Host IC Minimal Schematic
USB Host Board V2 Schematic
PIC 24FJ64GB002 Datasheet
New software is easily installed over a serial RX/TX connection, so you will need an appropriate connection to your computer. We recommend the FTDI Basic breakout board but there are many similar boards and cables available.
Connect up the Power and GND lines, then connect the RX on the Host IC to TX on the FTDI board and TX on the Host IC to RX on the FTDI Board. You are now ready to install the new software.
To load the new software we use the free ds30loader application. This works with the bootloader on the Host board. Run the ds30loader application and...
Once you have these setup we just need to click the Write button (just below the Commands menu) and the software will attempt to connect to the bootloader and upload the new software. In order to make the bootloader active though, we need to reset the IC by briefly connecting the reset pin to GND. The reset pin is the pin 1 on the IC.
This needs to be done a short time after clicking the Write button.