Serial Wombat 4B – I2C Smart I/O Expander and A/D Converter – 4 Pack. Drive Servos, switches, quadrature encoders, UART/I2C Bridge Over I2C Compatible with Arduino

$12.49

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Product Description

Serial Wombat I/O Expansion Chips with Serial Wombat cartoon characterSerial Wombat I/O Expansion Chips with Serial Wombat cartoon character

Serial Wombat 4B chip pin diagramSerial Wombat 4B chip pin diagram

Serial Wombat I/O expansion chips make your favorite single board computer better.

A Serial Wombat chip isn’t a device you program – It’s a helpful accessory that you command to expand your capability. Like other IC’s, it’s easily added to an I2C or Serial Bus. Unlike other IC’s, it has built in firmware that lets you offload simple but timing sensitive tasks from your code or sketch to the Serial Wombat chip’s firmware and CPU.

Unlike single-purpose expansion chips such as the MCP3008 or PCF8574, Serial Wombat chips provide both digital and analog capability, plus an additional onboard processor core and preprogrammed firmware to manage I/O tasks so the main board doesn’t have to.

The Serial Wombat 4B smart I/O expansion chips are compatible with Arduino, Compatible with Raspberry Pi, native embedded systems or any other system that can communicate by I2C. Downloadable code libraries are compatible with Arduino. Protocol documentation is available for users on other platforms to write their own interface using a simple I2C protocol at up to 400kbps.

IDE screen capture showing Initialization of Serial Wombat chipIDE screen capture showing Initialization of Serial Wombat chip

Serial Wombat chips are supported by IDE libraries that can be downloaded through the official library manager.

Serial Wombat 4B chip interfacing 3 knobs and a button to single board computerSerial Wombat 4B chip interfacing 3 knobs and a button to single board computer Serial Wombat chips clean up your project’s wiring

Since Serial Wombat chips require only 4 wires from the main board (power, ground, and communications) it can clean up your project’s wiring by putting the I/O pin you need right next to the device being interfaced. In this example 3 pots and a button require only 4 wires to the main board instead of 6 (4 signals plus power and ground).

(Sample application – Single board computer, pots, buttons, breadboard and and wire not included)

Serial Wombat Chips make I/O intensive projects easier

I/O where you need it, with smarts to match

Serial Wombat chips simplify tasks commonly performed with a single board computer. Driving multiple servos, reading multiple rotary encoders, debouncing buttons, and reading A/D inputs at the same time can be challenging, particularly if integration of multiple 3rd party libraries is necessary.

Serial Wombat chips automate these tasks using the chip’s on-board processing core so your sketch only has to query or command the Serial Wombat chip as needed instead of managing the I/O in real time.

Serial Wombat 4B chip on breadboard with servosSerial Wombat 4B chip on breadboard with servos

Servo Pin Mode

Each Serial Wombat 4B chip can control up to three servos simultaneously. The library interface is compatible with Arduino standard Servo.h interfaces, but adds additional features such as direction reversal and a 16 bit position option that provides higher resolution than the 180 degree interface in the standard library.

(Picture shown is a sample application. Wires, breadboard and servos not included.)

Serial Wombat 4B on breadboard with Rotary EncodersSerial Wombat 4B on breadboard with Rotary Encoders

Rotary Encoder Pin Mode

Each Serial Wombat 4B chip can monitor up to two Rotary Encoders simultaneously. The Serial Wombat chip keeps a net directional count of transitions so your sketch doesn’t have to catch every pin change. Instead, your sketch simply asks the Serial Wombat chip for the net change since the last time you asked. Your sketch can do this as often or slowly as you like. On-board pull-ups, counting on both or single edges, and the ability to add debouncing to transitions add versatility.

(Picture shown is a sample application. Wires, breadboard and rotary encoders not included.)

Serial Wombat 4B chip with 3 potentiometers on a breadboardSerial Wombat 4B chip with 3 potentiometers on a breadboard

A/D Converter Pin Mode

Each Serial Wombat 4B chip can interface to up to three analog signals simultaneously.

(Picture shown is a sample application. Wires, breadboard and potentiometers not included.)

The 10-bit 1kHz sampled data can be accessed as a single sample, 64-sample averaged values or first order digital filtered value to minimize latency, increase resolution or smooth erratic signals.

The Serial Wombat 4B chip’s supply range of 2.5V to 5.5V and I2C interface allow it to directly measure 5V inputs and while interfacing to a 3.3V main board.

Serial Wombat 4B connected to 4 buttonsSerial Wombat 4B connected to 4 buttons

Debounced Input Pin Mode

Each Serial Wombat 4B chip can debounce up to 4 input pins. Each debounce pin can be configured for optional internal pullup, debounce time, and inversion. The debounce pin mode also monitors the count of pin transitions between reads from the host, and the period of time the input (such as a button) has been active to ease creation of sophisticated user interfaces.

(Picture shown is a sample application. Wires, breadboard, buttons and single board computer not included.)

PWM Waveform generated by Serial Wombat 4B chipPWM Waveform generated by Serial Wombat 4B chip

PWM Pin Mode

Each Serial Wombat 4B chip can drive up to 3 PWM outputs at selected frequencies between 1Hz and 31kHz with 10-bit resolution. All PWMs within a single Serial Wombat 4B chip run at the same frequency.

Serial Wombat 4B chip connected to single board computer reset lineSerial Wombat 4B chip connected to single board computer reset line

WatchDog Pin Mode

Watchdog digital outputs allow the host to instruct the Serial Wombat chip to change an output pin if a timer is not reset within a specified timeframe. This can be used to reset the host in the event that it locks up, or to shut off outputs which should not be left on in the event of communications interruption or software lockup. The Serial Wombat chip itself can also optionally be reset on timeout.

This feature makes a Serial Wombat chip a great add-on for single board computers which are remotely located.

(Picture shown is a sample application. Wires, breadboard, and Single Board Computer not included.)

Thermal Image of overheating transistorThermal Image of overheating transistor

Protected Output Pin Mode

The Serial Wombat can quickly change the state of an output pin based on analog or digital input from another pin. This allows the Serial Wombat chip to quickly shut off an output if a fault is detected, potentially avoiding damage to your circuit in the event of a short. This feature is not intended for use in safety-critical applications.

Serial Wombat 4B chip decoding pulses from an RC receiverSerial Wombat 4B chip decoding pulses from an RC receiver

Pulse Measurement Pin Mode

Each Serial Wombat 4B chip can measure up to 4 pulse inputs with a resolution as fine as 8 microseconds. A Serial Wombat chip can therefore easily turn an RC receiver into an I2C accessible device.

(Picture shown is a sample application. Wires, breadboard, Single Board Computer, RC Transmitter and receiver not included.)

Image of I2C and UART with arrowImage of I2C and UART with arrow

I2C <–> UART Bridge

Each Serial Wombat 4B chip can add an additional UART TX, UART RX or both to your system via I2C. Standard Baud rates are supported.

This is an ideal way to add an additional debug output if your system is already using its UART for other purposes.

Users should note that constant, full-speed communications at high baud rates may lead to data loss due to the overhead of encapsulating the UART data in the Serial Wombat communication protocol which is optimized for low-latency I/O operations rather than bulk transfers.

Serial Wombat 4B chip Close UpSerial Wombat 4B chip Close Up

Digital Input and Output

Each Serial Wombat 4B chip has 3 Input/Output/Analog capable pins and one input-only pin (pin 0).

Each pin has an optionally-enabled internal pull-up.

Output pins can be push-pull or optionally open-drain. Each pin can sink or source up to 25mA of current . (Compare to 12mA on ESP8266/Node MCU or 7mA for Seeduino Xiao).

The Serial Wombat 4B chip’s 2.5V to 5.5V source voltage range and I2C interface provides a path for 5V to 3.3V interfacing.

Serial Wombat 4B chip on breadboard powered by AA batteriesSerial Wombat 4B chip on breadboard powered by AA batteries

Supply Voltage Measurement

Serial Wombat chips can measure and report their own supply voltage. This allows monitoring of the supply voltage and conversion of A/D counts into voltage measurements.

(Picture shown is a sample application. Wires, breadboard, batteries and battery holder not included.)

Binary code from the hex image of the Serial Wombat 4B chip firmwareBinary code from the hex image of the Serial Wombat 4B chip firmware

Upgradeable Firmware

The Serial Wombat 4B chip has a built in bootloader which allows new versions of firmware to be loaded using a UART interface on pins WP0 and WP1. This allows upgrades, side-grades to other Serial Wombat firmware that use the same microcontroller, changing of I2C addresses, or uploading of user-customized firmware.

Extensive Videos, Documentation and Source Code make easy things easy and hard things possible

Image of Serial Wombat 4B Getting Started VideoImage of Serial Wombat 4B Getting Started Video

Extensive Online ManualExtensive Online Manual

Screen shot of source code of Serial Wombat firmware.Screen shot of source code of Serial Wombat firmware.

Online Tutorial Videos

Numerous support videos are available online, from simple getting-started videos to in-depth tutorials on use of individual pin modes. Each video uses one or more of the examples that come with the Compatible with Arduino library which is available through the IDE’s library manager.

Extensive Doxygen based Documentation

The Serial Wombat project’s source code and host side library are heavily documented within the source. The open source Doxygen tool is used to generate documentation for the project as a whole, and for all of the interfaces for each pin mode. This documentation is available through the project’s GitHub pages area.

Source Code is Open Source

Have a nuanced question that the documentation doesn’t answer? Or need to adapt the firmware to do something different? The Serial Wombat firmware’s source code is open source under an MIT license and available on GitHub.

Easily add a few more I/O or A/D channels to your project through I2C
Do complex tasks with a few simple calls to the API available for download through the IDE Library Manager
Many support videos and extensive documentation available online.
3 Input/Output and 1 Input Only pin on each chip. Each pin can be assigned a specific function such as Servo, Quadrature Encoder, A/D conversion, UART Bridge
Use all 4 chips together, or in 4 different projects. 100nF capacitors included. Uncut decal strip with 8 decals included. Upgradable Open Source Firmware available on GitHub.

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