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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch

WiFi (IEEE 802.11 standard) enabled devices such as personal computers, video
game consoles, mobile phones, mp3 players, or PDAs (Personal Digital
Assistants) are able to connect to the Internet when within proximity of a wireless
network. A most ubiquitous term related to the coverage of one or more
interconnected access points is a called a hotspot. By providing a small WiFi
based radio, any device can easily be monitored and controlled through the
Internet. To achieve this wireless connectivity a router is used to provide an
access point, thereby allowing the target device to connect within the network
with ease. Such a network is known as an Infrastructure. The primary
advantage of an Infrastructure Network is the ease in which WiFi based devices
can connect to the Internet. An adhoc network is one which allows all WiFi
based devices to connect to each other without the hassle of a having a central
point. The communication is achieved from device to device. This sharing of
information allows a multitude of devices to gain access to a common network.
To develop a WiFi enabled device is quite easy when using the Microchip TCP/IP
stack and a ZeroG radio module. To illustrate the ease to which any device can
be WiFi enabled, the following project shall demonstrate this concept of creating
an “Internet of Things” device using the items shown listed on the BOM (Bill of

Bill of Materials (BOM)

• Explorer 16 Development Board (Microchip P/N: DV164037)
• MRF24WB0MA Wi-Fi PICtail Plus Daughter Board (Microchip P/N
AC164136-4 )
• Common Anode 7 Segment LED Display (MAN 72)
• 7447 BCD to 7 Segment LED Display Decoder Driver IC
• (7) 330Ω resistors or (1) 16Pin DIP 330Ω resistor pack
• Diligent MDE 8051 trainer

• Solderless Prototyping Breadboard
• 22 AWG Solid Wire
• Palm Pre Smartphone

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
The Wireless Reset Switch is an electronic design hybrid consisting of 2 different
microcontroller development platforms: Microchip’s Explorer 16 Development
Board and Diligent’s MDE 8051 Trainer. Also, a 7 Segment LED Display with
supporting a decoder driver circuit is included. The reason for this design is to
explore creating a wireless Distributed Controller using “off the shelf”
microcontroller development boards. Also, understanding how to connect with
various embedded platforms using basic circuit interfacing techniques is the
educational training benefit behind this project as well. Figure 1 shows the
System Setup Diagram of the Wireless Reset Switch.

Desktop PC or

WiFi Pigtail

Reset Signal

8051 Based Decade

Explorer 16 Development Counter

Palm Pre

Figure 1. WiFi enabled Reset Switch for a Digital Decade Counter

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
The System Block Diagram for the Wireless Reset Switch is shown below.

+3.3VDC +5VDC +5VDC


Reset 4 7
Signal 8051
PIC24F ZeroG Decoder
uC Radio-Module Driver


Explorer 16 7 Segment LED

Development Board Display Circuit

Figure 2. WiFi enabled Reset Switch for a Digital Decade Counter

System Block Diagram

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
Building the WiFi Controller
Homebrew Expansion Connector
With all of the components available, the Wireless Reset Switch project can
commence. The first build event for the project is to add an expansion connector
to the Explorer 16 Development board. The expansion connector provides easy
access to the target I/O of the Explorer 16 board by using a dual –inline female
connector. Insert solid wire into the connector’s sockets allows direct access to
the PIC24F microcontroller’s I/O. A 60 pin ribbon cable from a desktop PC‘s
hard-drive is used for this in-line expansion connector.

Figure 3. Explorer 16 Development Board with 60 Pin Flat Ribbon Cable

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
The Dual- Inline female connector was disassembled from the ribbon cable as
shown in Figure 4.Three 28 AWG solid wires are then “carefully soldered to the
connector. See Figure 5.

Figure 4. Dual-inline connector removed from the ribbon cable.

Figure 5. Adding (3) 28 AWG solid wires to the female connector

The wires are soldered to the top row - 3 pins on the left of
the female connector.

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
With the 3 wires attached to the female connector, the unattached ends are
soldered to the designated copper pads on the Explorer 16 Development board.
Figure 6 shows the final assembly of the female Dual-inline connector to the
Explorer 16 Development board.

Table 1. Pinout-Designator Table

Figure 6 The Final Assembly: The Explorer 16 Development Board

“Homebrew” Expansion Connector

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
The Decade Counter Circuit
The second subcircuit to the Wireless Reset Switch project is the Decade
Counter Circuit. This digital circuit consists of 4 electronic components: an 8051
microcontroller, a 7447 Decoder Driver IC, a Common Anode 7 Segment LED
Display, and a 16pin DIP Resistor pack (330Ω). To allow flexibility in terms of the
counting sequence of numbers either up, down or random the 8051 (Dallas
Semiconductor: DS89C450) microcontroller provides the customization feature to
accomplish these visual display tasks. The 4 electronic components are wired as
shown in the circuit schematic diagram below.



1A U2

Key = A U1
2B P1.0 7 A
OA 13
RESET Signal P2.3 P1.1 1 B OB 12
P1.2 2 C OC 11
6 10
From Homebrew Key = B P1.3 D OD
OE 9
3 ~LT OF 15 R1
Expansion Connector 5 14
4C 4
(D4_LED) 8 GND
GND Key = C 74LS47D

Key = D

Figure 7. The 8051 Microcontroller based Decade Counter.

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
To rapid develop the Decade Counter a Diligent 8051 MDE Trainer was used for
the WiFi Lab project build. The Explorer 16 Development board can easily be
programmed to provide the necessary 4Bit binary data and reset signal used by
the 7447 seven segment LED decoder driver IC as well. The reason for using the
8051 MDE trainer is to demonstrate the concept of Distributed Control whereby 2
independent computing platforms work together for the common good of the
target electronic system. Also, the 8051 microcontroller is quite easy to program
in Assembly or C language. The complete prototype build of the 8051
microcontroller based Decade Counter is shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. The Prototype 8051 microcontroller based Decade Counter. Note: The
4Bit DIP Switch is used to test the Decade Counter prior to wiring it to
the MDE 8051 Trainer

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
The embedded software for controlling the count sequence and monitoring the
Reset signal was written in Assembly Language. See Code Listing 1 below.

Listing 1. The 8051 Decade Counter Assembly Language Code

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch

Listing 1. The 8051 Decade Counter Assembly Language Code continued

Final Build
The Final Build of the project consists of interfacing the Explorer 16 Development
Board to the 8051 microcontroller based Decade Counter circuit. The ZeroG
Radio Module is inserted into the development boards Expansion slot for
receiving and sending data from a wireless router. A wireless router was
configured with Microchip’s TCP/IP development software to act as an access
pont. The wireless device was attached to my notebook computer’s Ethernet
jack. I also made a Mobile App for my Palm Pre Smartphone that allows direct
access to Microchip’s Demo webpages. The webpages allow for experimentation
in monitoring and controlling various embedded I/O on the Explorer 16
Development board like the discrete LEDs and pushbutton switches, temperature
sensor and a trimmer potentiometer. Instead of typing the demo web pages URL
displayed on the LCD using a notebook or

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Project 1: Wireless Reset Switch
Desktop PC, my Mobile App gains access by touch of button on the
smartphone’s touchscreen. Figure 10 shows the complete project build along
with the Palm Pre Smart Phone.

Figure 10. The Final Project Build for the WiFi enable Reset Switch

With the mobile app running on the Palm Pre, I’m able to link to Microchip’s
demo website’s and interact with the HTML scripted buttons using the
smartphone’s touch screen, I can reset the count value to”0” on the decade
counter remotely by simple touch of a button on Palm Pre’s touch screen. This
WiFi application can be adapted to a variety of consumer and industrial products
thereby allowing a simple “touch” to control the device’s functionality.

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