DPU-550 Mounted

The DPU-550 is an advanced upgrade daughterboard for the DRO-350 that plugs into the PIC microntroller socket.  It replaces the 8-bit PIC microcontroller with a far more powerful 32-bit ARM7 processor (see comparison table) with more program space for advanced features.  The PIC processor on the DRO-350 has served its task well, but it is getting antiquated compared to today's technology and more importantly, the program space is entirely used up by the DRO-350 software so there is no way to add more freatues without removing existing ones.

The DPU-550 not only includes an advanced processor, but it also adds a number of other commonly asked-for hardware features including:

  • 5 digital scale interfaces (3 from DRO-350 and 2 on-board)
  • USB device interface
  • True RS-232 communications
  • 5V 2A power supply
  • 2 edge finder ports
  • 2 flex ports (tachometer, edge finder, and/or piezo buzzer)
  • Debugging (JTAG) interface
 Processor Attribute DRO-350 PIC
DPU-550 ARM7
Register Width 8-Bit 32-bit
Speed 20MHz 50MHz
Program Memory 8K 256K
Working Memory 368 64K
Nonvolatile Memory 256 8K
Processor Registers 1 16
USB Device Interface No Yes
Free & Unlimited C Compiler No Yes

What's even more exicting is that the DPU-550 software is completely open and available via the OpenDRO project.  This will allow anyone with an interest to contribute features or fixes.  Even if you don't feel comfortable contributing, you can look at the software for more insight on how it works.  The OpenDRO software is constantly evolving with new features so check the OpenDRO product page for a complete list.

The installation of the DPU-550 is designed to be as easy as possible.  It's installation is far easier than building a DRO-350.  The main part of the installation is to remove the existing PIC and solder in a pin header in its place.  Also, depending on which DPU-550 product you purchased, you might have to do some assembly of connectors or other portions of the PCB.  All of this is shown in more detail on the contruction page.