Caramel2 boards and fc-host-tools-r14

Mychaela Falconia mychaela.falconia at
Sun Dec 6 05:37:29 UTC 2020

Hello FreeCalypso community,

I got a new release of FC host tools:

(the latter URL is a symlink that has been updated to point to the former)

This new version of FC host tools will need to be used by anyone who
buys a Caramel2+DUART28 kit and wishes to use the boot control feature,
or anyone who wishes to closely follow my work, but otherwise contains
nothing of real interest to those who would rather wear an end user

In other news, our Caramel2 boards are now fully assembled:

18 of these boards went into the firmware programming and production
test process, and 17 came out good (passed all tests) - so fortunately
we are free from major yield problems, and the cost can remain low as
promised earlier.

My asking price for one Caramel2 development kit is $220 USD, same as
projected earlier, and this kit consists of:

* Caramel2 board
* Power supply brick (universal AC to 3.6 VDC)
* DUART28 adapter
* Ribbon cable connecting Caramel2 and DUART28 boards
* SPK WTH43006 antenna

The $220 price for the above kit is certainly lower than FCDEV3B cost:
for comparison, my regular asking price for current FCDEV3B V2 is $500,
although I still have 3 FCDEV3B V1 boards on clearance for $300, below
my estimated cost of production.  The more expensive FCDEV3B does have
a few advantages over the cheaper Caramel2:

* FCDEV3B offers JTAG, but on iWOW TR-800 modules it is not brought
out at all;

* FCDEV3B features a flash+RAM chip with 16 MiB of flash and 8 MiB of
XRAM, whereas TR-800 has a smaller chip with only 8 MiB of flash and
2 MiB of XRAM;

* Analog audio circuits came out better on FCDEV3B (cleaner audio,
less noise) than on Caramel2.

But Caramel2 has a few other features which FCDEV3B lacks:

* The RFFE inside the TR-800 aka Tango module is fully quadband, as
opposed to having to decide whether to give up the 900 MHz band or the
850 MHz band;

* Many more Calypso signals are brought out, allowing the possibility
of connecting a 16-bit parallel LCD to Calypso memory bus and a 5x5
keypad like on a classic handset, or other peripherals - it is the
56-pin expansion interface on Caramel2 boards.

Thus a truly dedicated FreeCalypso tinkerer needs both FCDEV3B and
Caramel2 boards. :-)

Hasta la Victoria, Siempre,
Mychaela aka The Mother

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