Now Available: PETI Development Kit... Kits!

Last Updated: 2023-08-18 08:32:00 -0500

This announcement here, on my own site, is actually a couple weeks late, but I finally got around to finishing the service manuals for the PETI development kit and making the development kits available on Tindie as DIY assembly kits! In part due to the through-hole design making assembly easy (though a tad prohibitively time-expensive when doing large numbers of them) and TI’s licensing around what I can and cannot do with the development hardware they themselves designed that make up part of the kit, I decided to opt for the route of selling the Development Kits as Do It Yourself kits consising of the PCBs for the Controller Board and the Rear Expansion Board.

You get the boards and some assembly instructions, together with a link to the service manual which contains a BOM for the other parts you will need to supply; in other words, you get a fun little project of your own. For a nominal fee I’ll even include and solder on the one and only SMD component on the board. Both the current revision of the REB (Rev C) and the future version (Rev. D) are entirely through-hole in 2.54mm pitch (which is very standard for hobby electronics) apart from that one component, so the project of assembling a kit is very straight forward and well within the capabilities of anyone interested in tinkering with the firmware.

A future version premium version of the kit is pending for sometime in the next year or so that includes the parts prepackaged along with more complete instructions, possibly even the entire service manual in print, but that’s significantly more expensive for me to ship (and to stock all the extra components) so I opted not to go that route for now.

If you ever wanted to get involved in the project directly but were intimidated by either having to develop firmware changes blind (without the hardware to test on) or having to mock up the hardware yourself on breadboard, now’s your chance to get on-board!

PETI Firmware Version 0.2.0 Released

Alongside the release of the development kits I also followed through on my promise (or was that a threat?) to release the Version 0.2.0 Firmware onto the main branch (which has been renamed as such from ‘master’), and consider the firmware the new “current release version”. It’s been pretty stable in my testing since release and added the ability to play minigames with the Pet, along with a small laundry-list of boring under-the-hood refactors.

The next version should have much more rapid development once I actually get started on it and concerns improvements to power management. Right now we’re only getting about 7-10 hours out of a pair of NiMH batteries, and getting the Low Battery LED working would, paradoxically, make that problem even worse. Fortunately, we’ve done exactly none of the work I had planned around power savings yet, and we really aren’t squeezing the performance out of the MSP430’s LPM settings or the SHARP mLCD’s power-saving options that we could be. It feels a little weird to make an entire Minor Version update about a non-gameplay function but I figure it’ll be plenty changy to justify it and I’m looking forward to the challenge of driving the consumption as low as I can.

Other Updates

Website Improvements

In other news, I have a few updates queued up for the website that I still need to get around to building out. Unfortunately, web administration is just close enough in my head to graphical work that it comes with a rather large initiation cost for me, but I’m sure sooner or later I’ll get around to adding a few new features to the site: namely, proper pagination on the blog index, a gallery page template to use for hardware projects (right now, image management on the site is… poor), and, most importantly: federated comments for the blog pages.

This change will involve implementing a bit more javascript on the site (right now the only java used is for rerendering the header menu on mobile), but basically it will let you comment on these blog posts using your fediverse account and client of choice. I imagine this will mostly appeal to people using mastodon-type clients but in theory I believe the method I found would let you comment from any federated platform.

If you wanted to show your support financially for Arcana Labs projects like PETI, but don’t need a virtual pet development kit, your best avenue is via my Github Sponsors account or by making a one-time donation to Arcana Labs via or through other avenues detailed here. Supporters also get access to a special patrons-only section of the Arcana Labs Discord Server as well, and new bonuses are soon to be introduced on the github side!


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This was built based on this reference implementation.