Picture of Propeller Platform

What is the Propeller?

The Parallax Propeller is a 32-Bit 8-Core microcontroller.  Chance are you've already seen a few Propeller Powered projects like:

OpenStomp Coyote-1: open source digital guitar effects pedal

Music Demo (.mp3)

The Replica 1, an Apple 1 Clone


ybox2, DIY Networked Set-top Box


and plenty more.  The Propeller is commonly used because it's high performance, has easy video output, and offers a lot of I/O.

So What is the Propeller Platform?

The Propeller Platform puts the Prop on a circuit board with voltage regulators, memory, a crystal, and connectors to other modules.  It's a lot like the Arduino with a few improvements on the basic idea;

1 - Modules (a.k.a. shields) can be connected to each other on top and bottom. For example, you might have a Propeller module in the middle, an LCD UI on the top, and a prototyper on the bottom.

2 - Pin spacing is .1". The space between sockets is .2", too. This makes the Platform compatible with breadboards, and it lets you use Platform modules in combination with other project boards.

3 - The board footprint is 3.8" x 2.5", which is the same footprint as ExpressPCB's MiniBoard service, so adding your own custom module is inexpensive and straightforward.

4 - They're well documented. They're featured in Jon Williams' column in Nuts and Volts and the Propeller Platform Module will be the basis for many of projects described in his upcoming columns.

5 - They're Public Domain. Module designs use the MIT license, giving you more flexibility than more restrictive licenses like Creative Commons Share-Alike. Templates and specifications can be downloaded here.

The Propeller Platform is available as a kit or pre-assembled from Gadget Gangster.

Build time is about 45 minutes. Get started by going to the next step!
cthulu135 years ago
Just put mine together this week and had my first led blink a few minutes ago...great instructable! 
sutek5 years ago
Awesome instructable and very easy to follow for the gumbies out there, like me, with limited knowledge but just like to tinker
Gadget Gangster (author)  sutek5 years ago
Thanks! It's easy to put together and a lot of fun to program.
is this a instructables, looks more like an advert.
Gadget Gangster (author)  icecreamterror5 years ago
It's a howto - I sell a kit to put it together, but you're free to build it yourself - all the parts are commonly available and the pcb design is open source (you can download it on the project page). 
cats926 years ago
The 6 on the Arduino are very usefull . It would be very nice for beginners to find such connectors on the Propeller Platform .
cats92 cats926 years ago
I used Sigma Delta program or an ADC chip with the Propeller but I think the Arduino connection is easier to use. cats92
Gadget Gangster (author)  cats926 years ago
For sure. I do like how you can do ADC with any of the pins, though. I wonder if maybe the prop has better resolution? You can do 16 bit at 1KHz, or 10 bit at 78KHz. I wasn't sure what the resolution for the Arduino is.
Gadget Gangster (author)  cats926 years ago
For the Propeller, all the I/O are equal, every pin can function as input or output.

That said, doing ADC on the prop requires a simple circuit. Take a look at ray's writeup on how it's done.
andros12006 years ago
Very nice instructable!
Jestersage6 years ago
The main problem with parallax propeller is that the software is only available for Windows. Otherwise, as a hardware platform, it is excellent.
Gadget Gangster (author)  Jestersage6 years ago
There's no official Mac / Linux support, but there are a few unofficial compilers - Brad's version is pretty good.