Electronic components, in general terms, can be configured in different ways. This section aims to explain the various configurations that are used. 
  • Switch:

    A switch responds to an external force to mechanically change an electric signal. Switches are used to turn electric circuits ON and OFF and to switch electric circuits. There are many different types of switches which vary according to their size, robustness, environmental resistance and other characteristics.

    Detection Switches: used to detect the positions of objects.
    Manual Switches: used to make inputs into equipment 
    Setting Switches: used to set up operation to the equipment

    Some devices are equipped with switches to allow the user to change how the ports connect in an electronic circuit, which in-turn allow the user to change the address. Switches are generally more expensive (when compared to solder pads which also have a similar function) due to mechanical equipment costing more and requiring more maintenance etc

    The switch allows the user to change from a DTE to DCE setting (also see UART and i2c).

    Watch this space! In the near future we will elaborate a bit more on the specific switches used on the ☒CHIPs.

  • Solder pads: 

    Pads, in general, t
    hat are found on PCB boards of exposed metal on the surface of a board to which a component can be soldered. 

    On the ☒CHIP, the solder pads act like switches. As mentioned above, the component can have more then one address or setting. They are used using solder on the solder pads to turn on one setting or another. If the component has more then one address, the pad can be used to change the address (see i2c). For example, the solder pad can also be used to change from DTE to DCE configuration settings, or from serial to parallel. Utilising a solder pad as opposed to an actual switch allows for a lower manufacturing cost and allows for the end user to still use the full capability of the component.

  • UART DTE vs DCE:

    UART is also know as Seriel and is a type of symbiotic system that can be used to interlink integrated circuits. 

    UART refers to a certain configuration type. In a UART configuration, Tx can only talk to Rx. In order to ensure that Tx is only connected to Rx, the following terms are used to standardize the configuration of Rx and Tx in the BUS pins. If Tx is situated on pin one and Rx is situated on pin two then the configuration is referred to as DTE (Data terminal equip.). If Rx is on pin one and Tx is on pin two then the configuration is referred to as DCE (Data communicator equip.). Hence a DTE can only talk to a DCE configured ☒CHIP. (see UART pages for diagram and detailed explanation)

  • i2c addresses:

    The Inter-integrated Circuit (i2c) Protocol is also a symbiotic system intended to allow multiple “slave” digital integrated circuits (“chips”) to communicate with one or more “master” chips. I2C only requires  it two signal wires to exchange information.

    Some chips can be configured to alternative address, and are changed using either the switch or solder pads. The addresses come embedded from the manufacturer and can be obtained from the product data sheet, along with the pin number it is located on.