Getting Started

Welcome to XinaBox and xChips. You're in the right place for information on our products, how to assemble them quickly and get straight to coding.

Here are our most popular guides to help you get started.

For Arduino IDE users, please read our "Getting Started" blogs:

We will shortly release the same for Raspberry Pi and Python. In the meantime, please see our Raspberry Pi "Getting Started" page, as well as the projects listed in the description of the XK03 STEM Raspberry Kit.


Getting Started with xChips is Simple and Quick!

1. Choose some xChips

  1. There are three essentials you need to build a device: a CPU, power source and connector(s). After that, choose functionality from our extensive range, including sensors, output, control, and communication. Every xChip is modular, compatible and reusable.
  2. For the CPU, you need either one of our Core xChips (Cxxx) together with the appropriate Programming Interface (IPxx) , or you can use the CPU on your SBC, connected to xChips by a Bridge (Bxxx).
  3. You need a Power source (Pxxx) or you can use a programming interface (IPxx) for power as well. If you are using a Bridge and SBC, the power comes from the SBC.
  4. Then choose other xChips from our Sensors (Sxxx) and/or Output (Oxxx) ranges, to give you device the functionality needed
  5. Lastly, please remember our standard xBus Connectors (XC10) to connect the xChips, and if you are using our CC or CS range of cores (CCxx/CSxx), you will need a xPDI Connector (XC55). You need typically one XC10 per xChip, and one XC55 per CCxx/CSxx core as well. You get redundancy and robustness by adding 50% more connectors depending on what you are building.
Quick tip: To get going most easily, choose one of our xKits, or purchase the same combination of xChips from one of our distributors (like RS Components).
2. Assembly - just two rules:
  1. xChips should all face the same way up, so you can read the 4 character names (CS11 and SG33 below).
    CorrectSmall.png UpsideDown.png
  2. xChips and connectors have visible notches, and these must be aligned. 
    AllignmentCorrect.png AllignmentWrong.png
Quick tip: As long as the notches are aligned, it is not important whether the xChips are in the same orientation. This is shown below right where the 4 character product codes are facing in different directions.

                    Correct.png CorrectRandom.png      
3. Programming Depending on your choice of whether to use one of our cores, or a Bridge and SBC:
  • XinaBox Cores:
    • Check out our getting started for Arduino blogs (here's the first), and this Coding Tutorial made by Virginia Space at their Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, VA in the US
    Single Board Computer:
    • Continue programming in your favourite environment, and learn how the specific xChip Bridge connects to your SBC here!
    • Check out this Hackster project for an example using Raspberry Pi
Quick tip: Our CC01 core, which is Arduino Uno compatible, and our CC03 (and CS11), which is Arduino Zero compatible, can be programmed using Arduino with no other software installed. Get the CC01 and the IP01 (or IP02) - or go big and get the CC03 (or the CS11 with SD card interface) and the IP02 (or IP03).

4. Where to find more info
  • XinaBox: Our main website and online store
  • XinaBox Wiki: Documentation, tech specs, data sheets and user guides
  • GitHub: Libraries, example code and tools for working with xChips
  • Hackster and DesignSpark: Projects using xChips
  • Samples: "Ready to use" code snippets demonstrating xChip functionality
  • Forums: For sharing ideas, and asking questions
  • Ideas: Suggestions for new xChips, functionality or integrations