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, everything else is optional. Choose sensors, output, control, communication and many other types of xChips, according to the functionality you need. 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 a few Sensors (Sxxx) and/or Output xChips (Oxxx) 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. But 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 There are only 2 rules:
  1. All the xChips has to face the same way up. Make sure you can read the name of the xChip on the same side.
    CorrectSmall.png UpsideDown.png
  2. Any side of an xChip will fit (typically) 2 other sides, but not all 4 of another xChip. Make sure the notches are matching.
    AllignmentCorrect.png AllignmentWrong.png
Quick tip: If you layout all the xChips, so the name is readable in the same direction, you can easily assemble your circuit without problems. Both assembly below is correct, but the first one (the one on the left) is easiest to get right every time.

                    Correct.png CorrectRandom.png      
3. Programming Depending on your choice, Core or Bridge/SBC, your next path will take you in different directions:
  • Single Board Computer:
    • Learn how the specific xChip Bridge connects to your Single Board Computer here!
    • Check out this Hackster project for an example using Raspberry Pi
  • Arduino IDE:
    • 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
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