TheUno & BigBrother Detailed Description

You may wonder about the benefits of TheUno and BigBrother evaluation boards ?

"My goal is not to provide complex and abstract utilities, but only some nice tools to help people learning and prototyping projects. My evaluation boards are designed for both beginners and advanced users."

Joel Guittet, author of TheUno and BigBrother evaluation boards.

Here are some few reasons to get or build one of these boards.

1. The microcontrollers

TheUno is based on one of the most interresting 8-bits microcontroller from Freescale, the MC9S08DZ60, BigBrother and BigBrother-USB around the MCF51JM128 and MCF51AC256 32-bits Coldfire microcontrollers.

Those microcontrollers come with CAN, EEPROM, ADC, SPI, IIC, SCI, Timers, USB Host/Device/On-The-Go, and more powerful peripherals which can be easily used with some few external components to create innovative applications.

Here are some simple diagrams from Freescale showing the internal peripherals of the S08D, MCF51JM and MCF51AC microcontrollers famillies.

Moreover, the peripherals in those microcontrollers are the same on all the HCS08, HCS12, HCS12X and Coldfire V1 microcontrollers. Learning with TheUno and BigBrother evaluation boards will enable you to easily use many Freescale microcontrollers simply reusing your knowledges of Freescale microcontrollers to build your own projects. It also means that all the source codes available on this website and developed on TheUno and BigBrother can be quickly reused on many Freescale microcontrollers !

2. Integrated debugging cable

TheUno, BigBrother and BigBrother-USB integrate the USBDM, an open-source USB programming cable built around the MC9S08JS16 microcontroller. The USBDM permits to load and debug your application by simply running your program step-by-step or inserting breakpoints. Of course it is also possible to show and modify the content of the memory and registers on the target microcontroller. The USBDM is a professional solution to debug your applications.

Thanks to the internal bootloader of the MC9S08JS16 microcontroller, the initial programming of the USBDM is done throw the USB cable, and so it is possible to build the boards yourself, without any other needs than the components which are on the PCB. No external and expensive tools required.

You can read more about the USBDM on its official website:

3. Compatible

TheUno, BigBrother and BigBrother-USB are compatible with almost every shields designed for the Arduino. It is possible to plug multiple shields on the development boards, with Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, SD-Card, LCD, Audio devices, H-Bridge, ... to simply create powerful applications.

Finally, as shown on the following photos, BigBrother and BigBrother-USB are sharing two independant shield slots, giving more and more possibilities to your imagination !

If you are looking for shields, you can checkout the Shield List website:

4. Freescale development environment

Freescale CodeWarrior is now based on Eclipse, and so it is now possible to quickly and easily create and debug your applications. Freescale CodeWarrior Eclipse Edition is compatible with Windows Vista/Seven and with x86/x64 systems.

Finally note that Freescale CodeWarrior can be downloaded for free !

5. So easy to use

The boards can be supplied throw the USB cable of the USBDM, making them useful and interresting tools to perform simple tests on your bench ! Simply connect the USB cable and start programming !

It is also possible to use an external power supply (or both together, in this case, power is driven from the external supply). The 3.3 and 5 Volts regulators will drive up to 800mA to your application.


TheUno, BigBrother and BigBrother-USB will find many interested people who want to create interresting applications, not simply copying some pieces of source codes together, but with a real engineering approach. Thanks to all the Arduino shields available today, you can now quickly prototype your projects and express your unlimited imagination.