Parameterizing skywriter with MicroChip's Aurea software


Hi there,

I just got the full sized Skywriter board, and have got some basic examples working with an Arduino Uno. I’d love to debug and tweak the MGC3130 with microchip’s Aurea software. As far as I can tell, there are two ways to do this:

1- Use the i2c to USB bridge bundled with a microchip kit (Hillstar / Woodstar ). It looks like the way the bridge connects to the chip / board should be compatible with the skywriter, using 4 wires + 2 for Vcc and GND.
2- Have the Arduino (or a Raspberry Pi) act as an i2c to usb bridge itself

As I’d rather not having to spend $170 to get the kit just for the bridge, I’m wondering if anyone has had success with method no. 2, whether via an Arduino or Pi host. I’ve tried downloading some generic i2c to USB bridge sketches for the Arduino but had no success getting the Aurea software to detect it.



@gadgetoid is the expert here. Hopefully he’ll be able to help you out when he’s back from holiday.


Any updates from @gadgetoid?


@jon did the original configuration of the Skywriter, and might still have the dev kit knocking around so we can see what part it uses. It’s been a loooooong time since we set it up, but we must have programmed the original Skywriter prototypes in the way you describe.

I suspect Microchip use a first-party USB to i2c converter, one of their re-binned micros with some custom firmware on it. I don’t know if it’s this, but it’s a good place to start:

I suspect the programming software looks for a specific VID/PID and uses a specific, non-standard protocol so while it’s not impossible to bridge using an Arduino it might be far more trouble than it’s worth.


Thanks @gadgetoid, that’s super helpful. It looks like that product matches the converter included with the gestIC dev kit. I’ll take a closer look.