Amazing hardware for the money, why bother with AVR?
I only found out about ChipKIT products when I accidentally exceeded the RAM of Arduino AVR Mega's trying to print out a 384x384 pixel monochrome bitmap to a thermal printer. Wow, the uC32 is amazing! More RAM, more inputs, and 10x more clock speed! It isn't quite as easy to "find working code" as Arduinos, but there's fantastic and enthusiastic support on the chipKIT forums. I'll never buy an AVR Arduino again! BTW, you can use Arduino shields with this! For my case, I used NKC's arduino proto shield (which uses the outer rows of the connectors) and then for UART2, I simply plugged jumper wires into the uC32's inboard pins underneath the NKC proto shield. Sounds kludgy, but works very well. Oh, and the ChipKIT board gets hot if you feed it 9V or more, so supply it with 5 to 7 volts and then use alternate supply voltages for anything else. If you're running I2C and a 5V source, parallel it off to feed both the uC32 and the I2C directly, as the uC32's voltage regulator will drop 0.7V and I2C might not work right. If you google for "Build report ChipKIT TPS test" you will find an example of my project.Reviewed by: Chris Kelley from San Diego, CA, USA. on 10/30/2013