ThunderBird12 DIP module




The new 9S12 based ThunderBird12 DIP module is one of the most powerful DIP modules in the "STAMP" category.  A 16-bit HCS12/9S12 MCU with 55 I/O lines available to the user application programs in a 60-pin DIP form factor can be a good candidate for many, simple or advanced, user projects.

This module is designed to be used in senior projects made by students who already have some good experiences in the HCS12 / 9S12 family. This is not something for learning embedded programming.  If you should consider yourself a novice, we recommend you purchase the Dragon12 Plus2 instead.  

The above picture shows the complete ThunderBird12tm DIP module which includes the 9S12 MCU, 80-pin MC9S12DG256CFUE.

Verify monitor type on your Thunderbiard board:

  1. If your module is pre-installed with Freescale bootloader and D-Bug12 monitor, the states of the 2-position DIP switch (S2) are tested by the bootloader for selecting one of 4 operating modes during power up or reset, and the 4 LED indicators will light up from left to right to indicate that the bootloader is functioning. Then one of them will be lit to indicate the selected operating mode and other three will be turned off. When you learn HCS12 / 9S12 programming with Freescale D-Bug12 monitor, you might need to change operating modes quite often, so a mode indicator is helpful.

    The 4 operating modes tested by the bootloader are EVB, Jump to EE, BDM POD and Bootloader.

  2. If you ordered the board with Freescale serial monitor for Code Warrior, it would be pre-installed with the serial monitor and a factory test program. The state of the left switch of the 2-position DIP switch (S2) is tested by the serial monitor for selecting RUN or LOAD mode during power up or reset, and the four LED indicators will light up from right to left to indicate that the serial monitor is functioning.

    If the left switch is placed in the "LOAD" mode (in the "low" position) the monitor will wait for a command from a PC. If the left switch is placed in the "RUN" mode (in the "up" position) the LED indicators will light up again from left to right to indicate that the program execution is diverted to the user code.

    The Code Warrior communicates with Freescale serial monitor only in LOAD mode and so in order to interface with the Code Warrior you have to place the left switch in the “low“ position. 

  3. If Freescale monitor firmware is not installed or is erased by a BDM, the 4 LED indicators will not light up sequentially during power up or reset.

The software tool AsmIDE including the assembler (AS11.exe) is used with Freescale D-Bug12 monitor. All sample programs are tested under the D-Bug12 monitor.  If you plan to use the Code Warrior IDE with Freescale serial monitor, you can ignore the AsmIDE and AS11.exe, but all sample programs can be converted to run under the Code Warrior. 


ThunderBird12 features:

  • Four LED indicators connected to the PB0-PB3 of port B
  • Dual SCI headers
  • Power-On LED indicator
  • Reset switch
  • Abort switch for stopping program when program is hung in a dead loop
  • Besides the on-chip 256K flash, 12K RAM and 4K EEPROM, the 9S12 MCU, MC9S12DG256, also includes the following on-chip peripherals:
    • 3 SPIs
    • 2 SCIs
    • 2 CANs
    • I2C interface
    • 8 16-bit timers
    • 7 PWMs
    • 6-channel 10-bit A/D converter
  • Super fast bus speed up to 25 MHz
  • The 80-Pins 9S12 MCU (MC9S12DG256CFUE) is included
  • 55 I/O pins are available to user applications 
  • BDM-in connector to be connected with a BDM from multiple vendors for debugging.
  • BDM-out connector for making this board as a HCS12 / 9S12 BDM or programmer. No extra hardware needed.
  • Includes the BKGD pin for an off-module BDM connection
  • Pre-loaded with D-Bug12 monitor for working with any terminal program
  • Or pre-loaded with serial monitor for working with Code Warrior
  • Supports source level debugging in C and Assembler without a BDM
  • Mode switch for selecting 4 operating modes with LED indicators in D-Bug12 monitor: EVB, Jump-to-EEPROM, BDM POD and Bootloader
  • Auto start user programs with visual verification when the board is turned on
  • Combined with a RoadRunner stick for fast prototyping on a user-provided solderless breadboard
  • Hardware is compatible to the Dragon12 Plus board.
  • Provided with an LED chaser program including assembly source code
  • PC board size 3.05" X 0.88"

All above features are included in the price and the following is the optional feature:

  • CAN2.0 controller

The latest schematic for the Thunderbird12 module



9S12:  RoadRunner USB and POWER stick

  Get more info. of the RoadRunner at: 



 When a ThunderBird12 module is combined with a RoadRunner USB+POWER stick it becomes a versatile minimal prototype system.  It will make your prototyping much neat and reliable. The clumsy DB9 cable, a USB to RS232 adapter and a bulky AC to DC adapter are replaced by a light USB cable with a 5V power source directly from a laptop, it's a laptop friendly system and students can even do homework while enjoying the outdoor life.  


ThunderBird12 and RoadRunner form 
a prototype system

ThunderBird12, RoadRunner 
and an I/O module