New Tutorial: AVR Fuses Explained #AVR #Atmelstudio

AtmelStudio Fuses

Created a list of AVR fuses with a easy explanation of what each does. Found myself in a situation where my project didn’t work and eventually found out that the fuses were the issue. I thought I would dig deeper into understanding them and share it with those who happen to be scratching their head at what microcontroller fuses do. I hope it’s helpful, enjoy. You’ll find the tutorial HERE.

Arduino TRE: Two Arduinos in one #Arduino #Opensource

The Arduino TRE is said to be available in Spring 2014. The little development board uses the 1-GHz Sitara AM335x processor along with a fully functional ATmega32u4 based arduino. From my understanding it’s a linux based system that utilizes the Arduino IDE for programming. So plug it into your monitor, hook up a keyboard and mouse and you’re well on your way to programming the unit, through the IDE, for your next project. Talk about competition for the Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone. The only issue now is, how much will this cool piece of hardware cost. Whatever the price I’m pretty excited about it and will most likely throw down and get one.

Technical Specifications (preliminary)

Microcontroller Atmel ATmega32u4Clock
Speed 16 MHzFlash
Memory 32 KB (ATmega32u4)
SRAM 2.5 KB (ATmega32u4)
EEPROM 1 KB (ATmega32u4)
Digital I/O Pins (5V logic) 14
PWM Channels (5V logic) 7
Analog Input Channels 6 (plus 6 multiplexed on 6 digital pins)
Processor Texas Instrument Sitara AM3359AZCZ100 (ARM Cortex-A8)
Clock Speed 1 GHz
SRAM DDR3L 512 MB RAM
Networking Ethernet 10/100
USB port 1 USB 2.0 device port, 4 USB 2.0 host ports
Video HDMI (1920×1080)
Audio HDMI, stereo analog audio input and output
Digital I/O Pins (3.3V logic) 12
PWM Channels (3.3V logic) 4
MicroSD card
Support LCD expansion connector

Project update: Added schematic to ISPduino page #Arduino #Atmega328P

ISPduino Schematic

Just a quick update. I added the schematic for the ISPduino project. I do plan on updating the board here soon with a better layout and additional features, like diode protection. I’m open to other idea’s as well.

Currently ran into an issue with these boards where they will program, but will not run the program. I am using the Blink example from Arduino. The programmer (both USBasp and AVRISP mkII) are not reporting any issues. Tried checking to see if the oscillator was the issue by changing the fuses so the Atmega328P would run on the internal clock, but no dice.

Solution Found: The solution to my problem with the ISPduino was in fact the fuse configuration. I was tempting to emulate the fuse configuration of the Arduino, not fully understanding what each fuse does. The reason why I was able to program the chip without an issue and the program would not execute in return was because my brown out detection was set to 2.7V. Not being a normal Arduino the device can be run on voltages lower than 5V and I was using two AA batteries (producing approximately 2.7-3.0V) to power the device. After disabling the brown out detection everything works perfectly now. In addition I have a better understanding of the fuses. I will be throwing together a page further describing the function of each fuse setting.

Testing Board Designs with OSH Park #OSHPark #PCBfab

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So I created this little project to have a board that disassembled and could be soldered together to create a solid 10-6 pin ISP converter. Knowing this was a probably not going to work, I sent my design to OSHpark to test the limitations. Pictured above is start to finish of what I wanted and what I received.

In doing this I was able to determine a couple things many of which I’m sure are a no brainer to those experienced individuals. Never the less I hope it proves useful to the less experienced.

  • Carefully consider the size of drill tooling when designing your board. You’ll notice I was trying to get small gaps that were too small.
  • Also with tooling size into consideration, you will not be able to get squared off edges notched into your board. Drill bits are round and will make rounded notches on your board.
  • If you want to do something super fancy like soldering pieces of pcb together using pads at the edges of the board. Make sure the pads are big enough to get a good solid connection with both boards. Also consider the minimum distance from the edge of the board, half your pad could be drilled off.
  • Use silk screens to indicate the orientation of your connector. I found it somewhat difficult to determine how my connectors are oriented because I left this feature out. Especially when I tried using the connector another way.

I still think it was a cool idea, but when I began separating the parts and putting it together I realized it may have been an over engineered product. It would’ve been easier to leave it flat and use angled headers to make the connection.

Spark Core’s why Kickstarter projects are always delayed #sparkcore #kickstarter

Creators of Spark Core have also created a guide to help answer backer questions and aid future crowdsource campaign starters. As the title suggests the guide runs through potential curveballs that can cause manufacturing delays. One notable reason is adding features to your project suggested by your backers. While causing a delay you are ultimately delivering a better product to your supporters. There are many more other good bits of advice in their guide and the benefit to readers of this site is gearing the article to electronic hardware manufacturing. Enjoy.

 

Learn from Clyde’s Kickstarter #kickstarter #clyde

Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing sites are a great way to get your project out to other people. However there have been many crowdsourced projects were creators were unprepared or unexperienced, ultimately leading to a much harder exerience than anticipated or failure. Some creators have graciously documented their experience in hopes to lead those new to the process in a successful direction. The creators of Clyde, a customizable lamp, are one such group.

The creators of the Clyde have put together a 5 part guide discussing what they learned about getting your project to Kickstarter, manufactured and sent out to your supporters.

There are more articles like this that can be found under the Kickstarter category. Enjoy.

FTDI: FT800 (EVE) graphic chip #FT800 #FTDI #ICLibrary

It’s  always nice to see IC’s that can make a circuit simpler. These posts are really meant to keep track of such devices is I so choose to use them in future projects. I’ll be creating a specific category for these called “IC Library”. Now for the description.

Description: Paraphrase with the woman´s name is very near to a name of a new technology of display control – EVE – embedded video engine. Company FTDI as a well known producer of USB solutions with a slogan USB-made-easy, decided to bring this philosophy even to a field of graphic solutions. The first representative of a new family is the FT800 graphic chip, containing all necessary to create a powerful graphic output. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this solution is, that „EVE“ puts only minimal requirements on the speed (and resources) of a Host processor, that´s it can cooperate even with smaller „low-end“ microcontrollers (Atmega, PIC, 8051,….) with a very small power consumption.

The essence of small requirements for a Host processor resides in a fact, that FT800 contains al functional blocks necessary for graphic operations and control of the display itself like:

● graphic controller with a clock (timing) generator
● touch panel controller
● frame buffer
● memory (registers, ROM, RAM)
● graphic processor and co-processor
● MCU interface (I2C, SPI) and other blocks.
Moreover FT800 also contains an audio module (synthesizer and a DSP sound processor with DAC) thus FT800 also provides a sound output (mono). Continue reading “FTDI: FT800 (EVE) graphic chip #FT800 #FTDI #ICLibrary”