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.

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”

PocketNC: 5 axis CNC machine #PocketNC #CNC

Saw this the other day and figured it would be great to share on this site. This is a 5 axis CNC machine. PocketNC is currently working with the prototypes and nearly ready to release it to the market. Makezine is saying they plan to sell it for $3000. I hope to see a kickstarted for this soon.

From the start, the mill’s frame was built of aluminum but they are always working to reduce weight, presently at 25 pounds. The mill uses stepper motors and they can cut dependably to a tolerance of +/- 1/5000th of an inch, the spindle turns at 500-6000 rpm for plenty of range for speeds and feeds of various materials. The millable volume is  5″ diameter by 4″ tall. This gem can mill plastic and aluminum and they’re confirming that it can also mill steel and titanium

New Project: DIY air-conditioning unit #Instructables


This was a common project that I originally found on Instructables. When I finally put it together the results weren’t quite what I wanted so I’m adding a little bit of an electronics spin to it. I’ve picked up some peltiers’ and heat sinks off Ebay for a good deal and will be developing a control unit for this project that I can hopefully control from the internet. This project page will be updated as I progress through this project. This is an open source project, of course, and all project files will be made available to you. Enjoy.

Free Samples: CC3000MOD #CC3000

IMG_9214Just received my free sample of the CC3000 exclusively from Texas Instruments. So thank you TI for generously allowing me to experiment with your chip.

This little chip is a low cost ($10.00) self contained wifi processor. It does a majority of the heavy lifting so your microcontroller can worry more about working other parts of the circuit, than processing wifi signals.

Recently there has a been an increase of popularity with this module and the Arduino. Adafruit has created their own prototyping Arduino shield ($39.95) and breakout board ($34.95) using the CC3000, with promises of an Arduino friendly library in the near future. Aside from Adafruits promises, a motivated individual has ported TI’s MSP430 CC3000 library to the Arduino.

I have thought of some uses for this little device, such as a prototype board or even a wifi controlled relay board for home automation, but I figured it would be a great opportunity to get some other ideas from this sites followers. I am aware that a larger majority of viewers are foreign, but I would encourage a response from you as well.

DipTrace Tutorial: Design for #DipTrace #OSHpark

DipTrace Featured_OSHPark

As promised. This is a detailed tutorial guiding you through the process of setting up your design files in DipTrace and exporting your files to formats accepted by OSH Park. Enjoy.

DipTrace: Design your PCB for