These days I was thinking about a better PIC programmer that can work with Microchip MPLAB IDE software so that I can write my own programs or edit someone else’s programs. I found that there are numerous versions of the famous Microchip PICkit 2 on the web.
Some of them are using the original schematic published by Microchip and some are lite versions – with different parts or simplified schematics. None of them satisfied my requirements. So I got the original schematic, removed the memory chips and the input ICSP connector (which I didn’t plan to use anyway) and made a new single sided PCB. I used mostly SMD parts.
Original PICKIT-2 microcontroller programmer - [Link]
by Kathy Yang @ elecfreaks.com:
We could often feel frustrated when programming using the Arduino IDE. Why? Not because of how many errors we encounter in the program, but it is so difficult to find out the errors in source code, which is really something freaking out. For example Arduino IDE does not seem to display the number of rows, the prompt window can show us in which line the error occurs, but we just have no ideas where the line it is. If you can double click to find exact position of that line, then we will not care about which line it is: line 1 or line 10. But that just hasn’t happened.
Use Sublime Text 2 to Replace Arduino IDE - [Link]
Use a $4 microcontroller to launch web pages with the push of a button over serial I/O.. by Elliot Williams @ makezine.com:
A microcontroller is a self-contained, but very limited computer — halfway between a computer and a component.
The top reasons to integrate a microcontroller into your projects are connectivity and interactivity, and one easy way to get your microcontroller talking with the outside world is standard asynchronous serial I/O. Many devices can communicate this way, from wi-fi routers to GPS units to your desktop or laptop computer. Getting comfortable with serial I/O makes debugging your AVR programs much easier because the AVR can finally talk to you, opening up a huge opportunity for awesome.
Beyond the Arduino IDE: AVR USART Serial - [Link]
by Kathy Yang @ elecfreaks.com:
We could often feel frustrated when programming using the Arduino IDE. Why? Not because of how many errors we encounter in the program, but it is so difficult to find out the errors in source code, which is really something freaking out. For example Arduino IDE does not seem to display the number of rows, the prompt window can show us in which line the error occurs, but we just have no ideas where the line it is. If you can double click to find exact position of that line, then we will not care about which line it is: line 1 or line 10. But that just hasn’t happened. What’s worse, it cannot change the display font, which reads clumsy or neither too small or unclear enough, as a consequence, seriously affecting the efficiency of our programming. So I wanted to transfer to another editor and the new editor had better be able to take the place of the Arduino IDE completely. Then I found the Sublime Text 2. Here take a look at the overall interface of it.
Use Sublime Text 2 to Replace Arduino IDE - [Link]
Comes with all the hardware and software you need to quickly get your FPGA project going. Now you can focus on the real engineering.
When we came up with our board’s design, we looked at what was available in other boards on the market and enhanced it.
Our kit is small, much smaller than the closest thing on the market,it’s smaller than a credit card at only 1.8 in x 3.0 in. That means you can put it inside some pretty small projects. (Here’s something to get you thinking, by 2025 the cost of putting one pound into space is expected to be just $100.)
And our kit is bread board friendly, so you can quickly connect it to a shield or to a bread board.
Now, there’s a handful of other broads with many of these features on the market, but our miniSpartan6+ costs around half of what its closest competitor does.
miniSpartan6+ : A Powerful FPGA Board and Easy to Use IDE - [Link]
Interfacing hex keypad to arduino @ circuitstoday.com
This article is about how to interface a hex keypad to arduino. Hex keypad is a very important component in embedded systems and the typical applications are code locks, calculators, automation systems or simply any thing that requires a character or numeric input. This project will display the pressed key in the serial monitor window of the arduino IDE. The same project can be modified to display the pressed key on 7-segment LED display or an LCD display. Before going into the details, have a look at the hex keypad.
Interfacing hex keypad to arduino - [Link]
Traditionally, you would need to install an IDE, which includes all the necessary software, find and install the correct drivers, set permissions, etc. It can take 10-60 minutes. Or it can be a total mess.
With codebender, you can program your Arduino straight from your browser. No need to find, install, update and manage libraries and drivers. codebender does that for you. Just install our browser plugin and follow our Getting Started guide. From having an Arduino, to having a programmed Arduino. In mere minutes.
After installing the pluggin, you can flash any codebender sketch to your device. See the code bellow? You could load that to your device, straight from this page!
Codebender web-based Arduino coding tool - [Link]
NXP has announced the LPC800-MAX – an mbed/Arduino development board based on the LPC812 – which will be released in April 2013. [via]
NXP is working with key partners to develop LPC800-MAX, a development board which combines mbed, LPCXpresso and Arduino connectivity, allowing users to choose and work with their favorite elements from each environment. The breakthrough interoperability of the LPC800-MAX development board is made possible thanks to the unique flexible switch matrix feature introduced in the LPC800 family of microcontrollers, which allows users to configure nearly any pin for any available function. Further, with the new mbed USB onboard interface, users can choose if they want to use cloud-based mbed tools for development, or if they would rather use an off-line tool chain, such as the LPCXpresso IDE, for development and debugging. The board will be available in April for a suggested retail price of € 16.00.
NXP announces LPC800-MAX dev board - [Link]
MariaMole is an open-source project being developed by me, on my spare time. But it’s already fully functional. Check some of its features:
- Runs over Arduino install: MariaMole uses the Arduino software that you have installed, so all your Arduino configurations are kept. If you want, You can still use the original Arduino side-by-side to MariaMole.
- Workspace support multiple projects at the same time. Workspaces are special folders where you can group any number of projects. This helps you keep the projects organized, and allows working with several projects at the same time. If you have used Visual Studio, CodeLite, Code::Blocks, Eclipse or any other modern IDE, you know that this makes a difference. Specially if you’re designing a system with multiple Arduino boards talking each other, you’re gonna love the workspace feature!
- Multiple serial port consoles at the same time: And more: Once you open a serial console, it’s always available. You don’t have to close or re-open it again to upload your project to Arduino
- Files use open-formats: All project information and configuration are stored on a single XML file (Except for code!)
- Building process configurable: The Arduino IDE does a great job behind the scenes, but, sometimes, you’re gonna need to fine-tune the building sequence, add or replace libraries or change the compiler options. Of course, unless you ask for it, MariaMole works the same way as Arduino, building the whole project for you.
- Imports Arduino examples and sketches: You won’t have any problems to reuse your old sketches.
- Easily import Arduino libraries: A Wizard windows helps you with that. And also with adding new files to projects, importing other files, configuring the projects, etc.
- Color-themes: Do you prefer a dark color-scheme for code editing? No problem. This is the default for MariaMole. Or do you prefer writing your code against a white background? No problem yet! MariaMole comes with a light theme too. And you can design your own theme!
MariaMole – an Arduino IDE for advanced developers - [Link]