Philip Peter writes:
I always like a challenge, so when I saw [simpleavr]s vusbtiny programmer, I started to wonder how small I could make an AVR programmer. All in all I’m pretty pleased with the result.The schematic is almost the same as the original one. I only added a LED an resistor to indicate a proper power supply.
Minimalist AVR programmer - [Link]
Guan Yang of HackManhattan writes about his efforts working with a Bluetooth low energy component:
This amazing component is the Nordic nRF51822 that was released last year and is now available for order from Mouser. It’s a Bluetooth Low Energy system-on-chip that includes a transceiver and a Cortex-M0 microcontroller.Here’s a breakout board I made for it, using a Johanson balun and chip antenna. It takes a little help from the Internet, but I got it to work with Nordic’s SDK and the gcc-arm-none-eabi toolchain. Haven’t tried debugging yet.
HackManhattan’s Nordic nRF51822 breakout board - [Link]
Raj from Embedded Lab posted a new PIC project which is about building a mono color LED matrix marquee that consists of 320 LEDs in total that are arranged in 8 rows and 40 columns. The project uses PIC16F1847 microcontroller which receives the display data from a PC through a serial interface, and display it on the LED matrix scrolling from right to left.
LED Matrix Scrolling Marquee using PIC MCU and Shift Registers - [Link]
The Aithon board is an integrated robot controller board with a 32-bit ARM microcontroller and a powerful software library.
The Aithon board is a microcontroller board that combines the power of a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 with several integrated features that make robot building and experimentation fun. We set out to create a board that has more processing power and memory than the typical Arduino, yet has integrated hardware that you would not find on a Raspberry Pi.
Aithon: 32-bit ARM Microcontroller Board - [Link]
Microchip announces two new 8-bit PIC microcontrollers (MCUs), the PIC16F527 and PIC16F570, which combine a PIC MCU with a dual Op Amp module, an 8-bit ADC and two comparators. The new MCUs add several features to support ease of use and system robustness.
8-bit PIC Integrates Analog Circuitry - [Link]
Olympia, WA, April 29, 2013, Olympia Circuits introduces the Arno Shield to expand their line of products for new Arduino users. The Arno Shield contains all the components necessary to learn Arduino programming when plugged into an Arduino compatible board without any messy wires. The original Arno Learning Kit was introduced last year and received a great response as an innovative approach to learning the basics of electronics and Arduino. The shield provides another way for new users to dive into the world of Arduino and breaks down barriers to learning about microcontrollers.
The Arno Shield will be available for purchase at olympiacircuits.com on May 2nd.
The Arno Shield shares the same features of the Arno, but in a familiar shield form factor. Bring your own Arduino compatible board, drop in the shield and start learning to write sketches.
The Arno Shield comes with the well regarded book “Learn Arduino with the Arno” which gives step-by-step instructions for more than forty projects. All the components for the projects are built into the Arno Shield, so no wiring is necessary, just plug and play. The Arno shield, like the original Arno, is fully compatible with the Arduino programming language and integrated development environment.
To allow for a wide range of learning projects, the shield includes the following devices:
- Four green LEDs
- One RGB LED
- One infrared LED
- Two momentary pushbutton switches for digital inputs
- One thumbwheel potentiometer to introduce analog measurements and controls
- One piezo element to create tones and measure vibrations
- One phototransistor to detect infrared and visible light
- An I2C digital temperature sensor to introduce between-device digital communication
Users of the Arno have enjoyed the ability to dive right in to programming without messing with wires and small parts. Like the original Arno, the Arno Shield and an Arduino compatible board make a good travel kit that wonʼt get you hung up in security. For more information see the product page at http://www.olympiacircuits.com/arno-shield.html and contact email@example.com.
Olympia Circuits announces the Arno Shield - [Link]
CoAction Hero: a powerful proto-board with a 120Mhz processor, 1MB filesystem, and built-in OS for tinkerers and engineers alike.
CoAction Hero is an ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller board with a built-in operating system (CoActionOS) delivering unprecedented power and ease-of-use to your embedded projects. The embedded operating system includes many of the features you find on the Raspberry Pi (filesystem, multi-process/multi-thread) but with the ease-of-use associated with the Arduino platform. CoActionOS is available free-of-charge under a permissive open source license (Apache 2.0) that encourages both commercial and personal use.
CoAction Hero: 32-bit Open-Source ARM Cortex-M3 Board - [Link]
Here is a great article on EDN discussing how to select the right mcu for your project. Jacob Beningo writes:
Selecting the right microcontroller for a product can be a daunting task. Not only are there a number of technical features to consider, there are also business case issues such as cost and lead-times that can cripple a project. At the start of a project there is a great temptation to jump in and start selecting a microcontroller before the details of the system has been hashed out. This is of course a bad idea. Before any thought is given to the microcontroller, the hardware and software engineers should work out the high levels of the system, block diagram and flowchart them and only then is there enough information to start making a rational decision on microcontroller selection. When that point is reached, there are 10 easy steps that can be followed to ensure that the right choice is made.
10 steps to selecting a microcontroller - [Link]
Visual TFT is a standalone application used for rapid development of graphical user interfaces for TFT displays. Software generates code compatible with mikroElektronika compilers: mikroC, mikroBasic and mikroPascal, for all suported MCU architectures: PIC, dsPIC30/33, PIC24, PIC32, AVR and ARM. Software implements intuitive environment and many drag-and-drop components which can be used for building applications easily and fast.
Visual TFT – Rapid development of GUIs in TFT displays - [Link]
Some key features:
- Supports all programmers and MCUs that AVRDUDE supports
- Supports presets, allowing you to change between devices and configurations quickly and easily
- Drag and drop files for easy uploading
- Automatically lists available COM ports
AVRDUDESS – A gui for AVRdude - [Link]