Are you encountering any issues with developing a full-speed USB application on NXP’s LPC microcontrollers? This application note from NXP highlights some of the important issues that you need to be aware of for a typical full-speed USB application. [via]
Implementing full-speed USB on NXP’s LPC microcontrollers - [Link]
Once you start building something with microcontrollers, one thing you need to take in to account is programming adapter. This is a device which allows to upload compiled code in to chip. I don’t know if this is still a fun to build your own DIY programming adapter which is not guaranteed to support all chips nor it will be safe and reliable. AVR microcontroller niche is one of most interesting when talking about programmers. If you take a look at AVRDUDE configuration file you will find that there is about 50 of them. Many of them are DIY while other are official.
Choosing right programmer for AVR microcontrollers - [Link]
This project turns the Arduino UNO into a computer running the BASIC programming. languagedan14 @ instructable.com writes:
Hi all, this is my first instructable documenting the creation of my project, the Arduino UNO BASIC shield which turns the Arduino UNO into a computer running the BASIC programming language.
As microcontrollers are essentially low performance computers on a chip (they have a processor, RAM and ROM) they can be used to create small computer systems. The aim of this project was to use AVR microcontrollers to create a computer capable of running the BASIC programming language.
Arduino BASIC Shield - [Link]
hardwarehank @ instructables.com writes:
The Atmel ATTiny85 chip is an 8-pin MCU that is totally awesome. If you’ve been programming with the bigger boys (the ATMega series), these are a nice adventure – you’re rather limited in the number of output pins, but a creative design gives us a lot of flexibility in a very small package.
You’ve seen them – those “Apple computers.” Probably in the hands of some Hipster in Portland, while riding his fixie and wearing those thick framed glasses. That pulsating light when Apple laptops are asleep is so … sooooothing. You just want to go to sleep watching it. You know you do.
Today, we’re going to replicate that using our ATTiny85. It’s really easy, and most of it can be implemented in hardware instead of code (!!!).
Apple-style LED pulsing using a $1.30 MCU - [Link]
To satisfy electronic DIY hobbyists, ICStation has developed MAX7219 Dot Matrix Module. It uses the Max7219 chip which do a great job on saving of MCU I/O. It can not only control each point individually, but also can be extended without limitation to meet your requirements on LED Sign, Team Logo and so on.
What’s more, it’s controlled by the STM8S003F3 MCU with 1K data storge space which is low cost, low power consumption, very powerful.
DIY LED Sign with MAX7219 Dot Matrix Module - [Link]
by Claude Haridge:
Microcontroller-based products sometimes require rotary switches. As many microcontrollers have an onboard ADC, it is easy to replace the rotary switch with a low cost potentiometer, when a rotary switch is too expensive or unavailable.
Although digitizing a potentiometer setting to act like a switch requires only a few instructions, an immediate problem is that instabilities in value occur at the switching threshold between one value and the next due to electrical or mechanical noise. The solution is to introduce upper and lower hysteresis thresholds about each transition so that the potentiometer needs to move beyond a threshold before another switch state is validated. For every updated switch state, another pair of thresholds replaces the previous. In this manner, the hysteresis provides clean switching between states.
Replace a rotary switch with a potentiometer - [Link]
A beginner’s guide to AVR programming on instructables. It cover the basic setup to light up some leds.
Beginner’s Guide – AVR Programming - [Link]
Microchip Technology Inc today announced from EE Live! and the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose the PIC16(L)F170X and PIC16(L)F171X family of 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), which combine a rich set of intelligent analog and core independent peripherals, along with cost-effective pricing and eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology. Available in 14-, 20-, 28-, and 40/44-pin packages, the 11-member PIC16F170X/171X family of MCUs integrates two Op Amps to drive analog control loops, sensor amplification and basic signal conditioning, while reducing system cost and board space. These new devices also offer built-in Zero Cross Detect (ZCD) to simplify TRIAC control and minimize the EMI caused by switching transients. Additionally, these are the first PIC16 MCUs with Peripheral Pin Select, a pin-mapping feature that gives designers the flexibility to designate the pinout of many peripheral functions. The PIC16F170X/171X are general-purpose MCUs that are ideal for a broad range of applications, such as consumer (home appliances, power tools, electric razors), portable medical (blood-pressure meters, blood-glucose meters, pedometers), LED lighting, battery charging, power supplies and motor control.
Microchip Releases 8-bit PIC Micros with Intelligent Analog and Core Independent Peripherals - [Link]
ARPix has posted this instructable on constructing an external serial monitor device using the Atmega328 MCU and a graphic LCD. It allows a user interface to set the serial baud rate and start/stop functions using tact switches.
Sometimes I needed an external serial monitor like the Serial Monitor in the Arduino Editor, to see what is going on. So I made one. For the ESM I used an Atmel Atmega328 because it have an internal SRAM with 2KBytes. It’s necessary for the big data processing. So you need more than 1KByte SRAM.
Constructing an external serial monitor - [Link]
bogdan informed us about his latest post on electrobob.com. It’s about a level translator for WS2812 LEDs. He writes:
WS2812 LEDs are one of my favourite toys. Apart from all the things that you can do with them in terms of lighting, displays or even light painting you can also use them for your projects as indicator lights.
The great advantage comes from the fact that you can use a single pin to drive so many of them and it takes just 3 wires ran across the whole box for practically any number. This in turn comes with the disadvantage of more complex control and problems driving them (5V devices) from a 3.3V microcontroller.
WS2812 level translator - [Link]