This how-to takes you through all the steps of making your own arduino on a perfboard or perfduino! Arduino microcontrollers are great for learning about physical computing and are very useful for rapid prototyping. Arduino’s simple programming language makes it a favorite of hobbyists and diy-ers around the world. Because arduino boards range in price from 30 to 70 dollars, it can be very cost effective to make your own. This lets you customize the layout of the board and brings down the cost so you can embed your perfduino in a final iteration project without losing your precious professionally made arduino board you had to wait so long for by the mailbox. The perfduino in this tutorial is designed to closely mimic the original arduino functionality without any specific project layout in mind.
Perfduino: Build Your Own Arduino Microcontroller! - [Link]
Derek Wolfe writes:
This is an all-in-one module for Atmel ATtiny24/44/84 8-bit microcontrollers and all necessary components to run them. Having a microcontroller module is nice because it reduces the amount of redundant design in projects using microcontrollers. You only need to provide 5V power and connect to the I/O lines to make a prototype microcontroller circuit. This design easily connects to a breadboard or a subcircuit with header pins and can also be wired directly for a permanent installation. Subcircuit design is greatly simplified by a modular approach because there are no traces blocking the way to the microcontroller pins. All traces on the microcontroller module are essentially on a different level making connections much easier.
ATtiny24/44/84 Mini Board - [Link]
This is a very basic Atmega328 development kit It includes:
- Atmega 328 8 bit microcontroller with 20 MHz crystal resonator
- PCB board with place for external components
- Power circuit that allows powering Atmega directly(2.7-5.5 V), or through a L7805 voltage regulator(8-35 V). L7805 circuit includes a thermal fuse.
- 10 pin ISP connection for programming.
Atmega328 Development Kit Guide - [Link]
Pete made a nice tutorial on the fist steps of designing projects with AVR microcontrollers. He covers choosing the right uC for your project, finding datasheets, getting a programmer/debugger, and setting up the AVRStudio 5.1 for developing and debugging. [via]
In the wee hours of the night, I’ve been continuing to learn how to develop for the various AVR family chips from Atmel. I also do a lot with NETMF, Netduino, and the .NET Gadgeteer, but sometimes (despite the pain!) it feels good to code right on the metal.
Introductory/getting started information for the AVR family is not always the easiest to find, so this post covers a few other important details I think you’ll find helpful.
First steps in designing projects with AVR microcontrollers - [Link]
We’ve seen some pretty cool projects that use blinking lights on a PC monitor to transfer data to a microcontroller. We did a little research, and here are some example projects we’ve found.
This project uses two photo transistors to read a bar code from the monitor. One handles the clock, while the other has the data. The data is read as the clock changes from black to white.
Here is the same project with a different variation of the transmission system. Instead of bar codes, two small rectangles flash to give the data and clock signals.
Cheap light-based PC to microcontroller communication - [Link]
Visualizing the logistic map with a microcontroller. utku writes – [via]
The logistic map is one of the simplest nonlinear dynamical systems that clearly exhibit the route to chaos. In this paper, we explored the evolution of the logistic map using an open-source microcontroller connected to an array of light emitting diodes (LEDs). We divided the one dimensional interval [0, 1] into ten equal parts, and associated and LED to each segment. Every time an iteration took place a corresponding LED turned on indicating the value returned by the logistic map. By changing some initial conditions of the system, we observed the transition from order to chaos exhibited by the map.
Visualizing the logistic map with a microcontroller- [Link]
After our recent post about the commercial semi-conductor tester we started a discussion about building a similar open source project. What came up is this AVR based transistor tester (machine translation) by Markus.
It’s built around an ATmega8 IC that interfaces with a standard HD44780 16×2 character LCD. The circuit that does the testing is simplicity itself. Three pairs of resistors are connected to 6 pins of the microcontroller, and each pair is connected on the other end to one of the transistor pins.
The theory of operation is also relatively simple. The microcontroller cycles through different patterns on its output pins until a recognizable pattern is read on its input pins. It supports a very large range of devices:
- NPN and PNP bipolar junction transistors.
- P and N channel, enhanced and D type mosfet transistors.
- P and N channel JFET transistors.
- Common anode and common cathode dual diodes.
- Two diodes in connected in anti-parallel or series configuration.
- Single diode.
AVR-based transitor tester - [Link]
High density line of STM32 microcontrollers have quite a bunch on features that can be used in user programs. The more features you add to source the more complicated program becomes and this way it starts to be difficult to keep up with all things. Using only main loop and interrupts becomes time consuming task to manage. If you don’t want to struggle in tuning things up manually you can use one of many real time operating systems (RTOS). They are great when you need lots of separate functions to run in parallel so no task would be missed. RTOS scheduler takes care of giving each task a decent time to perform. There are lots of great RTOS systems around. Many of them are free and opensource.
FreeRTOS on STM32 - [Link]
Last week I was browsing my old backup hard drive and I found a source code for a very simple PIC based digital timer that I made a couple of years ago. The actual hardware of the project isn’t with me anymore. I might have lost it when I moved from my old apartment into my new home. However, I thought this might be a good practice project for beginners and so I am sharing it here. I am not going to build it from scratch again; I will rather demonstrate it using my DIY PIC16F628A breadboard module and I/O board. The complete circuit diagram along with the firmware developed using mikroC Pro for PIC compiler is provided in the article.
00 to 99 minute timer using PIC16F628A microcontroller - [Link]
Graphic solutions from 4D Systems are the proof, that a powerful graphic interface doesn´t have to mean big expenses and a long development time. So, give your applications the 4-th dimension!
Australian company 4D Systems, whose products we added into our offer, specialises in graphic solutions, which are very user-friendly and require a relatively small developing effort in order to reach very decent results.
Basis of 4D Systems graphic solutions represent two powerful chips – Goldelox and Picaso. Chips contain graphic processor, memory and interface for common LCD and OLED displays, and – depending on the type – also a support for a touch panel. Graphic chips and modules with these chips represent a powerful and user friendly platform for creation of graphic interface to a wide range of devices.
A common feature of both chips is, that they can be reconfigured into a slave graphic chip mode with a serial interface – SGC (slave graphics controller) – – for a work with the host microcontroller, or into a stand-alone graphic processor mode – GFX (stand alone host graphics controller). It is possible to change these chip features anytime by a simple reloading of free configuration file.
Goldelox – is a low cost chip supporting a powerful graphics, text, pictures, animations, macros and other. It can be used with a simple serial interface for a work with a microcontroller (SGC version) or as a stand-alone graphic processor (GFX version). It can work with many usual series „80“ LCD and OLED displays, with 8 bit interface. Chip can generate a sound, supports SD cards through SPI interface and many other. Read the rest of this entry »