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We’ve all been there. When debugging a microcontroller project, we just want to put in a print statement to figure out what’s going on with the microcontroller in real time. However, advanced embedded programmers know that printf statements are verboten: they’re just too SLOW. While not fixing this plight entirely, [Atakan Sarioglu] has come up with a clever way to create readable debug messages with minimal runtime overhead.

[Atakan Sarioglu]’s innovation, called BigBug (Github), is a dynamically-generated codebook. The codebook translates abbreviated messages sent over serial (UART here) to longer-form human-readable messages. To generate the codebook, BigBug automatically parses your comments to create a lookup between an abbreviation and the long-form message. When you are running your program on the microcontroller, BigBug will translate the short codes to long messages in real-time as you send log/debug data over serial.

For example (not restricted to Arduino-only), if you write Serial.println("HW") //@BB[HW] Hello World!, BigBug will translate the received characters HW\n to Hello World!. In this simple example, the abbreviation uses 3 characters while the fully readable message uses 13 characters, for a savings of ~75% with no loss of clarity. More advanced usage lets you log data: Serial.println("DT 1 1") //@BB[DT] Today's Date is: {0}/{1} becomes Today's Date is 1/1. You can also use enumerated variables (last example could showToday's Date is Jan. 1 with the same print command).

In terms of real-world benefit, using a 115200 baud connection (with 8N1 encoding) this is 115200 bits per second /(8+1) bits per byte = 12800 bytes/sec = 1 byte every 80 microseconds. Sending 13 bytes of Hello World!\n (in a naive, blocking UART implementation) takes ~1 ms of CPU time. With the shortcode HW\n, it would take ~0.25 ms to send essentially the same message (then decoded by BigBug). Note that because this just operates on serial data, BigBug is language independent

If you’ve been constrained by serial throughput for debugging, this looks like a well-polished tool to solve your problems. If you are just using an Arduino and throughput is no issue, then try this tool to debug Arduino programs. Or you could always double-down and use a microcontroller to debug another microcontroller.

Set
17

Make your own dual programmer in AVRDUDE

arduino, ATmega, avrdude, bootloader, Mcu, programmer Commenti disabilitati su Make your own dual programmer in AVRDUDE 

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Stephen Wylie , “Program two ATmegas w/an Arduino & AVRDUDE without re-cabling in between!”

Those of you who have programmed an Arduino through the Arduino or AVR Studio IDE may have noticed the utility that is really doing the work: AVRDUDE (AVR Downloader/UploaDEr). This is a powerful program that can facilitate programming new sketches on top of a bootloader, load a brand new bootloader or chip image, capture the current firmware programmed on the chip, and set fuse bits (which can render your chip unusable without special tools if you’re not careful).

[via]

Make your own dual programmer in AVRDUDE - [Link]

Apr
11

Arduino BASIC Shield

arduino, arduino uno, basic, Mcu, Microcontroller, shield Commenti disabilitati su Arduino BASIC Shield 

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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]

Mar
31

Constructing an external serial monitor

arduino, ATmega328, LCD, Mcu, monitor, serial Commenti disabilitati su Constructing an external serial monitor 

SerialMonitor

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.

[via]

Constructing an external serial monitor - [Link]

Nov
27

Cortado – Zero wires. Infinite uses

arduino, Mcu Commenti disabilitati su Cortado – Zero wires. Infinite uses 

Cortado connects your physical things to the digital world.  Itʼs an Arduino that youʼll never plug in, and it works on all your favorite platforms including mobile (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android).  It connects via Bluetooth Low Energy, an efficient protocol meant for supporting low-power sensors.  If there ever was a building block for the Internet of Things, this is it.

It’s so easy to interact with Cortado, we think it will inspire an entirely new interaction flow.  To illustrate this, the pre-ordered units will be turned on before they ship. If you download our app, you will get a BLE notification on your iPhone when your Cortado is nearby. Youʼll even be able to program it while it’s still in the box!

For the next month we will be holding a pre-order campaign featuring our new product. This campaign includes a special pre-order discounted price for all backers. It will launch at $18 and will increase every day as the month goes on reaching a maximum of $24, which is discounted 20% from the retail price ($30).

Cortado – Zero wires. Infinite uses - [Link]

Ago
10

ArrDrownHo! – Easily convert AVR to Arduino

arduino, ArrDrownHo, AVR, Mcu Commenti disabilitati su ArrDrownHo! – Easily convert AVR to Arduino 

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AntzyP @ instructables.com writes:

Cap’n ArrDrownHo! is the lovechild of Ardweeny and Boarduino and he’s here to commandeer your AVR ships. ArrDrownHo! inherits pros of both and cons of neither. Pick up an AVR chip and start prototyping instantly on a breadboard! Want to replace that costly Arduino in your project with a cheap AVR, but don’t know how? Use the simple plug-and-play ArrDrownHo! piggybacked onto the AVR to act as interface for programming and provide power.

ArrDrownHo! – Easily convert AVR to Arduino - [Link]

Ago
10

BareDuino micro

arduino, ATmega328P, attiny, ATTiny45, ATTINY85, Mcu Commenti disabilitati su BareDuino micro 

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Niek designed this BareDuino micro, that is available at github:

For some Arduino projects, you don’t actually need that many IO pins. That’s exactly the case when I tried to build a simple RGB throwie that would cycle through colours. I was looking for a cheaper alternative to the Arduino UNO’s ATmega328P when I stumbled across this post by MIT’s High-Low Tech lab. They developed a library for programming the 8-pins ATtiny45/85 from the Arduino IDE. It’s a very smart solution to use permanently in some low pin-usage projects, but you still need to hook up individual wires from your programmer to the ATtiny to be able to program it. That’s when I came up with the idea of the BareDuino Micro.

[via]

BareDuino micro - [Link]

Lug
26

ATtiny programmer using Arduino ISP

arduino, ATmega328, attiny, ATTiny45, ATTINY85, avrdude, DASA, isp, Mcu, USBtinyISP Commenti disabilitati su ATtiny programmer using Arduino ISP 

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JeonLab @ instructables.com writes:

For relatively small (less number of pins than ATmega328) projects, ATtiny series, ATtiny45 or Attiny85 are good choice in terms of its physical size (8-DIP or 8-SOIC) and low power consumption. There are many ways to program it. One of the popular device is USBtinyISP and DASA. Both of them work very well with WinAVR (AVRdude).

ATtiny programmer using Arduino ISP - [Link]

Mag
01

Olympia Circuits announces the Arno Shield

arduino, arno, LED, Mcu, Microcontroller, Olympia, olympiacircuits, shield Commenti disabilitati su Olympia Circuits announces the Arno Shield 

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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 info@olympiacircuits.com.

Olympia Circuits announces the Arno Shield - [Link]

Apr
28

miniSWARM – Scalable Wireless Arduino Radio Module

arduino, ATmega128RFA1, bootoader, indiegogo, Mcu, V-USB, wifi Commenti disabilitati su miniSWARM – Scalable Wireless Arduino Radio Module 

miniSWARM-board-nologo.

A wireless mesh Arduino board with USB, LiPo battery charger, built in range testing and over-the-air programming… cheap enough to leave in your project!

Gregor @ inDevice.ca have developed a low cost wireless Arduino board. It is based on the ATMega128RFA1 and uses Atmel’s wireless mesh stack. It also has a built in V-USB port for the bootoader and serial terminal and is fully compatible with Arduino. Some other unique features weʼve added is built-in range testing and wireless programming. There is a new video up showing two wireless boards working together and accepting commands from a WiFi shield. Right now they have a page up on Indiegogo, check it out.

miniSWARM – Scalable Wireless Arduino Radio Module - [Link]



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