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An ISP dongle is a very common piece of equipment on a maker’s bench. However, its potential as a hackable device is generally overlooked. The USBASP has an ATmeg8L at its heart and [Robson] decided that this humble USB device could be used as an interface between his PC and a SNES Joypad.

A SNES controller required three pins to communicate with a host: clock, data and latch. In his hack, [Robson]  connects the controller to the ISP interface using a small DIY adaptor and programs the AVR using the V-USB library. V-USB is a software USB library for small microcontrollers and comes in pretty handy in this instance.

[Robson] does a pretty good job of documenting the entire process of creating the interface which includes the USB HID code as well as the SNES joypad serial protocol. His hack works on both Windows and Linux alike and the code is available on GitHub for download.

Simple implementation like this project are a great starting point for anyone looking to dip their toes in the DIY USB device pool. Veterans may find a complete DIY joystick more up their alley and will be inspired by some plastic techniques as well.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, hardware

Mass production is a wonderful thing. Prices fall, and hobby hackers get cheap gear. The mind then wanders towards what can be done with it. So it’s little wonder that someone like [Aaron Christophel] would try to repurpose those sub-$3 AVR programmers that are all over eBay (translated poorly out of German here, but demonstrated in the video embedded below).

[Aaron] didn’t have to do much, really. The only trick is that you’ll first need to re-flash the existing ISP firmware with one that lets you upload code to the device itself over USB. If you don’t have an Arduino on hand to re-flash, buy at least two of the cheap programmers — one to program the other ones. Once you’ve done that, you have essentially an Arduino with limited pinout and two onboard LEDs, but in a nice small form-factor and with built-in USB. [Aaron] even provides an Arduino boards.txt file to make it all work smoothly within the IDE.

All of this is done with the very friendly V-USB firmware, which lets you build up low-speed USB devices on the cheap and easy. This would be perfect for making a couple-key keyboard, a USB-USART or USB-SPI bridge, or even a volume control knob — one ADC pin seems to be broken out. With some delicate soldering, the rest of the pins could be brought out and you could do something really useful with this little dongle.

It’s hard to imagine even sourcing all of the parts for the cost of having one of these shipped to your door, and this is a fairly old hack, dating from 2013. We’re a little surprised that we haven’t seen more projects with people repurposing these cheap ISP programmers. Have you made anything with one of these? Let us know.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Feb
11

Introducing the SquareWear Mini, with its Chainable Color LED Matrix

arduino, arduino hacks, SquareWear, V-USB, wearable hacks Commenti disabilitati su Introducing the SquareWear Mini, with its Chainable Color LED Matrix 

[Ray] just tipped us about his latest project: the SquareWear Mini, which basically is an improved version of the SquareWear 2.0 that we featured a month ago. For our readers that may have missed it, the SquareWear is essentially a wearable Arduino platform running at 3.3V and 12MHz. Both versions are based on an ATMega328 microcontroller running the V-USB library to provide USB connectivity, put together with diverse onboard peripherals.

As you can see in the picture above, the Mini includes 2 N-MOSFETs, one temperature sensor, one light sensor, a 16KB EEPROM memory, one buzzer, a one cell LiPo battery connector together with one charging controller, and finally a power switch (USB/battery). It is supposed to be 25% smaller than the SquareWear 2.0 and is optimized to work with a WS2812B-based 5×7 RGB LED matrix that [Ray] also designed. The latter can easily be cascaded in X/Y directions with other LED matrices in order to expand the overall display.

At last, [Ray] created a software to design animations and upload them to the SquareWear . A presentation video of the complete system is embedded after the break and you can download all the design files on GitHub.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, wearable hacks
Gen
18

USB Datalogging with Arduino using V-USB

arduino, arduino hacks, datalogger, DataLogging, excel, USB, V-USB Commenti disabilitati su USB Datalogging with Arduino using V-USB 

USB_Logger_01_16_14

Adding USB functionality to your Arduino projects used to be a pain, but thankfully, the V-USB project came along and gave your ATMEGA328 the ability to control the USB lines directly and mimic simple (low-speed) USB peripherals. [Ray] shows an implementation of the V-USB project by logging the status of the Arduino’s I/O pins to an open Excel spreadsheet

V-USB (Virtual USB) is especially useful for those of us who build standalone Arduino projects with the ATMEGA328. Unlike the Arduino Leonardo and its ATMEGA32U4, the ATMEGA328 does not have a built-in USB controller. The circuit required to tie into the USB lines is made up of just a few basic components, and [Ray] provides a reference schematic and BOM to get you started. The Arduino is programmed to mimic a keyboard, so the datalogging is achieved by allowing the Arduino to ‘type’ the data into an open Excel spreadsheet. In this example, the status of 8 digital pins and all 6 Analog Input pins are logged.

For those of you who prefer the PIC microcontroller and are in a similar position of not having a built-in USB controller, there is the 16FUSB project to help you out.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Gen
12

SquareWear 2.0 a Wearable Opensource Arduino

arduino hacks, SquareWear, usbasp, V-USB Commenti disabilitati su SquareWear 2.0 a Wearable Opensource Arduino 

squarewear2_annotation-1024x577

Are you guys tired of redesigned Arduinos yet? Usually we are, but [Ray] just released the SquareWear 2.0, and we have to admit, it’s a pretty slick design.

It’s an update to SquareWear 1.1 which we covered a year ago. That version made use of a 18F14K50 microcontroller, measured a tiny 1.6″ x 1.6″ and could easily be sewn into wearable circuits. But after receiving lots of requests to design a new Arduino based board, [Ray] obliged and made v2.0.

The new SquareWear is slightly bigger, measuring in at 1.7″ x 1.7″, but it packs a much bigger and more functional punch — just check out the image schematic above! The only catch is it doesn’t actually have a USB-to-serial chip on-board, which is why [Ray] was able to get the board so small and inexpensive. Instead it simulates USB in the software using the V-USB library. That method is much slower but still functional. To perform serial communication through the USB port it uses the onboard USBasp bootloader.

The board also features large through-holes to accommodate sew-able pin pads, making it super easy to integrate this into fabric!

For a complete explanation of the SquareWear 2.0, check out the video after the break.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
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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