It’s a tradition each spring to keep checking for a new batch of microcontroller projects from Cornell University ECE 4760 class. And here they are – 31 new project with new ideas and designs. They are still using WinAVR/GCC programming tools for their projects. So it’s still good news for hobbies to search for code snippets, implementations. Among all projects you will find projects like portable automated web-based bird trapping mechanism, cool Rock-Paper-Scissors Sensor glove game or even human tracking fan system that should be useful in upcoming summer time. So take your time, and enjoy the great work collection.
Atmega128 is equipped with internal 4Kbytes of SRAM memory. Is it enough? Well, it depends on what project it’s going to hold. If your project must deal with loads of data or run larger RTOS code, you will run out of RAM pretty soon. Atmega128 microcontroller has an external memory interface built in, which allows to expand RAM up to 64 Kbytes. With that, you could do much more. To test things out, I used Piconomic Atmega128 development board, which has an XMEM interface header brought out. All we need is to make XMEM expansion board with some SRAM memory. I’ve chosen standard 8Kx8 (8Kbytes) memory chip from Alliance Memory Inc. I could use 64Kx8, but this is what I had at the moment. To drive memory chip I’ve used 74HC573 non-inverting latch. As you may know, the latch is used for pins that share the same pins for address and data buses. To access SRAM contents, we need to select a 16-bit address that points to an 8-bit data cell in the chip. As we are using 8Kx8 memory chip, we are going to use only 13Address lines. The microcontroller has dedicated pins for that:
Sometimes in embedded design, you may want to go wireless. Maybe you will want to log readings of remotely placed sensors, or build a remote control for robot or design an alarm system. Radio communications between two AVR microcontrollers can be easily set up with specialized modules. Let us try to run very well-known RF modules TX433 and RX433 (or similar) that can be found almost in every electronics shop. The pair of them cost less than 15 bucks. Transmitter and receiver modules are tuned together to work correctly at exact 433.92MHz. The transmitter can be powered from 3 to 12V power supply while the receiver accepts 5V. The 5V is standard for AVR microcontrollers, ideal for 5V devices. Modules do not require addition components – apply power and connect a single data line to transmit data.
It’s been a regular tradition every spring to check out on what’s new in Cornell University ECE 4760 final microcontroller projects. This year isn’t an exception. It seems that they started a 2010 list on new great AVR ATmega644 projects. List is still building up but there already is a 20 project list with projects like Human Tetris, Glove Midi Controller, Talking Voltmeter and other. All projects are compiled with WinAVR/GCC tools – so everyone can take a glance and give a try. It’s a great list of projects starting from 1999 so there are tons of great interfacing examples, code snippets and even ideas for your new project. Keep eye on that lists as there are more to come (it always reaches about 40). Way to go ECE 4760!
Probably many of you (including me) are using Programmers Notepad or AVR Studio to set up AVR projects. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages. For instance Programmers Notepad is great GUI, but there are lots of manual routines required to start compiling project – like setting up makefile, creating file dependencies, etc. AVR Studio is a great solution which generates makefiles automatically, and it has great simulator for immediate debugging. So why would we need another IDE? Actually Eclipse IDE is one of the best open source tools hat is widely used by programmers – so it is optimized for managing projects, code writing with auto-complete functionality. So why not to give a try for it. So lets set up Eclipse environment to work with AVR. Firs of all lets download Eclipse from https://www.eclipse.org/downloads/ site. Choose Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers as we want program AVR in C. Open it (no need to install) then go to HELP->Install New Software… Click Add… and in the Add Site dialogue box enter URL where AVR Eclipse plugin is located (https://avr-eclipse.sourceforge.net/updatesite/ )
The ordinary yet old-fashioned thermometer is not your favorite, and you’re looking for a new type of digital thermometer? In this case, the cool thermometer LM35 would be your perfect choice!
Basically, the LM35 is a precision integrated circuit temperature sensor, where its output voltage is linearly proportional to the Celsius degrees temperature.
It’s been a tradition to check on new projects from Cornell University ECE 4760 Engineering class. They build cool AVR based projects each year and seems that they are getting more and more advanced. During the last 5 weeks of the semester in ECE 4760, Microcontroller Design, students had to combine sensors, actuators, microcontrollers, and mathematical techniques to build something. So 2009 final end up with whole 39 cool projects that include a 3D mouse, Haptic appointment manager, fart detector, tissue impedance biopsy system and several interesting musical instruments. This year the coding was done using WINAVR GCC and AVRstudio. You can hardly find so many AVR projects in other place that are well researched and described. And this number is growing since 1999. This is a great idea to publish these projects instead of stacking them somewhere in dark place like many universities do. Students do lots of interesting stuff why not sharing these ideas, so others could make things even better. Way to go ECE 4760 class. All projects show a great deal of originality and work. There are over 300 projects on the page.