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If you are willing to spend endless times prototyping with an AVR ATtiny, then you should make it easier. Yep, all you need to do is build the headers that can carry the 8 and 20 pin chips, where it can be plugged directly into breadboards. Technically, these controller boards are building to provide a quick start for projects with 8 and 20 pin AVR microcontrollers, such as ATtiny13, ATtiny45, and ATtiny2313. Since they didn’t include any fancy stuff, and they keep it as simple as possible. By using this cute yet compact ATtiny breadboard headers, the Arduino projects becoming much more comfortable. As you can see from the above figure, this little breadboard headers is very handy, where it occupies only one more row on each side as a controller would need. This breadboard headers already included the following components: 6 pin ISP header; 8 MHz resonator; Reset pull-up resistor and reset switch; Blocking capacitors; Serial connection header. These ATtiny Breadboard headers not only small and compact, but it’s equipped with all the essential electronic components that you’re needed. Just plug them in your breadboard and connect your programmer with it! Voila, it works like magic.
Guys from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories have released the 2nd version of their Peggy LED display kit. It is a 25×25 LED display board which is capable of displaying various LED effects, output text and even animation with individual LED addressing. This is quite smart construction allowing to drive any number of LEDs (from one to 625). Peggy board has several buttons that can be used to control various actions like games or other effects. The board itself is nicely designed so it wouldn’t be a shame to use it as a dynamic LED sign, FFT sound graph, RSS reader or simply as general purpose giant display. You can order Peggy board as a kit or try to build it by yourself as all project files are available for creating, hacking or simply analyzing. [Peggy v2.0]
Probably this programmer cable can be found on every AVR fan website. It is straightforward and easy to build. You need a few passive components that can be packed inside LPT connector. From my perspective, I wouldn’t recommend using this one programmer if you are more serious in microcontroller projects, because it has poor computer port protection. It connects directly to LPT port without precautions. I recommend using a similar ISP circuit with buffer IC between LPT and target board. But let’s don’t pretend like we are brilliant. The whole beauty is in its simplicity. This thing does its job perfectly as long as the target board power supply is OK.
Probably most proper microcontroller programming method is using a bootloader program. Because you don’t need any special programming adapters or special knowledge – you need to connect a standard cable from your PC to target board and run a special program on PC which communicates with MCU bootloader program. The idea is simple: If the microcontroller is preconfigured then after reset, it starts running not from start memory location which is usually at 0x0000 address, but at some specific location, where usually bootloader lies.
Open source rocks isn’t it? Here is a new WinAVR 20080411 release available for download. As always new release has lots of tweaks, bug fixes and optimizations. There are new XMEGA series microcontrollers preliminary included in supported device list. So we may have a chance to put hands on these new cool AVR microcontrollers. Here is a list of new things in WinAVR: Support of new AVR devices: ATxmega128A1, ATxmega64A1, ATxmega32M1, ATxmega32C1, ATxmega32U4, ATtiny167; New GCC4.3.0 compiler; New version of AVR-LibC 1.6.2; Two new Makefile templates added where one will generate a library instead of an application (Makefile.lib), while another will enable whole program optimization. This seems to be new thing – it will be interesting to experiment with. New version of SRecord 1.38; New version of SimulAVR 0.1.2.5; Removed AVR-Ada (as they say – temporary)-I don’t need it anyway… Just recompiled my old code – seems to be working fine. So I recommend you to update to newer WinAVR version.
Finally, the second version of the improved AVR DDS signal generator is here. First AVR DDS V1.0 generator was only an attempt of running the DDS algorithm without any analog amplitude control. In this DDS generator version, I still wanted to keep things as simple as possible using a minimum count of widely available components in the updated circuit. Also, I kept a single-sided PCB approach. AVR DDS specification AVR DDS signal generator V2.0 is a firmware-based DDS signal generator which uses slightly modified Jesper’s mini DDS algorithm which was adapted to AVR-GCC C code as in-line ASM. The AVR DDS signal generator has two outputs – one for DDS signal and another for high speed [1..8MHz] square signal – which may be used for reliving microcontrollers with wrong fuse settings or for other purposes where a high-speed square signal may be needed. High speed (HS) signal is output directly from the Atmega16 OC1A(PD5) pin. The DDS output is used for all complex signals that are generated via R2R resistor network and is adjusted via LM358N offset and amplitude regulating circuits. Two potentiometers can control offset and amplitude. The offset can be controlled in range +5V..-5V while magnitude in range…