Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Really cheap USB oscilloscope, spectral analyser, logic analyser and generator

Check this out the new cheap handy tool for multi purpose works. Poscope is affordable (now for 70EUR) instrument that includes: 2 channel Oscilloscope with markers, triggering, filtering etc.; 2 channel Spectral analyser with markers, filtering etc ; 2 channel Chart recorder with markers (up to 99), recording with up to tens of hours etc; 16(8) channel Logic analyser with markers, various triggering, external clocker, decoding UART, SPI, I2C 1-wire interfaces; 8 channel Logic generator with ability to plot signal with mouse, etc.; Coming Square generator. As it is said this is handy and cheap tool for researching any electronic devices. The parameters arent very high – as oscilloscope sample rate is up to 200kHz, but for most hobby purposes this is enough. Interface is simple and easy understandable: Additionally this scope is able to save results to vector graphic or BMP format, print results, copy to buffer, save events and sounds, calculate and perform filtering, display statistics for all channels. Device is upgradable with future features and bug fixes. Read more in PoScope developers site.

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Moving from PonyProg to AvrDude AVR programmer without pain

Probably PonyProg is one of the most popular programming software among AVR microcontroller developers. And this is OK as it is good software with a very intuitive interface and support many chips like Atmel AVR, Microchip PIC micro, I2C, Microwire, SPI EEPROM. It works well with AVR ISP adapter which is easy to build. This is an ideal tool for low budget projects. The only thing what I don like with it, that I need to do additional steps to program AVR chip: Compile project with WinAVR; Open hex file with PonyProg; Programm the chip; Then I thought- what if I could build and program the AVR chip with a single button press. This is where AVRDUDE comes in. AVRDUDE is a FreeBSD Unix program for programming Atmel’s AVR CPU’s. It can program the Flash and EEPROM and were supported by the serial programming protocol; it can program fuse and lock bits. AVRDUDE also supplies a direct instruction mode allowing one to issue any programming instruction to the AVR chip regardless of whether AVRDUDE implements that specific feature of a particular chip. AVRDUDE can be used as a command line tool (convenient to use with makefiles) or interactively via terminal.…

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New AVR Studio 4.12 Service Pack 4 have been released

As we know AVR microcontroller family is expanding very fast including new microcontrollers. So development tools has to catch up with them. Atmel has released 4’th release of service pack of AVR Studio 4.12. This includes few major updates and fixes. As usually latest update include all previous updates that we wouldn’t have to bother with updating one by one. Lets see what we have new this time: – Software, Firmware, User Guide, and part support updates for AVR Dragon. – Firmware update for the JTAGICE MKII. – Firmware update for the STK500. – ATmega644P (AVRISP,STK500,JTAGICE MKII,SIMULATOR,AVRASM2,ICE50) – ATmega329P (AVRISP,AVRISP MKII,STK500,JTAGICE MKII,AVR DRAGON, SIMULATOR, AVRASM2,ICE50) – ATmega3290P (AVRISP,AVRISP MKII,STK500,JTAGICE MKII,AVR DRAGON, SIMULATOR,AVRASM2,ICE50) – ATmega325P (AVRISP,AVRISP MKII,STK500,JTAGICE MKII,AVR DRAGON, SIMULATOR,AVRASM2,ICE50) – ATmega3250P (AVRISP,AVRISP MKII,STK500,JTAGICE MKII,AVR DRAGON, SIMULATOR,AVRASM2,ICE50) – General bug fixes for simulator, assembler, JTAGICEmkII Well… Windows 95 is not supported by AVR Studio 4 from SP3 and SP4 Download AVR Studio 4.12 Service Pack 4 it’s free.

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Using LPC2000 flash ISP utility to program LPC2148

As I earlier was writing about my home made ARM7-Base development board for LPC2148 It is time to write few words on how to use LPC2000 flash ISP utility. LPC2000 flash utility is a software which is used to program LPC2000 series ARM microcontrollers: LPC2101, LPC2102, LPC2103, LPC2104, LPC2106, LPC2106, LPC2114, LPC2114, LPC2119, LPC2124, LPC2129, LPC2131, LPC2132, LPC2134, LPC2136, LPC2138, LPC2141, LPC2142, LPC2144, LPC2146, LPC2148, LPC2194. Programming is done through serial port. As you probably know, the LPC2000 series microcontrollers comes with boot-loader built in. This bootloader provides ISP interface for programming Flash or Ram memories and other operations like erasing. Bootloader is located in upper 8kB flash memory. Bootloader has an algorithm which detects incoming ISP connection, detects baud rate automatically. When starting ISP after reset P0.14 has to be pulled down what means that microcontroller is ready to accept ISP commands. Otherwise keep P0.14 pin pulled high to avoid unintended ISP entry. Lets take a look at main screen of LPC2000 flash utility: The program has very intuitive screen. First thing what you have to do is to power up your target board, connect serial cable to your computer. Then in a screen select COM port number and…

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AVR DDS signal generator V1.0

Sometimes when tuning various electronic hardware, we need a simple signal generator with different waveform and frequency. One of the options is to by a professional with variable gain professional coating and many additional functions. But if you are a hobbyist, you might want to build one. This small project is dedicated to making one of those signal generators.  

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Piconomic Design-easy start with 8 bit AVR microcontrollers

Piconomic Design company has decided to release condensed course of 8 bit AVR microcontrollers by example. This is good start to people who want to start or switch from different MCU platform. They have introduced simple development board which can be built abd used freely for personal use. You can purchase the bord if you are from A South Africa. In Piconomic Design web page you will find a development board files in different formats: Board Layout Schematic Bill Of Materials Protel 99 SE project PCB Manufacturing data pack (Gerber and NC Drill files) Board features are: ATmega128L microcontroller with 7.3728 MHz crystal and 32.768 kHz RTC ; 250 kbps RS-232 Transceiver with hardware flow control (RTS/CTS); 1/8 UL, slew rate limited, 250 kbps RS-485 Transceiver; 4 Mbit serial DataFlash with SPI interface; 100 mil pitch Headers: JTAG, ISP, GPIO, SPI, ADC, I2C, XMEM; User Interface: power and user LED, reset and user button, buzzer; +6V to +9V DC power socket with reverse-voltage protection diode. In web page you will also find: A bootloader for the ATmega128 that accepts abinary firmware file using the XMODEM-CRC transfer protocol. A set of tutorials of fundamentals AVR in C. A firmware framework that…

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Stimuli Generator for AVR Studio helps debugging programs in AVR Studio

Stimuli Generator for AVR Studio is a handy programa which allows making stimuli files for AVR Studio. These files contains information of signals that can be used to affect AVR microcontroller pins virtually. With Stimuli Generator you can emulate any interfacing like I2C, SPI and other- this allows to emulate real world situations. Working of program is simple: set target microcontroller (by default 8MHz), set measurement unit- microseconds or mili-seconds. For instance you want to send signals to Pin0 of PORTB. Target MCU -ATMega8 which runs at 4MHz. Set serial interface protocol which is like: start bit length – 60us, bit 0 – 20us, bit 1 – 40us. Si in this case step value would be 20us. Step value will depend on what variation on duration of impulses. Signal drawing is done with mouse pointer. Mouse pointer indicates signal level to be drawn (arrow up or down). Set signal level by clicking mouse. Workplace interface is quite convenient. You can zoom – stretch time line. You can mark specific areas of signals like bytes and so on. Integration with AVR Sturio is simple. Saved stimuli file add to your AVR project. How to work with this file it is well…

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