Life can be interesting - way more interesting than I like. I downloaded the driver for the Adafruit programmer I bought. I installed the driver required and I got stuck. My PC doesn't seem to recognize the programmer. Since the "power good light" is controlled by a pin on the programmer according to the schematic, I plugged in the board I wanted to program (MCU10 Developer)...
Those of you who have been following along with my adventures with the Atmel ATtiny10 at A tiny bit of work and I found a bug, will know that I encountered some problems with the Atmel programmer I bought from Mouser. So I started in last week-end building the Adafruit programmer that I thought would solve my problems. But I ran into a snag.
Last week I was discussing a board I designed to do development (hardware and software) of the Atmel ATTiny10 microprocessor. I had gotten the board built and was ready to write some software in assembler (my favorite way of writing programs next to writing them in Forth). So I wrote a very simple program that just turned on the internal pull up resistors on three of the pins.
I'm working on a project that is using the Atmel ATTiny10 microprocessor. The processor is a cute little device with 4 I/O pins, 1,000 bytes of flash and 32 bytes of RAM not counting processor registers some of which could be used as RAM in a pinch. In order to do the development I bought an AVRISP mkII programmer which comes with version 4 of the software development tools.
Way back in the Dark Ages (the late '70s) I was troubleshooting a military radio that had a phase locked loop (PLL) BFO. I couldn't get it to lock properly. The previous version of the loop worked fine, but the new layout was noisy. I was called in as a consultant because the regulars at the company had worked for six months on the problem and were unable to resolve it.
If you are interested in going into the kit business, Jameco has a service for you. The process for getting your kit made is simple. You submit your kit idea to their forum and if it gets enough votes Jameco will go into production with your design. Kind of like Kickstarter. They are partial to parts in the Jameco catalog of course, but it is not a requirement.
Brent at Talk-Polywell (a nuclear fusion board) left a link there to a list of Maker/Hacker spaces involved in developing equipment for use in space. Here is the list: Hackers In Space. Let me add that it is not just an American phenomenon. One of the spaces on the list is in China. They are focusing on food production in limited spaces.
I'm having a little difficulty with my board supplier. Lead times are lengthening which is putting my schedules for some projects in trouble. The market for the PCB service I'm using/looking for is kind of new and obviously things haven't settled out. And what is the service? Small volumes - 1 to 25 pieces.
Atmel has some very neat microprocessors in a 6-pin SOT package. Sixteen-bit processors with eight-bit internal buses. About sixty-eight cents in onesies for the high-end version. It operates on 1.8 to 5.5 volts using milliamps to microamps depending. And up to 8MHz clock speed at full crank.
I'm sure some of you were wondering about the board I described in A Beauty. What is it for? It is an electronic load of sorts for power supply testing. Low power (under a watt) power supply testing. The principle is simple. You apply a pulsing load to the power supply and watch its response.
The picture is of a board I had made by the DorkbotPDX board service. It is a beauty. The gold plating is not guaranteed but depends on what others who use the service pay for. Dorkbot puts a number of boards on a panel in order to get a pretty good price.
I was looking around the 'net and came across the name of someone who worked on the design of Resource One. I logged on to Resource One in '74 (it was part of a hitch hiking trip with my girlfriend, and still wife, from Carbondale, Illinos to the West coast). There were 12 terminals around the Bay Area hooked up to an old SDS mainframe by modem.
A while back I wrote up how to make A Perfect Divider which divides a voltage by 10, 100, 1,000 etc. using mostly very common resistors (100K, 10K, 1K etc.) with only two uncommon resistors to make a resistance divider that divides by decade increments.
David Jones has a very good video up on YouTube about how to go from a working prototype to high volume manufacture. The video is a bit over 50 minutes long so be prepared to put some time in. The information is oriented to the novice...
GreenArrays, a company I have written about extensively is opening an on line institute for those who want to learn more about how to program and use their chips. They call it the Array Forth Institute. First time log-in is fast and simple.
I was hanging out at the FreePCB blog where commenter gnuarm suggested DorkbotPDX for production of hobby boards. The production process is not hobby grade. You get a solder mask on both sides, silk screen (legend), and a 6/6 process.
In my search for good tools that don't cost too much (I like free) I have found an excellent tool for viewing Gerber and drill files. Those are the files produced by most PC board design software and required by most board producers to produce boards.
I'd like some genius to define sustainable. Could we count something that we can keep doing for 100 billion years - beyond the death of the Universe as we currently understand such things - as sustainable? How about a billion years?
The kit is designed to teach radio theory. If you want a general theory of superhetrodyne radios I think the Radio Amateurs Handbook is better because it covers the theory in both a more detailed and more general way. This kit does go into some detail...
A while back I wrote about one of the cutest test instruments I have ever seen. An oscilloscope that can fit in your watch pocket. Since I wrote that I have been looking at the Xprotolab manual...
I'm starting to get a feel for Altium Designer. After a few hours with ignorance painted all over my face I have started to find my way. What I found most helpful was their tutorial page that has their manual sectioned in 20 pdfs plus an index pdf.
I have been looking for some new board layout software for a while. I do love the ExpressPCB interface but it kind of locks you into one board making company, not counting the delightful but limited FAR Circuits. A few days ago an ad for Altium flashed across my screen.
I don't normally do politics here but this is too good to pass up. And it is relevant to the work we all do. According to Wired Magazine and Senator Scott Brown himself, the Senator is sponsoring a bill to help little guys raise capital the same way the big boys do.
The oscilloscope kit that Gabriel of Gabotronics sent me would fit in your watch pocket if you don't mind the pins. Or if you keep it in its electrostatic protective foam. The point is that it is a really small oscilloscope (1" X 1.6") suitable for embedding in your next project.
As I promised in Engineering Power Adventures I have evaluated a kit for budding engineers from age 8 and up. The kit was kindly provided by the fine folks at Elenco. It is their Snap Circuits 300 Experiments kit. Actually you can probably do more than 300 experiments with the kit.