Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pong with a Seeeduino


I had some more fun yesterday this time working with an Arduino clone called a Seeeduino. I was able to reproduce the work of Bruno Soares. Bruno's pong game is fairly well documented except for the pinouts so I started with this Arduino Playground discussion and experimented with a 2$ 8 x 8 LED matrix until I figured out the internal and external wiring.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seeeduino v328 and DSO Nano


The new preassembled Seeeduino v328 came in today. Hooked it up to my laptop and it worked right away. My July 2 speculation that the FT232RL USB to serial chip on the Freeduino is blown is correct. I get the same error message on the new board if I choose the wrong com port in the IDE. I'll put the broken board aside for now. I guess at some point I can wire up a db 9 serial interface - 3 transistors - and program this board from a serial port directly into the Arduio chip.

I also got a DSO Nano oscilloscope! One of the 2 power wires to the main board broke off right away while inserting the battery. I got that soldered back on and tried it out - very cool This should prove to be very usefull in troubleshooting problems like the Freeduino and for demonstrating waveforms to my classes.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

5 x 7 LED matrix lab published


I had some fun working with this 5 x 7 LED matrix on July 1 and I was able to prove out some concepts I read about in posts about similar projects. Basically, using "Persistence of Vision" I was able to animate fireworks lighting just one LED at a time in order to limit current drain on the BS2. This project is the simplest possible for hardware because you need just a microcontroller, a LED matrix and some resistors. The programming becomes more complex because you can use only one LED at a time. With more "buffer" circuitry it would be possible to light more LEDs. This is a good example of a project that is documented so that it can be reproduced by high school students.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Microcontroller Investigation part 4


I borrowed a BOE board from a BOE BOT kit from school. I like this product a lot. The Stamp module plugged in easily, the on-board LEDs are bright, the 3 position power switch is very handy, the 4 little rubber feet are a smart and I had no trouble setting it up and testing out some output functions. The web site is very nicely organized and the Whats a Microcontroller text looks perfect for beginners. The IDE is very sensible and has some decent help functionality. After playing around with a couple of LEDs I jumped in and hooked up a 5 x 7 LED array. Since it was July 1 I made a fireworks program.

Microcontroller Investigation part 3

The 328 chip I ordered from NKC came in today and I tried it out on the Freeduino board. I got the same error message:

avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x66
avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x66

I inspected the board one more time so now I think the problem lies in the FT232RL USB to serial chip that came presoldered to the board. Too bad. The Freeduino board came as a kit so I don't think I'll be able to return it.


The assembly instructions for the Seeduino kit are on the NKC Electronics site so I went back there and ordered an assembled Seeduino.
In the mean time I had some success with the STAMP product. Check out the next post.