Populating and Programming and APM

Reading time ~2 minutes

Originally posted on www.letsmakerobots.com

I decided to try making an Arduino Pro Mini at home. Being done, it’s not worth it. You can buy one for a dollar more than you can make them, and it took awhile to populate. Although, it’s “fun.”

This projects was also a chance for me to test the Spying-Stalactite I built.

I’ve enjoyed it. It allows me to reflect on my strategy while populating boards. It’s simply a drop down with some high-powered LEDs (~2500 lumen), heatsink, and coolant fan. It has a hole for my iphone to do the recording. Cheap and simple. Although, I need to diffuse the light, as you might see by the video that it washes out the details of the projects. Also, I’ll add a few more lights and do away with the tungsten lamp, since the iphone is constantly in a white-balance battle as I move infront of the mixed lightsources.

I populated this board; everything came out fine (although, it was much more difficult trying not to block the camera with my head). I popped it into Atmel studio and it read out the device voltage and signature. Of course, I bricked it, as I seem to do a lot.

My next projects is a Fuse Doctor. :)

I had ordered the boards from OSHPark and had planned on making three. So, I populated another and took some time programming it. I’ve outlined my steps below:

1. Hook up the AVRISP MKII

2. Open Atmel Studio. Go to Tools – Device Programming.

3. Setup:

  • Tool: AVRISP mkII
  • Device: ATmega328P
  • Interface: ISP

Click apply

4. Read Target voltage (it should be ~5V). Read Device Signature.

  1. Open boards.txt that comes with Arduino (\Desktop\arduino-1.0.3\hardware\arduino\boards.txt).

  2. Scroll down to the area marked:

8. Pull the programming information for the board from this area. Now, I’ve bricked a few boards, but I think I’ve figured this one out. When programming this board with the MKII and Atmel Studio, you should follow this order.

1. Set the fuses:

  • Extended: 0xFD
  • High: 0xDA
  • Low: 0xFF
  • (Double check the board file to make sure I didn’t make typos)
  • Hit “Program”

2. Upload Bootloader.

“The bootloader for the 5v, 16mhz Arduino Pro Mini (which is what I built) is “ATmegaBOOT_168_atmega328.hex (Desktop\arduino-1.0.3\hardware\arduino\bootloaders\atmega\ATmegaBOOT_168_atmega328.hex).
It’s important to note that the 3.3v and 5v versions use different bootloaders.

  • Go to the Memories tab
  • Hit the browse ellipsis.
  • Select the “ATmegaBOOT_168_atmega328.hex”
  • (Double check the boards file to make sure I’m not screwing you up).
  • Hit program.

3 Set Lock Bits.

  • Go to the “Lock bits” tab.
  • Check the boards.txt file for Lockbit number
  • Lockbit: 0xCF
  • (Double check the boards.txt. I don’t take blame for bricked boards :P).
  • Hit “Program”

9 Upload the Blink Sketch; the LED by the reset button should blink.

10 Let me know how it went. If you bricked a chip using these instructions, let me know so I can modify them quick.

Now that I’m used to the camera and stalactite, I plan to annotate my next board for tips on working with 0402s.

Hope all are well.

ps. Birdmun et al., sorry bout the copyright issues. Not a professional at anything, especially video editing :)

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