Review: AVR ISP Shield Kit for Arduino

AVR ISP Shiled

AVR ISP Shiled

I’ve had the pleasure of using ATtiny85 devices on previous projects like the ATtiny85 Christmas Bauble. I’ve had some ideas for some more projects but distractions have meant quite a long absence from the soldering iron; damn you Skyrim!

One of the things I’d planned to do was to make a shield for programming these devices rather than lashing them up each time on a breadboard. It’s a relatively easy circuit so the shield would not have been too difficult to produce. However, in the mean time I discovered that Phenoptix have produced the AVR ISP Shield Kit for Arduino. A kit of parts including a bespoke PCB for a price lower than I could have created a Veroboard version. Their version allows the programming of a range of similar devices, which my version wouldn’t have supported. I purchased and the kit was speedily delivered and well packaged.
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StripDuino Shield Mk1

StripDuino Shield

This post details the design for the shield for use with the StripDuino Mk.2 Arduino clone.

This shield could be used for many things.  My first shield will incorporate a L293D for driving some motors for our first robot project.

Hopefully there will be plenty more uses in the future.

The design brings out all of the ATMega328′s pins except the Analogue Reference (AREF).  It provides regulated +3.3V & +5V supplies. Continue reading

StripDuino Mk2

StripDuino Mk2

The StripDuino Mk1.5 had a number of flaws.  Mainly in that there was no mechanical design!  How was I going to mount it onto anything?  In working on rearranging the board to include mounting holes and another design that included the L293D for driving some motors I had some ideas for more improvements.  Instead of making a complete board for each project, why not create the StripDuino board plus a shield design?  Then I can make endless shields without having to re-make the processing part each time. Where have I seen this idea before?

So, this version includes the following improvements:

  • Female header sockets for the StripDuino Shield (see future post)
  • Mounting holes
  • +3.3V Regulated Supply
  • DC Power Jack connection

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StripDuino Mk1.5

Finished Board

I’ve collected a few Arduino Nano’s and an Uno and they’re fun.  However, I wanted to knock up a cheap version I could use in projects and leave them built rather than having to tear them down for each new one.  I also want to integrate an Arduino & a L293D based motor driver amongst other things for future projects.  So the starting point is my own homebrew board.

The vast majority of the design for this board came from Nathan Chantrell’s fantastic ‘Build your own Arduino for under a Tenner’ blog post. Continue reading

Arduino Theremin

Wikipedia …

The theremin originally known as the ætherphone/etherphone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player.

It is named after the westernized-name of its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other, so it can be played without being touched. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

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Arduino I2C Bus Scanner

I recently bought a SainSmart IIC/I2C/TWI Serial 2004 20×4 Yellow LCD Modules.  Lovely device, however, the documentation was less than lovely.  Many hours of checking & re-checking wiring and code, I still couldn’t get this to work.

If you read the above link, it says that the I2C address is 0x27.  Some forum browsing suggested that this might not be correct and that the Sainsmart documentation had one or two errors. Continue reading

Programming an ATtiny85 with an Arduino Nano


First question for anyone reading this … why?  Well, I’ve a few ideas for using this tiny microprocessor.  There’ll be a post along very soon after this one.

Here’s the datasheet for this fantastic device.

Just about all the information needed to do this can be found in High-Low Tech’s Programming an ATtiny w/ Arduino 1.0.1.
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HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Ranger – Part 1

Figure 1 - In Action

First go with a HC-SR04 Ultrasonice Range Finder with an Arduino Nano.  Very simple, worked out of the box.  Connected it up, downloaded the New Ping Library for Arduino, used the example program and off it went.

Below I’ll include the schematic & example program.  Will need to have a go at some practical uses for this next.
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Arduino Development using Eclipse

The Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is good.  Perfect to get you started and to stay with if you wish.

Hewever, I’ve used Eclipse on and off for many years and recently started using it again for Python development for Raspberry Pi.

Now, I’m tinkering with an Arduino Nano, I’d like to use the same IDE.  Well, I can.  There’s an Arduino plugin that allows development of scripts and uploading them to the board.

Eclipse Foundation

Arduino Plugin for Eclipse