FTDI, OHS, BEAM bots and the new Arduinos

New Stuff

FTDI from sparkfun

FTDI from sparkfun. I can now keep arduino projects.

On Sunday night I ordered some new chips and an FTDI. I got 5 atmega328s with the uno bootloader and a sparkfun FTDI. Here’s the process I went through to get this stuff.

  1. Right, I’ve got $50 for my birthday. What am I going to spend it on? Electronics of course.
  2. What electronics? Arduino.
  3. I want to get some chips so I can keep my arduino projects instead of having to take them apart.
  4. Little Bird Electronics has some atmega328s with the arduino uno bootloader on them for $6. Sweet. I’ll get some of those and an FTDI.
  5. But the new bootloader isn’t compatible with the FTDI chip. Damn. I’ll just get blank chips.
  6. But I only have an etherten. Which can’t bootload atmega328s because it is an Arduino Uno clone. See here for more: http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoISP and have a look at the NOTE: section.
  7. I looked around and it appears you can bootload chips with a uno if you use a resistor to kill the auto reset function. http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/10587/how-to-burn-atmega328-chip-via-arduino-uno-as-isp
  8. And you can modify the arduino uno bootloader to accept FTDI. http://code.google.com/p/optiboot/issues/detail?id=28
  9. Sweet. Chips ordered for $50. I’ll do the hack to make the arduino uno able to bootload the atmega328 with the hacked bootloader.

What I’m doing in electronics at school

At school we’re currently building BEAM bots which are basically solar powered small electronic robots. Today I just built a simple 5V solar engine which will power an atmega328 to play the super mario bros theme on a piezo. Awesome environmentally friendly retro gaming robot problem solved. Once I finish that I can do whatever the hell I like. Like my synth.

Make, Hack, Void

There’s this awesome place in Canberra known as Make, Hack, Void. But I’ve never been because I have always been to scared of being too young etc, etc. So I said on my twitter that I was thinking of going as a kind of probe to they might feel about it. And they said they’d love me and my synth to come on Oct 4. Looks like I’ve got a deadline to finish the synth.

Open Source Stuff that’s happened recently

  1. New Arduino boards. There’s not much out there about them but they are pretty cool. And nobody has actually well, you know, used one. But they’re pretty cool and they’ve finally made something low-cost with the release of the leonardo.
  2. OHS. What looked like a really cool meeting where lots of people talked about Arduino and chips instead of crapping on about linux as they usually do at open-source things. I’d go just to get the bag of goodies.
  3. World Maker Faire. A big meeting of all the people who make stuff. It even has it’s own iPhone app. The radio shack tent looked pretty cool. There should be one in Australia.

Why I am not making something in this blog post

Because I’m waiting for chips to work on my synth as an embedded project. I don’t want to start using my etherten and have it all finished only to discover the chips don’t work.

Why does the blog look different?

Because I got bored.

Three bad jokes

Why are pirates called pirates? Because they ARRRRRRRRR!

Why don’t you dress in front of a computer? Because it has windows.

I can’t think of a third. It’s your turn.

That’s about all I can think of for now. I’ll write something when I get the new chips.





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