Sleep Modes on ATTiny85

When using microcontroller in battery-based applications we really need to look at current consumption. This will affect the power consumption and hence the lifetime of the device. This post shows some tests I performed to try and reduce the current consumption of an ATtiny85 AVR microcontroller using sleep modes and switching off various aspects of … more

Fast PWM on ATTiny85

This is a post about changing the PWM frequency of an ATTiny85 which has been programmed via the Arduino IDE. I wanted a faster PWM frequency to remove audible noise on a dump load controller I had been designing. This controls an output load using PWM and a FET. This produced audible noise when running. … more

Charge Controller prototype

Here are a few photos of the prototype of the open charge controller project. I have recently got the second version of the PCBs and have designed a simple case for it. I’m in the process of testing all the functions and finishing off the software algorithms for it. Its based around an ATtiny85 microcontroller … more

OLED display

I recently helped fund a Kickstarter project for an Organic LED (OLED) display and breakout board. This was design and built by ILSoft, an electronics and software company based in Tyne and Wear, UK. I had been interested in using an OLED display for some time, as they have a good contrast ratio and quite … more

TFT LCD display

This is a post about getting a graphical full colour LCD screen running with an Arduino. The sample screen was the ITDB02 1.8″SP unit from iTead Studios. It is based upon the ST7735 control IC which uses serial data for the display.   … more

Enable Brown-out Detect on ATTiny

Continuing the work I have been doing on the open-source charge controller project, I needed to ensure that the microcontroller reset correctly when the supply voltage drops. The charge controller is powered from the renewable energy source and so the input voltage will vary (for example on a solar PV module at night the voltage … more

Minimus AVR and Arduino IDE

I’ve been investigating using my Minimus AVR units for a number of projects, so here is a post with how I got going using the minimus AVR unit with the Arduino IDE. The Minimus AVR is a USB connected microcontroller, which uses the ATMEL 90USB192 microcontroller. This has 16kB of memory (I have a number … more

ATTiny with Arduino IDE

This is a post on getting the range of Atmel ATTiny microcontrollers working with the Arduino IDE. I was wanting a quick and easy way of programming smaller microcontrollers, for when the 28pin ATmega328 is just a bit too much. I looked at the range of 8-pin ATtiny microcontrollers via a comparison list here. I … more

Wifi and Arduino test

A while ago I bought one of these kits which included an Arduino clone and a Roving Networks wifi mdule. It is meant to be the cheapest way to get the Arduino onto a wifi network and hence send data out to the world. This blog post is my notes on getting it all working … more

AVR Dragon to program Arduino Bootloader

Following on from my post about using the AVR dragon to program blank AVR ICs, here is the process of buring the Arduino bootloader code onto an ATMEGA 328P. Firstly install AVR studio 5.0, as explained in the previous post. You will also need a version of the Arduino IDE installed. This post is for … more

Using the AVR Dragon programmer

I have got my hands on a AVR Dragon programmer and on-chip debugger. This is a low cost unit for the ATMEL 8 and 32bit microcontrollers. I was wanting to program some ATTINY85 microcontrollers (to make TV-B-Gones for a Nottinghack workshop amongst other things). I got mine from Farnell electronics and it was around £40 … more

Sure 8x32 LED display test

Using dot matrix LED display with arduino

I am working on a project to display some text and graphics as the interface to a race timer (for the solar cars in schools project here). To do this I had obtained some 8 x 32 LED dot matrix displays from Sure electronics. I had decided to keep the development time to a minimum, … more