Chips: 1-Wire iButton overview

See the latest version in the documentation wiki.

Reliq sent a 1-Wire iButton demo using the Bus Pirate:

I work in an engineering firm, and the large format color printer we have uses iButtons on the ink tanks to tell the machine what has been plugged in. These particular buttons are write-only. As you can see in the pic, I have the body connected to GND, and the cap connected to MOSI. The +5v is jumpered to the Vpullup pin.

More demo goodness after the break.

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Free PCB Sunday: USB RGB color changer

We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few professionally-made PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype.

This is a USB controlled RGB color changing light. Ian did this project at DIY Life, a Weblogs, Inc. site that shut down about a year ago. Someone made some minor modifications to the design and had a bunch of boards produced, we ended up with a pile of the extras. This PCB is as-of-yet untested, you can discuss it in the forum.

We’re giving away two PCBs this week, just ask for one in the comments.

Edit: sorry, forgot the title.

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Live prototyping

Today we’re refining the new AVR programmer firmware for the Bus Pirate. The plan is to implement an optional high-impedance output mode that can be used with pull-up resistors to program AVRs at 5volts (or any voltage).

You can follow our progress and get involved on an experimental chat page. Live prototyping was inspired by adafruit’s “Ask an engineer chat“, be sure to check out their weekly live stream.

Live prototyping is now over, thanks to everyone who dropped by. You can download the resulting firmware update here. A transcript of the firmware development portion is after the break.

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Bus Pirate high voltage power supply

The crew at Robots and Dinosaurs prototyped a high voltage power supply for a geiger counter tube using the Bus Pirate pulse-width modulator. They were able to step up 5volts to 800volts+ with a simple boost converter circuit on a bread board.

We always like to see new ways to use the Bus Pirate. Thanks for the tip!

Bus Pirate STK500v2 AVR programmer firmware

See the latest version in the documentation wiki.

Here’s an alternate firmware for the Bus Pirate that clones an STK500 programmer for AVR microcontrollers. We ported the GPL’d source from Guido Socher’s AvrUSB500 ATMEGA8-based programmer to the PIC.

The firmware should work with any applications that support the STK500 v2 protocol. We used it to program the Hackable Christmas card’s ATtiny13A from the latest version of AVR Studio. You could also use it for things like programming the bootloader into an Arduino.

You can buy the Hackable Christmas card ($12 kit, $15 assembled) and the Bus Pirate v3 ($30, assembled with shipping) at Seeed Studio.

More about using the programmer, and it’s limitations, after the break.

Continue readingBus Pirate STK500v2 AVR programmer firmware”

Open source logic analyzer update

Development of the open source logic analyzer, first discussed here, has progressed rapidly in the forum.

We’ve looked at cost estimates, Uwe made some excellent block diagrams, and Jack has already added a basic layout to his SVN.

Read our goals and specs after the break.

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Instructables version of the Hackable Christmas card

The Instructables version of the Hackable Christmas card & ornament is up.

Seeed has copies of the card as a surface mount kit for $12, or assembled for $15. The card is already being manufactured so it can be delivered ASAP. The Seeed stock numbers aren’t accurate, less than 100 are being produced and we’re almost out of the assembled version now.

Thank you for supporting our projects!

Bus Pirate as STK500 compatible programmer?

Via Hack a Day comes word of a USB PIC-based STK500 AVR programmer. The really interesting part of this project, to us, is the stk500.c source that handles the programming interface. It should be potable to the Bus Pirate as a separate firmware, or as a mode in the existing firmware.

AVRDude already supports the Bus Pirate as a programmer, but STK500 emulation would make it instantly compatible with AVRStudio and a ton of existing applications.

Open source logic analyzer development

We’re really excited to be joined by Jack Gassett, developer of the Butterfly FPGA platform, to prototype an open source, high-speed, low-cost logic analyzer. This effort grew out of a bunch of great comments on a post about open source logic analyzer clients.

Share your ideas for the logic analyzer in the new ‘SUMP PUMP’ logic analyzer development form. Jack has already posted a power estimate for the FPGA, and Ian has some thoughts on interface design. Maybe someone can suggest a name?

Prototype: Hackable LED Christmas card & ornament

cover.450

Holiday cards that blink and beep have always fascinated us. This is our hackable DIY version, made with an ATtiny13A and a few LEDs. Push the button to play a short light show in the tree. We’re sending these to friends and family this year. It’s a handmade, hackable gift, and it was a ton of fun to build.

The card is also an homage to Velleman’s blinking Christmas tree ornament kit, and a kit-biz reference to the Adafruit Promise. (Did you know Velleman has a nixie tube clock kit? Really!)

You can buy a copy of our card at Seeed Studio. Assembled cards are $15, and a kit for adventurous solderers is $12. We’re excited to gauge interest an SMD kit, and hope to offer it as an option for future projects.

Video, hardware, firmware, and more, after the break.

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Free PCB Sunday: AVR holiday ornament

card-angle.450

This week we’re giving away free PCBs for an upcoming project, an AVR ATtiny13A-based holiday ornament and card. Later this week it’ll be available at Seeed Studio assembled, and as a kit, both under $20 (shipped). The how-to article should be out on Tuesday or Thursday.

We received and tested these PCBs in the last 24hours. We were expecting regular green PCBs, but got black, which isn’t a very traditional Christmas color… Would you prefer red, green, black, or another color on the final kit?

There’s some urgency with this project – to deliver anywhere close to the Holidays we have to order a number of these up-front, instead of doing a preorder. That’s a bit daunting. If you have a suggestion for quantity, or would just like to buy one, please let us know so we can get a handle on how many to order.

Continue reading “Free PCB Sunday: AVR holiday ornament”

Free PCB Sunday: AVR holiday ornament

card.450

This week we’re giving away free PCBs for an upcoming project, an AVR ATtiny13A-based holiday ornament and card. Later this week it’ll be available at Seeed Studio assembled, and as a kit, both under $20 (shipped). The how-to article should be out on Tuesday or Thursday.

We received and tested these PCBs in the last 24hours. We were expecting regular green PCBs, but got black, which isn’t a very traditional Christmas color… Would you prefer red, green, black, or another color on the final kit?

There’s some urgency with this project – to deliver anywhere close to the Holidays we have to order a number of these up-front, instead of doing a preorder. That’s a bit daunting. If you have a suggestion for quantity, or would just like to buy one, please let us know so we can get a handle on how many to order.
Continue reading “Free PCB Sunday: AVR holiday ornament”