Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

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Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby kehribar » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:42 am

Hi there everyone!

I recently developed an open source hardware project called Little Wire!

Below you can find the description coppied from my website. I couldn't write it properly because of the anti-spam filters but anyway, here it is:

kehribar {dot} me {slash} projects {slash} Little-Wire

/* Edit: Now i can write URLs. Yey! */
http://kehribar.me/projects/Little-Wire


In a week or so, i hope starting to sell those as kits!

========================================
= Short story
========================================
- When i saw simpleavr's implementation of usbtiny on attiny45 , i thought it would be cool if i make a kit version of this with a minimal form factor. Then i designed a PCB and sent for first prototype. Later on i thought, if i want to sell this, it would be much cooler ,and more suitable with "Open Source Hardware" concept, if i bring this project one step ahead. So i tried to fit anything extra to the device and this project came out.

========================================
= What is this?
========================================
- usbtiny compatable AVR programmer in minimal form factor with all through hole components
- Computer controllable (via USB) additional features:
- 4 channel digital input / output
- ADC with 10 bit resolution
- 2 paralel hardware PWM outputs
- SPI interface

========================================
= Possible usages
========================================
- AVR programming /summon captainObvious
- LED dimming, color mixing
- General servo driving
- Pan and tilt servo control of a webcam for face tracking
- With additional motor driver IC, 2 wheel robot driving
- Analog voltage recording and plotting

========================================
= What is included?
========================================
- Eagle schematic / layout files. Also in PDF format.
- Microcontroller firmware files and makefile
- C# class for Windows USB interface
- C# example project for analog voltage plotting based on zedGraph
- C function/header files for command line USB interface for Windows and Linux

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little-wire[1].jpg
Little Wire beta in action
Last edited by kehribar on Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby BrentBXR » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:07 pm

sweet?
Ohh i c. you want Ian to post it on his site! I think i am the only one on these forums that uses AVRs exclusively. These are flooded on ebay; hell you can get a fully functional jtag programmer/debugger on ebay smaller then this for like 5 bucks.

neat though; I wouldnt get one only because I have to many programmers as it is :P now if that worked for pics, perhaps.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby ian » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:47 pm

We'll post this up for sure. You can also put it through our contact form.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby BrentBXR » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:34 pm

I wish i could think of somthing like this; just so i could justify ordering some PCBs :)
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby kehribar » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:23 pm

Hi!

I , of course , want Ian to post on his site. : ) And Ian, thanks for your support! I wanted to open a project topic in order to get feedbacks from people. It's more convenient to do it in forum, than blog comments i think.

This project differs from the ones at eBay. Yes, those are commercial products but this one have more additional features. You can get ADC data or you can use it as PWM source or etc. Also, i designed this to have all through hole components, so even people who has beginner level solder technique can assemble it. : )

By the way,

I used solderpad {dot} com to host hardware files. They have a great framework! Everyone should check it out. It can be think as GitHub for hardware files : )

ihsan.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby BrentBXR » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:59 pm

Kehribar out of curiosity. Do you populate the boards yourself? or do you order them populated? or other do you just send self soilder kits.

I wouldnt mind one of these to develop on, if its easy enough to delete the programming aspect of it. Just so i can develop USB related junk on such a small board.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby kehribar » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:02 pm

MickM,

Thanks for contribution to the project! I will upload your design to the repository soon as a reference

I guess this is what Open Source Hardware is all about : ) One share his design online, and other takes it and modifies according to his needs and improves it!
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby kehribar » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:12 pm

BrentBXR wrote:Kehribar out of curiosity. Do you populate the boards yourself? or do you order them populated? or other do you just send self soilder kits.

I wouldnt mind one of these to develop on, if its easy enough to delete the programming aspect of it. Just so i can develop USB related junk on such a small board.


First i designed them by myself and ordered small batch of prototype PCBs from Seedstudio. Later on according to small modification and design verification, i sent a revised version of it.

I haven't started selling those, since i'm waiting for the final batch of PCBs in a week or two. I stocked the necessary components, and i think i will sell this as a non-assembled kit.

So, long story short; i dont order boards pre-populated.

Also about the modifying the software;

Since this design needs to use all of the available pins of the attiny85 , Low Voltage Programming fuse had to be disabled. By doing that, one can gain ability to use RESET pin as a general GPIO while giving away the ability of Low Voltage Programming. In order to change the pre-loaded firmware one should use a High Voltage Programmer ,like STK500.

If you want i can send the kit with a blank attiny85 pin when i will be ready to ship.

ihsan.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby BrentBXR » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:56 pm

kehribar wrote:...
Since this design needs to use all of the available pins of the attiny85 , Low Voltage Programming fuse had to be disabled. By doing that, one can gain ability to use RESET pin as a general GPIO while giving away the ability of Low Voltage Programming. In order to change the pre-loaded firmware one should use a High Voltage Programmer ,like STK500.

If you want i can send the kit with a blank attiny85 pin when i will be ready to ship.
...


I was gonna say; I think you would have a better chance of selling more of these if you didnt advertise it as a programmer but as programming being an available option. I have more AVRs then I know what to do with; attiny85's I have atleast 100 of those alone (unprogrammed dont even mention my box-o-programmed AVRs (i dont bother erasing anymore i just dump it i nthe box and grab anew one))

Now if you offered differnt programmed AVRs (like you can purchase the kit and choose a pre-programmed mode..) I would purchase a generic USB Serial Port ready avr board perhaps. USB is the one area I have not stepped into yet (besides those ftd chips) but to have lufa or vusb (whatever you use) pre-programmed so all I would have todo is build my main using your pre-done functions (usb_getc() and usb_putc(c), usb_puts(s*) so it can be linked to STIO to use printf direct to the USB port, now we are talking).

Like build a form; purchase:

(X) SMD Versions
( ) DIP Version + 2USD

(X) Kit
( ) Assembled + 5USD

( ) Pre-Programmed Programmer +3USD
(x) Pre-Programmed USB-Serial Port +3USD
( ) Pre-Programmed Motor/PWM +3USD
( ) Un-programmed

[2] Add more chips (+3USB each)

somthing of that nature. why limit your new device? I buy things like this to hack for my own needs. I do NOT need a programmer; anyone looking at AVR devices; usually already have a setup to use AVRs, thus a programmer. I know i wouldnt purchase some unknown programmer as my first; I would jump straight to an ATMEL with debugging and so on.. so i know it works. (although I started with a DAPA cord :P litterally wires to the para port, no components.. worked great btw)
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby kehribar » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:22 am

Hi,

Thanks for the advice. I should probably, prepare different pre-loaded firmware options at the purchase page as you say.

By the way, i can post direct links now i guess : ) . So you can find the detailed info at:

http://kehribar.me/projects/Little-Wire/
https://github.com/kehribar/Little-Wire
https://solderpad.com/ihsan_kehribar/mi ... r-and-more

ihsan.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby NsN » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:15 pm

Funnily enough i had some similiar ideas to you, when i first saw simpleavr's programmer.
I went with the smd version and tried to make it as small as possible. You can see a small description here:
http://justgeek.de/minimalist-avr-programmer/ (the whole page is still very much in development)
I only had a very short glance over your circuit diagram, but it looks like our versions should be very compatible.
Image

Edit: Updated the url to final blog address
Last edited by NsN on Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby BrentBXR » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:17 pm

Also a good pre-programed firmware should be a uart-to-usb bridge. So you dont need a MAX232 converter and you can use a USB port incase your pc does not have serial.

Nsn;

If you are not doing anything with those PCBs; Could I purchase a couple off you? Those are great for other USB related projects. I wouldnt mind purchasing a few via paypall or whatever.

please let me know; same deal foes too Kehriber. Let me know guys!

I will make a very reasonable offer... and add more if you can throw in a couple AVRs that fit that footprint. I dont have any smd avrs just DIP; or perhaps a trade? trade me a couple PCBs and ill give you somthing (we will talk)

Btw. Nsn< great design on the PCB straight to USB port design; Kehribar if you decide to change the hardware you should consider that for an even smaller size!.

If you cannot sell any PCBs NSN can I get the board design files? I wouldn't mind getting my own prototype run on them; because I could find many uses for that board, many... plus then I could get them in blue or somthing :D
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby kehribar » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:09 pm

Very funny and weird indeed!

I also have a design with an edge USB connector. Here you can see my pictures as well : ) Mine was not too much minimalistic since i wanted to use all trough hole components. Even so, i used one SMD 100nF filtering cap.

Also, back side of the PCB have mini-usb connector footrpint as yours have. I couldn't be shure that PCB edge usb connector will work, so i didn't want to waste those boards. It was like a backup plan : )

But,

Thickness of the PCB doesn't allow to have a solid USB connection with the edge connector. So, for the sake of robustness i gave up with that prototype and move on with the solid USB connection version. Also for mini-usb connectors, those are hard to solder! Not suitable for beginner to assemble!

BrentBXR,

If you want, i have some either of two beta version PCBs. I guess i can giveaway couple of thoose, since i will use the latest ones (with blue color, edited silkscreen etc.) for selling. I might demand only the shipping fee for those beta versions.

Also for usb-serial stuff;

There is a ready made solution for that manner: http://www.recursion.jp/avrcdc/ I might be use their code for that purpose. Their solution also based on vusb stack.

ihsan.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby BrentBXR » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:55 pm

hey that would be great. PM me some details (paypal account; cost; so fourth.. I live in cleveland, ohio 44131 if you want to calculate shipping) and lets get some PCBs in the mail.
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Re: Little Wire - "Minimal AVR programmer and more"

Postby BrentBXR » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:58 pm

There is a ready made solution for that manner: http://www.recursion.jp/avrcdc/ I might be use their code for that purpose. Their solution also based on vusb stack.


hah; I was literally looking at that like 3 minutes ago trying to figure out a AVR USB generic serial port. I might have to bust out a tiny45 and test that...
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