2007-04-22-0550Z


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I guess if you've been following along, you'll know I'm testing 3 different development boards now: the ARMmite from Coridium Corp., the PICStart2 from Microchip, and what Futurlec calls the AT90S2313 development board, but which actually has an ATTINY2313 processor. They've all got their quirks... let's see if I can remember all that I've found out so far.

I finally got a serial connection to the Futurlec board today. Since the CDROM they sent me was badly scratched, I didn't get any docs on the board, and their website only has the PDFs from the manufacturers of the chips, not on the board itself. Or rather, I couldn't find them. A day or few ago I did finally find a PDF in Thai that thankfully showed screenshots and photos of the connection for programming the damned thing with PonyProg2000; for one thing, the jumper on the parallel port adapter marked ENA/DIS, and "ENA=ATMEL", must be in the DIS position. Somewhat non-intuitive. And PonyProg2000 doesn't have useful defaults; if you select Parallel, nothing is enabled, you need to click the radio button for LPT1 or whatever. And make sure you select the right chip manufacturer (AVR) and processor (ATTINY2313). Anyway, I was able to disassemble it enough to see that I needed to hook up a serial cable in order to see the built-in menu. On the development board, pin 2 is receive, 3 is transmit, and 4 is signal ground; 1 is unused. Of course, on the 9-pin that goes to your computer, another DTE device, the pin numbers are swapped. For example, in my case, on the dev board, black is pin 2, red is 3, and brown is 4; so on the 9-pin female D-sub, red goes to 2, black to 3, and brown to 5. Since there's no hardware flow control possible with 3 wires, set HyperTerminal up for 9600-N-8-1 with no flow control (or possibly XON/XOFF, but I don't know if the board supports it).

The Coridium card, unless you pay $10 extra, comes with nothing. You need to download the right software from coridiumcorp.com's website, and they make it far from clear. If you just grab the TclTerm.exe file, it won't work. You need the link marked ARMmite/ARMexpress Setup Utility for BASIC. I guess you can download the USB driver for the FTDI chip on the support page too, but I opted to download the Virtual COM Port drivers directly from FTDI. I might play a little more with BASIC, but eventually I'll probably load the C development system, or maybe a native FORTH.

The PIC was a hassle too. The docs were wrong, all but one of the example programs were wrong, it took me several tries to get the software installed. Google was invaluable. I'm using the MPASM IDE and programming in assembly for now. Just testing various things. One of these boards is going to end up controlling my hydroponics system, refrigerator, and lights, and one will probably be the brain of a wearable computer.

Projects, projects, projects up the yinyang. I try to do a little bit every day. Lately I've been killing a lot of time on Usenet. Maybe it's time I got a little sleep. Hasta mañana.

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last updated 2013-01-10 20:51:57. served from tektonic