Monday, January 28, 2013

The Digispark is Here [Review]

After what seemed like a long wait, the Digispark has finally arrived… at least mine have. As a backer of the Digispark Kickstarter, my three little Arduino compatible development boards arrived a few weeks ago. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these things yet, but let’s take a look and see what they’re all about.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The OSH Park Experience [Review]

In early December I designed my first circuit board, a simple USB breakout, and submitted it to OSH Park for fabrication. While this is my first board and I don’t have any other experience, I have a feeling it's going to be tough to beat the OSH Park experience.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Adafruit Standalone AVR ISP Programmer Shield Kit [Review]

I've become somewhat of an Arduino guy. The popularity of the Arduino platform over the last few years makes me think that I might not be only one that’s been taken with these little development boards. Somewhere along the way I decided that making my own Arduinos is not only a decent learning experience, but it’s cost effective and allows me to integrate Arduinos directly into my projects.

One of the things that makes an Arduino an Arduino is that it interfaces with the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE). This is accomplished by a small program loaded on the Arduino’s microcontroller called a bootloader. The microcontroller that the Arduino Uno uses, the Atmel ATMega328, is readily available through a number of electronics retailers, but they don’t come preloaded with the Arduino bootloader. Some retailers sell chips with bootloaders on them, but if you’re building your Arduinos with blank chips, you’ll need something like the Adafruit Standalone AVR ISP Programmer Shield to put the bootloader on the chip.