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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 02:25 AM PDT (Read 14602 times)  
demonic_crow

I'm really new at this stuff. I'm wondering what would be the best route to go. I'm wanting to work with LEDs. I'm wanting to make a 5x5x5 LED mutliplexing or charlieplexing cube or smaller. I just want to know where should I start with. I'm hoping to get a microcontroller programmer under $100 since I don't want to waste to much money getting into this. I like to start with this project and expand on it. I just don't know where to start since I see AVR, PIC, and Arduino. Don't know which to go for and what should I pick up to begin a project like this. Thanks alot.


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 03:32 AM PDT  
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There are quite a few ways to do this cheaply. I'll always recommend an AVR or Arduino, which is an AVR with a nice hardware and software package attached. Expect to pay about $35-$45 for your first AVR and the programmer. To get started, look at how LED matrix displays are driven. You've got 125 LEDs to drive-- you might need external drive transistors or other support chips ($1-5) to make it run smoothly.


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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 12:53 PM PDT  
demonic_crow

which avr programmer should I choose. I notice there are tons of different one. Paying $50 is not a problem at all. Just I see their different one and hate to get the wrong one for what I'm aiming for. Does it really matter which one to get? Thanks a bunch and for the really quick reply. Can't wait to try some of the project on this site and in the books.


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 05:40 PM PDT  
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I use the usbtinyisp.


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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 09:37 PM PDT  
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Thank you very much. I'm going to purchase this. Also I would like to ask can you do many things with this. LED is like a beginner project and want to know if I can do more.


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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Friday, September 05 2008 @ 10:06 PM PDT  
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I notice this was a kit to pretty much get the usb running. Is there more stuff I need. What does the 6pin and 10pin connect to. Far as I know it goes to a 6 or 10 pin chip. What do I need to connect them to it. Sorry I am really new if you could point me to the right direction or maybe somewhere else I could ask this so I'm not wasting your time that would be great. I'm sorry I'm completely new and didn't understand that. Still consider buying it though since I'm looking for a usb programmer.


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By: Windell (offline) on Saturday, September 06 2008 @ 01:26 AM PDT  
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The USBtinyISP is just a programmer-- you can use it to program most current-generation AVR microcontrollers; they can do much more than just blink LEDs. To get started, please start here. In particular, read the story about minimal target boards.


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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Friday, September 12 2008 @ 04:30 AM PDT  
demonic_crow

I have to say you been alot of help. I have order everything you told me to. All I'm waiting for is the stuff for my target board which should show up later today. Now I have a few more questions before I get started.

1. I order the Atting2313- 20PU-ND cause the V verison was out. The only thing I notice was that it was faster. Is this still a good chip?

2. Is there any certain thing I should pay more attention to learning in C or should I just learn it all? The reason why I ask was I was starting to learn C++.

3. Could you please point me to the right direction to get an LED to start doing stuff? I just need something simple to get my foot in the door of microchips so I can learn more after.

Thank you very much you have been a big help.

Also I do own a breadboard which I bought from radio shack last year which a little crappy, don't know if that help.


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, September 12 2008 @ 09:12 AM PDT  
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1. I order the Atting2313- 20PU-ND cause the V verison was out. The only thing I notice was that it was faster. Is this still a good chip?

The "V" version works to lower power, the "non-V" version can work with a faster external clock crystal. For most purposes -- especially if you run them at 3-5 V and without an external clock crystal-- they are interchangeable.

2. Is there any certain thing I should pay more attention to learning in C or should I just learn it all? The reason why I ask was I was starting to learn C++.

Only learn what you need to. Big Grin Copy some working code, mod it to do what you want, and try to not mess up the syntax. Starting to write a program from scratch in a new language is the best way to learn the important parts.

3. Could you please point me to the right direction to get an LED to start doing stuff? I just need something simple to get my foot in the door of microchips so I can learn more after.

These are called "microcontrollers." (And "Microchip" is the name of a company that makes the PIC, a series of microcontrollers that is in many ways similar to AVR.) Individual AVR pins can usually supply up to 40 mA of output or input current-- enough to drive an LED. Don't power more than 2 or 3 LEDs at a time or you'll exceed the total supply limit of the chip, however. You'll also need a resistor in series with each LED that you use. You can use this calculator to find what value you need.


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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Sunday, September 14 2008 @ 10:18 AM PDT  
demonic_crow

I'm trying to make the target board that you have and I have a question. I know if you get the vcc and ground mix around you will burn your microcontroller. So is there a way to figure out which is your ground and vcc on your ribbon. The reason why I ask is I do have both of the ribbon coming out the same way as you do with the red strip at the top. I just can't figure out how you have your ribbon connected to the target board but the red strip is on the botton left (west side) like the ribbon come across the mirocontroller. I know you have to match vcc to vcc and ground to ground and etc. I just wanted to know is their a way to hook the programmer without it coming across the board. That way the red strip on the ribbon is on the east side of the board. Didn't know if it matter what way you had the ribbon plug in as long you had the wires going to the right spot to the microcontroller or if there was a certain way. Thanks alot.


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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Sunday, September 14 2008 @ 11:26 AM PDT  
demonic_crow

Ok I miss the part saying what pin 1 was. So pin 1 is the red stripe and the little triangle should be pointing to that right. All the instructions said to build the USBtinyISP is that the bump should line up with the red stripe so I figure it meant the little triangle. One more thing, what would be the best wire to use?


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By: Windell (offline) on Sunday, September 14 2008 @ 11:45 AM PDT  
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If your programer is built correctly, the little triangle should indicate "pin 1" of the 6-pin connector. See this page for the pinouts. (Pin 1 is the square one on the diagram.) If you aren't sure that it's built correctly, test to see that the 5V and ground locations are correct with an appropriate LED and series resistor.


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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Sunday, September 14 2008 @ 02:01 PM PDT  
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I try hooking up a wire to the VCC and ground on the 6 pin and 10 pin and it doesn't light up. I try it to the jumper and it work. All I have to do is just plug it in the computer and I should be able to test it that way and do nothing else correct? So if this isn't working that mean something else is wrong. I look underneath the PCB to make sure no solder are touching anything it look like pretty perfect. What you think it could be.


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By: Windell (offline) on Sunday, September 14 2008 @ 02:25 PM PDT  
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If you are using the USBtinyISP and want to have 5V output on the 6 and 10 pin cables, then you need to hook make sure that the power output jumper-- by the end with the output cables-- is in place.


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By: demonic_crow (offline) on Sunday, September 14 2008 @ 05:31 PM PDT  
demonic_crow

I connect the jumper together and try it out. Now for the 6 pin I got nothing still. I tried the 10 pin and only two of the ground worked. So I upen up the USBtinyISP and remove the ribbon and connect it directly to the respect spot on there. I notice the 10 pin was still the same only two out of the 4 ground work. Now the 6 pin work then. So I'm guess my ribbon isn't getting good enough connection so I'm going to take the clips off and reapply them back together. Now could you tell me what would be the reason for all ground not working on my 10pin. The first ground and last ground doesn't work.


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