blog in progress…
After we had made a board with the Modela we had forgotten our frustrations. Of course we mixed up inches and centimeters once, measuring the X in inches and the Y in centimeters. Surprise! The Modela just followed orders and didn’t think itself…so we had another mistake added to our formidable list of mistakes. But this is learning!
We had a board, although it was still on the bigger copper plate, not cut out, this was proving difficult for the combination Modela-myPerson-FABLAB Amsterdam. Other students had the same problem, so we decided it was the MODELA….. 🙂 ……Blaming others is so easy!
Indeed it was our mistake! We lowered the head too much, so the Modela could not get deep enough to mill out the board.
But the board on the copper plate was ok for this test, since I could use the surface making notes on the ports etc.
Soldering went well! (When things go well, there is nothing to tell, that is our way of thinking…)
Then trying to transfer the program. Alex helped us with a great link:
which only lacks an image ( …I am an visually inclined artist…), so I thought one cable was enough to program the chip. It wasn’t of course. I was suspicious, because i noticed the two connections pins. (I should learn to read more carefully!)
this is a picture of my board, including the pins, and the two connecting cables, I added the MOSI MISO because I cannot stand not having an idea of what is happening, I looked up the ports in the datasheet pdf of the ATtiny45:
Then the difference in parts between Europe and California tricked me in a roundabout way of working.
First the parts: these connectors with shifted pins….! If you dont have the right male-female combination…you have to use dirty tricks…
I did! And also: i have a laptop running two OS: XP and MACOS. I have to prepare al my stuff already in these two OS, so I didn’t install Linux. And my laptop has no parallel nor serial port!
There you are!
Either go to the FABLAB every time for every part and programming, or…DIY.
I am DIY!
Luckily I bought a USB Serial converter this summer. Great chance to put this to use. Took a little while to get the driver. The MACOS driver was not up to date with my MACOS, so I had to do it on XP:
(around 5 dollar at dealextreme.com)
In a program called 232ANALIZER I could connect to a port. Then connecting pins 2 and 3 of the serial connector I could see it worked, sending back what I sent in.
Then I had to make the cables. Not able to use the parallel port I had to use my programmer AVRISP mkII, in combination with AVR STUDIO.
I already programmed a ATtiny2313 on a breadboard, so making the several connecting cables took me a few houres (checking and double checking) but then the ATtiny45 on the board could be programmed.
First I was stealing power form the USB port, but this didn’t prove enough for the progammer – chip combination, or the circuit was consuming energy. So I used a slightly more powerful pack of batteries and the programming went well.
Later on I programmed again, using the Serial port (converted from USB).
In 232ANALIZER there was clear evidence that the chip was sending, but the data were nonsense. Fiddling with the setting make me set the party to NONE and then the hello world text appeared.
This is nonsense, but with parity “none” this becomes:
“hello world”….isn’t this amazing????? 🙂
Next step will be cleaning the process: making more boards, and possibly re-programming the chips.
- you can do it with a modern laptop (of course)
- it can be done with XP (of course)
- it can be done with the most simple pins (of course)
- the beautiful design of Neil’s board is wrecked (sorry: methods will be improved)
What did I learn:
- making PCB’s using the MODELA: great!
- using the USB to Serial Converter for communication
- some Linux, I have to install LINUX somewhere…but YIKES, maintaining three OS’s!!!
What did go wrong:
- handling the MODELA
- handling Linux, old computer with serial and parallel ports…
- i have to understand a bit what I am doing, otherwise i get frustrated, so luckily i understood a bit about the chip
Who/What helped me a lot:
- Alex in FABLAB with links and his experience
- my former projects in programming AVR chips, handling the programmer, (knowing about fuses!)
- my former experience in soldering, and knowing about the parts, resistors etc
- having wires, some pins etc in my studio, so being able to work independent from the tools in the lab: DIY for ever!
- having bought the usb2serial converter this summer and having it available
Later on I discovered another great link: (ooops on my XP side of this laptop…)
What can be done: making my own PCB’s, needed because I have to deliver an RFID module. The chip is ready, but I have to design the right PCB (pentagon shape). Going on cutting circuitry with the vinyl-cutter.