Choosing AVR programmer

As we talked earlier there are many AVR programmers to choose. The simplest ones are bitbang programmers. These are straight forward programmers that can be built with as little components as few resistors (or no resistors at all). These can be COM, LPT or USB-to-TTL converter based. DIY Bitbang programmers Example of LPT port programmer These are probably simplest to build as there is no need to convert any signals coming from port. Buffer chip is used only for safety reasons to protect computer port. Even simpler programmer cable can be found here. Continue reading

Things needed before you learn AVR

There are several things you need to do before learning AVR. First of all you need an AVR chip. Better chose megaAVR series, so you don’t need to worry about lack of peripherals when needed. Atmega8, Atmega16 or further mega’s will do perfect. Probably chose in DIP package as it will easily fit in breadboard for fast prototyping.  Development boards are great to work with as they mostly are designed for learning and prototyping.  Any Arduino board can be used with no problem as it has all necessary means to serve as general purpose dev board. Anyway I leave this up you for a while. Next thing is programmer. This is where you can get headache. Really! To say in few words – programmer is a cable/device used to upload… Continue reading

AVR at a glance

Any AVR microcontroller is an 8 bit computer in a chip designed and manufactured by ATMEL Corporation. It has some RAM memory and ROM (Flash) as well. To make things more attractive and useful there is also an EEPROM memory. Including AVR core CPU all these are more than enough to say that it is a small computer where you can execute programs stored in Flash memory, run them while operating data in SRAM and storing some constant values in EEPROM. Comparing to real computer that sits on your table you can say that AVR core is a CPU like AMD or Pentium. Flash memory would be your hard drive where programs are stored, RAM is RAM nothing to add there. EEPROM probably can be compared to some media device… Continue reading

AVR tutorial. Initial word

AVR family is one of the leading 8 bit microcontrollers in its family. There are many reasons why many hobbyists chose this one among other. I don’t say that other families like PIC are worse – no way – can you find even better solutions if needed. Let’s not get in to popular fight “what’s the best”. Smart engineers don’t fight – they simply choose the one that will do the job with less effort, less cost and probably the one that are most familiar with. Let’s stick with AVR for a while as it is quite popular type among today’s hobbyists. Who don’t know Arduino? It is also based on AVR MCUs. So, interest in AVR is big, demand is big, but one thing is missing – knowledge on… Continue reading