|Welcome To My Microcontroller Lab (video)|
A Little History
the old days (like when I was young) we had "microprocessors." They were great but needed a lot
of external hardware in the form of Random Access Memory (RAM), non-volatile
memory to hold the program (EEPROM), Analog to Digital Converters
(ADC) and a bunch of other external circuits just to get the job done.
Today we have Microcontroller Units (MCU) with all that stuff on board. That
simplifies things a lot! Also,
we used to program by hang on coding sheets using hex characters. A
little later we got to write code in assembler. A step up, but still
pretty low level!
For these projects we are going to be using the MCU to
pursue my passion for understanding the underlying forces at work in
the natural world. We will analyze natural events
and look for attractors. If we discover some underlying forces at work
how exciting is that!
field work will involve recording
phenomena as diverse as wind, rain, waterfalls,
crickets, the wash boarding of roads, and patterns in the clouds.
You get the idea! It's just my curiosity about nature enhanced
through the use of microcontrollers, computer software and some interesting electrical circuits.
So, here we go. We'll start
off with some basic wiring diagrams, interface circuitry and C Programs
compiled for the ATmega168.
|200: Off Beat Articles, Funny Stories and a Bit of Computer History|
|Love, Passion and Bat Switches|
I was young I dated a beautiful young girl. She was bright and funny
and she eventually became my wife. Maybe she didn't have the same
passion as I did for technology, but she went along with the program.
In fact she worked for several years as a technician for Digital
Equipment Corporation (DEC) before transitioning to the health care
profession where she really thrived! Anyhow, this is a story about our first dates. God bless you Patty for putting up with me!
Love, Passion, and Bat Switches (pdf document)
|"Enter" vs. "Return"|
keyboards used to have a "Return" key. Some had both "Return" and
"Enter" on the same key. Today you will usually just see an "Enter"
key. There is a
fundamental difference between the terms "Return" and "Enter." I
hope this article brings back some fond memories
for us old guys, and includes some interesting stuff for you youngsters
"Enter" vs. "Return" (pdf document)
|Wickenburg High School Math Club Builds Computer (1975)|
great memories! It was way back in 1975 when our Math Club built a
"working" digital computer on a 4x8 sheet of plywood using paper clips
and flashlight bulbs.
A fun project and a great learning experience. For more, click on the link below.
Math Club Computer (pdf document)
|300: MCU Basics|
|Idea, Write Code, Compile, Download|
approach is to get as close to the hardware as possible. This reflects
my background in product design. I have lots of exciting projects in
mind, but I still view the MCU as a component that will eventually be
part of a stand-alone product. So the document below is an Overview and
explains my approach to MCU design.
|Overview and Approach to the MCU (pdf document)|
|Basic Wiring Diagram (video)|
|Basic Wiring Diagram (pdf document)|
|Programming the MCU (pdf document)|
|400: LED Blink Project|
is a pretty simple project but a good one for starting to learn the
architecture of the ATmega168, how to configure the pin functions and a
little bit of C programming. In this project I blink the LED every half
second and write "ON" or "OFF" to the LCD display. Below are the video
description, code listing and schematic.|
|LED Blink Project (video)|
|Code Listing (pdf document)|
|Schematic (jpg image)|
|500: The Dripping Faucet Project|
you ever observed a natural event that seemed very irregular (maybe
random) but you
thought it might have some sort of pattern embedded in there somewhere?
Maybe it was a rushing stream, the music in a waterfall, a
crackling fire or a dripping faucet. This
project is my attempt to find "Strange Attractors" influencing the
chaotic behavior of a dripping faucet. We capture a set of (one
dimensional) time intervals and map them into two dimensional
space (the x/y plane). The idea for this project comes from James Gleich's fascinating
book Chaos: Making A New Science. |
|Capture 1 (video)|
|Capture 2 (video)|
|Capture 3 (video)|
|Input Signal Conditioning (video)|
|Figure 1: Project Plan (pdf document)|
|Figure 2: Input Signal Conditioning (pdf document)|
|600: Bibliography and References|
|Bibliography (pdf document)|