Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Launchpad and Cypress PSOC came in! :D

Ordered these off of digikey, can't wait to get programming! I will be using the Energia IDE which allows you to program the MSP430 using the same code as an arduino (just different pinouts). The PSOC was only $4 which can be bought Here

Why Atmel is awesome

This is a short recap about my EXCELLENT experience with Atmel.
It all started when I went to request sample chips from Atmel to use in teaching my understudy how to solder and give them their own micro controller while they were at it(also asked about stickers). I sent a tweet to @TheAVRMan and we got to talking, he directed me to use the "Request samples" page on Atmel's site, however as I use a Gmail address it wouldn't let me request samples, told me "Your email domain is not authorized to request samples from Atmel com. Please use your company email domain to request samples." . The crux of the problem was that my gmail address is my company email. I tweeted him back about the issue and he said he would discuss it with his team. A few hours later he got back with me and told me he would get around the block, gave him my email and not long afterwards had an email from the sample department asking which stock number(s) and how many I needed, sent back an email with the request and later that day got confirmation that they were shipped. I was stunned at the lengths that they went to get me free chips, they have gone to ridiculous lengths to get a tinkerer like me hooked up with awesome loot. Two days later the stickers came in first and they sent me 10 sheets worth! The following day the chips came in. I felt like a kid on christmas opening the boxes and anti-static bags and pulling the chips out. Thank you Atmel, from the bottom of my Maker heart, I was dumbfounded at the effort you put into a little guy like me.
Ten sheets worth of Atmel stickers!
The anti-static bags the chips came in
The chips they sent

Friday, June 13, 2014

How to get a $3 CP2102 USB-UART bridge programmer to work with arduino

Had some difficulties with getting this cheap programmer to work on my machine to program the pro minis I bought (off the same site). Did some searching and found out that it requires a driver (found here), install and it fixes the issue.
The programmer

Before driver install
After driver install

Electrodragon loot arrived! (workshop storage shelves update too)

Hey guys, made this order on electrodragon, it shipped and arrived in under a week using the lowest cost shipping option. All this loot cost me only $22.45. The pro mini is a genuine sparkfun pro mini at only a third of the cost! Pro Mini
Loot! :D

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Workshop status (6/7/14)

Decided i'd do a writeup on my workshop and equipment in it. Im using the unfinished back room of the basement in the house which is about 100 square feet without storage shelves and workbenches. The workbenches are basic folding Home Depot's workbenches are nice and sturdy with a solid MDF work surface and an undershelf, Im planning to paint the MDF with a polyurethane sealant as so any water from the soldering iron cleaning sponge doesn't cause it to "fluff". The soldering iron i use is a Hakko FX888-D Soldering station, moving up from an old 30W Weller "Firestarter" it is amazing how much of a difference a good iron makes; heats up faster, holds temperature better, precise temperature range, finer tip, and best of all, so very comfy. Ive got bins of electronic components and misc parts I've salvaged over the years, midsize and large RC helicopters (ill convert one into a drone), several Estes rockets, and a myriad range of wires and hardware. Im currently trying to figure out how to put part sorters above and behind my workbench for easy access during tinkering. My whole workshop is lit by LED bulbs as they don't give me headaches unlike some fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, further they don't have the flicker effect show up on video (i will be making workshop videos now). I use a Cree 1200lumen to light the workshop, and 2 phillips LED bulbs in soft light for the focused workbench lights. That's about all I have to say about it at the moment, I am planning on adding a workshop computer so I can program in the workshop and have a mobile computer.