This is a test of the re-install of wordpress as well as the new piwigo plugin. Also a picture of tasty tasty booze.
I picked up a tube of 10 ATMega328 microcontrollers for an embedded project I’m working on. I’d wired everything up Wednesday on a breadboard according to this guide with the intent of then connecting my original Arduino Duemillanove and burning the Arduino bootloader to the blank ATMegas using the ArduinoISP sketch. Attempt after attempt, rewire after rewire resulted in the following error:
avrdude: Expected signature for ATMEGA328P is 1E 95 0F
I spent a few hours searching around trying to find a solution and the forum posts involving that error really didn’t seem to apply to my situation. I eventually noticed that the uC that shipped on my Duemillanove was the ATMega328P-PU and the chips I had ordered/received were the ATMega328-PU, signifying that is not in the pico-power series. Armed with that little tid-bit I found this post containing the piece of information I needed to move forward.
I now have signatures in /etc/avrdude.conf (excerpt below) for both the 328 and the 328p, and I now uncomment the appropriate signature for the chip I will be interfacing with. With that sorted I was able to finish burning bootloaders on all the ATMegas, breadboard my test bed, and get to learning bi-direcitonal half-duplex RS485 comms between microcontrollers using TI sn75176bp differential bus tranceivers.
id = "m328p";
desc = "ATMEGA328P";
## m328p signature
signature = 0x1e 0x95 0x0F;
## m328 signature
## signature = 0x1e 0x95 0x14;
It is very hard to explain how long ago yesterday morning is. Numbers fail at the task. 1100km doesn’t express it properly nor does 35 hours of consciousness with 6 hours rack time to break it up. Two router replacements, four properties visited and four buzzed, a printer setup, wireless repaired, several service tickets back-burnered till next month, talk of another trip north, and a compressed workload to tide me over till Saturday morning.
My bed, the one I woke up in yesterday morning by all standard methods of telling time, feels so distant it’s as if I can’t say for sure I actually saw it this weekend.
The second worst thing about this time of year is the static charges that build up due to the complete lack of humidity. The worst thing about this time of year for a geek is the hardware you kill because of those static charges.
I almost killed my netbook today. I’d just finished burning a CD with a USB attached external and when to close the burning app and *ZAP*. Hurt like all hell and the netbook immediately powered off. I unplugged the USB drive and fired up the netbook, all seemed OK. I’d zapped the thing in the past and it’d been just fine so I wasn’t too worried at first.
And then the back-light cut out just after I remarked that “I’m surprised I haven’t killed this thing yet”. 2 minutes later, the back-light comes on again. It cycles back and forth time and time again, each time the on period becoming shorter and the off period becoming longer.
Out of an amazing stroke of luck one of the other guys in the hackspace today not only had an Acer Aspire One 110 with him, but he also knew his way around an oscilloscope too. I pulled my netbook apart and we attached my LCD module to his Aspire One and let it ride for a while. It behaved perfectly. So we started thinking the issue wasn’t with the back-light but either the power provided by the motherboard or with the dimming signal sent to the display module. With Matt’s netbook still powering my display we spent some time noodling around with the oscilloscope and with the help of possibly the correct data-sheet for the LCD module we verified that the LED back-light was powered by +5V and the brightness is controlled by a +3.3V PWM signal. Once we determined what the cause of the problem was, either the +5V line cutting out or the +3.3V signal getting mangled we could route around the problem. If it was an LED power problem then I could borrow some +5V from the USB lines to the webcam. If the +3.3V PWM signal was borked I could just wire the +3.3V line that fed the LCD module to the brightness control line and deal with a permanently-100%-bright LCD. With all that determined we shut down Matt’s netbook and connected my LCD module to the internals of my netbook.
I fired it up and waited for it to fail. And waited…. and waited… and it hasn’t happened since. I put everything back together and it’s been behaving. All that planning and geekery and I don’t even get to claim to be responsible for the resurrection of this netbook. Apparently I have a self-healing netbook. It’s an ENTS miracle.
Last year I aimed to camp at least once a month for the year. Between April and November I managed 9 trips out, so on the whole I would say I hit my goal. I’ve been thinking about what will be a lofty, though attainable, goal and saw in a ZS forum signature that one member is going to attempt 50 nights outside. Averaging just over 4 nights a month may be difficult, but I think it’s worth striving for. Effectively that doubles my last years goal as well as requiring 12 months of activity instead of the 8 months I managed in 2009. This may be a little too ambitious considering the amount of out of town work I’ve got lined up in the first 5 months of the year, but I think with a little determination and a lot of crazy I should be able to make it happen. Here’s to a obscenely fun and educational 2010!