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Newbie tackles ambitious project-Help me choose proc.&dev. tools.

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by mscommerce, May 26, 2006.

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  1. mscommerce

    mscommerce Guest


    I'm new to the group and to the world of microcontrollers, but can find
    my way around a variety of assembler languages. I am planning two
    projects for this summer, and would be very grateful indeed if you
    would suggest an AVR microcontroller, development hardware, and
    software+tutorial materials for each.

    Project 1: A two-color darkroom led lamp controller with timer.

    Feature A: Color and luminosity control.
    Device will have independent 2 banks, one blue, one green of high
    intensity LEDs.
    Each bank to be set at one of 10 luminosity levels using PWM.
    Luminosity levels (Pulse width) in 2 lookup tables, one for each bank.

    Feature B: Linear and Logarithmic timer functions. Timer for lamp can
    be set linearly in minutes/seconds using rocker switch and
    increased/decreased logarithmically (e.g.2x,4x,8x)
    using a second rocker switch. Log base (i.e. 2, 1.41 etc) selectable
    using a third rocker.

    Feature C: LED display for luminosity level set. 4 digit LED display
    for timer. 1 digit display for logartihmic base chosen (one of 7 from a
    lookup table).

    Project 2 is a similar timer/controller with more timing inputs and LED
    displays, but the controlled item is a stepper motor for chemical

    So, where should I begin?

    Which AVR chip is the most amenable to being programmed by a newbie,
    and at the same time has some built in support for these various
    functions (log increments, timer up, timer down, LED driver etc. etc).
    Bare bones is ok.

    What testing board should I use? What software?

    My budget is $60 for the above chip+programmer/test board+software ,
    max. (excluding the cost of controlled hardware such as the LEDs and
    the input switches etc).

    I'd be immensely grateful for any guidance. I know it will take the
    summer, but I'm really looking forward to this.
  2. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    You're into S&M are you ?
    Why AVR ? Atmel also make '8051s', probably the world's most used uC ( for many
    good reasons ).

  3. I'd start with free winAVR GCC toolset and the Atmel butterfly. I have
    both, but have never got around to using them

    Personally I'd start of programming in C, and then delve into asm when
    I need it.
    But then I only use the 8051, in C, and for the most part it has
    always been fast enough for me, and doing darkroom stuff is not really
    going to strech any normal 8 bit micro

  4. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Me to pretty much.
    Absolutely right. Hardly any call for RISC architecture there ! And 8051s can
    use 33MHz clocks now too. ~360 ns for a typical 2 cycle instruction IIRC.

  5. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    I'll suggest a great value 8051 eval board for $25 instead.

  6. Morning Graham,
    I'm looking at using a 8051 for mucking with AES digital audio stuff
    (really), with a cirus decoder, plus some TTL, I'd considered using
    the Alesis/wavefront AL3101 DSP,and the tools suck, but I'd still need
    an 8051 to control it. I'm still stuck at 11.0592 MHz clock, cos I
    can't be bothered to rework the baudrate timers

  7. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

  8. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Do tell more !
    Yes. I used their optimistically named 'tools' on their reverb DSP chip. I briefly
    trialled the 3101/2 tools too as I nearly selected one for an audio processor
    project ( in the end I went the analogue route ). They do work as advertised of
    Duh ! I don't have it handy but I think I have the timer reload values somewhere
    for a 12MHz crystal for most popular baud rates.

  9. not yet
    Did you try Bkasm? It looks rather useful, but unsupported, I couldnt
    see how to get the delay ring buffer ( whatever it's called) set up in

  10. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Pfftttt ! ;~ p

    No. In fact I only just googled it to find out what you meant. Sounds interesting.
    The Alesis, sorry Wavefront assembler is hardly actually *supported* anyway !
    There's a ring buffer mode for the 3101 ? Wasn't aware. In the rev chip of course
    that's the default.

    Oh, check out the price of the 89S52 from Farnell btw.

  11. IIRC 1024 words, the pointer is auto incremented on each audio sample.
    woohoo, cheap, must google for "8051 freelance programmers in India"

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