the Butterfly from AVR Studio 4 when the download and
verify are completed. Finally, push the joystick upwards to
start the program running. This is the process used when
downloading any program to the Butterfly.
The versatility of the Butterfly allows one to modify
the provided transmitter program to incorporate revisions,
modifications, and additional features. The provided
transmitter program uses just a small portion of the
memory available. When not being used as an MP3
broadcaster, you can also use it as a general-purpose
learning platform for microcontrollers and programming.
The Butterfly board comes with a preloaded program
which allows you to display scrolling messages on the
LCD, play simple music through its piezo-electric beeper
speaker, display the temperature using its on-board
thermistor, provide a clock/calendar display, or
measure and display an external 0-5 volt DC signal
(voltmeter). This program is erased when loading the FM
You can download this original
program from the ATMEL website
and download it to the Butterfly
using the above technique, restoring
the Butterfly to its original state. You
can also use AVR Studio 4 to enter
and download assembly language
programs to the Butterfly. Best of all,
however, Bascom-AVR has a free,
demonstration version available. It is
limited to 4 KB of code. You can
write short programs in Basic,
compile them, and download them
Smaller is Better
Although the Butterfly board is
only the size of a credit card, this
project could be miniaturized further.
The Butterfly platform is perfect for
providing a low-cost, small integrated
processing package with which to
learn the nuances of the NS73M
transmitter. Given the transmitter
chip’s size of 7 mm x 7 mm, and
equally small processors, the size of
the display and the battery capacity
become the size-limiting factors. If
one chose to incorporate this chip
within an MP3 player, these two
factors also vanish, and today’s MP3
players suddenly become obsolete!
Where is a venture capitalist when
you need one? NV
ATMEL, AVR, and AVR Studio are registered
trademarks of the ATMEL Corporation.
BASCOM-AVR is copyright MCS Electronics.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When not practicing emergency
medicine, Jay can usually be found
tinkering with chips and an
oscilloscope, or on the air as KD8HKD.