I'm partial to jazz/blues (as a guitarist). — Bryan Bergeron
DEBUG ON DAS BOARD
I enjoyed reading the June ‘09 Personal Robotics column
about Das BlinkenBoard. I myself have been using Atmel
microcontrollers for a couple of years now and find them to
be very versatile and handy for solving almost any control
function with very few parts.
I noticed on the circuit board that the programming
control signals brought out to the jumper connectors J1
through J3 make it possible to program the part with the SPI
programming mode, but don't allow for debugging. If you
had brought out the Reset and Vcc pins as well, then on-board debugging would be possible in addition to on-board
programming, if you ever get around to a new board layout.
Hi Barry! Thank you for taking the time to write. I'm really
glad you enjoyed the article.
You're in luck! We won't have to make a *new* board
layout to handle this. One of the design criteria for our original
Das BlinkenBoard was to be programmable and "debug-able"
without having to pull the chip from the socket. The trick is
you have to make a "breakout" adapter for the six-pin Atmel
programmer. Check the photos at this link for a schematic and
an example "hexopus" cable (i.e., like an octopus cable, but
with six instead of eight pins):
Once you have the adapter made,
you use the top row of the J1-J3 jacks, the
+ 5 and Reset pins to the left of the J1-J3
jacks, and then use one of the GND
pins below the J1-J3 jacks. You can then
reprogram/debug the board without
having to remove the chip. I hope this
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I received my copy of Nuts & Volts
in the mail today and was fascinated with
the June ‘09 Personal Robotics column
on Das Blinkenboard. I run a web page
and a discussion group for those interested in the Burroughs B-205 computer.
The B-205's console is one of the
great Blinken Lights icons of the 1960's
and 70's TV and movies. I hope to create
a Blinken Lights board to simulate the
lights on the B-205 console.
continued on page
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July 2009 11