Make: AVR Programming released this week

Make: AVR Programming

Way back in February/March of 2011, The Late Elliot Williams (TLEW)Δ taught a 6-session AVR Microcontroller Class that introduced hardware programming beyond Arduino to an eager roomful of wannabe bare-metal programmers.

Elliot‘s hard work on that course and it’s 2009 iteration formed the germ for the shiny new 472-page Make: AVR Programming Learning to Write Software for Hardware, released this week by Maker Media, Inc.:

Atmel’s AVR microcontrollers are the chips that power Arduino, and are the go-to chip for many hobbyist and hardware hacking projects. In this book you’ll set aside the layers of abstraction provided by the Arduino environment and learn how to program AVR microcontrollers directly. In doing so, you’ll get closer to the chip and you’ll be able to squeeze more power and features out of it.

We’re big fans of the Arduino but sometimes our projects demand smaller size, less power consumption, more control, faster processing, and/or MOAR CHIPS! (You can buy almost 10 of Atmel’s ATmega328 AVR chips for the average price of one Arduino.)

Photo of HacDC's 2011 AVR Class Project PCB Kit (assembled) ©2011 Elliot Williams

For the 2011 class, TLEW designed a(n awesome) custom PCB to illustrate major topics. [2011 AVR Kit wiki page.]

Δ Elliot is alive and well. However, he’s dead to us, mostly because after he left DC it was decreed that we would forevermore immaturely express our separation anxiety by referring to him only as “The Late Elliot Williams”.

NPR Segment on ArduSat features HacDC Summer School!

NanoSatisfi's ArduSatHacDC’s Summer School 2013 was featured a few days ago in a NPR story by Geoff Brumfiel about the upcoming ArduSat launch. ArduSat is an Arduino-enabled satellite that you can buy time on to run your own Arduino-powered extra-terrestrial experiments that make use of the nanosatellite’s “STANDARD sensor package.” Read more about it and listen here (includes workshop photographs by NPR’s Heather Rousseau):

Tiny Tech Puts Satellites In Hands Of Homebrew Designers

ArduSat image 2013 © NanoSatisfi, Inc

HacDC Summer School 2013

Attendees at Summer School 2013 kickoff kit-buildHacDC Summer School 2013 is doing a whiplash, 4-workshop tour of physical computing using Arduino, Processing and Sparkfun’s Danger Shield. A group of curious attendees, many from non-technical backgrounds that range from law and philosophy to the arts, have learned to solder by assembling the Danger Shield (DS). The DS is an ideal learning project and fits in perfectly with the free series’ exploration of physical computing. It has a variety of input/output devices and is well suited for simulating the kind of sensing and control of the physical environment that makers need for their home brewed projects and media art.
Soldering during Summer School 2013 kickoff kit-build
The workshops have covered soldering, the basics of Arduino programming and interfacing, a crash course on programming in the astoundingly great environment of Processing, and next week’s closing workshop will tie it all together when they will use the DS via Arduino to manipulate live video capture.

This popular series was designed and developed by a handful of HacDC members and we hope to eventually offer it online. It will complement a curriculum on physical computing with a follow-up workshop series on microcontroller programming and a lead-in series on basic electronics. Join our MeetUp Group to stay informed about future sessions.

Feel free to visit HacDC if you want to learn about all aspects of DIY electronics and programming, or to work on your own projects. We have a range of equipment that can help you make stuff!

Awesome photos by doubly awesome HacDC member, MissionControl! (Licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Microcontroller Monday: I2C

Monday night (Nov 10) I’ll be going over the I2C protocol and how to make it work for you.  I2C is used in all sorts of sensors these days, and understanding how to make the AVR’s speak it is useful stuff!

I’ll bring in some I2C external memory chips, a temperature sensor, and a 3-axis accelerometer.  There’ll also surely be steaming hot, AVR-to-AVR, master-slave action.  After a little bit of lecture and some code demo, we’ll see how many of them we can get working…

7pm.  The Space.