FabISP Part II: Stuffing and Programming the Board
The FabISP was designed by David Mellis. It is an in-system programmer for AVR microcontrollers. Mellis designed it so that it could be produced in a Fab. It’s based on theUSBtiny andV-USB firmwares, allowing the ATtiny44 to communicate over the USB connection. It can be programmed with avrdude. See Mellis’s site for more details.
This was my first board that I put together and programmed at Fab Academy
I learned how to:
- mill a board
- stuff a board
- program a board
- troubleshoot a board
I had a alot of trouble initially with this board and I made at least 6 of these at various stages of completion before I got the final one working.
Some of the issues were due to my inexperience and need of practice with soldering and troubleshooting, but I discovered later that many of the problems were also due to the programmer I was using (see below).
- ATMEL Mini AVR ATMEGA STK500 USB Programmer ISP (initially)
- I had a lot of trouble with this programmer. I could not get it to green light on most of my boards – and when I did get a green light, it was unreliable. It would often go green – then yellow – then red. I would unplug it and then plug it back in and get flashing yellow or green.
- I also wanted my own programmer to work with at home (the Ateml Mini belonged to the lab), so I purchased the very inexpensive USBtinyISP kit. This turned out to be a great solution. I occasionally have an issue with it heating up the boards a bit, but it doesn’t give me flaky results like the Atmel mini. Without the USBtinyISP, I would not have been able to complete any of the electronics / board related assignments with fabbed boards.
- USBtinyISP AVR Programmer Kit
- I found this programmer much easier to use than the Atmel Mini.
- available from Adafruit Industries