In this episode I will be repairing my AVR ISP MKII programmer by replacing the on-board boost converter (TPS61020) and I will also upgrade the 6 pin ISP programming cable to 1m length.

A while ago, Francesca from Element 14 kindly contacted me to ask if I wanted to receive some products from their catalog for review. I said yes and since I already had a wishlist going on (as most electronics guys have) it was easy to pick up some products. I also considered current and future projects when picking the items and so I had 4 items:

I asked for the STM32VLDISCOVERY because I wanted to play with one of these ever since I discovered this STM32 book written by Geoffrey Brown. The book seems so nicely written and from a practical point of view seems like it will get me started and working on the STM32 in no time. I’m also working on a couple of projects right now for which the STM32 might seem like overkill but I might use it anyway just build some experience around this chip.

I asked for the ATXMEGAA3BU-XPLD because it is a nice platform all around. The MCU is the ATxmega256A3BU and you also get some analog sensors, an lcd display and lots of IO’s. Excellent for when you need to throw something together and test it on an Atmel ATXmega. The ATSAM4L-XPRO which I received in error, features Atmel’s ATSAM4LC4C Cortex-M4 MCU which is nonetheless interesting in the industry but isn’t of much use to me on it’s own without some expansion board.

The TPS54231EVM-372 and TPS5450EVM-254 from Texas Instruments were requested because I use both of these in two of my projects and I wanted to have a reference testing platform for comparison to my own implementation in layout and design. I use the TPS54231 in the new Audio Spectrum Analyzer to power the digital/LED section and I use the TPS5450 in my DIY digital power supply as the switching  pre-regulator before going into a linear reg.

More will follow on these as I am going to perform some measurements like output noise on the TPS54231EVM-372 and TPS5450EVM-254 using my entry level scope and compare the results with the ones from the datasheet.

Also if you would like to checkout more products from these manufacturers, see the Newark category pages:

Network Controlled Outlet

A very interesting project showing you how to turn on and off the power from your mains outlet through computer network. It is very well documented and very useful. Basically you could turn on or off any device from any location as long as you can connect to your network.

The on/off switching will be done by an Olimex AVR/IO board. This board is equipped with an ATmega16 microcontroller (with no initial software loaded), four low-voltage inputs, a serial interface and four 5A/250V SPDT relays. These relays can be controlled by serial, by the four inputs or both depending on the code you will write for the microcontroller. So it is a very versatile board and only your imagination is the boundary of it’s utility.

The four low-voltage inputs are optocoupler isolated so this input can accept signals with different ground. Also these inputs are very helpful if you want to use a wireless module like the XBee. A PNP transistor is used to drive these inputs without any trouble.

Each relay provides connections for both normally open and normally closed positions. The relay will be placed between the hot wire that comes from wall and the hot wire that goes into the outlet. This way it will open or close the circuit on your command. Be careful however of the power consumption of the device you plug in the outlet. The relays are rated at 5A but they can be changed if your requirements ask for it.

The network controller is the Atmel NGW100 and will allow you to control the Olimex board through the network. It has two ethernet ports, lots of GPIO ports and Linux with TCP/IP installed. Control of the GPIO ports can be a little tricky with the NGW100 but you will find the scripts in the project.

The next thing is to connect the NGW100 to the network. Once that is done you can access the NGW100 through the network and execute the scripts according to your desired action.

Controlling Mains Power Through Network: [Link][Via]

October 8th, 2008

Computer Mobo Scroungeup

Computer motherboard scroungeup

Recently i received 2 computer motherboards and one broken laptop. So i started doing the best thing for them 🙂 , taking them apart. First came the notebook, which was quite difficult to take apart, lots of screws in lots of small corners, pieces screwed together from both sides, etc.

But after a couple of hours i was left with a 15,4″ WXGA lcd panel, one 512 MB ram dimm(i used this to upgrade a friends laptop), a laptop keyboard, a laptop battery, a laptop cd-rom, a wifi lan board, and lots of different chips taken from the motherboard. In fact i will post a list with all the parts at the end of the article, because i have an idea 🙂

Next came the two computer motherboards, i took those apart too and saved allot of interesting chips.

And now the idea: since i now have a bunch of parts i want to give’em to someone so it can make something interesting out of it. I also want to give that person a PCB from BKRtech. So take a look at the list and if something looks interesting and you have an idea let me know, I’ll send you the parts and the PCB.

the list..

  • LF-H80P – 1:1 ethernet transformer
  • TEA5767 – single chip FM radio (1 x TEA5767 sent to Andreas Nilsson in Sweeden, there is 1 left)
  • RTM660 – 109R Realtek soundcard
  • ALC655 – six channel AC’97 audio codec
  • CMI9738 – four channel AC’97 audio codec
  • RTL8100CL – single-chip fast ethernet controller with power management
  • W83627HF-AW – Winbond I/O familly chip
  • W49V002FAP – Winbond 256k x 8 cmos flash memory with fwh interface
  • Samsung 610 K9K8G08U0M – 1G x 8 Bit / 2G x 8 Bit NAND Flash Memory – Samsung semiconductor
  • Samsung 616 K9WAG08U1A – 1G x 8 Bit / 2G x 8 Bit NAND Flash Memory – Samsung semiconductor
  • SST39VF04 – 5124K x 8 CMOS Multi-Purpose Flash
  • ATJ2085W – single-chip for flash-based digital music player
  • ATJ2085H – single-chip for flash-based digital music player
  • APL1087 – 800mA Low Dropout Fast Response Positive Adjustable Regulator and Fixed 1.8V, 2.5V and 3.3V
  • GD75232 – multiple RS232 drivers and receivers – Texas Instruments
  • TPS2210A – PC Card Power-Interface Switch w/ Reset For Serial PCMCIA Controller – Texas Instruments
  • TPS5130 – triple synchronous buck controller with nmos ldo controller – Texas Instruments
  • MAX1909E – Multichemistry Battery Charger with Automatic System Power Selector
  • ISL6559CR – Multi-Phase PWM Controller
  • 7407 – Hex Buffers/Drivers With Open-Collector High-Voltage Outputs – Texas Instruments
  • IRF3704S – SMPS MOSFET – International Rectifier
  • F3711S – HEXFET Power MOSFET – International Rectifier
  • CEB6030L – N-Channel Logic Level Enhancement Mode Field Effect Transistor – Chino-Excel Technology
  • FDD8896 – 30V N-Channel PowerTrench® MOSFET – Fairchild semiconductor
  • FDD8880 – N-Channel PowerTrench® MOSFET 30V, 58A, 9mO – – Fairchild semiconductor
  • 20N03L – Power MOSFET – ON Semiconductor
  • PMBS3904 – equivalent 2N3904 NPN Epitaxial Silicon Transistor
  • LM324M – Low Power Quad Operational Amplifiers – National Semiconductor
  • ISL6227CA – Dual Mobile-Friendly PWM Controller with DDR Option – Intersil Corporation
  • G1421 – 2W Stereo Audio Amplifier with No Headphone Coupling Capacitor Function – Global Mixed-mode Technology Inc
  • G792 – probably fan controller – Global Mixed-mode Technology Inc
  • 74LVC08A – quadruple 2-input positive-and gates
  • 74AHCT125 – quadruple bus buffer gates with 3-state outputs
  • 74AHCT08D – quadruple 2-input positive-and gates
  • AO4407L – P-Channel Enhancement Mode Field Effect Transistor – Alpha & Omega Semiconductors
  • AO4800BL – Dual N-Channel Enhancement Mode Field Effect Transistor – Alpha & Omega Semiconductors
  • ISL6207CB – High Voltage Synchronous Rectified Buck MOSFET Driver – Intersil Corporation
  • LVC14A – Hex inverting Schmitt-trigger with 5V tolerant input – NXP Semiconductors
  • 74LCX00 – Low Voltage Quad 2-Input NAND Gate with 5V Tolerant Inputs
  • APL5331 – 3A Bus Termination Regulator – Anpec Electronics Coropration
  • 4431B – P-Channel 30-V (D-S) MOSFET – Vishay Siliconix
  • 2951 – adjustable micropower voltage regulators – National Semiconductor
  • RT9173 – 1.5A/3A Bus Termination Regulator – Richtek Technology Corporation
  • AT93C46 – 3-Wire Serial EEPROMs – ATMEL Corporation
  • 4422 – N-Channel Enhancement Mode Field Effect Transistor – Alpha & Omega Semiconductors
  • 74HCT14 – hex schmitt-trigger inverters – Texas Instruments
  • 74F32D – quadruple 2-input positive-or gates – Texas Instruments
  • CV137PAG – Programmable FlexPC Clock for AMD K8 Processor ATI RS480 – Integrated Device Technology
  • 10 KOhm thermistor
  • SMD inductors – 15uH, 4,7uH, 6,8uH, 3,3uH
  • SMD crystal oscillators and connectors

UsbProg-SHARP Clone Of AVRISP mkII

This project is an instance of the UsbProg project created by Benedikt Sauter. Bene released the schematics, board layout and firmware as an open-source project. Dean Hall took that project and made these modifications:

  • Changed CONN1 to a type Mini-B receptacle (so it would be surface mount).
  • Changed most parts to have surface mount packages (except jumpers and headers).
  • Added capacitors C1 and C2 for decoupling.
  • Added CONN3 25 pin header for Port A (the ADC inputs).
  • Added JP3 jumper header to choose which pin controls LED1.

With a bit of work the board can be etched at home and you’ve got yourself a home made programmer. Or you could just pay $30 and get the original mkII from Atmel.( I chose the original one 🙂 )

UsbProg-SHARP Clone Of AVRISP mkII: [Link]



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