Remove your Arduino’s external oscillator to gain a free pair of IO pins

2free-arduino-io-pins

[Mark] from SpikenzieLabs was wrapping up a project using an Arduino the other day and found himself in need of a few more I/O pins. He could have added extra circuitry to the project, but he decided to see if he could gain a few pins by removing a few components instead.

He put together one of his Minuino boards, but rather than installing the crystal and its associated capacitors, he added a couple of pin headers in their place. It’s well known that the internal clock on the chip is not as precise as a crystal, but [Mark’s] project was not that time sensitive, so he had no problem sacrificing the oscillator for a few extra pins.

With his new I/O pins in place, he merely needed to tell the ATmega chip which clock it should be using, and he was well on his way. While this might not be the best solution for all projects out there, if you are building something that values pincount over precision, this hack is for you.

Check out the video below to see [Mark’s] hack in action.

[via HackedGadgets]

[Read more...]

All your I/O pins belong to ArduinoDashboard

arduino_dashboard

So if you’re knee deep in an Arduino-based project and you want to constantly monitor all of the micro’s pins, what’s the best way to go about it? [Jonathan Clark] from LVL1 in Louisville was looking to keep a closer eye on his board and whipped up an application he calls ArduinoDashboard.

Programmed in Processing, the application gives you a look at all of your Arduino board’s analog and digital pins in a simple to use display. All that’s required to run the application is a bit of code inserted at the top of your sketch, which can be called anywhere in your program’s loop. Once the code snipped is called, all of the board’s pins are read and the data is sent to your PC.

ArduinoDashboard is still very much in beta at the moment, but it looks to be stable enough for everyday use. [Jonathan] has plenty of improvements and new features in mind, so be sure to check back often to see what’s changed.

[via Adafruit Blog]

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