Video: performing I/O with the ATmega328p

Today we continue on with part 2 of our series where [Jack] shows how to program for the ATmega328p processor using the Pololu 3pi robot. In this video, he starts to dig deeper than last week’s video by showing you how to program in C so that you are directly reading inputs and directly sending data to outputs. Specifically, this video shows how to set up your I/O pins and then how to interface with LEDs, buttons, and a beeper.

There were a few comments on last week’s video about not wanting to buy a 3pi robot to learn on. That’s fine. For this series there really is no reason that you need to use the 3pi robot. We picked it because it is a great device to learn about the ATmega processors since it has so many things that you can play around with to get your feet wet but there really is no reason that you couldn’t wire up a DIP version on a perfboard and still follow along with these videos. In fact, if you have a good writeup about the cheapest possible way to get started with the ATmega series of processors, we’d love to hear about it.

Looking for part 1 of this series? [Click Here]

Video is after the break.
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Weekly roundup 10/15/11

In case you missed them the first time around, here are our most popular posts from the past week.

Our most popular post of the week was one about a rocket that was built by the [Qu8k team] that was their entry for the Carmack Prize, which put up a purse of $10,000 for proof and a nice writeup about a rocket that can launch to at least 100,000 feet. The rocket that we posted about managed to launch to 121,000 feet!

Next, we had a post about another space-related project called KickSat where they are hoping to launch many single-circuit-board satellites into space.

Our third most popular post is about an octocopter built by the German effects company OMStudios to fly a RED Epic camera around and above film shoots because training large birds to do it just wasn’t working.

Next we had a post about how to build your own 23″ Android tablet. Now you can make *everyone* around you jealous of your mad Angry Birds skills.

Surprisingly, our previous hackaday-original post about how to put your logo into a QR code hit the top five list again.

Since we have previously featured the QR code post in our weekly roundup in the past, we’ll break the rules and give you another so that we are featuring five new posts for this week. At number six, we have a post about how to play dubstep live on real instruments.

Video: Learning to program for the ATmega328p Part I

Many of you are familiar with the Arduino. Many of you hate it…* This post isn’t about the Arduino. It is about the processor that is at the heart of many Arduino boards. If you are in the camp of people who can’t understand why others dislike the Arduino so much, this series is for you. In this series of videos, [Jack] will explore how to program for the ATmega328p processor using C. If you have been programming for the Arduino, you may have had some issues with the speed of your code at points. Programming in C will allow you to wring out nearly the last ounce of processing power that the ATmega processors can provide. It will also let you access the peripherals on the processor directly and to switch between different processors when you need more (or less) capabilities.

In this first video, [Jack] shows you all of the features of the 3pi robot, which he will be using as a fancy development board for the ATmega328p. He then shows you how to get your development environment set up and then walks you through one of the sample programs provided for the 3pi robot.

*Here at Hackaday, we are officially neutral in the ongoing Arduino love/hate war. We don’t care what microcontroller is used in the hacks that we show, only that they are cool.

Video is after the break!
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Sustainability Hacks: The final word

This theme has been tricky to write for. On one hand, here at Hackaday, we are excited about doing anything that will allow us to not consume as many resources but on the other hand, when you really look closely at things, pretty much everything that we do in our modern lives isn’t sustainable. We can certainly find ways to get by with less but doing without really isn’t an option. The exciting thing about the current state of technology is that things are becoming a lot more efficient so the things that we do every day, such as using a computer require less and less energy. Even our cars, which for nearly 100 years drove around at 25 miles per gallon are starting to slowly require less fuel to get from point A to point B. We have a long way to go but there are signs that we (or our children) might not have to give up a modern life to continue on when coal and oil start to become scarce.

Shown above is an oil lamp made to look like a light bulb created by Opossum Design. It is an interesting use of modern technology to create light in a much more sustainable way.

Tomorrow we will be starting a new unofficial theme that will continue for the rest of October. For the past several years, we have been a bit behind the curve about Halloween stuff but we intend to make up for that in a big way. Halloween is one of those holidays that brings out the tinkerer in a lot of us. We would like to show off those projects. Hit us up on our tip line. If we like what we see, we will post about your project. We’re expecting a bunch of projects so unlike our prior themes, if we happen to get more than one that we like on a given day, we’ll post more.

Weekly Roundup 10/8/11

In case you missed them the first time, here are our most popular posts from the past week.

Our most popular post this week is about a clock modeled after Lord Vetinari’s clock in Discworld that ticks at random intervals but keeps accurate time.

Our next most popular post is of a project that takes two 3.5″ floppy drives and uses them to play the Imperial March from Star Wars.

Next we have a post about a way to jam WiFi by sending out deauthentication packets.

Fourth in our list is a post about some really interesting turn signals and other lights that [StarfireMX] created for his car that are chock full of RGB LEDs. This allows them to do all sorts of interesting things other than just blinking.

Finally, we had a post about a robot that has some really interesting ‘wheels’ that aren’t like anything that we have seen before. They are something between an omniwheel and a tank tread and look like they would be fun to play with.

Video: Everything you wanted to know about DC motors

Continuing on with our series of Hackaday original videos, this week we are presenting a video all about DC motors. DC motors are relatively simple electromechanical devices that turn electrical energy into rotational movement. In this video, [Jack] takes apart a small DC motor and shows off all of the parts inside and describes how it all works. He also talks about how to modify DC motors to increase their speed or torque as well as how to change their directional preference. In this video, he rewinds a motor and shows how this changes the performance characteristics of the motor.

Is mechanical stuff not your thing? Stay tuned for next week when we launch into a series of videos where we show how to program for the Atmel ATmega328 processor using C. In this series, we’ll show you the real nuts and bolts of programming for this processor by working with its I/O pins,timers, A/D, interrupts, and more.

Video after the break.
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Weekly roundup 10/1/11

In case you missed them, here are our most popular posts from the past week.

Our most popular post was about a Chinese man who is attempting to build an octocopter that he can fly around by pairing motorcycle engines to propellers. There were a considerable number of comments on this one!

Next we have a post about a project where a 12-series PIC is used with a single inductor to create a working RFID tag.

Our third most popular post was [Bertho’s] tutorial about capacitive sensing. This is his entry into the Dangerous Prototypes 7400 Logic competition so you’ll really get to see the nuts and bolts of how this type of sensing works.

Next is a post that is about a pretty unique lathe made out of concrete. If you have the weight capacity in your workspace, this could be a nice addition to your tools.

In fifth place is a post about [Eric’s] second revision of his word clock that tells time in German!