# Any Arduino fans out there?

#### Mike - K8LH

Hi Lefty,

Thanks for the link. Actually I found it for a bit less money on Philip Anderson's web site. Something like $4.25 plus shipping so it's definately on my "wish list". Take care. Mike #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member Lefty, Bootloaders are great to update firmware but are a poor choice for developing software. No debugger. 3v0 I suspect there's not much you can do with a debugger that you can't do with the simulator. Mike #### Nigel Goodwin ##### Super Moderator Most Helpful Member I suspect there's not much you can do with a debugger that you can't do with the simulator. A GREAT deal more - a debugger is 'real life' a simulator is a computer game #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member You're certainly intitled to your opinion... #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member By debugger you mean ICD or in circuit debugger. Simulators and ICD's both need to use a debugger program. You know this but others may not. What do you do when code works on the simulator and not with your circuit. I try to determine the problem with my hardware or my understanding of the hardware signals. Single stepping through the program using a debugger simply wouldn't work. Stopping the program at key check points to look at the data using the debugger may be effective but the debugger ties up code space and pins so I prefer to use the serial port to do the same thing. In fact I've done this for a long time before an affordable debugger became available in the form of an ICD2 or PICKit2. What do you do when the simulator does not simulate all your hardware. I use the simulator to test my code algorithms not to simulate hardware. What do you do when setting up the simulator stimlus is too painful. I haven't setup a stimulus file yet. Again, I just use the simulator to test algorithms. In MPLAB the simulator has trace and a LA tool that are nice. I guess I learned to debug my programs using the tools available and the debuggers are more of a dissadvantage than an advantage and tie up resources I can't afford to give up. Mike #### 3v0 ##### Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter There is not much point in debating this. There a lot of good people doing good work without fancy tools. I admit that working in a tool rich lab spoiled me. But there are times when they can make quick work of a long job. It also depends on the complexity of the task. 3v0 #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member I suspect it depends a lot on the skill level of the developer too. #### 3v0 ##### Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter I suspect it depends a lot on the skill level of the developer too. A skilled developer can do more with a given tool set then his less skilled counterpart. Mike said: I suspect there's not much you can do with a debugger that you can't do with the simulator. I guess I learned to debug my programs using the tools available and the debuggers are more of a dissadvantage than an advantage and tie up resources I can't afford to give up. From your perspective these both have merit. If there was a generic debug problem the question of what tools are needed would be easier to peg. #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member Back to the original thread topic for a moment.... I think I recognize and appreciate some of the Arduino design benifits because I've been using them since designing my first general purpose PIC prototype board for 28/40 pin devices back in 2003 (serial interface, bootloader, etc.). I used the board below with home-brew serial bootloaders for 16F876, 16F877A, 18F252, 18F2620, and 18F4620 devices. With the built-in serial interface I would "debug" programs by sending register and/or variable info' to Hyperterminal at key points in my programs. Mike #### Leftyretro ##### New Member Back to the original thread topic for a moment.... I think I recognize and appreciate some of the Arduino design benifits because I've been using them since designing my first general purpose PIC prototype board for 28/40 pin devices back in 2003 (serial interface, bootloader, etc.). I used the board below with home-brew serial bootloaders for 16F876, 16F877A, 18F252, 18F2620, and 18F4620 devices. With the built-in serial interface I would "debug" programs by sending register and/or variable info' to Hyperterminal at key points in my programs. Mike Nice layout Mike. I have been pretty active with my Arduino setup. I bought a few preprogrammed chips so I now have the the mega168 (16k mem) a mega328 (32k mem) both still in 28 pin DIP and I recently bought the 644P (64K mem) in a 40 pin DIP that increases the I/O pin count to 32 (with up to 8 A/D channels) and has two hardware serial ports and three user external interrupt inputs. A vendor is selling a 'short kit' RBFK644 Kit, programmed ATmega644P-20PU chip and socket, crystal and caps, reset switch and resistor for$11 + $2 s/h. wulfden::shoppe::freeduino::rbfk Arduino just released version 13 of their IDE last week and user contributed libraries are continuing. It seems to be a real healthy and active project group with lots of growth ahead. Lefty #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member Lefty, Is there a schematic for the RBFK variants on that web site somewhere? That really looks like a great way for me to get into Arduino (AVR)... Is it pretty much just Serial port, crystal, and power connections? Mike Last edited: #### Leftyretro ##### New Member Lefty, Is there a schematic for the RBFK variants on that web site somewhere? That really looks like a great way for me to get into Arduino (AVR)... Is it pretty much just Serial port, crystal, and power connections? Mike Not that I could find for the 644P. However I just wired a pull-up to the reset pin (leg 9), wired the crystal/caps (legs 12 & 13), USB serial in to leg 14and USB serial out to leg 15, Vcc to legs 10 & 30 and gnd to legs 11 & 31. IF you wire a .1mfd cap from the USB DTR out signal to the reset pin, then the Arduino IDE auto-reset also functions. The biggest hurdle is the different software mapping of the pin and port names Vs physical chip leg names for the 644P chip Vs the 168 chip. For example in the Arduino the hardware UART rec and xmit pins use D0 and D1 respectivly. For the 644P the UART uses pins D8 & D9 for the same function. A little confusing at first but if you actually get one and lay it out I can write up my cheat sheet to show the changes of pin names Vs functions you need when writting your sketches. Lefty #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member Hi Lefty, Thanks for the info'. I probably should have mentioned that I'm thinking about getting the '168 version. Kind regards, Mike #### Leftyretro ##### New Member Hi Lefty, Thanks for the info'. I probably should have mentioned that I'm thinking about getting the '168 version. Kind regards, Mike Well in that case here is the schem of the first model I built that uses a MAX232 interface to my PC com port rather then a USB serial convertor: http://www.vintagecomputercables.com/img/freeduino_serial_v2_schematics_L.jpg Also if building from scratch might I suggest getting a 328 chip Vs the 168. It has double the memory and the version 13 of the Arduino IDE supports it directly and has the same pinout/footprint as the 168. Here is a good vendor that sells a 328 with the Arduino compatable bootloader already burned in: Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits Lefty Last edited: #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member Thank you very much Lefty. I'll go with the '328 then... Mike #### Mike - K8LH ##### Well-Known Member Finally broke down and ordered a Freeduino '328 kit "on sale" for$22.99 + $5 shipping and looking for that in the next week or so. The SMD parts are preinstalled. This will be one of my fun activities for the Holidays (and well beyond I hope). I allso bought a bare board for$5 and thought I'd see if I can mess it up while trying to solder an FT232RL smd chip onto it (LOL).

Thanks for all the info' guys.

Kind regards, Mike

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#### davidbball13

##### Member
I assume GCC is a C compiler? The PIC has plenty including C18SE from Microchip. C is not exactly a beginners language. IMO BASIC is, and Swordfish BASIC is really easy to get a grasp of.
Yet again someone on the AVR section getting on a soap box for PIC micro's.....

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#### tytower

##### Banned
3v0 is obviously very experienced and goes much further than any usual user would need . I for one have no need of a debugger using the procedure explained by Leftyretro (GDay) .

I was able to come in cold, with no microprocessor knowledge and with but a little C++ knowledge and build a radio system monitoring a temperature sensor and feeding back to my computer, in my spare time in a fortnight .

So I found it illuminating and very enjoyable -you can see it on here
http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1256188633

and a post on this site

Now its nothing to write home about but I found it easy and a delight to play with.
The fact that it is doing something useful for me right now is conclusive evidence of its suitability for learners.

Buy the starter kit from adafruit or sparkfun and have fun confident you don't have to be a technical expert .

MUST SEE
This aerial camera platform / 8 blade helicopter is run by an arduinoATMega328 i think with a lot of extra stuff attached
VideoAbspielen - Wiki: MikroKopter.de

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#### 3v0

##### Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
tytower said:
3v0 is obviously very experienced and goes much further than any usual user would need . I for one have no need of a debugger using the procedure explained by Leftyretro (GDay)
As I said.
There is not much point in debating this. There a lot of good people doing good work without fancy tools.
Use whatever tools you want.

3v0