Thursday, April 7, 2011

AVR with Eclipse and Ubuntu

I have not been playing that much with microcontrollers at all. I have an Arduino that I tried out some of the basic things with, but have not put it in any project. Now I want to use the AVR directly and in this case the tiny 8 pin attiny13.

I have developed a preference for AVR over PIC that I can not. at this point with so little experience, explain in a technical way why, but it is just more of a feeling. Some of the projects that I have an interest in use AVRs but maybe the main reason is that the Gnu compiler can work with AVR, so a free chain of tools to develop software is available.

I was able to buy quite a lot of these small AVR chips cheaply, but they were SMD, so the first thing I had to do was to solder it to a small pcb board and add a few headers for easy access.

The programmer I use is the 'swiss army knife' kind of tool called the Bus Pirate. A great tool that can be used for so many things. It is only around $30 and the case I put it in is an old DAT tape enclosure. There is a guide on AVRDude and Bus Pirate that I followed. By taking a look in the datasheet of the chip to be programmed, it is easy to hook up the Bus Pirate.

To do AVR development in Ubuntu 10.10 you have to install some packages. I have found a guide on this. It is in Swedish but I think you can understand the key points. You also should install the Oracle Java Distribution. After that, Eclipse Classic can be downloaded and then the AVR Development Plugin can be added.

Here is a screenshot of Eclipse. By taking a close look at the code you can figure out where this is heading.

Ok, so now the AVR is programmed, now over to the building and soldering, so an update on this project in a blog post, hopefully within 2 weeks.

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