Update;Yes I’m still here!

I’m still alive…… Its been awhile between blog entries, unfortunately this is the busiest time of the year for me at work, the few months after the Australian financial year, projects are kicking off due to funding etc. There is however light at the end of the tunnel and I’m hoping to get back to geeking very soon 😀

I thought I’d let you know that a) I’m still alive, and b) what’s been happening on the development front.

In between work projects I’ve been porting the Contiki operating system to the widget as the underlying event framework for WidgetMesh.

I now have the Hello-world application up and running on the Atmega168 @10Mhz, no radio drivers or anything else for that matter just yet. For those interested it’s been checked into SVN. I’m learning a lot about Contiki and how it all fits in together (i.e. I know that I don’t know much at all about it)

On the hardware front the next iteration of the Widgetboard is idle, though pretty well stable as far as the design goes (might be a couple of small tweaks before boards get made). I just need time and resources to get the next round of PCBs ordered and tested.

Noteworthy design changes include:

  • Standard smd or PTH crystal footprint, allows the use of a standard HC49 crystal of your choice.
  • Lots of changes to the board supply side of things. Board voltage supply input range from 0.7V to 16VDC (probably beyond to 20VDC but just to be on the safe side…)  The core components are still powered  @ 3V
  • Minor changes based from user feedback of the current board.
  • A couple of optional onboard sensors to utilise the normally unused A6 and A7 analogue only ports, these can be disabled via onboard solder jumpers if these ports need to be used for something else, but has a temperature and light sensor, so the widget board can be used as a basic standalone wireless sensor.

I’ve been meaning to run off another batch of WidgetBoards and have been waiting for some processors, a month ago 40 Atmega328P processors arrived after a 5 week backorder, according to my vendor these were hard to get, hopefully supply issues will settle down after production catches up with the the initial demand for Atmega328P.

All future widget boards will now have this processor as the default in the next batch of boards I make.

Sample parts I’ve been ordering for various future projects have been steadily rocking up and sitting in my ever growing inbox, the RFM22 arrived some time ago and I’ve not yet had time to play with them either 🙁 sigh

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Author: Stephen Eaton

Geek at heart. Loves to tinker and find out how things work, which inevitably leads to items in pieces and not working for much longer :)

3 thoughts on “Update;Yes I’m still here!”

  1. Nice to hear you are still into the running Stephen! I’ts a good idea to use the Atmega328p as standard to the new boards. Prize is very low of this chips and they have 2 Kbyte of sram. I’ve ordered 10 pices also and they will be delivered at the end of September. Especially the 2K bytes ram is nice, so i can raise the resolution to 1 usec of double the max flash range in my case.

    I doubt the necessity of an extra OS on the unit. Just now all the timings have a resolution of 2 us in my case and the total master program have only 1844 program bytes inclusief all the display functions. No interrupts are used.

    I have a question about the flash connection on the 3.5 mm stereo phone plug. Have you connected the X signal to the top pin? just to have the same connector wiring on my flashes. Q signal is then the second ring and GND the long part of the phone connector.

    My software for the master and the slave works now. I’ve a nice box to put the master and now I build this together. In a few days this must by ready. I always use protoptype PCB with 2.54 mm holes and solder the components. The layout is prepared with the Eagle software. But I never make PCB’s.

    Frans.

  2. Hi Frans,

    Great to see your progress I’ve been following closely and looking forward to the results.

    yes the 328p should be a great low cost upgrade.

    The OS is for a wireless sensor network I’m building for around the house, and yes I agree that it would be too much for the triggers.

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