Come join the Darkside Skywalker…..The Switch from PIC to AVR

I’ve been playing around with the Arduino Diecimila and the ATMEGA168 over the last couple of weeks to better familiarise myself with the AVR ATMega168 MCU, I’ve been using PICs on and off the last few years, but the decision was made to use the ATMEGA as the MCU of choice for the Strobit Triggr project, mainly due to the open source tool chains available, and the simply programmer required.

In short I’m glad I’ve made the switch and I must say I’m loving the learning experience.  I’ve moved from the Arduino software development platform as I found it very limiting and am now using the open source avr-gcc (win-avr) and Eclipse, using the AVR plugin and CDT plugin as my development platform of choice, I’m comfortable with eclipse as my editor as I’ve been using this for my Java development for the last 5 or so years.

As a task I set for myself to learn the onboard peripherals,  I’ve created a Weather Shield for the Arduino, so far it has the RFM12B RF module, DS1307 RTC, HH10D Humidity Sensor, a HP03D, combined barometric pressure and temperature sensor, and soon to have a light sensor and Dallas 1-Wire interface for talking to the Dallas Weather Station that I’ve had lying around in a box for the last 10 years, (yes one of the original ones released by Dallas in 1998, I’ve been waiting to move in my house for a long time),  I’ll post the weather shield design up on a separate topic later, but suffice to say, I’ve enjoyed playing with the SPI, I2C, ICP, UART and onboard timers.

SHT-15 Humidity Sensor

I couldn’t get any hands-on hardware development time for the Strobbit open triggr project today, so I designed a breakout board for the Sensirion SHT15 Humidity/Temperature sensor for my weather station I’ve been intending to build.  I have a couple of these sensors at home waiting for something this so I can have a play with them.  PCB uploaded for fabrication today.

As a side note:  While uploading this for fabrication at  I noticed that my RFM12 PCBs has been panelized and so should be in production, hopefully they should rock up on the doorstep sometime soon.

SHT15 schematic