ATSAMD21J Test

Recently Arduino came out with the Arduino Zero. This is a neat 48MHz ARM Cortex M0 processor on a PCB with the same pin outs as an Arduino UNO. Existing 3rd party UNO libraries are a little hit and miss because some access the underlying hardware registers of the UNO. The Zero hardware registers are completely different from UNO. Still, the basic 1st party Arduino libraries work fine and I’m sure those 3rd party libraries that were twiddling the UNO hardware registers directly will start to support the Zero over time.

Anway, my curiosity was peaked by the ARM processor for the Zero the Atmel ATSAMD21G18. It turns out that the processor has alternative packages with higher pin counts. Same silicon, just more pins. So I gave the ATSAMD21J18 a try. In order to be able to use extra pins with digitalWrite, I had to add a small amount of code to a file called variant.cpp, but once done, I had a Zero with a nice chunk of extra I/O capability.

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Refreshing the Singing Pumpkin Display

I’m getting my original singing pumpkin display ready for BVNA’s Pumpkin Pavilion and Halloween. The original display was pure prototype electronics consisting a bunch of stuff from Adafruit: an UNO, a Wave Shield, a PWM/Servo driver, and servos. There was a footprint challenged custom PCB for a TDA7297 and some junk bin DC-DC convertors.

OldController

It didn’t look pretty, but it did the job for years. However, the new fully integrated prototype controller looks a lot snazzier.

NewController

There are still more design changes to come for this board, but it was really nice to see it perform as intended in my full display.

WISN 12 – Doors Open Milwaukee 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 9.30.54 AM

http://www.wisn.com/entertainment/doors-open-makerspace/35379102

Thank you again to Van McNeil and WISN 12 for their interest in Doors Open Milwaukee 2015!  Historic Milwaukee has done a phenomenal job promoting and organizing this event for the last five years.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit any of the 175+ buildings available this weekend, there’s still time Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.  Be sure to check the full list of participants at the official Doors Open website:

http://www.doorsopenmilwaukee.org/