Category Archives: Microcontrollers

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The “Soldering is Easy” comic book that was released on Monday will be included in a cool book that Mitch Altman (@maltman23) and I are writing about How to Make Cool Things with Microcontrollers (For People Who Know Nothing). It will be published by No Starch Press later this year.

If you would like to be notified when the book is published, please submit your e-mail address below.


Best book to learn C?

If you could recommend one book to a total beginner who wants to learn how to program in C, what would it be?

It shouldn’t be microcontroller-specific (more general is better), but it does need to make sense to someone with zero programming experience (in any language).

(Myself, I started with K&R, although I had some experience with BASIC (on the C64 and Apple II), Logo, and shell programming before that.)

Jan’s Wifi Radio has a modern look

Jan Wante made this gorgeous Wifi Radio with a modern look. It is based on my original Wifi Radio tutorials.

Not content to simply duplicate my work, he added a few creative twists of his own, including a custom handmade case made of alucobond, MDF, and real wood veneer that gives his finished radio a nice, modern look. Inside, a hacked WL-520gU wireless router running OpenWrt runs the show and an ATmega microcontroller programmed with BASCOM interfaces with a rotary encoder and graphical LCD display.

The very impressive result is shown in this video:

Nice work, Jan!

HV Rescue Shield now works with the Arduino Mega

HV Rescue Shield works with Arduino Mega!

Thanks to John, of the ATX Hackerspace, who loaned me his Arduino for testing, the HV Rescue Shield now works with the Arduino Mega.

I had to create new byte read/write functions for digital lines 0-7 because they are implemented very “differently” (and I don’t mean that in a good way) in the hardware for the Mega.  If you’re interested in how I did this, check out the new version 2.12 Arduino sketch and the new mega_data_read and mega_data_write functions.

To use the HV Rescue Shield with the Arduino, first download the revised sketch here.  Set the MEGA #define to 1 and compile/upload the sketch to your board.  Make sure you have the Arduino Mega selected in the Arduino Board menu, or the sketch won’t compile.

The Mega has more pin headers than the Rescue Shield, so be sure to install the shield all the way to the left, as shown here:

HV Rescue Shield alignment on the Arduino Mega

If you experience any problems with the HV Rescue Shield and the Arduino Mega, please report them in the support forum.

The Amp Hour Episode 29

I’m happy to announce that I have again been given the privilege of co-hosting The Amp Hour, this time with Dave Jones of the EEVblog!   Chris Gammell is away this week recruiting bright young engineers into slavery to join his company, so I was given the guest spot.  This is my third time on the show.

If you haven’t heard of it before, The Amp Hour is “an off-the-cuff radio show and podcast for electronics enthusiasts and professionals.”  I listen most every week and would recommend it to anyone who wants to hear a humorous and off-beat take on electronics engineering.

Check out Episode 29 – DJ and Jazzy Jeff and all the rest of the episodes at The Amp Hour.