Pat Deegan

Make: building AVR and Arduino firmware on the command line
Make: building AVR and Arduino firmware on the command line

I’ve had a few requests from visitors to my old (and now defunct) electrons site for the AVR Makefile.  Originally created in 2003, and finally included in the resources for an AVR-related Linux Journal article back in 2005, it turns out it’s still pretty useful so I’m replicating the original Makefile and instructions here, with…

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A dive into the guts of firmware: Getting the FT90x toolchain working with mikroprog for FT90x
A dive into the guts of firmware: Getting the FT90x toolchain working with mikroprog for FT90x

So you’ve got an FT90x–a cool IC that lets you behave as both a USB device and USB host–and you’ve coded for it using the sweet GCC/Eclipse toolchain. Thing is, now you want to burn your shiny new firmware but you planned to use a mikroe mikroprog for FT90x to do the job only to…

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ReliableSPI: Ensuring reliable communications under difficult circumstances
ReliableSPI: Ensuring reliable communications under difficult circumstances

To do anything interesting, we need reliable communication across machines (e.g. over bluetooth) and oftentimes within as well, between components working together within a device.  In one of my last projects, I wound up dealing with mounds of unreliable comm and here I’ll go over how I got around it and a few of the…

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Mobile Raspberry Pi 3/Zero W: Tips and Lessons Learned
Mobile Raspberry Pi 3/Zero W: Tips and Lessons Learned

I just finished a project that involved video processing in a portable, wirelessly connected, package: a perfect opportunity to get to know the newer Raspberry Pi Zero W.  Here I’ll go over a few lessons learned while making this little computer truly mobile.  The main point of interest is power: power (as in applied voltage),…

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Exactly What She Said
Exactly What She Said

It was already sizable, but then it just kept getting bigger and bigger… The long awaited update to druid4arduino is finally on its way–it’s currently awaiting publishing in the app store–but it took a whole lot longer than expected, in part because of the enormous endeavour it morphed into along the way. It began with…

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The Evolution of Druid4Arduino
The Evolution of Druid4Arduino

The next version of druid4arduino is ready and I think it’ll be awesome! I’ll be posting updates here, and there’s a dedicated project site in the works.  Some parts of druid4arduino have yet to be implemented in the newer version, but the changes make it worthwhile anyway, and those functions will be implemented in future…

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Creating a sensor or peripheral with an SPI (slave) interface
Creating a sensor or peripheral with an SPI (slave) interface

Designed to interact with a 16-bit I/O expander, the firmware was ready for testing.  Though I was still waiting on parts, I wanted to make sure it would all work as expected.  What’s an impatient developer to do?  Create his own SPI slave to replace the missing part, of course! If you’ve gotten anywhere beyond…

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Real world Kicad project postmortem and more tips
Real world Kicad project postmortem and more tips

As a follow-up to my intro/tutorial, I’ll go over a few more lessons learned using Kicad including some tips that should be of help to anyone embarking on a similar journey. The power module project was selected for a first adventure using Kicad as it was relatively small while being non-trivial.  The circuit holds around…

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Mystery black window workaround: Druid back in development

Months ago, I was forced to get a new laptop (thanksalot, kitty!) which uses an Intel HD Graphics 520 graphics card.  When I got around to working on druid4arduino I hit a mystery bug with the display, as described previously. In short, a nice black window that wouldn’t display anything but the void.  Development was…

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Kicad: Techniques, Tips and Work-arounds
Kicad: Techniques, Tips and Work-arounds

Kicad is an cross-platform, open source, electronics design suite.  I’d toyed with it in the past, but had never made it to actually designing real projects with it until recently.  Here, I’ll go over my experience and initial impressions, and provide a few pointers and resources for anyone curious about trying it out.  We’ll tour…

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