Tag Archives: atmel

Introduction to AVR Microcontrollers

Just what is a microcontroller? To get you understand quickly I define a microcontroller as a single chip computer. Yes it is a full blown computer in its own. It has a C.P.U., RAM, some amount of EEPROM (for secondary storage i.e. permanent storage without power), many on-chip peripherals(Timer,Serial communication, Analogue to Digital converters etc.). If you don’t understand, no problem I will be dealing them in detail in next tutorials. But compared to a P.C. their resources(RAM,speed etc)are less. But that is what is required ! Because P.C. is a general purpose computer, which means it can run thousands of different software that are available for specific needs. Like it can run a game. The same P.C. can run this browser in which you are reading this! It can run a custom solution for banks,railways and airways. It can run a 3D modeling, video editing & image editing software for a production company. Many of these are huge software,requiring lots of memory and CPU power. And a P.C. can run simultaneously many of these ! So to run them the host computer should have enough RAM and CPU power so that it can run heaviest of them. But in case of a microcontroller(aka MCU) which is used for a specific purpose like switching a Microwave oven heating off after […]

Line Following Robot using AVR ATmega8

One of the most basic autonomous robot you can build is a line following robot(LFR). This type of robot is run over a white surface which has an arbitrary path drawn over it by using back paint. The task of the robot is to run exactly along this painted path. You may note that the surface may also be black(or any other dark colour), in that case the path is a light colour like white. Please watch the following video for a LFR in action. Designing an LFR At minimum our LFR design require the following components. A sensor to detect the line on the surface.(It can be a simple IR Reflectance Sensor or an high end camera!). We will use a simple IR based sensor, it is cheap and easy to build and use. This article describe how to make a line sensor array. A microprocessor to run the code that takes inputs from the sensor and control the motion of robot. We will use a cheap single chip computer called an microcontroller (MCU). A popular family of microcontroller is AVR series from Atmel. A member of the popular family is ATmega8. ATmega8 is chosen because it has just the required amount of resources and is very low cost. The MCU cannot drive the motors (used to actually make […]

DS1307 I2C RTCC Interface using SoftI2C lib

In the last tutorial, I explained you how to use our SoftI2C library to read and write a 24CXX series I2C EEPROM. Now I will continue our exploration and write a register access layer for the DS1307 chip. The DS1307 chip is a real time clock and calendar IC. The register access layer that we will develop provides the application programmer with function that reads and write the registers of DS1307. Remember that any piece of hardware appears to the CPU as a set of registers only. DS1307 has :- Seven Registers (from 0x00 to 0x06) that are used for timekeeping functions. One CONTROL register(0x07) for square wave generation setting (we don’t use this for simplicity). 56 bytes of battery backup RAM (from 0x08 to 0x3F) Fig. : A Simple DS1307 RTC Module.   Once the application programmer has access to functions that reads and writes to any register (specified by its address) inside DS1307 ic, he/she can easily get and set the time infos like sec,min,hour, am/pm, date,month,year etc. The register access layer is built over the core Soft I2C layer. The register access layer consists of the following three functions. void DS1307Init(void) { SoftI2CInit(); } /*************************************************** Function To Read Internal Registers of DS1307 ——————————————— address : Address of the register data: value of register is copied to this. […]