This week was tough. I conceptually had a decent idea of what should be happening, but I don't have nearly a good enough foundation in programming and electronics to actually know what is supposed to be happening.
As alluded to above, I still haven't been able to program the board I designed two weeks ago. Each time I think of a new solution, something goes wrong. So, as I continue to try to program a board, I figured I'd keep a running list of the stumbling blocks I've run into (and hopefully the solutions).
FabISP not working Several weeks after seeing the FabISP that I programmed in the Electronic Production, the board no longer showed up on my Device Manager. I did some searching and found this was a common problem from previous years and many people resorted to using the ISP in the workshop. I decided to do the same.
I installed Arduino on my computer and downloaded the needed informaton for the ATtiny44 following several tutorials from last year. (Here's one). However, after setting everything up, I plugged in the AVRISP mkII and found that Windows didn't have the driver to talk to the device.
I thought installing Atmel Studio 7 might help, but the download was taking hours so I abandoned that idea for the moment.
Nothing was working, so with the advice of the awesome TA, Will, I decided to just use the workshop linux computer and he helped walk me through it. Which leads me to the next issue.
Will took me through compiling the C code into hex code using "make" in Linux. This was simple enough and it felt good to see something work.
The next step was to send this hex code to the ISP which would then program the board I head designed two weeks ago. This is when we got the "rc=-1" which means that something on the board I designed wasn't working. Four other classmates tried their boards. All of them got the same response... so it was back to the drawing board.
I saw two possible problems:
I went through board with the voltometer and found some possible shorts, especially where I had used the LED to jump over a trace. I tore up the LED, cleaned out the copper, and installed a wire. I tidied up a few other bad soldering jobs, and got ready to program again.
As you might have guessed, I came up with "rc=-1" again. So, on to redesigning and cutting the board.
Because the TA had left for class, I didn't have anyone who could take a look at my board schematic and definitively tell me if it would work or not. Instead, I decided I would simply cut out Niel's echo board in order to control for the possibility that I had mis-designed the board.
Unfortunately, the mill used to cut the traces for the board wasn't working (again). I tried all the tricks that had worked before (restarting everything), and I kept getting the bad response. I also tried to jiggle the jerry-rigged wiring wedged into the machine which was the problem last week, but that didn't seem to make a difference].
Time ran out, and that's where I am now. I really need to get my mind around the programming of this board but it seems I haven't got the previous week's electronic design down yet. More to come...