Week 7: Embedded Programming

This week we were tasked to program our boards using the FabISP programmers we created a few weeks ago, using as many different coding languages as possible. It was largely a lesson in troubleshooting and testing for me. First I installed arduino onto my Macbook, and proceeded to insert the basic javascript code to turn on and off the LED light on our boards. I connected my fabISP to my recently created board from Eagle. It did not work. The error message: "Input/output error: Double check the connections and try again, or use -F to override this check"

2. Recreating the Board

Granted, my board was pretty sloppy to begin with since the bed of the mill was so cut through, there lacked adhesion between the tape and the board. Last time I cut at least 5 boards before I got a clean cut. This time, I replaced the bed of the mill with a fresh copper board, and got a much cleaner cut this time. I resoldered the board, and tried programming it again.

I started off with making sure that my programmer was working correctly. When I ran "lsusb" in the terminal, it shows up as "Multiple Vendors USBtiny" which means that it is working correctly. Moreover, the LED shows up, which means that the board is working correctly.

But when I uploading the code again, it still gave me an error in mac. So I re-ran it in Ubuntu with the avr. Error message: "Programmer not Responding"

How many TAs does it take to figure out what's wrong with my board? :P

-We examined the board schematic - everything looked fine.

-We checked for the directionality of the plugs to make sure they were aligned, they were fine.

-Obeying the error command, I went back to check my board connections using a meter. The board and schematic looked fine. I had multiple TAs also try, and they had no luck.

So next, I tried connecting the board to the AVR reader to isolate what could part of the connection problem: My programmer. With a new board again.

And it works and the code finally uploaded! Now the LED can turn on and off.

But couldn't quite figure out what was wrong with my programmer. I could have gone back to recreate the boards, but given that I've made at least 8 boards by now, I figure I should give it a rest and practice my electronics production skills again in another week