Another two-day workshop about microcontrollers, soldering and Tinusaur

Another two-day workshop about microcontrollers, soldering and Tinusaur

There was another “Microcontrollers, soldering and Tinusaurworkshop in our town of Veliko Tarnovo, few days ago..

The first day we assembled some boards, the second day we wrote some programs.

For the younger kids, there were much simpler things to do – soldering blinking LED with 2 transistors, few other components, and a battery.

Day 1

Just assembling various boards.

Tinusaur Board

This is the Tinusaur Board from the Tinusaur Starter 2 kit.

Tinusaur Board Parts

It wasn’t difficult for anyone to do that. There are markings on the PCB that tell you where to put each component and in what direction.

The only important thing to know is that you solder the RESET button last, before that you solder the batter socket on the bottom side of the PCB.

Tinusaur Shield LEDx2

This is the Shield LEDx2 from the Tinusaur Starter 2 kit.

Tinusaur Shield LEDx2 Parts

This shield is an upgrade from the previous Tinusaur Starter where we had to solder the LED and the resistor to a tiny 2-pin male header. With the shield is so much easier and fun.

LED Matrix 8×8 with MAX7219 Controller

This is a LED matrix 8×8 with a MAX7219 controller.

LED Matrix 8x8 MAX7219 Controller

That was something new. They sell on eBay at very affordable price: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191736585164

Even while we’re soldering it people were coming with ideas what we could do with it.

Day 2

The second day was dedicated to programming what we’ve assembled the previous day.

Software and Arduino IDE Setup

That’s how we started the day 2.

Short guide about how to setup the Arduino IDE to work with the Tinusaur boards is available at Arduino IDE Setup page.

Blinking LED

The “Hello, World!” in the microcontrollers’ world.

Source code available at https://bitbucket.org/tinusaur/tutorials/src/default/tut004a_blinking_leds/.

Separate blog post and tutorial page will be available soon.

LED Matrix 8×8

The biggest challenge here was to make the MAX7219LED8x8 library to work in the Arduino IDE environment.

We’ll do another post about that in the next few days.

 

Our first workshop for this year

Tinusaur Workshop Soldering Plovdiv Hackafe

Our first workshop for this year took place couple of weeks ago in Plovdiv at Hackafe. It was part of a much larger event about microcontrollers, robotics and internet-of-things.

This time, it was for 2 days and in 3 parts.

Part 1 (day 1) was an introduction to the microcontrollers for everyone that was just starting – short 30 minutes presentation and then discussions about various problems that one may experience while working with input/output. It was interesting to see some observation by people that have no much experienced about buttons and the noise that they may produce, then … how do we do debouncing.

Tinusaur Workshop Plovdiv Hackafe

Part 2 (day 2) was soldering. Everyone got Tinusaur Starter 2 kit. No one had difficulties assembling the board – there’s no much you can get wrong with this board.

One of my friends shot a timelapse at one of the tables.

Part 3 (day 2) was the fun part.

We wrote the blinking LED program – that was easy.

Then we started experimenting.

As it is an old Bulgarian custom to wear Martenitsa in March we made some blinking ones with the Tinusaur.

We also managed to play polyphonic tunes using ELM – Wavetable Melody Generator.

But the most unusual thing we did was to make an old floppy disk drive play a melody.

Thanks to Vencislav Atanasov (https://github.com/user890104) for the idea.

The inspiration was from Moppy – the Musical Fl oppy by SammyIAm.

 

Oh, by the way, incase you’ve not heard it yet 🙂 …

Tinusaur Project Crowdfunding Indiegogo

We have recently launched a Tinusaur crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo so if you like what we’re doing please support us at http://igg.me/at/tinusaur.

 

The First Tinusaur Workshop

The first official Tinusaur workshop took place last Sunday (on the 14th of December) in the Veliko Turnovo University “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”. It was really great!

The workshop was attended by 22 people of age 16 to 44.

The Tinusaur Workshop

As you may have guessed already it was for the absolute beginners so we first learned how to solder basic things like resistors, capacitors and other small parts. Then we move to soldering The Tinusair Board.

The second part was programming the with the “Hello World” of the microcontrollers – a blinking LED.

Not all people who wanted could attend the even so we may organize another one in the first months of the next year.

 

Assembling Guide

This a short guide about how to assemble the Tinusaur Board.

Tinusaur Board

The Tinusaur Board is what the Tinusaur project is built around. It is rather simple PCB with a dozen components on it.

The board is easy to assemble and does not require very special skills or instruments.

IMPORTANT: If you are uncertain about anything please consult with our website, community or someone more knowledgeable in the subject.

Tinusaur PCB design and layout

There are 4 areas that the Tinusaur board could be divided to: A1, A2, A3, A4.

Assembling

Here is the recommended order of soldering the parts:

  1. MCU socket. Note: do not insert the chip yet.
  2. Capacitors C1, C2 and resistor R1.
  3. Headers H1, H2.
  4. External power header – red.
    Battery on/off header – yellow.
  5. ISP header.
  6. Battery holder.
  7. RESET button.

The battery holder and the battery are optional but if you decided to put them on make sure you solder the battery holder before the RESET button.

IMPORTANT:

External power header (JP1, red, the one closer to the 8-pin header H1) is to connect external power. DO NOT put a jumper there – that could damage the board.

Battery On/Of header (JP2, yellow, the one closer to the mount hole) is to connect/disconnect battery to/from the board. DO NOT have this on while the board is connected to the programmer or external power source – there is no circuit to protect the battery from overcharging.

If you’re not going to use an external power source or the battery on the board don’t put any jumper on at all.

Tinusaur Schematics

Board Components

Name

Description

PCB

Tinusaur Board

MCU, Attiny85

Atmel AVR ATtiny85 microcontroller

Socket, DIP-8

DIP-8 socket for MCU

H1, Header

Header 2×4, Female

H2, Header

Header 2×5, Female

ISP, Header

Header 2×5, Male, for ISP

RESET, Button

Tactile push button, for RESET

Power, Header

Header 1×2, Male, red – external power

Battery, Header

Header 1×2, Male, yellow – battery power on/off

Battery, Jumper

Jumper, 2-pin, yellow – for battery power on/off

C1, Capacitor

Capacitor 100uF, Low profile 5×5 mm

C2, Capacitor

Capacitor 100nF, Small

R1, Resistor

Resistor 10K, Small, 1/8W

Battery holder

Battery holder for CR2032

Battery 3V

Battery 3V, CR2032

Note (about external power source): If you’re going to use external power source (JP1, red in color, the one close to the 8-pin header H1) make sure you connect the negative pole (-) to the outer pin of the header and positive (+) to the inner one.

Note (about battery placement): If you’re going to use the battery in the holder make sure you insert it correctly – that is to have the negative (-) downwards (facing the holder) and the positive (+) (the side with the text markings) upwards.

 

This guide as well as other documents are available as PDF at the Guides page. Please note that any updates will be posted there.