Big fix: The Tinusaur Package for the Arduino IDE

Tinusaur Arduino IDE Package Bug Fix

We’ve recently discovered a bug in our Arduino IDE package that will cause an error when you try to compile your code.

We have a fix for it and the only thing you need to do is to update the package.

Here is how:

  1. Start your Arduino IDE
  2. Go to the menu Tools / Board … and then “Board Manager …” at the top.
  3. Wait for a while until the list is updated from the Internet.
  4. Scroll all the way down to the bottom until you see the “Tinusaur Boards“.
  5. Click on the item and see the “Update” button.
  6. Press the “Update” button.

Enjoy! 🙂

If you don’t have the package installed yet follow the instructions for setting up the Arduino IDE with the Tinusaur boards.

If you don’t have a Tinusaur board yet 🙂 go to our Indiegogo Campaign InDemand option and get one.

 

We have not been idle

Tinusaur Shield LEDx3

We’ve not been idle waiting for the parts from our suppliers.

We’re prototyping a new shield that we called Shield LEDx3 that has 3 LED – green, yellow and red. As you may have guessed already it is similar to the traffic lights. That will be a great new shield to play with. We expect to have it in production in about a month or so.

Tinusaur Shield LEDx3

PLEDGE: We will make the Tinusaur Car

The Tinusaur Car Prototype

As you may have noticed we’ve extended our campaign by a couple of days to allow more people to get their perks over the weekend.

We’re 175% over our original goal, $4522 raised – with 12 hours still left to go.

We’re so excited that we’ve decided to make this pledge: if we reach 200% or $5000 (whichever happens first) before the end of the campaign (i.e. in about 12 hours) we promise that we will make the Tinusaur Car – a 2-wheel mini car that can follow a line – and we will make it available on our website.

We are already building a working prototype.
(picture above)

What can you do to help us reach our next goal?

  1. Go to our campaign https://igg.me/at/tinusaur support us – get a perk.
  2. Share our campaign link https://igg.me/at/tinusaur with your friends or through your social media channels.

Wish us luck for the next 12 hours!
The Tinusaur Team.

Funded 140% and only 16 hours left

Tinusaur Indiegogo Campaign 140 percent

We are 140% funded and there are only 16 hours left of our Indiegogo campaign.

This would’ve not happened without your support. 🙂

By continuing to support our cause you will help us get even more Tinusaur kits to our students.

Not interested in getting a Tinusaur board? You can donate to the project! Our promise: we will spend the money to bring the Tinusaur boards to even more students … as we’ve done it before.

Neither of those is for you? No problem. You could just share our campaign link https://igg.me/at/tinusaur to your social media channels such like Facebook, Twitter, or whatever you prefer.

Just a quick reminder: After the campaign is over the price of the boards, the kits, and the shipping will go slightly up so now is the best time get a bunch them.

Thanks again for your support.

Indiegogo Campaign is Almost Halfway Through

Tinusaur Indiegogo Campaign

Last week we’ve launched our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and, as of a few minutes ago, we’ve reached 1/3-rd of our goal already. 🙂

In case you’re not familiar what the Tinusaur project is about …

A small board with a tiny chip on it that comes as an assembly kit – a small package with parts and you get the chance to learn how to solder it. This circuit is so simple that there are very few things that could go wrong. It’s been around for over 3 years and used in schools and universities to educate young people in both hardware and software. With this campaign, you could help us produce more of the Tinusaur boards, bring the cost down to $3 per basic “lite” board and allow more people to be able to get them.

Tinusaur Indiegogo Campaign

The Tinusaur boards are powered by the Atmel ATtiny85 microcontroller. You could program your Tinusaur board with the Arduino development environment, or if you chose so – using the plain old C/C++ compiler, or … using whatever you prefer.

The success of this campaign will help us produce our boards and kits in much larger quantities and bring the coast down. That will allow us to have the basic “lite” boards for as little as $3/pcs – that will make them available for even more people.

Help us spread the word – just share it. But, if you like the idea and the project, you could back us up. Here’s the link: https://igg.me/at/tinusaur.

Thanks in advance for your support.

We’re planning to launch new Indiegogo campaign for $3 boards – next week

Tinusaur 3 Dollar Bill

With the growing interest in our project and kits, we decided to plan for and launch another Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign – next week.

The goals:

  • to make 1000 or more boards;
  • to bring the cost for the Tinusaur Board Lite down to $3 a piece.

The link for the campaign will be http://igg.me/at/tinusaur.

Some of our team members will be at the FOSDEM in Brussels on the 4th and the 5th next week – will be glad to meet anyone interested in what we’re doing.

Moving forward with the Tinusaur Project in 2017

2 dollar bill per tinusaur board

2016 has been a great year!

Over 20 workshops, lectures, seminars, courses. One Indiegogo campaign. Hundreds of people started using the Tinusaur platform.

2 dollar bill per boardSo, what’s next?

Our Q1 goal: Launch new Indiegogo campaign in February to produce 1000 Tinusaur kits and bring the cost down to $2 per basic kit.

This will make our boards available and affordable for everyone.

Isn’t that great! 🙂

Our focus: Learn+Educate+Make

Tinusaur Project Workshop UNI4KIDS

Split the content into 3:

  • For Learners – Learn how to program microcontrollers. Assemble one yourself.
  • For Educators – Teach others how to work with microcontrollers. Help them assemble one themselves.
  • For Makers – Build things with tiny microcontrollers. Use your creativity under the constraints of the Tinusaur platform and share it with the community.

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.

 

How to Setup the Arduino IDE to Work with the Tinusaur Boards

Arduino IDE for Tinusaur Boards

This is a short guide how to setup the Arduino IDE to work with the Tinusaur boards.

What it does basically is to make it work with the Atmel ATtiny85/45/25 microcontrollers. The only difference is that it will appear on the list of boards as Tinusaur – this is done for convenience, so relatively inexperienced people won’t get confused by the long list of unknown boards and microcontrollers.

Installing the Arduino IDE

First of all, we need the Arduino IDE itself. It could be downloaded from https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software – the official Arduino website. The current version at the time of writing this guide was 1.6.8 but should work with all the most recent versions.

Start the Arduino IDE first.

 

Adding Support for the Tinusaur Boards

Go to the menu File / Preferences.

Find the “Additional Boards manager URLs” and the button on the right that will open an edit box.

Put the following URL in the edit box:

https://bitbucket.org/tinusaur/arduino-ide-boards/raw/default/package_tinusaur_attiny_index.json

NOTE: It is possible to have multiple URLs as long as they are put on separate lines.

Close the edit dialog by pressing “OK”. Close the “Preferences” dialog by pressing “OK”.

Go to the menu Tools / Board:… / Boards Manager.

This will open an additional dialog window with boards information.

You may need to wait until all data is loaded.

From the drop-down menu “Type” choose the “Contributed” item.

Locate the “Tinusaur Boards” item and click on it.

Press the “Install” button. That will install the necessary files into the Arduino IDE.

Close the dialog by pressing the “Close” button.

Setup to use the Tinusaur Board

Go to menu Tools / Board:…

The Tinusaur should be available somewhere at the bottom of the list. Choose the Tinusaur.

It is important to setup the other parameters for the board.

Go to menu Tools / Processor:… and choose the appropriate CPU type. If unsure choose ATtiny85.

Go to menu Tools / Clock:… and choose the appropriate CPU frequency. If unsure choose 1 MHz.

Go to menu Tools / Programmer:… and choose the appropriate programmer. If unsure choose USBasp.

That’s it.

Another version of this guide but with screenshots is available at the Arduino IDE Setup page.