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Member Since: December 6, 2010

Country: United States

  • Does anyone know the operational temperature range for the pcDuino? I can't find it in the documentation or on the pcduino site.

  • Got it accepting programs via the FTDI.

    It appears to have similar to this issue, where a 500ms timeout in the bootloader is too short for the FTDI/avrdude combination.

    I raised the timeout to 1S, and also changed the baud rate to 57600. I had to burn that bootloader using an avrisp, but now I can upload sketches.

  • OK, I was able to reprogram it (to unresponsiveness) using the ISP programmer, and then recover it by uploading the contents from my other OpenSegment copy.

    I still can't get it to accept an arduino-style upload via serial though.

  • I have been completely unable to upload code to either of two copies of this unit.

    When I use the FTDI basic breakout, the reset occurs, and avrdude initially seems to communicate successfully with the boot loader. But then it tries to send one byte, fails to receive any response, and gives up. This is the avrdude output.

    I have also tried flashing the latest optiboot using an stk500 compatible ISP programmer (Pololu AVR Programmer), but that doesn't seem to work either. The programmer doesn't seem to be able to communicate with the 328p after reset.

    In short, nothing I do seems to be able to change the behavior of the display's MCU. It still boots the original firmware.

    Has anyone successfully programmed one of these units once assembled?

    Also, should it be possible to program via ISP, considering how the AVR is connected?

  • The ISL76671 is a newer, more sensitive analog light sensor, for very low light levels. Please make a breakout board for it! :)

  • Is there an available pin on this that could be used to count the high frequency pulses from this light sensor?

    I'd like to make the brightness of the display self-adjusting. I've done this to some extent with the older 7 segment Sparkfun displays. Note that I disabled saving of the brightness level to avoid wearing out the EEPROM!

    But I was reading and processing the light levels externally and using the display's command language to adjust the brightness. It worked, but it was slow and cumbersome. And the analog light sensors I've tried don't have much dynamic range for normal indoor light levels.

    I'm hoping the pulse-emitting sensor could have more detail at low light levels. Is there a pin on the OpenSegment that could be used to count such high frequencies?

  • I made a few modifications to the firmware on my displays.
    For one thing, I just hard-coded the baud rate, and removed the support for changing it. I also disabled SPI, since I'm not using it and it can be susceptible to noise. Lastly I disabled the code which saves brightness changes to the EEPROM. I control the display's brightness using the output from an ambient light sensor, and didn't want to wear out the EEPROM prematurely due to changing the brightness up to a few times a second.
    With these modifications, I find the displays much harder to confuse. It's a bit of a pain to hook them up to a programmer though.

  • Could you make your firmware available somewhere for download? I'd be very interested to see how you worked tihs into the existing code.

  • I really like these displays, I've used the blue, green, and red. I connect them to an FTDI cable or break-out, heat shrink the assembly, then trim out a window for the digits with an exacto. Makes a nice little toy for a geek.
    A request though, for the next revision... please consider calling the UART TX pin as well as RX. That way a UART programmable bootloader could be installed, making firmware updates much easier. In fact, you could even pre-install the bootloader! :)

No public wish lists :(