Microcontroller programming in Linux

Are you using Windows Vista or 7 and want to work on your microcontroller??
Then you would have definitely faced 2 problems in:
1. Using your USB programmer to burn the code into the uC. The digitally signed driver issue.
2. Using a USB to Serial converter to test serial communication.

I was fed up of trying different things and so i thought of giving a try to Linux.
I am working on AVRs on Ubuntu 10.10 now.

For dumping the code: On Linux, I just had to install the following packages:
libusb0 – library to using USB for programming
avrdude – the programmer.
thats it.
Run the normal avrdude commands & done! (run as Superuser or root ($sudo avrdude … )).

For serial communication: I installed “Cutecom“, a GUI based serial terminal (like hyperterminal of windows XP). Run it from the console ($ cutecom). It shows 4 serial devices namely “/dev/ttyS0” to “/dev/ttyS3”. For using USB to Serial cable, manually type in the device name as “/dev/ttyUSB0”. Thats it! you can now test all your serial communication.

For writing and compiling the code there is “avr-gcc“. Or if you are familiar with CodevisionAVR on windows, you can install the same using “wine”… but remember to configure “wine” for windows XP before installing.

Note: I tried to program using Linux on VMware on windows 7… but it was not working.


Mentor Graphics University Design Contest 2010

There is a Electronics design challenge by Mentor Graphics.
This is the inaugural Mentor Graphics University Design contest 2010 in India. The focus of this contest is to provide an opportunity for engineering students to showcase their technical talent and competency using “Mentor Graphics tools”.

Its a 3 stage competition.
Stage 1: Preparation and Submission of Paper/Project.
Stage 2: Poster Presentation
Stage 3: Paper/Project Presentation

Last of Submission of Papers:
August 15th, 2010

1st Prize: US$ 3000
2nd Prize: US$ 2000
3rd Prize: US$ 1000

Team/College/University Requirements: Teams must consist of at least two, but no more than five, students. There is no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given University.

Submissions are invited from all students at all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to post-graduate. The University/College should be “Mentor Graphics Higher Education Program(HEP) Partner”. All submissions should have the proof of Mentor Graphics tool/technology usage.

More Details:
Mentor Graphics Design Challenge India

IITKGP at its best…

Global Enterpreneurship Summit – http://www.esummit.ecell-iitkgp.org/

Springfest 2010 – http://2010.springfest.in/

Kshitij 2010 – http://ktj.in/

Exciting Fests + Great websites!

GATE 2009 EC

I couldn’t get time to update the blog.
But about GATE 2009 EC paper on 8 Feb ’09 –
It was easy in the start, then tough & again simple in the end.
The 2 linked ans Qs were really easy.
I attempted 53 / 60 questions.(a total of 86 /100 marks).

Result is on 15 March’09 & I am hoping to get a good GATE score as it widely said GATE score > 650 is good. Lets see what happens.

GATE 2009 material

I am giving GATE 2009 EC. About the EC study material-
1. Vidyalankar’s correspondence course material is just sh**. No proper coverage of topics, most questions given are wrong or incomplete and if they are correct their answers given are wrong. So anyone giving GATE, please don’t waste your money in Vidyalankar.
Its only + point is the large no. of mock tests & 2 Test series (topic wise). But it gave 12/15 mock tests & 1 entire test series for home and that too 2weeks before the exam.

2. There is one book by “GK publications”. Its a good book but here also many questions &/or their answers given are wrong. Its + point is it has given solution for most of the questions. So you can make out if the Q or the Ans is wrong. Its theory is OK. Around 300 problems per topic is good enough.
Overall, one should have it for GATE.

3. Theres also 1 book by “HANDA”. It has many-many questions (600+) per topic. Good theory. But a huge number of mistakes in answers. Also out of the 600+ Qs, many are very simple & basic. So effective number of “good” Qs is same as that of GK. But one should go through it in the initial stage.

4. Brilliant Tutorial- Good coverage, nice questions, correct solutions. Overall a good exam material. But its fees of Rs. 10.5k is quite high.

I had joined Vidyalankar correspondence. Joined a library for HANDA & GK. Got Brilliant tutorial’s notes from my professor. After all this study, I hope i’ll be able to clear GATE 2009.hehe.

Project summary till date

As the project presentation is coming near (1 Nov, 08), its important to have a summary of what all we have done in the project till now. Here it goes:

1. Market research for- Touchscreen, Graphical LCD.

2. Simulation of-
a.Temp sensor(DALLAS 18b20)-i. on LCD 16×2, ii. through serial comm;
b. Stepper motors testing.
c. Serial Comm.
d. Testing of RF protocol.
e. Touch screen- i. basic working, ii. on LCD, iii. through serial comm.
f. Transmission of angle & distance through serial comm.
g. Reception of data & controlling stepper motors using it.
h. Humidity calculation using input capture (Timer1 on uC).
i. Graphical LCD 128×64 using T6963 Contoller.

3. Hardware:
a. Temperature sensor.
b. RF modules (ASK 434 MHz)- i. Calculation of Max Baud rate (result= ~3000bps), ii. Testing of RF protocol (“s<angle>,<distance>”).
c. Stepper Motor testing.
d. Touch screen interface using onchip ADC.
e. Controlling Stepper motors though the received data from-
i. PC Hyper terminal,
ii. Transmitter uC (known co-ord, no Touchscreen),
iii. Transmitter uC (with Touchscreen)- (its taking the max time).

Yet to be done:
a. Controlling vehicle movement wirelessly.
b. Graphical LCD interface.
c. autonomous mode of operation.
d. Touchscreen + GLCD + RF
e. Touchscreen + GLCD + RF + autonomous mode-all put together
f. SD card interface to store survey data.
g. Camera, if possible.

My project partners  & mihir- if anything is left please inform me.