[DIS] The Newbies Ultimate Starter Guide

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The n00b's Ultimate Guide

This is very much a work in progress... thus the [DIS] (discussion) moniker. If you have a link or anything to add please comment and I will add it to the top post. This acts like a psuedo-sticky, in that the user doesn't have to dig through the thread to find whatever it is that brought them here.

Obviously AVRfreaks is GREAT resource for information. Sometimes this information is hard to find and sort through. I hope this helps the n00b get started. BTW - I'm still very much a n00b myself.

Organization: A bottom up approach or vise-versa? I don't have a clue, but this is how my brain works and I hope it helps someone! Again, let me know if you think something needs to added or subtracted!

Electronic Theory:
MIT's Open CourseWare is AWESOME!!!
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/co...

Electrical Engineering: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/co...

A good beginners class (watch the video lectures!): 6.002 Circuits and Electronics
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Electr...

WIKI's:
ATMEL AVR WIKI:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atm...
Good place to start to get to know the different terms being thrown about on AVRFreak's!

Microcontroller wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mic...

Schematic Symbol Reference (you can also download offline version from this site):
http://www.aaroncake.net/electro...

Ebooks (free):
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Emb...

https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

I found "other" downloads that were questionable (illegal?). This is not the spirt of this website nor my ethics. I'm not going to tell you where to find all this stuff. If you find and use these items, just remember Karma is a PITA if its not in your favor.

Ebooks (Not free):
By no means is this an exhaustive list...
Fellow Freak SmileyMicro's Joe Pardue; http://www.smileymicros.com/inde...

Fellow Freak Chuck Baird:
http://www.lulu.com/content/420385 - Programming uC w/ Assembly Language

http://www.lulu.com/content/1358014 - A summary about AVR's using Atmel STK500 Starter Kit and the ImageCraft AVR C compiler
(about 80 pages, $12.95)

AVR specific:
Make sure to browse the "tools" and "Device" portions of this site.

AVR Beginners: http://www.avrbeginners.net/

What is and AVR? http://www.ipass.net/hammill/wha...

Amazing AVR resource list: http://www.omegav.ntnu.no/avr/re...

AVR part comparison:
http://www.omegav.ntnu.no/~karlt...

Getting Started with 8 bit AVR (blog, check out other AVR stuff on the site): http://www.scienceprog.com/picon...

Getting Started with C for AVR: https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

Getting Stated with AVR on OSX:
http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~buec...

Development Boards:

Pretty good spin up here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atm...

Equipment {kit}:
Ladyada: http://www.ladyada.net/library/e...
This is a good starting point for the basics.

How to solder video: http://blip.tv/file/126631

How to solder guide:
http://www.epemag.wimborne.co.uk...
http://www.mediacollege.com/misc...

Soldering tutorials:
http://www.makezine.com/blog/arc...
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce...

Multi-meter tutorial:
http://www.ladyada.net/learn/met...

Oscilloscope Tutorials:
http://oscilloscope-tutorials.com/
http://www.virtual-oscilloscope....

Enclosure Links and Discussion:
https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

Tools{software}:
WOW!!! All the hard lifting has been done!
WinAVR / GCC / Beginning C / Advanced C / ETC.
https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

Need Inspiration?
After you check the Project forum here at AVRFreaks... cruise over and feast your hungry eyes on these cool AVR based projects!

http://www.avrguide.com/

Update: 04 NOV 2007

Michael

Dragon Slayer... no not that one...This one!

Last Edited: Mon. Nov 5, 2007 - 01:33 AM
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And here's another book I just wrote:
http://www.lulu.com/content/1358014
(about 80 pages, $12.95)

It's for someone with an STK500 who is all dressed up and has no place to go. It's a series of beginning projects using the ICCavr C compiler (demo version free). It doesn't teach C; it assumes a rudimentary knowledge already. No other hardware (other than an optional servo) is required.

Chuck Baird

"I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun." -- Scott Adams

http://www.cbaird.org

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Something that is lacking...

Introduction to C for the AVR using an STK500 and AVRStudio. Something that explains from the beginning the C language, and an introduction to the STK500, and a thorough explaination of AVR Studio with the GCC compiler and everything that it can do. Maybe advance that to using ICE with a Dragon.

Yes a very much beginner's book, but something that is very much missing.

Considering that AVR Studio with the GCC compiler is free, I found it difficult to believe that there were no books covering it. I paid $80 for the Embedded C Programming and the Atmel AVR which is codevision compiler specific hoping that I can take what it gives me and translate to the AVR Studio's GCC compiler. In other words, if what I wanted was available, and it was a decent book, I would have paid $80 for it and been more confident that it could get me through what I wanted to learn.

Just a suggestion for anyone considering writing a book.

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The_village_idiot wrote:
Something that explains from the beginning the C language,

Well didn't Kernighan and Ritchie do that bit already?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The...

(you're not really a C programmer if you don't have a copy of that on your bookshelf)

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For true n00bs, there's a new kit which provides a lot more of the hands-on electronics and programming intuition than others on the market. It includes an ATtiny26L, a 24x2 LCD, and a programming cable starting at $50. See NerdKits. No soldering, but lots of building -- and most importantly, lots of explanations for why you're building it the way you are.

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You couldn't splurge for even a serial port version?

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T-v-i

Don't you get it? That post was just a veiled advert. If compumike and Mike Robbins on this page: http://www.nerdkits.com/team/ aren't the same person I'll eat my hat ;)

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And that's why I pointed out the flaw, I did check to see how many other posts he made with the same content, only found one other (of his 3 posts).

Let's just say that if an MIT student can't come up with a design that can be used by more machines, they deserve to get an F.

It should also be noted that this is very likely a class assignment. Develop a product and market it. Once the course is over the product will very likely be forgotten leaving the owners out in the cold. The only way it would be continued is if it is a raging success. That said I would not buy it. I'd buy a Butterfly and Smiley's book first (and something I probably should have bought with my STK500 and Dragon).

edit

I should probably add that I work in a staff position at a college (I'm among the lowest of the low as a staffer), and building this with a par. port is just plain cheap and lazy. I have half a mind to send an email to that department and point out the flaws in the product and recommend a lower grade.

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The Arduino starter kit from ladayada.net is a MUCH better alternative to the NERD kit IMO. Heck any Arduino is much better...

Michael

Dragon Slayer... no not that one...This one!

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All designers make tradeoffs. We decided to prioritize having a character LCD over having a serial port version (and we're working on the latter). It was our belief that for an educational mission, lots of schools have older desktops with parallel ports. The degree to which we could simplify the system -- to the point where there's no "black box" mysteries of level converters, bootloaders, etc -- justifies this tradeoff, and means that the user can completely understand the entire system.

I think the Arduino concept is great -- for trained people like you and me. But if someone is truly new to electronics, handing them an Arduino is asking them to take a great leap of faith. Looking down at that PCB, there are many components they'll see whose purpose will be unknown. Letting them build the circuit from the bare breadboard, and explaining the motivation behind each step, is much more instructive.

All I'm saying is that there are different markets here, and for true electronics newbies, as this thread is targeting, I think our solution takes a different and better approach. The Arduino is filling a much needed gap, and we're trying to fill a gap for people who need an extra step of hand-holding beyond that. In fact, an Arduino is a natural upgrade path *after* finishing with the NerdKits program.

And I'm amused to hear that you think this is a class project! While I know someone who's trying to develop that kind of course in our department, it hasn't happened yet. This happens to be a purely extracurricular activity.

We're really trying to target the educational market, and hope that some hobbyists will come along too.

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Good eye, Cliff. Your hat is safe.

Chuck Baird

"I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun." -- Scott Adams

http://www.cbaird.org

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I think it is time that this post be split and a majority of it moved to somewhere else. I'll let the mods/admins decide if and where they want to split it.

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compumike wrote:
I think the Arduino concept is great -- for trained people like you and me. But if someone is truly new to electronics, handing them an Arduino is asking them to take a great leap of faith. Looking down at that PCB, there are many components they'll see whose purpose will be unknown.

Second sentence on the first page of the Arduino website:

Quote:
It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

The Arduino is intended for artists and folks with absolutely no experience with either programming or electronics.

Smiley

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You know, I'm sorry Smiley... I should also mention your kit as a WONDERFUL way to get started with the AVR.

Michael

Dragon Slayer... no not that one...This one!

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I love this forum ! It is my great AVR school.
Nice post ttownfire, congratulations.

Teach is learn twice. So, what do you think regarding learn again?