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New Commenting System

There is a new Comment system in place, once you submit a comment it will need to be approved by me in order for it to show in the comment section. I have gone to this system to detract from spammers posting garbage on my site and to encourage real comments. Enjoy!

WinHeist Upgrade in Progress
I am working on an upgrade for the WinHeist application and if anyone has any requests this would be the time to let me know.  As it is this is a minor upgrade, will be modifying a couple of features and fixing some bugs but always open for suggestions.  Where I would really like input is in regard to the location functionality that I currently have implemented, I don't care for it but I'm not sure what a better alternative would be.   Leave me a comment on the WinHeist page in the comments section at the bottom.
An autonomous roving vehicle - Part 2 of n

In this the second installment of the Autonomous Rover series we are going to take a look at the assembled chassis with everything onboard that allows it to move around autonomously but with very little smarts. Much like the beloved Mr. Magoo in years past the rover navigates around until it runs into something wherein the Dagu boards current sensing unit detects that the motor(s) are in a stalled state at which point the rover backs up a short distance, turns clockwise approximately 90 degrees then wanders on until it bumps into something else.

An autonomous roving vehicle - Part 1 of n

My plan is to create an autonomous roving vehicle and have given the creation the name of Robbie after the lovable robot from the old TV series Lost in space, you know the one...danger Will Robinson... Along the way I intend to document the effort in a series of articles of which this is the first. I will discuss the basic chassis design, design decisions and parts used to bring Robbie to life, where to find them and cost. The design and parts I use in this project are just the way I did it and should only be taken as a point of reference.

Programmable Electronics Experimenters Kit (PEEK)

I'm working on a project that basically pulls all the DEB boards I've been creating into one programmable interface which I'm calling Programmable Electronic Experimenters Kit or PEEK for short.

Work on the PEEK project is coming along good, I put it off for a while as I'm working on an Autonomous rover so dividing my time between the two projects and of course the holidays has slowed me down a tad but am working away.

AVR Dynamic Memory primer

Writting applications that utilize dynamic memory allocation pose several problems on MPUs; they have limited memory and dynamic allocation tends to fragment memory, there is no garbage collection because it's just to expensive to implement and problems with memory leaks can be a nightmare to debug. But if you are careful and practice good technique using dynamic memory allocation can be a valuable tool.

C++ and the L298N Dual Full-Bridge Driver

For the past couple of years I've been developing projects for the Atmel line of micro controllers using the GNU toochains Asm and C languages. Until recently C++ was very difficult if not impossible using the previous versions of Atmel's IDE, but that's no longer an obsticle with the new version, Atmel Studio 6.1 which is available here. I prefer the power of C++ and have missed being able to use it in my projects, there are still some issues using C++ in projects such as interrupts but there are work arounds and it's not a deal breaker. Another consideration why I wasn't using C++ was that the ATmega development boards were rather expensive upwards of $50+ but recently the price of knockoff ATMega1280/2560 boards have come way down, to around $17 and they function as well as the originals, at least I haven't had any problems with them.

C++11 standards for AVR

I've been using Ateml's IDE for some time now and have long awaited the time when C++ would become a viable programming option and now with Atmel Studio 6 they have finally made this a reality. The latest version of Atmel Studio is 6.1 that uses the GCC 4.7.2 version toolchain, which in Atmel's lingo means the compilers and linker used to build projects in the IDE.

SPI Communications Primer
The Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) or four wire serial bus as it is sometimes referred to is a syncronous serial data protocol operating in a master/slave configuration in full duplex mode. It is used by microcontrollers for communicating with one or more peripheral devices quickly over short distances. You can also think of SPI as being built around a double buffered 8-bit shift register with both ends of the shift register brought out to MCU pins.