OK So, I’ve not posted on this site for a [VERY LONG] time but I hadn’t forgotten it. I’ve been involved in numerous projects that have kept me away from straight AVR projects. Not least ProjectHAB, my other website devoted to High Altitude Ballooning.
Still, I’ve now more time available to explore all things AVR and just in time too. The daughter of a friend of mine, lets call her Amelia, recently got interested in electronics after attending a few of her school’s general science lessons. They got her to build a very simple LED circuit. Triggered by a connection and lit via an SCR. An SCR (Silicon Controlled Rectifier, sometimes called a Thyristor) is a semiconductor that once switched on, will remain on until power is removed. This rather un-inspiring circuit got Amelia very excited about electronics! Her father and I have since stepped her through building a number of kits but in the longer term, I’d like her to become familiar with AVRs.
Enter the minDUINO!
This is my attempt at slimming down an Arduino™ board so that it is small, has an on board XTal oscillator and carries it’s own power supply, in this case a 7805 voltage regulator. I also managed to cram in both FTDI and ICSP headers for programming and breakouts for most of the AVR pins. My intention is to get Amelia to build this as a project and then use it to experiment with. Since the Arduino™ IDE is freely available on their website, she will be able to get started very quickly. Amelia’s father is a programmer so he will be taking her through the basics of the Arduino™ language.
I have ordered the minDUINO boards from the excellent Hackvana as per usual and I await delivery. I’m planning to do a review/test build once I have my hands on them. When I know the boards work and that I can demonstrate programming to Amelia, I’ll post the design here under Creative Commons/Open Hardware so that anyone can use the design.