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Microcontroller Programming » Fried my atmega168 (I think) and looking for a replacement

February 04, 2012
by mechfeeney
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I bought the Nerdkit and successfully performed the basic setup to display the "congratulations" message on the screen. Being a novice at hardware/micro-controller setup and programming, I managed to (I think) fry my atmega168 chip. I wanted to setup the same basic wiring schematic from the provided breadboard to my own. I also wanted to run power via my variable DC power supply. I first tested (with a volt meter) the behavior of the breadboard to confirm how the power and ground rails worked (I also checked to confirm that the DC output was true to it's LED display). I was getting a steady 9V out of the power supply and the breadboard behaved properly. I forgot to unplug power to the board when I was wiring up the chip and I also managed to accidentally run 9V straight to the board. face palm I know...

Anyway, I couldn't find any local retailers that supplied micro-controllers and ran into a lot of awkward silences on the phone from various places like Frys and RadioShack because they didn't know what a micro-controller was. I decided to be financially efficient and purchased 4 atmega168-20pu chips on Digikey. I came back to the Nerdkits to confirm it was the correct chip. I noticed it says on the Nerdkits description under the atmega168 replacement chip that it comes with a BOOTLOADER. Does this mean the chip I bought at Digikey won't work with my Nerdkit to load initialload.c?

Thanks in advance.

February 04, 2012
by mechfeeney
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By the way, if I reconfigure my chip with everything that the Nerdkit guide told me to do in the very first lab (prior to initialload) to display "congratulations" I get a line of blocks on the first and third rows. I am 100% certain that I wired it correctly just as I initially did when I first got the kit. I've read all of the posts about people saying "I wired it right" only to find out later that they didn't. Is this similar behavior of a fried chip? Or is this behavior of a working chip with that initial "congratulations" program erased? These questions are going through my head and I tried loading initialload.c to see if I could flash a new program on the chip but got the "butterfly" error.

February 04, 2012
by Ralphxyz
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You will need to install a bootloader on the chips bought at DigiKey.

There are lots of discussions here on the Nerdkit Forum and Rick posted his How To in the Nerdkit Community Library

Generally it is suggested that new uses buy their mcus through the Nerdkit Store you pay a couple of dollars more but it helps maintain this forum and the excellent support by the Nerdkit guys.

Installing a bootloader is a doable but rather involved process and you have lots of more meaningful projects to do just to get through the Nerdkit User Guide.

Your mcu might not be blown! Strip your breadboard and start over also make sure you have a fresh battery (well you are using a variable power supply so the battery will not matter).

You'll be amazed how fast you become setting up the breadboard from scratch once you have done it four or five times (which is not unusual for a new person to have to do).

Ralph

February 05, 2012
by mechfeeney
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"img 1" "img 2" "img 3" "img 4" "img 5" "img 6" "img 7"

February 05, 2012
by mechfeeney
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ignore previous post. here are the images. "img 1" "img 2" "img 3" "img 4" "img 5" "img 6" "img 7"

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