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Everything Else » NerdKit "duino" development board

September 05, 2010
by Rick_S
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I don't know about you guys, but I've always liked the look of the arduino type development boards and the variety of projects based on them. However, I've also liked to the fact that the NK guys saw up front the benefit of people learning C to program the micros. Well, I decided why not try to combine the best of both... This is my story :D

I purchased an open source arduino knock off kit called a freeduino on ebay. It was priced fair in my opinion and came with everything to build. My goal was to use the FT232 chip on the board as my serial communication with the NK bootloader thus turning the freeduino into a Nerdkit development board with the hardware interface to arduino shields.

I got the kit and assembled it adding a componenet that wasn't included which I'll show later and replaced some of the caps with better quality one's I had on hand. I first tested it as an arduino sending over a file to blink the onboard LED hooked up to PORTB5 (Arduino Digital 13). It worked as expected. I then swapped the chip for one of my NerdKit chips and replaced the 16.000MHz Crystal with the NK 14.7456MHz crystal. I connected the program switch from PINB0 (Arduino Digital 8) and ground. I then changed the NK led_blink program to flash on PORTB5 and I'm happy to say with a flip of the program switch and press of the reset button, I was able to program the NK chip on the freeduino board. Now I have a board with all the basics covered including regulator if I want to use external power or by moving the jumper, I can used USB power.

Here's some pics of the setup if any of you are interested.

1st a pic of the board with the NK atmega168 and 14.7456MHz Crystal.

Close up of board

A couple of shots a little farther away.

Close up of board Close up of board

Here's the only real change I made... I added a socket for the crystal... That way I can change the crystal to whatever I want. I can make it an arduino if I want with the 16.000MHz crystal, use the original 14.7456MHz NK crystal, or use the faster 18.432MHz crystal I've begun using.

Close up of board

Don't know if anyone was as interested in this as I was, but I thought I'd share. Any questions, just ask. I'm on the forum several times a day usually :D.

Rick

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