Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Arduino Rebrain <> Sanguano

I have mentioned, on the forum, my attempt to make an Arduino behave sort of like a USB Sanguano by brain transplant.
I have blogged the details here : Rebrains.

Thanks for taking in hand and actually doing what I've been suggesting for some time that the Arduino folks at Reprap ought to be doing. This is work that's really needed doing.
I'm just wondering if it's possible to use the Atmel
AT90USBKey board with reprap. It has a much more powerful chip than
the sanguino, more pins, more memory, native USB, and its only $5 more expensive. USB means we don't have to buy an otherwise useless cable for $20 to program it, and uploads should be much faster!!
Well, we have code that works, that only needs a bit more room etc. Another option would be to use a different language to produce smaller code. Whatever happens it needs work. I think there are more difficult problems that need work in other areas of the overall project.
Hi I've converted both the Arduino core and the reprap code to run on the AT90USB1287 chip, and am working on the hardware to test if (using with the AT90USBKey demo board). This would have lots of advantages, but (I think) importantly native USB comms, total board price, more onboard memory (see also below).
Since I like more programming features rather than less, I build it under Eclipse, but use #define, so it still builds under Arduino. I sent a message to Adrian, but I'm sure he's very busy. The message follows...
See below why, but I have made some slight modifications to the
firmware to build for the AT90USB1287 under Arduino, or Eclipse (a
much more powerful IDE than the Arduino environment) using the Arduino
library. I also made some easy instructions for others to repeat the
steps if they wished.
I wonder whether this could be integrated into the current code, or
whether there is somewhere it could be placed, so others could make
use of it.
Alternatively perhaps one of the others on the team would be better
placed to handle this query, in which case perhaps you could let me
know who.

Why a different chip?
I used a the 1287 on the AT90USBKey demo board. The board is cheaper
than the Sanguino/data cable combination. The chip is much more
capable than the ATmega644P. It has native USB bootloading (as well as
serial access if you want), 48 pins, and many other improvements.
Since the USBKey is a demo board it also has a large onboard flash
ram, a joystick, a thermistor, and a couple of LEDs. At the time the
argument made against using the AT90USB1287 chip was that it was SMT,
but this obviously doesn't hold since RRRF has released it's SMT
Stepper Motor Driver v2 (sadly I bought v1 before I realised there
was a v2, which I would definitely have prefered).
Some links are:-

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