Project setup to develop and debug for AVR

Atmel AVR ATMega 1284 in a DIP socket.

Pete Brown, the lead of the Developer Guidance Community Team at Microsoft, has written a great post on how to properly prepare for a new AVR project. He covers how to choose a microcontroller, collecting necessary datasheets and information, setting up your hardware development environment and software IDE, and how to properly test and debug your code.

If you’re looking to make the jump from Arduino or another processor family but aren’t sure where to start, this should help get you off the ground. You can also cross-reference our tutorial on using AVR Studio 5 with Arduino projects if you want to mix and match environments.

Changes in the Arduino 1.0 release: How to migrate

Splash screen for the Arduino 1.0 IDE.At long last, the Arduino team has released Arduino 1.0 – an update to the development environment and core libraries that make the Arduino hardware do its thang.  The 1.0 update has been in the works for a while, and covers a lot of changes, including some you’ll notice and some you won’t.  How does all this affect your Arduino projects?  Read on to find out.

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Tutorial: Using AVR Studio 5 with Arduino projects

AVR Studio Welcome Page

Note: This tutorial has been replaced with an updated version that covers the same topic with Atmel Studio 6. Studio 6 makes a lot of improvements over the prior version, so there’s really no reason not to upgrade unless you have a very specific need. We’ve also incorporated a lot of fixes, tips, and great user feedback. Check it out here:

Tutorial: Using Atmel Studio 6 with Arduino projects

This article explains, step-by-step, how to set up the AVR Studio 5 IDE for use with Arduino projects.  It also includes some background on the pros and cons of working with AVR Studio, notes on general setup for working with Atmel devices, and a few other tips we’ve picked up along the way.  Feel free to skip around to the sections that interest you.

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How to turn your breadboard rat’s nest into a badass circuit – PCB manufacturing tips

Printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing is a black art among the DIY community.  If you’re putting together a prototype circuit, the process is very well established: get an Arduino or your microcontroller of choice, pick out some components, get a breadboard and wires, and then string everything together.  Easy, low cost, and accessible.

However, what if your project becomes more complex?  You can extend breadboard or perf-board work to a point, but the likelihood of making an error grows exponentially with project complexity.  Nobody wants to end up with a circuit that looks like this:

Now THIS is a rats nest of wires.

Image credit: Big Mess o’ Wires

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Extreme AVR power savings – the quest continues

At Engblaze, we’re somewhat obsessed with squeezing every possible bit of performance out of our circuits.  Ok, really obsessed.  Like beyond Facebook-stalking and into restraining-order-territory obsessed.  To that end, we consider it our duty to bring news of other intrepid performance squeezing pioneers in the DIY electronics world.

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