Category Archives: MICROCONTROLLERS

Keyboard Switch for Pocket CHIP

pocket-chipNext Thing Co. was nice enough to send me one of their Pocket CHIP units to check out. I’ll likely do a full review, later, but one of the first things I noticed is that the keyboard, though functional for the size constraint, would be much easier to use if, well, full-sized. I think it’s possible to use a Bluetooth keyboard with it, but since I had a normal USB model hooked up to my computer, I tried that out.

It was pretty easy, actually. I simply plugged it into the USB port, and after a few seconds of initialization, it worked as a keyboard should. At that point, however, I didn’t have a keyboard for my computer, and had to unplug it from the Pocket CHIP and plug it back into the computer. If only there was a way to do this automatically…

switchWell, I’m happy to report that there is. I used this USB switch purchased from Amazon to keep both my computer and the CHIP plugged in. I can then switch between both with the press of a button. I think the switch is generally meant to share a printer between two computers, but it works well for this application, and could probably have some other interesting functions as well. Check out the video after the “Read more” link to see how this works, though it could be summarized as: buy the switch, plug it in, and press the button to swap. Read more »

Poll: What Microcontroller Boards Do You Use?

What Microcontroller/Board(s) Do You Use?

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These microcontroller packages and/or processors are all hobby-level items, so I didn’t include Read more »

Simple ATtiny Servo Control

ATtiny-arduino-servo

ATtiny, arduino, and a micro servo

This method may not be pretty, but for crude servo control with the ATtiny chip, this method should work.  I programmed it using an Arduino Uno as shown here.

Hobby servos work by taking the length of time a pulse of electricity is sent to the “signal” input.  If it is 1.5 milliseconds (ms), it moves to the middle of it’s travel, 2 ms to the right, and 1 ms to the left.  This excellent paper illustrates this, as well as some standard connector colors, which have helped me with some of my projects.

For my “tiny useless machine,” I needed a way to control a servo using the ATtiny chip.  Accuracy didn’t have to be great, so what I did was used the delay command to make the pulse either 1 millisecond (delay 1) or 2 milliseconds (delay 2).  The code below will show what I mean, Read more »