Simon Schoar wanted to offer his colleagues an opportunity to explore the fascinating world of microcontrollers (MCUs). So he came up with the idea to give his co-workers a specially designed Atmel-powered development board nicknamed “SLDongle” for Christmas.
Key components and specs include:
- Atmel ATmega88PA
- SCT 2024
- SPI Bootloader
“The technically challenged can plug sld into their USB port and enjoy the beauty of the assembly. The LEDs light up and cycle through different animation sequences,” Schoar explained in a recent blog post. “The more experienced can remote control the LEDs from their USB host by piping data into sldtool (Linux/Mac). The initial delivery contained examples to visualize the CPU utilization (shell for Linux, C for Mac), but the team quickly came up with a nifty ruby solution, counting down the remaining minutes until the next train departs at the station nearby.”
And advanced users? Well, without the need of dedicated ISP hardware they can flash their own C or ASM software directly via USB. More specifically, holding the button while powering up allows sld to enumerate as USBasp, enabling the board to be flashed by avrdude or similar software.
Interested in learning more about the ATmega88PA-powered SLDongle? You can check out Simon Schoar’s blog post here, HackADay’s coverage here and Github here for the corresponding BoM, Eagle/Gerber files and source code.