Tag Archives: TronixStuff

Up close and personal with Protostack’s ATmega32 Development Kit

Protostack has introduced a development kit for Atmel’s ATmega32 MCU. The kit – which measures 5″ x 3.7″ (127 x 93.98mm) – is made of 1.6mm FR4 and boasts clean routed edges.

As expected, Protostack’s ATmega32 dev kit conforms to the full size protostack form factor, allowing it to be stacked with other full size and half size protostack boards. The silicon also includes a 40 pin AVR development board, ATmega32A-PU microcontroller and power supply components.

Recently, the folks at TronixStuff had a chance to review the kit and came away with a positive impression overall.

“As you can see from the images below, there’s plenty of prototyping space and power/GND rails. The [packaged] parts allow you to add a power supply, polyfuse, smoothing capacitors for the power, programmer socket, external 16 MHz crystal, a DC socket, IC socket, a lonely LED and the ATmega32A (which is a lower-power version of the ATmega32),” the TronixStuff crew explained.

“You can download the user guide from the product page, which details the board layout, schematic and so on. When soldering the parts in, just start with the smallest-profile parts first and work your way up. There’s a few clever design points, such as power regulator – there’s four holes so you can use both ‘in-GND-output’ and ‘GND-output-input’ types.”

In addition, says TronixStuff, the layout of the prototyping areas resemble that of a solderless breadboard with the power/GND rails snaking all around – so transferring projects won’t be difficult at all. Plus, if you need to connect the AVcc to Vcc, the components and board space are included for a low-pass filter.

“It’s a solid kit, the PCB is solid as a rock, and it worked. However it could really have used some spacers or small rubber feet to keep the board off the bench. Otherwise the kit is excellent, and offers a great prototyping area to work with your projects,” TronixStuff concluded.

Interested? The ATMEGA32A Development Kit can be purchased here on ProtoStack for $23.

Aery32 dev board gets reviewed

The folks at TronixStuff have posted a review of the Aery32, a development board powered by Atmel’s AVR32 UC3A1 128KB microcontroller.

Described as a “painless way to get into AVR32 programming and development,” the Aery32 is completely open source – on both a hardware and software level.

“The specifications of the Atmel AVR32 UC3A1 show that it is an incredibly powerful microcontroller. One could say that there is everything you need [on the Aery32] – and nothing you do not,” writes the reviewer.

“Looking at the front of the board, apart from the MCU there is an LED for use, the mini-USB for programming and a switch for changing modes between the bootloader and program. On the rear are the pin references, and on the right-hand side solder pads (on both sides) for the JTAG debugger.”

As the reviewer notes, Aery32-specific information and help is easy to find, with extensive documentation, numerous examples and a designated dev area.

“From my perspective this board was very easy to set-up and get working. Not having to worry about downloading hundreds of megabytes of IDE was great and allows programming from lightweight machines,” the reviewer concluded.

“And there is no doubt about the power or I/O features of the AVR32 UC3A1. Now I’ll get myself a good AVR32 book. So if you’re looking for a powerful and well-supported AVR32 development board, the Aery32 is a good start.”

You can order the Aery32 dev board directly from the Aery website here.