Tag Archives: XMEGA-A3BU

The January 2014 eFlea breakfast

My friends and I still get together for breakfast even when the Silicon Valley electronic flea market is shut down for the winter. The first one of the new year was Jan 11, 2014. We go to Bobbies in Cupertino, and feel free to stop by the second Saturday of the month. We eat outside so dress warm. When the eFlea is running in the summer, we get to Bobbies about 9:30 AM. In the winter, with no Electronic Flea Market we show up at 7:00 and hang out until noon.

The big news this eFlea was that Phil Sittner and Dave Mathis are designing an antenna analyzer using Atmel chips. Phil, who I wrote about before is doing the hardware and Dave is doing the software. They plan on going to Ham shows to sell the product once they perfect it.


Dave Mathis (L) and Phil Sittner are working on an antenna analyzer.


Phil has already hacked up some prototypes to help develop the analog part of the product.


Here is Phil after I prompted him to show off all the cool Atmel hardware he is using.

That’s an XMEGA-A3BU Xplained eval board on the left and an AVR Dragon debugger on the right. I am mad because he paid for the stuff rather than hitting me up for some samples.

Next show-and-tell was from a pal that wants to go un-named despite the statute of limitations being invoked. He found a box in a culvert 20 years ago and assumes it was someone disposing of stolen goods. I assume it was more like the PCBs I found years ago that probably just fell off a truck.


These ceramic Motorola 68030 microprocessors sure are pretty. They make a neat noise when you clank them together.


Google’s Eric Schlaepfer and mechanical engineer Dave Ruigh admire one of the gold-plated beauties.


These mixers work from 1200MHz to 1600MHz. There are two layers of them in the box.


Eric Schlaepfer looks at one of the boards from the mystery culvert box of goodies. The PCB is not Mulitbus or VME, it was some custom job.

John Haggis and his son Xander showed up later in the morning but did not disappoint with an Omron wearable blood pressure health monitor. John is the pal that went all the way through med school and decided he preferred engineering.


Xander and John Haggis made the January 2014 eFlea breakfast and brought a whole batch of goodies.


This Omron wearable blood pressure monitor is just the thing to monitor your health.


John Haggis also brought this waterproof Bluetooth speaker to show us.


John Haggis also has hacked a fone wireless charger into his Samsung Galaxy S4


John also had a neat ANKER battery setup to run the hacked wireless charger.

Here is a link to that ANKER battery setup.

After seeing all the smudges on that ANKER battery, I was quite the hero when I whipped out these Atmel screen cleaners. You peel off the little pad, which is a cleaner on the visible side, and then you can stick it down to the back of your phone. I convinced John to take 4 of them to form little “feet” for his gizmo.


Atmel has this swag giveaway pad. It’s the little one-inch square at the bottom right. You peel if off this card, use the top side to clean the smudges off your screen, and then the bottom side will stick to the underside of your phone or gizmo until you need it the next time.


Here is another screen cleaner pad Atmel gives away at events.

Atmel’s Director of Events Donna Castillo assures me if you come to her Tech on Tour events she will have some of these for you take home.

Lastly, my pal Martin DeLateur, the International Man of Mystery brought an older Sirius radio and dock. He snagged it at an estate sale. Problem is it got hooked up to 12V battery, and has some issues. We scratched our heads and offered some advice. We will see if he got it charged and powered up at the next eFlea breakfast, Feb 8, 2014, which is the day before the 2014 Analog Aficionados party here in Silicon Valley.


This old Sirius radio has some power problems we will try to fix by the next eFlea Breakfast.

A closer look at Atmel’s Xplained kits

Earlier this summer, Bits & Pieces took readers on a brief virtual tour of Atmel’s Xplained Pro kits. Today, we want to familiarize our readers with Atmel’s Xplained evaluation kits for our extensive lineup of 8- and 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs).

“Essentially, Atmel’s Xplained lineup consists of a series of low-cost MCU boards to help devs evaluate and demonstrate product features and capabilities for different Atmel microcontroller families,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces. “In addition, a rich selection of example projects and code drivers are provided in Atmel Studio, while code functionality is easily added by pulling in additional drivers and libraries from the Atmel Software Framework.

The Atmel Xplained series also includes a range of add-on boards that can be stacked on top of the MCU boards to create platforms for specific application development. This means a wide range of add-on boards is available, including inertial pressure and temperature sensors, ZigBee RF and Cryptographic authentication.

However, it should be noted that due to difference in features such as pin count or memory size, some add-on boards may not work with all MCU boards, so be sure to look at the the table below which summarizes recommended combinations.


On the X/MEGA side, Xplained kits include the XMEGA-E5 (ATxmega32E5) , XMEGA-C3 (ATxmega384C3), XMEGA-A3BU (ATxmega256A3BU), MEGA-1284P (ATmega1284), XMEGA-A1 (ATxmega128A1) and the XMEGA-B1 (ATxmega128B1 and LCD controller).

Additional Xplained kits include the UC3-A3 (AT32UC3A3256), the SAM4S (SAM4S ARM Cortex-M4), CryptoAuthentication add-on (ATSHA204) , UC3-L0 (picoPower AT32UC3L064), Temperature Sensor Xplained (add-on) and the Sensors Xplained (add-on).