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Sanguino: First Impressions

Filed under: Arduino,Hacking — jet @ 18:59

The reprap people have a new arduino-like out, the Sanguino. It uses the Atmel atmega644p, so it has 4x the memory, 14 more i/o pins, and JTAG support.

I ordered a couple of kits and soldered them up. Instructions are easy to follow, both for soldering up the board and for modifying Arduino to support the new chip. However, I ran into two problems right off the start, one of which would have probably stymied someone without any arduino/microcontroller experience.

1) No bootloader was installed on the Atmel. This is not the end of the world if you have a bootloader lying around. We had one in studio, but I can’t find it and everyone else is out of country/town. I took this as a sign that I should have my own, so I ordered a couple of USBtinyISP‘s from Limor (always buy two of anything you rely upon), soldered them up, and bootloaded the Sanguino. I wrote a simple sketch that blinks the debug LED, pushed it to the Sanguino and yea, everything works now!

Now, to try replacing the Arduino nano or mini on one of my project boards.   

2) Oh. How cute. It won’t work on a breadboard. The spacing on the Sanguino pins is so wide that when it’s plugged into the center of ye olde standard breadboard, you can’t access one side of the Sanguino’s pins. That is, if you put one side of the Sanguino in column b so that you can use column a, the other side is in column j, not in column i. Looking at the board layout, I think this could have been completely avoided by moving the pins in a “row” on each side, and putting the labels for the pins inbetween the pins ala the Nano.

Yuck. I guess I’ll have to get clever if I want to use this with my existing projects.

[tags]arduino, sanguino[/tags]

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