CA Board

Some time ago I had these boards made by OSH Park, and I’m pretty pleased how they turned out. It’s great to see your own designs professionally manufactured, now just hope I didn’t screw anything up in my design. :)

This board is part of an experiment with cellular automata that I’m sometimes spending my thoughts on. Like almost all the stuff I do, this project as to compete for my attention with many other unfinished stuff.

The board will be populated with 16 Atmel ATTiny13 microcontroller, of which I had already ordered a lot of 50 pieces from Ebay.

All components will hot air soldered using stencilled on solder paste.

This weekend I experimented with programming the SO-8 packaged microcontrollers. To do so I also ordered a programming adapter from WaveShare as pictured below.

This adapter allows programming of the comtroller before soldering it to the board. I’ll probably prototype on breadboard anyway. I want to be able to dynamically load code to the controllers which will be executed in a simple virtual machine.

To test code running on the Tiny13, I’ve made a small plug with 3 LEDs that can be attached to one of the headers of the programming adapter. The LEDs show the state of PB0 - PB2, actually the inverse state, as the GPIOs sink Vcc in this case.

It didn’t take long to get the first code running on the Tiny13, blinky LEDs this weekend!

Time to think of implementing a protocol for the controllers to exchange state information, updating code on a remote controller as well as synchronizing the controllers as they will all run asynchronously by default.