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Topic: ZIFduino (Read 11984 times) previous topic - next topic



Update:  New crystal, new bootloader, happy ZIFduino board.  It communicates via USB and takes anything I throw at it.

While I'm really happy with it, it's not shield friendly.  There's a new one in the works that'll address the shield issue.


Cool.  What'd you do?  Put the ZIF socket on the other side?   Or just move it out from the under the shields?  Or are there super-short ZIF sockets?


Or super-tall pin headers :)


Feb 10, 2008, 10:23 pm Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 01:30 am by Bitty Reason: 1
I moved it off to the side and made sure the pins were placed in the same layout as the Diecimila.  It looks like nobody makes a low profile socket that'll take an ATMega168.  I also took a bit more care with this one to make it look more orderly.  A panel's worth of them are coming from Gold Phoenix after the Chinese new year, so I'll have some available for a select few who want to test the design and give me feedback.


Feb 11, 2008, 07:29 am Last Edit: Feb 11, 2008, 07:31 am by eustace Reason: 1
Please count me as a tester - I'll get my parts on order  :D

BTW - Samtec makes super-tall headers


I got my ZIF socket yesterday and noticed that it can be easily converted between .300 in spacing and .600 in spacing.  Nice!


Okay, the new boards are in.  I'd like to send some out to those willing to give me serious feedback on the layout and general usefulness.  Note, the board does NOT have the FT232RL pre-soldered, so you'll either need to be comfortable doing SMT soldering or know someone willing to do it for you.  If you're interested, contact me via PM.


Mar 02, 2008, 11:32 pm Last Edit: Mar 02, 2008, 11:33 pm by eustace Reason: 1
...and while I'm waiting for parts, I can always program my Boarduinos with this...



Finally found the time to post a crappy picture...


Mar 05, 2008, 01:32 am Last Edit: Mar 05, 2008, 01:34 am by aballen Reason: 1
Just got my board, so I have to order parts.

The traces for the 232 are bridged, before I order parts, is this repairable? or is that just a little tin bridging the pads?



Pins 19 & 20 and 25 & 26 are supposed to be bridged like that.


I really like the "values on silkscreen" approach.  You've almost eliminated the need for documentation!
I put the crystal on order with Jameco - I should have everything by this weekend.
This is what my current solution looks like - I'm adding servo powered tracks to it right now (just 'cause I can).


Got mine together this afternoon:

I like it!  I happen to have the components already, so it didn't take long after I received my board to get going.  The silkscreening is clear and accurate, although I did have to remind myself of the LED orientation - I'm used to seeing a flat on the outline instead of a +.  I think that's the only time I consulted the schematic.

Any shields that follow the NG/Decimilla outline will work just fine, as the ZIF socket is far enough to the side to leave plenty of room.

The only thing I can find to complain about is the board is trimmed a wee bit too close, but it certainly won't cause me any problems.

If I were to change anything, I think I'd rotate the ICSP header 180 degrees, as my AVRISPmkII cable wants to run over the top of the socket, instead of to the left where there's plenty of room.  I also have the feeling that a disconnect jumper for the auto-reset (like someone did with a recent Freeduino board) would be a good idea.  I haven't had any problems, but from posts on the forum I think it would be a good option to have.

I chose to use machine pin headers for the crystal to allow me to change frequencies or remove it as I prototype for different projects.  I also found that the 0.1" pitch capacitor pads were just about right to solder some 1206 SMT caps on, since I didn't have any through-hole caps the correct size.  This gave me the idea of creating my own Eagle components for caps and resistors so I can use either TH or SMT if I want, but that's another project.

As soon as I was finished soldering, I dropped a fresh ATmega168 in the socket, plugged in the ZIFduino's USB cable and connected my AVRISPmkII up to my Powerbook.  I selected the Decimilla board (the ZIFduino is equivalent), selected "burn bootloader", then uploaded my test program and I was in business!

Kudos to Bitty for a very useful board, and to the Arduino team for a great platform to work with.



Very cool looking board.  Nicely done.  

One reason that you might not want to rotate the ICSP header is that some shields use it to bring the reset line up to a button on the shield (for compatibility, since the NG didn't have a separate reset pin next to the power pins).

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