Getting started, would this plan work? (Noob)

everybody,

Thank you for th opportunity. How did we ever manage anything before forums?

Here is the reason for my post: there is so much information on the web on Arduino, it's near impossible to filter through it.
I would like to play around, primarily in home automation. I also have a Pi I would like to use for interfacing and programming.
I already have a microcontroller, from an old project, in a socket, but it's an AT90S8515. From what I read, at least the software lists this controller, which leads me to believe it might work. It is also pin compatible with earlier Atmega chips, but missing the clock.
I also have a 256k serial memory chip that I could use here, if it helps (serial eeprom 24LC256).

So, do you think I might be able to just get a PCB (if yes, kindly advise which, 40 pin PDIP is what I need), then get the rest of the components and play around?
Sure, a complete Arduino would be the logical option, but that's not how I operate (read that as "cheap bastard" :slight_smile:

This post arduino with at90s8515 - Development - Arduino Forum seems to have a lot of info on the feasibility of my project, but I am still hoping it would work. Actually, my complete setup was intended to be connected to a parallel port, load the programming onto the eeprom and run on the microcontroller.
Why I want to switch to an Arduino board is because I no longer have/find the software. Plus, I would like to interface with a relay shield for home automation, so my board has none of that.

Oh yeah, I could also use an USB to serial (TTL) converter for inerfacing.

Thanks a bunch for any advice.

somedude:
I already have a microcontroller, from an old project, in a socket, but it's an AT90S8515. From what I read, at least the software lists this controller, which leads me to believe it might work.

It certainly might. If you can program it.

somedude:
It is also pin compatible with earlier Atmega chips, but missing the clock.

And most other things necessary for the Arduino environment.

somedude:
I also have a 256k serial memory chip that I could use here, if it helps (serial eeprom 24LC256).

Actually, the 24LC256 is a 32K byte memory - not (pardon the pun) all that flash!

somedude:
So, do you think I might be able to just get a PCB (if yes, kindly advise which, 40 pin PDIP is what I need), then get the rest of the components and play around?

If you were going to play with it, the first thing would be a "breadboard".

somedude:
Sure, a complete Arduino would be the logical option, but that's not how I operate (read that as "cheap bastard" :slight_smile:

If that is what you are, you are proposing to go about it the wrong way!

somedude:
This post arduino with at90s8515 - Development - Arduino Forum seems to have a lot of info on the feasibility of my project, but I am still hoping it would work. Actually, my complete setup was intended to be connected to a parallel port, load the programming onto the eeprom and run on the microcontroller.

If you read that thread, you would understand that you need an appropriate programmer to program the chip. For every sketch. It is going to be cheaper to buy an Arduino board such as the Uno, particularly if you buy a cheap "clone", than to buy such a programmer since that programmer is not the focus of the cheaply produced equipment floating around at present. Someone is quite welcome to tell me I am wrong and you can use an "Arduino as ISP" to do this or an AVRISP. Of course, even if you were to do that, you would still have to get the Uno or AVRISP. XD

somedude:
Why I want to switch to an Arduino board is because I no longer have/find the software.

Well then, switch to an Arduino board.

somedude:
Plus, I would like to interface with a relay shield for home automation, so my board has none of that.

Oh yeah, I could also use an USB to serial (TTL) converter for interfacing.

Indeed you could, but only after you have programmed the chip with each sketch.

Paul,

Thank you very much for the thorough response.

To show off a bit, I would like to mention, in my defense, that, technically, I wasn't incorrect about the eeprom size, it is 256k (bit). :wink:

You are again reinforcing the idea that I should just get an Arduino and scrap my current stuff. Thanks again.

I will make one more attempt, though, triggered by the fact that my current board, which has a PC parralel port, can be programmed that way, or at least, used to be able to be programmed that way. Would this change the equation in aby way?

Regards.

With apologies, I do not know exactly what the programming algorithm - and voltage requirement - for the AT90S8515 is.

If it is essentially ICP (and I am pretty sure it is as I have used AT90S1200s some many years back and the 8515 is just a higher rated version) and requires only 5V, then you most likely could program it with a PC parallel port, because you can program ATMegas that way.

And rather than "scrapping" it, you surely can find a use for it and presumably program it using the "Arduino as ISP" arrangement.

It does however appear to be much more time- and just as cost-effective and rewarding to go buy at least one Arduino as such.