New ATtiny85 Quickstart Tutorial

I’ve just posted a new tutorial on getting started with the ATtiny85 micro-controller. If you’re an Arduino Uno user its a fairly seamless transition to use this low-cost, embeddable chip:

ATtiny85 via Arduino Quickstart Gude

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ATtiny85 prototype board complete

ATtiny85 breakout board

ATtiny85 breakout board model T-85

I Just finished scratch building and testing the first prototype of my ATtiny85 microcontroller board. Believe it or not this tiny thing is quite powerful. 1mHZ or 8mHz operation, 2.8v to 5.5v powering (everything from CS2032 watch batteries to AAAs, AAs, and LiPo battery packs). 5 input/output pins, PWM, analog input circuitry, In-System Programming with an Arduino motherboard.

My breakout board concept is to provide ground, power, and signal connections for each input so that sensors, leds, etc can be built with 3-pin 2.5mm female header connectors to plug-and-play with any of the inputs of the board. This also makes the standard input pin-compatible with servo motor 3-pin connections as well!

Now to crimp a few hundred 3-pin connections to try out various sensors and actuators…

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ATtiny85 Processors Arrive!

I just received an order of 10 ATtiny85 microcontrollers from Jameco (they run about $1.75 each in small quantities) so I can begin to experiment with cloning Arduino code down to a much-less-expensive and easy to embed processor. So far it’s been a breeze, using an Arduino Uno as my programming device and getting the beloved blink sketch up and running in about half an hour.

Now back to designing the world’s smallest Attiny85 board…

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NASA’s squishable robot ideal for planetary exploration | Digital Trends

NASA’s squishable robot ideal for planetary exploration | Digital Trends.

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Pleo Voice-Changing Script

pleo robot speaking

The Pleo’s operating system uses 3 virtual machines running the PAWN scripting language to handle all the sensor input, animation output, and overall control of the built-in personality.

Here is my first experiment in running Pleo code in the mysterious 4th virtual machine, the User VM.

Download and unzip this file, then copy the contents of the Pleo_Voice_200 file to an SD card. On start-up the script temporarily sets the Pleo’s sound playback speed to 200%, shifting the Pleo’s voice into a higher frequency.

For those interested in the programming side of things, here are the contents of the startup.p PAWN script that was build into the startup.amx file that runs on the Pleo

// startup.p
// on start-up change Pelo's sound playback to 200% speed

public init()
return true;

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Pleo Ships!

I’m eagerly awaiting delivery of my first Ugobe Pleo from eBay. Can’t wait to start programming!

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Studio Sound Panels

Zoom audio recorder with window and passing traffic

I spend most of our 3-day weekend building sound insulation panels for my home green-screen insert stage. As you can see from the photo above the front room area I use for shooting tutorials is directly adjacent to a very busy road. My initial measurements with a Zoom audio recorder in the untreated room put the traffic noise at about -31.5 dB.

For sound panels I build simple wood 2×4 frames and faced them with dry wall. Next I back-filled the empty space with alternating sheets of Styrofoam and sound board (a denser building-board type material) and then finally some roll insulation. The idea here is that to reduce sound transmission (as opposed to sound reflection) you need to force the sound to travel through several different types of material. By alternating denser and lighter materials the sound is dispersed further with every transition, giving good results with a fairly narrow panel.

The results? With the new panels in place my traffic noise has dropped to -39.75 dB, a drop of 8.25 dB. Combined with the use of a directional shotgun microphone or a proximity sensitive lavalier mic this should allow me to record tutorials with little or no background traffic noise.

Stay tuned for some examples in the near future.

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