Fuses are set when programming these ATMEGA chips with the Arduino bootloader.
I’ve been having some difficulty with setting these fuses – I cannot set BOOTRST without locking the chip up completely. These are QFN32 packages, so it could be caused by a short. I’m clueless.

From the boards text file, I know that the BOOTRST Vector is usually programmed for 0xDA which means 1024 words, but the pro mini programs that bit at 0xDE, or 256 words.

I am still able to upload hex files to the chip and located the temp build directory for the arduino IDE (C:\Users\John\AppData\Local\Temp).

Build folders pop up in this directory and the hidden hex files are within these individual subfolders. The MultiWII software exports quite a few cpp and header files, but only one hex file. I’m cautiously optimistic that bypassing the bootloader may actually give me something usable. Chips are ordered. We’ll find out on Wednesday or so.


AVR is a steep learning curve, and I’m learning exponentially because cost is involved. After locking many chips, I burned the optiboot hex file to the atmega chip via AVRDude.

I also just realized I don’t have a pullup between VCC and RST. Could this be what’s giving me heartburn?




Burning a bootloader to a new ATMEGA chip is a delicate process.

Soldered the chip to the footprint on my board – it aligns well and reflow work was actually straight forward. Soldered the ISP header – and performed a check via AVRDude.


The board, at that stage, cannot accept a new bootloader. I’m not sure why, but my current thinking is that it’s because I didn’t have the crystal soldered to the board.

I will reattempt new hardware. I also need to order replacement 328p IC’s for the other boards.

Mar 312012


New Media students at Ryerson spend four years preparing for this event. It’s the culmination and demonstration of graduates using their skills to make effective statements. I had the fortune of attending the gala opening on Thursday.

Surveying the work, the challenge of curation became clear. Each piece is applying an inherently unique technological approach to a systems aesthetic. It’s a beautiful clash of individual approach, and I took zero exception with the way pieces were arranged. A return visit is unavoidable, so I have a better chance to be engaged with the work instead of the crowd.

In the meantime, more legitimate journalists have covered the event.

Mar 282012

At the beginning of last week, the finalized PCB design for the nanocopter was sent over to itead studios. Today word comes that the front and back mask layers are absent in my factory output files. Shit. That was my fault.
I’ve emailed the corrected files and am hoping to hear back soon.
So much adversity. So little time.


The forgotten layers