I bought a USBTiny AVR programmer on eBay for about A$8 posted.
Above, the seller’s pic of the package.
It is almost always the case that the ISP headers on the programmer use the standard pinout published by Atmel, and in that case the supplied ISP cables need to be pinned pin for pin, ie pin 1 to pin 1 etc.
If you look carefully at the pic, the key is towards the top of the pic which means pin 1 on the right hand plug is towards the viewer and pin 1 on the left hand plug is away from the viewer. The cable does not connect pin 1 to pin 1, and as a consequence the package did not work.
There is more than one way to connect these plugs, and above is one way that does connect pin 1 to pin 1, and the cable and USBTiny work. Though the seller has been told of this defect, he continues to sell the item with the pic of the defective cable.
One wonders how many thousands of these things are and will be sold with this defect.
There are a number of USB-RS232 adapters available, among them Silabs, FTDI, Prolific and WCH.
The Silabs CP series adapters have been reliable but not very widely used.
The Prolific adapters are, well, prolific… but given their major compatibility problems and poisoned drivers, they are not a good choice.
FTDI was a good choice until they distributed through Microsoft Windows Update their device poisoning trick to disable chips they thought counterfeit… though they seemed to have backed away from that action.
The new kid on the block is an adapter by Chinese company WCH, chips that appearing in lots of low cost devices, eg Arduino Nano clones with WCH adapters instead of FTDI selling for around A$3+ on eBay whereas the FTDI equipped Nanos are more like A$12.
This article compares the WCH CH340G and FTDI FT232RL.
The Fox flasher MkII is designed to run directly from a 1S LiPo battery at 3.8-4.3V. The battery can be charged by a simple voltage limited charger to 4.1V with a small loss in capacity. This article describes a simple solar charger for such a battery.
The regulator uses a TL431 precision programmable reference in a simple shunt regulator.
This project was designed ad-hoc as a learning exercise for a friend who ‘needed’ to acquaint himself with Arduino.
What better than a practical exercise that demonstrates some key advantages and disadvantages of the Arduino environment.
The project was a simple digital thermometer to display normal environment air temperature, say from -20° to 50° using common and inexpensive Arduino hardware with firmware developed on the free Arduino IDE, all using hardware that was on hand. Continue reading Arduino thermistor thermometer – a tutorial
A range of inexpensive serial to Hitachi style LCD interfaces are becoming available.
This article describes the settings for one sold by eshoppingcity1 (and others) on eBay (about A$6 for 5 inc post at the time of writing but they are getting cheaper). It uses the Philips PCF8574T I2C expander chip which is supported by the user developed Arduino LCD Library V1.2.