Every AVR programmer worth her weight in ATmegas knows about the AVR Butterfly--a ridiculously low cost ATmega169 demonstration and evaluation kit. Lamenting the lack of such a kit for the ATmega168 drove me to design my own demo/eval kit for the Arduino microcontroller family. This project became a compulsion that cost three complete redesigns, five destroyed ATmega168s, and hundreds of hours of point-to-point wiring. The result was Polyphemus--an ATmega168 demo kit that you can build from your own spare-parts box.
Named after the gorgeous giant silk moth with large, colorful "eyespots" on its hind wings (Antheraea polyphemus), as well as the gigantic Cyclops who tormented Odysseus, this Polyphemus sports several exciting features:
- ATmega 168 microcontroller (housed on a Freeduino board)
- color Nokia 6100 LCD
- two multi-state pushbuttons
- white LED
- piezoelectric buzzer
- 3.7V rechargeable lithium battery
- analog input connector
- FTDI USB programming connector
- compact 3x3-inch handheld form factor
By using a 3.7V battery to power Polyphemus, no additional power regulators are needed. Also, no DC-DC boost converter is needed for powering the Freeduino and white LED.
The user interface for Polyphemus is displayed on the color Nokia 6100 LCD. Using one pushbutton to move the menu and the other to "pick" a selection, you can choose from three built-in functions:
- Flashlight - turn ON/OFF the white LED
- Light sensor - sample ambient light readings in milliamp units
- Voltmeter - test power connections (
Your article might garner some interest if your readers had any idea of what you were talking about. I'm sure there are those out in InternetLand who understand completely and therefore don't need your article, but I would bet the majority of Popular Science readers come to the Popular Science website to LEARN something they don't know. Being confronted with "Every AVR programmer worth her weight in ATmegas knows about the AVR Butterfly--a ridiculously low cost ATmega169 demonstration and evaluation kit" tells me absolutely nothing. A nice sentence full of sound and fury signifying nothing and definately a sentence that does not inspire me to read further. So when I see any AVR's or ATmegas walking down the street, I'll be sure to cross over to the other sidewalk.
I agree. What the hell is it and why would I want to build one?
Nicely done. As a hobbiest with a butterfly and arduino this looks like a fun and useful project. Its just the cost of that color LCD that kills, but such is life.
I wonder what version 2 will look like.
Great work. I WILL Build one.
There must be some variant on this that would fire imaginations the way the PopTronics Cosmac Elf did in the 70's.
looking at the build info though, the LCD board is sort of dauntingly expensive. There must be a more affordable alternative.
By the looks of it it might be hard to build if you don't know what te heck he is talking about
For people who were/are concerned about the cost of the Nokia 61xx display...there is a cheap alternative, that also gets you a nice 3.7v rechargeable battery for nothing. T-Mobile has been selling these phones in Wal Mart, (prepaid cellular thingy), for under 30 dollars...(it might have been about 20 when I picked one up). I'd sacrifice mine, but it works in areas, like my house, with marginal signals where all other phones I tried fail.