Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bringing back an old favourite - the Butteruino

After I had done some damage with AVR's bought from Dick Smith in 2002 on a breadboard, I moved onto the butterfly. I did a mini project measuring waterflow using thermistors for GroGuard. Then they lay disused in boxes until recently. I ordered a carrier board from Ecross and put together a handy proto-typing platform, except the serial port on the butterfly I have seems to be obstinately broken.

What could have been the #arduino , bring back the butterflies

This did not stop me from getting some software together for loading code onto it. Since everybody has caught the Arduino fever. I decided to go with Wiring and the Arduino IDE to develop for the butterfly, fortunately the Butteruino project has already done a lot of the hardwork for me, I just upgraded the changes to v22 of the Arduino IDE release. The patch should go live on SVN soon. Till then if you have a butterfly and want to test it with the Arduino IDE get it here.

Now the assembled carrier will lie in boxes till I work up the courage to order some more old butterfly's from Digikey.
In spite of all their peripherals and fancy demo code, the butterflies suffer from the weirdness of the joystick, lack of FTDI for direct USB connection and overall fragility. Still they are excellent for long-term, low-power data logging applications, may be coupled with an Xbee. I believe given slightly different design choices, a better IDE than AvrStudio, no funny press the reset button and pray code uploads, the butterfly could have beaten the Arduino back then. I will look into making the flow sensor again once I get my hands on a working butterfly and develop some more Eagle skills.
Post a Comment