Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Meet the Flash Board

In Hardware on Apr 26, 2010 at 00:01

The Flash Board is a brand new piggy-back board to turn a JeeNode into an ISP programmer:

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It’s compatible with the ISP plug described a few days ago, but it includes a few extra features:

  • on-board button and LED
  • on-board 128 Kbyte EEPROM memory
  • holes for a “direct-connect” ISP connector

It works with the isp_flash.pde and isp_prepare.pde sketches. See those two posts for details about these.

This board is now in the shop as kit, with the EEPROM soldered on since most people probably don’t want to solder such tiny surface-mounted chips. Note that the above two sketches don’t use the on-board EEPROM.

Here’s the Flash Board in more detail:

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Nothing fancy, but I find it convenient, especially in combination with a JeeNode USB and a LiPo battery pack as a Portable ISP Programmer!

The “direct connect” ISP connector is a funky way to dispense with the ISP cable altogether, and plug this thing directly into a board with 6-pin ISP holes:

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The master JeeNode + Flash Board are pushed upside down into the 6 holes of the ISP header, i.e. without header. Due to the way these extra long pins are placed, they will go in under an angle and push sideways to make a good connection. The trick is that these pins use two separate ISP headers, to end up with pins 1-2/3-4/5-6 swapped, so that they’ll work properly upside down. See the after-burner weblog post for another example of this.

Sure, it’s a bit funky. And you don’t have to use this. But it works :)