So today, after updating LScreamer to run in Windows, and pushing those changes to the LScreamer Sourceforge page, I decided to work on getting the RFM12B’s up and running. So i went ahead and looked at the JeeNode’s schematic, since I’ll be using their library for it. Went and soldered them up, so all I had to do is to get 2 breadboarded ATMEGA328’s running at 16 MHz each. Should be easy.
I took two breadboards, wired them up identically, and flashed a 16MHz bootloader on them, all without problem. When I tried to communicate with one of them, I received a bunch of 0’s. A quick test I do to test my MAX3232 serial to ttl converter is to connect the TX and RX lines, so anything it sends should be echo’d back.
To summarize, I spent about 2 hours troubleshooting this circuit, which is dead simple. The moral of the story: know your programming tools, and have programming tools that work reliably. I know my Serial to TTL circuit works reliably now, but it was one of the things I questioned. My Serial cable sometimes has problems, which is solved by unplugging and replugging it. Oh and having a capacitor between gnd and vcc is good, and if it causes your circuit to stop returning random noise, then that is a good thing. Hopefully I’ll have some wireless 1’s and 0’s tomorrow!