Flashing Arduino’s and AVR’s over the Network

PI + Pogo + LSCommander

Can flash over the network for Raspberry Pi’s, Pogoplugs, and normal Linux machines.

Ever since I read this post, I wanted to see if I could reliably flash Arduino’s over my network.  I’m pleased to announce that I can, and my plan is to share the juicy details so that you too can enjoy being able to reprogram your projects from the comfort of your main machine.

RFC2217 is a standard that lets you read and write to a serial port, over your local network.  It not only sends data, but it lets the remote client send RTS and DTS signals, which allow you to reset the remote AVR.  The general standard gives us some nice flexibility, letting the remote client control the serial port as if it was right there.

Why would you want to do that?  Well, I can do my main programming on my main machine at my comfortable desk, while having my AVR microprocessor in the hot garage next to the Raspberry Pi/Pogoplug, connected to the network.  Developing on a Pi or Pogo is slow, so if I can leverage my powerful system to do the development on, and delegate the Pi to just the flashing part, then it reduces one more barrier to having network capable, field re-programmable devices everywhere.

A big advantage for me is that now I can completely contain my development environment into a virtual machine, which can be backed up, moved to a different machine, or saved/resumed.  If there are enough requests, I can see if I can upload the machine somewhere for easy download.

The RFC2217 standard would allow for some pretty interesting things.  I could have an Linux Serial Commander connected to one computer, that controls the Raspberry Pi + monitor in the other room. With SSH tunneling, I think I could flash firmware over the internet (I will test this soon), so that all you would need is a Linux system on the wifi, to be able to reprogram any networked RFC2217 AVR within that network.  Another idea is if you need to reprogram your AVR based sprinklers, instead of bringing it inside, you just bring a Raspberry Pi + USB wifi adapter + batteries + serial cable to the unit.  Push a button, and the firmware is flashed from your remote computer.  Pretty awesome.

I’ve uploaded this updated LScreamer to bitbucket this time, a link to it should be in the side bar.  Feel free to ask any questions about getting started with LScreamer.

LCD working on a ATMEGA168!

… But don’t I already have an LCD controller, you ask?  Why yes I do.  That was using an MC9S12C32 processor, a totally different kind of chip than an Atmel.

While I may be able to write my own, there are plenty of libraries out there that mostly work.  I picked this one since it’s the first one that worked for me.  Well, the Arduino environment worked right off the bat, but I’m not interested in running arduino yet. The have a nice tutorial that teaches you how to bit-bang the LCD.  I might redo this when I get the 75HC595’s in the mail later this week.

Ultimate goal of getting the LCD working on the Atmel platform: Remote 2.0!  My idea is to make a remote that can display the statistics of my car, when I am close enough to it.  Statistics like engine temp (in multiple regions), engine coolant level (I have a leak), and other things.  Hopefully I can capture the OBDI and integrate it with my logging, and displaying 😛   Imagine driving down the freeway with a little wireless display that shows all of those statistics…