Build Instructions: Simon Says Game Kit v2.0


These are the build instructions for the Simon Says game kit v2.0. While this kit is for beginners, these instructions assume that the user has a basic knowledge of soldering. If you do not know how to solder, then check out this great guide by Sparkfun before continuing.

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Introducing the TinyLoadr AVR Programmer


I finally finished the next version of my TinyLoadr AVR programming Shield – and it’s not a shield. It’s a standalone USB programmer, so you no longer have to have an extra Arduino laying around. The best part? It’s the same price as the shield was!

Read more to find out more about it, or visit my Tindie store to grab one for yourself!

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Docs: How to use the TinyLoadr AVR Programmer

The current version with a USB-B connector.

The current version with a USB-B connector.


This tutorial will show you how to use the TinyLoadr AVR Programmer to upload code to a DIP microcontroller in the built-in ZIF socket as well as how to upload code to a target PCB with an AVR on it using the ICSP headers.

Note: These instructions apply to all TinyLoadr models, regardless of USB connector or build number.

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Arduino-Powered Foosball Scoreboard (Part 2)


This is part 2 of 2 in my post about my Arduino-Powered foosball scoreboard. Here’s a link to part 1.
After building the first Arduino-powered foosball scoreboard, I was really excited. I showed it off to coworkers, friends, and family, and I also posted about it online. I got some great feedback, and started thinking about ideas for a possible revision in the future. Eventually though, I kind of forgot about it and moved on to other projects.

About 8 months after finishing the scoreboard, I started revisiting the idea of a new version. When I looked at the ratsnest of wires, I was a embarrassed. Not only did the wiring look terrible, but the actual circuitry wasn’t well thought out. In fact knowing what I know now about electronics, I’m surprised the thing even worked as well as it did. After all, there wasn’t a single current-limiting resistor to be found in the whole project (seriously). It was going to need a major overhaul, but I was ready to make it happen.

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Arduino-Powered Foosball Scoreboard (Part 1)

Close up of the finished scoreboard.

This is part 1 of 2 in my post about my Arduino-Powered foosball scoreboard. Here’s a link to part 2.

At my office, we have a foosball table. There’s nothing really special about it. Rather there was nothing really special about it until last year. My boss and I play fairly often, and we had always joked that it would be cool to have the table keep track of the score for us, instead of us using the little abacus-style numbers on each end. I needed a new side project, so I challenged myself to build it.

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nRF24l01+ 2.4GHz Wireless Arduino Transceiver Code

The nRF24l01+ transceiver is a fantastic and cheap way to get your Arduinos talking to each other wirelessly. It’s also very easy to use thanks to some great libraries:

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“ArduinoISP Deluxe Shield” is now “TinyLoadr Shield”


When I made the first prototype for my ATtiny and ATmega programming shield, I decided to call it the ArduinoISP Deluxe Shield. “ArduinoISP” came from the fact that it would rely on the ArduinoISP sketch in order to be useful, and the “Deluxe” part was because while there were already other ATmega or ATtiny programming shields out there, none could program as many different microcontrollers as my shield could.

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Monday Experiment: Bootloading an ATmega32u4 with Arduino

ATmega32u4 Breakout

A month or two ago I ordered some of Atmel’s ATmega32u4 microcontrollers to play around with. I was excited to get them, but at the time I was really busy at work, so I quickly forgot about them. Last Friday I received some TQFP44 breakout boards and decided to spend some time this past weekend getting the Arduino bootloader and some example sketches up and running on the ATmega32u4. Turns out, it was pretty easy.

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Sneak peak: TinyLoadr Shield 3.0 prototype

Note: The ArduinoISP Deluxe Shield has a new name: TinyLoadr Shield! Read more about it here.

I’ve been pretty busy lately, but one thing I’ve been playing with is an experimental new version of my ArduinoISP Deluxe TinyLoadr Shield. Here’s a sneak peak at the bare PCB. FYI, all of those traces are hand-routed. This is my first PCB with surface-mount components.


If you’re on the fence about buying a shield already, fear not. This is a very early version, and after pricing out the components needed, it is highly unlikely that it will even go into production at this point. Ah well, back to the drawing board.

New Theme!

I was getting pretty tired of the old look of this blog, so I decided to bring it back to life with a new theme. Please bare with me while I tweak the look of it over the next little while. All the posts are still here, at the same URLs, so don’t worry. Hopefully this new format will encourage me to post more often.