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How to get started with microcontrollers - Part 1

Basics with Atmel microcontrollers
 
Author: Aki Korhonen
Published: 26.01.2009
In English In English
Suomeksi Suomeksi

What you need (software)

In order to be able to get your AVR circuit to do something, you'll need a couple of programs to your computer. We will look at the installing of programs on Windows and below are the links to all we need. If you are using Linux, you'll find the best instructions for the distribution you are using by doing a Google search with something like "avr +linux" or "avr +name_of_your_distribution" like "avr +ubuntu" for example.

» WinAVR - A software package that includes avr-gcc that makes it possible to write the programs in C language and compile them for the AVR. Latest release at the time of writing is 20081205.
» Atmel's AVR Studio - Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for AVR microcontrollers, helps you to manage your projects etc. At the time of writing the latest version is 4.15. Downloading requires FREE registration.
» PonyProg - Simple yet powerful programmer that we need to get the compiled program to the AVR chip through the parallel programming cable as there isn't straight support for it in the AVR Studio. Latest version at the time of writing is v2.07c BETA.

Installation

First one is WinAVR, the installasion is quite straight forward, just read what it says and click next. The best option is to leave everything to their defaults. Next install AVR Studio, again leave everything to their defaults and everything should go well. Nothing special with PonyProg either, just unzip the package and run setup.exe and follow the instructions.

You now have all the necessary programs installed and you'll find them from your program menu. Continue to the next step.

Coding and Compiling

After you've installed all the programs successfully, start AVR Studio and you should see a welcome screen. There is a button "New Project", click it. New project can be started from the Project menu too.

 

How to get started with microcontrollers - Part 1
AVR Studio welcome screen

You should now see a window with a "Project type" area and there should be "AVR GCC" (if not then there is something wrong with your WinAVR installation), choose it. Fill in the project name and choose a location where you want your projects to be saved. Click on the "Create folder" too so your projects are well organized under their own folders. Click Finish now, not Next.

 

How to get started with microcontrollers - Part 1
AVR Studio, project window

After clicking Finish, you should see the following view:

 

How to get started with microcontrollers - Part 1
AVR Studio ready to be used




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