Monthly Archives: Mar 2011

A BreAduino nightmare

This was supposed to be a straightforward build but things started going wrong, and it just continued.


After getting all the parts and putting everything in exactly as it was supposed to be as per the really awesome instructions at and then double checking I go and hookup 12v to the breadboard and poof. Smoke coming out of your only Atmega 328 controller you have is not something you want to be seeing. If you look closely (click on the first image) you can see the melted plastic where the reset button is. I actually moved the Atmega 328 down four rows just in case I had shorted something internally.

FT232 Breakout Board


FT232 Breakout Board



After getting a couple of new Arduino boot loader preloaded Atmega 328’s I popped one in and hit the upload button. The only thing that happened was the following error message

avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x51

A few searches later and I figured it must be due to not having a “auto reset” on my BreAduino, and it not being a Arduino Uno. After changing the the board to Duemilanove and a bit of experimenting I found that hitting the reset button immediately after Binary sketch size appears in the IDE an upload happened and worked. The RX an TX LEDs blinking at an insane rate is a good thing and made me happy.

HD44780 LCD Display


HD44780 LCD Display



Now that I have a working BreAduino I went through the hookup process of a HD44780 16×8 character LCD display, using the pinouts in the Arduino IDE examples as a guide. Unfortunately I did not realise that I had the positive and negative supply the wrong way around until I had a look at the excellent tutorial at AdaFruit The saying a picture says a thousand words applies to electronics as well. At least I didn’t pop the entire display, it is now a 8×2 character to will have to make use of scrolling text more than I would have liked.

At least I am now past stage two of the alarm system for the caravan, next step is to get all the parts working together.