It was found whilst using the original ATMega32A Development Board that there was a couple of things missing that would make life much easier. So here is is the updated version of the ATMega32A Development Board V2.0.
The updated board has three significant new features:
- Power LED (How did i forget this in the original?)
- In Built 5v Regulated Power Supply
- RS232 Line Driver
These features were required to successfully complete a project at university. The first two features are fairly self explanatory, the power supply so you can power the board from battery power, and the power LED to see when the device is turned on. However you ask, Why do you need the RS232 Driver? The answer is simple, Real time debugging.
The RS232 Driver circuit was added to the development board to help with code debugging in a larger project. It was possible to use the computer serial power to act as a dumb terminal in order to read what the which stage of the code the program was up to is also one of the uses for the General Purpose controller project.
The three new circuits are fairly straight forward:
The Power supply is a basic LM7805 Regulated 5v Supply. The development board can now be powered from any voltage up to 32v depending on the specific regulator used. There is also a protection diode used to protect the circuit from reversed polarity of the supply and this can also act as a rectifier for AC input voltages however this is not recommended.
The Power LED circuit requires little to no explination as it is one LED and one Resistor connected in series across the 5v Supply
The RS232 Driver circuit is taken directley from the manufactures datasheet for the MAX232 chip. It is thought as part of Version 2.1 i will swap this standard MAX232 for the new version which incorporates the capacitors within. However i am uncertain if i will get around to this.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
This Board is a vast improvement over the previous version, especially with the regulated power supply now built in. This make the development board great for mobile robotics and portable or battery powered projects.
I hope to produce a Version 3 in the future which will incorporate a USB port to replace the RS232 interface to make the board suitable for connecting to computers without the need for serial port or USB to Serial adaptor.