Attending the iCubesat Conference in Paris and UKSEDS activities last week took more time than anticipated, so the hardware design has not progressed further since my last post, but I’ve instead been focusing on quicker jobs regarding software and regulation.

Firstly, I have been finding the tools needed to program the EEPROM that will tell the Pi each board’s unique ID number and other details that are used for a seamless connection (more details available here).

Next, I researched the software tools that the customer will use to program the AVRs. I discovered that the Arduino IDE unfortunately doesn’t support programming chips through the Pi’s GPIO pins. However, the AVRDUDE software commonly used for programming from bigger computers is available for the Pi, so can be used instead.

The CE mark found on many products sold across the EEA

On the regulation side, I was able to confirm that kits do not require CE marking. This mark ensures the quality of products sold across the European Economic Area (EEA) and while I won’t be CE marking the AVR HAT for Raspberry Pi due to the huge expense that certification testing would require, I will certainly and personally ensure that every board is of the highest quality.

The next steps for the board will be

  • collect together all the software required for programming AVRs from the HAT and bundle them into one easy to install package
  • continue writing the user guide for a trouble free user experience
  • continue hardware design – add the switches that will determine which chip is being programmed and whether the Pi or ATmega328P is acting as the programmer

Next week will be another busy one, with work picking up on the SpaceSoc lunar rover project for this year, but I hope to at least write some more of the user guide and add to the hardware design.

As always, you can find the latest updates on my blog and Twitter.

Categories: Product Development

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