I’ve just seen this post. May be of interest to some of you?
Jon ““The Nice Guy”” Spriggs LPIC-1 Certified
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From: “G Bulmer” firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Jul 19, 2009 11:51 AM
Subject: [birmingham-hack-space] DIY USB-Gadgets (Arduino-like and under £3)
To: “Birmingham Hack Space” email@example.com
Folks may have seen this before, but just-in-case …
V-USB was called AVR-USB (but they changed their name to avoid
It is a very low-cost way to make USB gadgets using Atmel 8-bit AVR
micro-controllers (i.e. things that are compatible with the Arduino).
I think a basic USB gadget could be made for well under £3 (I’ll make
up a basket of parts when I get time).
The software is free for Open Source projects.
(You can pay a license fee and sell stuff too.)
There are a list of ‘reference projects’ showing how to make various
The PowerSwitch and EasyLogger examples don’t need a PCB. They’re
built on veroboard/matrixboard, so it would be relatively
straightforward to get started.
The host PC thinks EasyLogger is a USB keyboard, so there are no
drivers or other software. Plug it in, and it should look like a
keyboard, typing one character/second.
(I don’t know how much testing they do, but they have some examples on
Windows and ‘Unix’, i.e. Linux and Mac).
There are a lot of community projects:
One example, PowerSwitch, show how to make a USB-gadget using an
PowerSwitch has relays to switch power to 8 things. (NB this is so old
the circuit predates the ATtiny2313 part number)
ATtiny2313 is available from, for example, Rapid who sell it for
Handily, Rapid sell ATtiny2313 in both DIL (breadboard friendly) and
It has 20 pins, so it could be connected to quite a lot of things.
When I get around to it, I’ll make something as an experiment for
I think it’d be rather cool to show kids how to make USB add-ons for
I’d make it run independently of the host PC, to show that it is a
fully operational computer system.
It suffers the usual problem; it needs an in-circuit programmer to
program it. But they are pretty cheap, and I have one.
For anyone interested, this might be good practice, and a step to a