Archive for the "software" Category

Precision PWM Frequency for Arduino / ATmega 328P

I’m working on an application where I need fine adjustment of PWM frequency. The existing PWM code that I found, such as the Arduino PWM Frequency Library, only allows integral frequencies to be selected. On pins supported by 16-bit timers, the Arduino PWM Frequency Library allows fine adjustment of duty cycle, but not frequency. After […]

How to Dramatically Speed Up AVRDUDE with USBasp or USBtinyISP Programmers

AVRDUDE has a little-known command line parameter, -B, which sets the bitclock, and can dramatically speed up writing/reading firmware to/from an AVR MCU when using a USBasp or USBtinyISP. For a USBasp, simply add -B0.5 to your command line parameters. Example: avrdude -cusbasp -B0.5 -pm3280 -U flash:w:firmware.hex In my tests, adding -B0.5 reduces the time to write […]

WS2812B LED (NeoPixel) Control: Part 2 – WiFi Control via Art-Net on ESP8266

INTRODUCTION For wireless control of WS2812B (NeoPixel) LEDs, I initially played with Bluetooth SPP (Serial Port Profile), due to the simplicity of setting up the host software… from the host’s software’s point of view, the connection just looks like a physical serial port. Unfortunately, the flakiness of my Windows 8.1 PCs’ Bluetooth SPP support caused me […]

WS2812B LED (NeoPixel) Control: Part 1 – Serial Control via 8-bit ATmega (Arduino)

INTRODUCTION I’ve been laying the groundwork for doing some projects using remote controlled RGB LEDs. My first attempt was Lampduino, which used discrete RGB LEDs, and an ITEAD Colorduino as a controller. In that project, I ran into several pitfalls: though inexpensive, assembly of the LED matrix was very labor intensive the LED’s were rather dim, […]

HowTo: Fix AVRDUDE 6.3/Arduino 1.6.10+ Compatibility Issues with USBasp Clones

I recently upgraded to Arduino 1.6.13, and found that I could no longer program my boards with my Chinese USBasp clone programmer. When the Arduino IDE tried to load the firmware with my USBasp, AVRDUDE couldn’t find my USBasp, and gave this error: avrdude: error: could not find USB device with vid=0x16c0 pid=0x5dc vendor=’’ product=’USBasp’ It turns out […]

Pyle PSWGP405BK GPS Watch Software and Firmware Updates

Today, I discovered that the New Balance NX990 GPS Cardio Trainer Watch, like the Pyle PSWGP405BK, is just another Latitude Limited Nav Master II clone.  Following my hunch, I searched for the NX990’s accompanying software, and lo and behold, it’s just rebranded version of GPS Master! Best of all, it’s an updated version, v2.0.16.124, vs […]

GPX and TCX output from GPS Master Software

A couple of years ago, I bought a Pyle PSWGP405BK GPS watch with Heart Rate Monitor. It’s been a great device, though it’s big, and a bit ugly. The battery far outlasts my wife’s Garmin watches, and I love the customizable screens. My main problem has been the lack of a useful way to extract heart rate […]

Installing English Firmware on a FAST FWR171

I recently learned that the FAST FWR171-3G is a lower cost clone of the TP-Link TL-WR703N, the only difference being the case. While browsing AliExpress, I found what I thought was a great deal… the FAST FWR171 for only $16. After waiting over a month to receive it, I noticed that it doesn’t have a USB port. […]

OpenWrt: Cross-compiling libmicrohttpd for TL-WR703N

Recently, I’ve been developing embedded webapps using node.js. Unfortunately, node.js is a bit bloated for resource-constrained platforms, such as the TL-WR703N running OpenWrt. Not only is it too large to fit into flash memory, requiring an external USB drive to run EXTROOT, but I’ve even encountered circumstances where I’ve been running out of RAM. Thus, […]

Windows 8: How to Fix Windows Update and/or Windows Defender Check for Updates Failure

I had a very irritating problem with my Acer Aspire V5 notebook computer running Microsoft Windows 8.1 for the past several months. The computer was not able to update itself. When I launched Windows Update, it would just hang forever checking for new updates, so I couldn’t even figure out what updates were needed, let […]