Embedded C programming using AVR Studio on Arduino Boards

For those of you who have an Arduino development board and wanted to code in embedded c and upload your code on the board, this is the right post.

For starters you need to download following components:
1. Arduino IDE Download Link
2. AVR Studio Download Link or AVRDUDE download

We shall be using AVRDUDE utility for burning our programs onto the micro-controller.

Once you’ve installed above programs. We can begin the setup of AVR studio using AVRDUDE for burning our programs.

First you must locate following two files:

  1.  avrdude.exe : If you have installed Arduino IDE then a sample path for this file is as follows. C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\hardware\tools\avr\bin\avrdude.exe
  2.  avrdude.conf : Similarly for Arduino IDE installation the path is as follows. C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\hardware\tools\avr\etc\avrdude.conf

If you are using AVRDUDE direct download, then these files shall be in the avrdude installation folder. example: C:\avrdude\avrdude.exe and C:\avrdude\avrdude.conf

We shall require both of these paths in the subsequent steps, so kindly ensure you’ve copied these two paths and kept it somewhere.

Next step is detecting which COM port your arduino board uses.

devicemanager

In my case the port used by the Arduino Board is COM3. Keep this information with you.

Now the AVRDUDE arguments is as follows:

  1. Arguments for Arduino Mega 2560
    -v -patmega2560 -cwiring -P COM3 -b115200 -D -Uflash:w:"$(ProjectDir)Debug\$(TargetName).hex":i -C"C:\avrdude\avrdude.conf"
  2. Arguments for Arduino UNO
    -v -patmega328p -carduino -P COM3 -b115200 -D -Uflash:w:"$(ProjectDir)Debug\$(TargetName).hex":i -C"C:\avrdude\avrdude.conf"

I shall explain few important command line options used in above commands. The detailed explanation for all the options is given in following documentation.
options
Now that we understand about the commands that shall be used, we can proceed with the creation of AVR Studio programmer.

avrstudioprogrammer

Steps:

  1. Open AVR Studio.
  2. Under tools select external tools.
  3. Press add.
  4. Name your programmer in the Title field.
  5. Paste the appropriate arguments in the Arguments field.
  6. Paste the avrdude.exe file path without the quotation marks in the Command field.
  7. Check the ‘Use Output window’ box.
  8. Press OK.

Now you have your programmer available in the tools menu above the external tools sub-menu.

You can upload a LED blinking program to your board to check whether everything is working.

Steps for testing

  1. Create a new GCC executable project
  2. Make your main.c file
  3. Build the project so that the hex file is generated
  4. Go to Arduino Programmer in the tools menu and click on it
  5. You should get an output window

If everything works you will have the hello world blinking LED.

Hope you liked the post. If you found it useful, please like and share! Remember sharing is caring 🙂

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Bit set, reset, toggle and masking in Microcontrollers

Well I would like your concepts on bit set and reset operations to be clear. No matter which language you use be it assembly or embedded c, you will always require to set and reset register bits.

Now whether you want to initialize some peripheral or poll something you will require these three operations.

Bit set operation

This means making a particular bit in an register as 1 or setting it. Now let us see this property of logical OR.

x OR 1 = 1

So whatever be the value of x if you OR it with 1 the result will be 1. This is what we want right? I’ll be taking one example after explaining bit reset.

Bit reset operation

This means that you want to make a particular bit of a register 0 or reset it. We make use of the property of logical AND:

x AND 0 = 0

So whatever be the value of x if you AND it with 0 the result is 0. This is what we wanted so bit reset is done by logical AND operation.

Masking

Often you are interested only in a particular bits of a register. This may be the input of some sensor or something else. Now you want to use masking in this scenario. So masking means you reset all the bits that are not required and let the bits under consideration as it is. Again we make use of logical AND properties.

x AND 0 = 0

x AND 1 = x

So you make the masking pattern by making the bits you want as 1 and the ones you don’t want  as 0. Convert this value to hex and logical AND that mask value with the register.

Bit toggle

Bit toggle is also useful. So for this we make use of the property of ex-or as follows.

x ex-or 1 = complement of x or x-bar

Thus if you ex-or the bit with 1 the bit will be toggled.

Example

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R &= 0x2081 // This is the masking operation in embedded c

R |= 0x2081 // This will set the bits 0,7,13

R ^= 0x2081 // This will toggle bits 0,7,13

So as you can see this example covers masking. Similarly you need to make the bit patterns for bit set, reset and toggle operation.

If you want more examples comment here. Please like the posts if you like what I have written. And do subscribe to get notifications of my new posts.