AVR timeline

Timeline for AVR projects.

Atmel AVR board at an angle

The AVR board from the “Pick-by-light” trials.


This project was an “add-on” for a logistics project for a tyre plant. The tyres would be barcoded (on the inside with a heat resistant label—as an end-user you won’t see the label), and when they were finished, they would be tracked. The dates were 2002 and 2003.

The tread barcode reader for a tyre plant had a MIPS processor with Ethernet running embedded Linux. The HMI tests needed a simple terminal type of interface for the barcode reader output and some operator feedback on a LCD. The interface was RS-232, so to get something up quick and dirty, one of the Pick-by-light boards was “reassigned”. The Vero board and glue-gun mess is a RS-232 chip with caps for a charge-pump. The whole box ran off a single 5VDC supply.

LCD perspex cutout

The outside front was black perspex, so not much to see and only empty an ink cartridge on a printout, so it was cropped. The plastic housing was laser cut, making the outside a lot prettier than the bird’s nest inside. Yes, I know it would have looked a lot better with the backlight on and some characters.

AVR HMI block diagram

A block diagram shows the connection of the AVR HMI between the Ampro M2 (then M3 later), and the LCD/ barcode reader. The “ncurses” library was ported to the AVR but pretty simple stuff (no insert or delete editing functions). The host wrote out the whole 160 characters each update (4×40 display). This was not documented as the Au1000 Linux port took priority.