Smart Cards are a bit of a misunderstood subject and no-one is quite sure what they are. Smart Cards are defined in a standard called ISO 7816. This has different sections that cover physical size and characteristics, where the contacts should be (for contact cards) and how to communicate with them.
We have been asked about how you can program an application code file and a separate bootloader into an AVR microcontroller using a Kanda programmer. It isn’t possible to program two separate files but it is simple enough to combine them into one file.
How do you choose a new production programmer? This issue came up in our production department this week, and made us consider again what is important in a production programming system.
So what considerations are important when choosing a new programming system?
Firstly, where possible we use ISP (In System Programming) and all our own products are manufactured using ISP but that is not always possible and ISP will be discussed further in another post. We also carry out contract manufacturing and assembly, and this is where we needed a new socket programming solution.
Continue reading “Help, Production Programmer Needed” »
Just when you thought you had complied with all the EU legislation needed for your electronics business, they dump another one on us and what a beauty!
What does this mean in practice?
AVR Dragon is a low cost In System Programmer (ISP) and also an In Circuit Emulator (ICE) in one package. It operates from Atmel AVR Studio development environment and is great for code development.
What can it do?
Having started your electronics business by doing a bit of trading on Ebay, you now want to be legitimate. In the last post, we discussed raising finance and the aversion of the banks to startups, electronics and risk (except complex financial instruments they don’t understand of course). Having raised money somehow, what other obstacles will the UK government and its bureaucratic allies in Brussels put in your way?
You have had this great idea for a new widget, or can see a gap in the market for an imported product, so how easy is it to set up a new electronics business in the UK? To test the water, you could just make some in your shed or import a few shipments and sell them on Ebay, (although HM Customs and Revenue are now data mining online to try and catch informal business and get more money!) but how easy is it to then create a formal business?
There are many different wireless protocols out there, but the ones that most people have heard of are WiFi and Bluetooth because these are used in devices that lots of us have, mobile phones and computers. There is a third alternative called ZigBee that is designed for control and instrumentation. What are the differences?
Continue reading “WiFi, Bluetooth or ZigBee Wireless” »
Most of us have PIC programmers for development, such as Microchip IDC2 or a PIC ICSP programmer such as PRESTO, which are very good at what they do. But they are not ideal for either production or field updates, because they require too much knowledge to use or need a laptop to be used in a challenging environment.
So what are the alternatives?
Continue reading “Portable PIC Programmers” »
Since the advent of Windows 7, some of our customers have had problems with software updates because the update does not install successfully. These problems do not seem to happen in Vista but maybe nobody uses it!
These problems take the form of firmware mismatch or sometimes settings are not saved properly, and can affect some of our products and any other older software you may have.
Why do these problems happen and how can you overcome them?
Continue reading “Software Update Problems in Windows 7” »