Robots w/Lasers

January 9, 2008

It Works!

I’ve finished assembling my little gadget…and it works! As a side note, Flux is super handy, it made soldering the tiny SMT stuff really easy, also I learned a few tips from this video.

I ran into one small problem: on the board, I added a JTAG port for in-circuit programming & debugging. However, my cheapo JTAGICE mkI (not mkII) doesn’t support the newer AVR chip I put on the board. So I had to hack in an ICSP port, hence the four ugly green wires coming out of the middle of the board. But once I got that in, I updated the program I had running on the prototype. There were just some minor changes, IO pins were mapped differently, and the syntax for using Timers was slightly changed.

Now that the hardware is essentially done, I need to write some more software, get a few polished minigames on there.

UPDATE: Please enter your email address, I’m trying to find out if there’s any interest in these devices. If enough people subscribe, it will encourage me to do something about it 🙂

You can download a short video, or watch it online here:

PS: I bought enough parts (including the PCB) to build two of them…so if anyone wants to buy one, please feel free to make me an offer in the comments below 😀

Filed under: AVR,Hardware — davr @ 6:54 pm


  1. How much for one of those small gagets? I would not like to pay alot

    Comment by Denis K — February 7, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  2. Since it’s a prototype, built in small quantity, i’d have to charge more to cover the costs. Also note that the software’s not finished, so it’s really only useful right now if you want to program it yourself. Either way, leave a comment with your email filled in (nobody sees it but me, so don’t worry about spam), and I can contact you

    Comment by davr — February 7, 2008 @ 5:26 pm

  3. i might be interested in buying it, depending on the cost.

    Comment by kaelb — March 17, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

  4. Just stumbled upon this blog and I’m instantly loving this project. Hope to see more progress over time! Good luck 🙂

    – Adriaan

    Comment by Adriaan — March 18, 2008 @ 2:54 am

  5. Very nice project! It reminds me of the Mignon Game Kit a little bit ..

    Only with a bit more power, I guess, and nicer LED matrix.

    Still, I wonder if you’ll be sharing your PCB design and such for other hackers to work on? I can imagine this little project becoming quite useful for other things too – such as building a MIDI sequencer/patch librarian, for example.. 😉 Contact me if you think you would be interested in other people helping out in such a fashion…

    Comment by Jay Vaughan — March 18, 2008 @ 7:11 am

  6. […] Head over to Robots w/Lasers for more details – [via] AVR gaming project […]

    Pingback by Dimme’s world » Handheld AVR gaming project — March 18, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

  7. Wow! That is really good. Cant wait to see further progress! it is really good for an amateur! You have it working with your own hardware and software. Bill Gates had an entire team of programmers and still got the BSOD when he presented windows 95. In that light, you are smarter than the richest man in the world.

    Comment by despoteuodia — March 18, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

  8. […] Handheld AVR gaming project – [Link] […]

    Pingback by Blog » Blog Archive » Handheld AVR gaming project — March 19, 2008 @ 1:39 am

  9. This is quite nice, What applications are you intending it for?

    Comment by Cam — March 19, 2008 @ 8:46 am

  10. I guess it could be used for lots of things. But my “intended” application is as follows:
    1) Personally learning AVR’s, PCB design, and electronics in general
    2) A portable game device with charm (though it will never compete with something out of Nintendo & co)
    3) Possibly reselling to others as a kit for learning programming microcontrollers (haven’t decided if this is feasible, or if there’s enough interest)

    Comment by davr — March 19, 2008 @ 9:36 am

  11. Could somebody make for me this PCB board. Only computer version???????

    Comment by patlas — March 20, 2008 @ 4:58 am

  12. So .. how do we get PCB’s made? I want to make one of these too!

    Comment by Jay Vaughan — March 20, 2008 @ 6:19 am

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