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1 Post authored by: mountainfish
mountainfish

Building with an MCU

Posted by mountainfish Dec 3, 2014

Hey there.  I am new to this site and I have recently caught a little bit of the arduino fire.

 

THE PROJECT: (this part is not required for to understand my question.  It is just my first project and I am including this for my very own gratification) I am working on a nightlight for my son's bedroom.  I would eventually love to have it battery operated but that is a ways out.  The idea at this point is to have a pushbutton nightlight that has three levels of brightness, low medium high, which you will push the on button three times to cycle through the levels of brightness, and then hit the button again to turn off.  In between each level I want the LED/S to fade from one level to the next and then fade to off.   I have successfully written the code that will cause an LED to do this when connected to my board.

 

QUESTION ONE:  I would like to build a nightlight that runs on a dedicated MCU, so I can free up the arduino board for other projects.  I also DO NOT want to purchase a smaller arduino board that I can dedicate to this project.  My goal is to gain a greater understanding of MCU's and how to build projects using them.    So the question:  When I have my code compiled and uploaded successfully, it says at the bottom of the Arduino program, "Binary sketch size: 6,250 bytes".  I imagine this number will give me some insight as to which MCU I would need to purchase for my project.  How do I know which MCU will successfully handle my code?  For example, the ATtiny85 data sheet says under features that is has 512 bytes of SRAM.  Is SRAM the number that I am looking for? And does this mean that I would need to find an MCU that can handle the 6.25 kb of SRAM and that the ATtiny85 is not it?

 

QUESTION TWO:  In my limited understanding due to limited research, it appears that I might be able to use one of my arduino boards to program an ATtiny85 or any other small MCU by plugging it into a breadboard and running wires appropriately.  Is this true?

 

Any help or any individual who can be a resource as I stumble my way through this project would be awesome. 

 

mountainfish

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