New with microcontroller, Need help

I'm wanting to program and do stuff with LED. Overall I like to make one of those 3x3x3 cube or bigger. I was wondering since I don't have any kind of microcontroller programmer what should I get to start off. I was told to get USBtinyISP. Didn't know if I would be able to do something like this with that or not. http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/ this is the site with it. I just need somewhere to start then I can add on to this to end up making a multiplex or charlieplex cube. Thanks

gmoon8 years ago
If you like the idea of using "bare" AVR microcontrollers, that's a good choice. Programming AVRs directly isn't as simple as using an Arduino, etc., as was suggested. But the usbtinyisp programmer supports all the major hardware/OS variants (Win, Linux, Mac.) Once you're setup with the hardware, the next step is learning the "C" language... If you know that already, you've got a great start. If not, there's an initial learning curve. "C" code addresses the AVR hardware on a fairly low level...you won't find language constructs like PinOn() or PinOff(), that stuff is for the simpler higher level languages used in the Basic Stamp, etc. Instead you'll get down-n-dirty in the hardware registers (where the action really is) and set a DDR (Data Direction Register), then set or clear an individual bit with bitwise logic... If that doesn't scare you, then the AVR and usbtinyisp are for you....
guyfrom7up8 years ago
well, you first have a decision to make, whether to go with simpler things like arduino/boarduino (still uControllers, but simplified) or a basic stamp, or do you want to go with "real" uControllers like PIC or AVR? BTW: I'm working on a 5x5x5 RGB 10mm LED cube. I'm using the ATmega2560, since it has a rediculous amount of space for code, and it has 86 I/O pins! I won't even need to use shift registers! a 5x5x5 cube uses 80 pins
westfw8 years ago
With little experience, you'd probably be better off with an Arduino or BoArduino (also available from Lady Ada, as well as other places.) There's LOTS of community help for Arduino...

See also How to Choose a MicroController