Picture of Swiss AVR Knife
The Swiss AVR Knife bundles a number of AVR programming projects together in a single convenient Altoids Gum Tin. Because of the flexibility afforded by microcontroller programming, it also provides a starting point for any number of projects based on LEDs and sound output. The SAK can contain as many programs as the 8K of memory permits and maintains eight states for each program. The blue pushbutton causes the SAK to cycle through programs and states -- a quick press causes it to stay in the program but change to the next state (however that is defined) and a long press causes it to advance to the next program. The current program and states for all programs are preserved in EEPROM between uses.

The projects currently implemented in the SAK include the following. These, along with all of the other code and constants (there is a full font table), take up about 4K of the available space. Lots more room!

MiniMenorah -- Evil Mad Scientists
Brain Machine -- Mitch Altman
MiniPOV -- Adafruit Industries
Noise Toy -- Loud Objects
LED Running lights
LED Candle
LED Flashlight

This project would not exist without the considerable generosity of everyone who contributed in one way or another. In addition to the abovementioned, I would like to thank the developers of the software tools used (see in other steps) and anyone that put up a useful website that furthered my understanding of these topics. I can take direct credit for very little of the code used in this project. If you feel that the code is yours, it may well be. Let me know and I will happily give you credit. In any case, thank you for your contribution :-)
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monkeys984 years ago
i am a bit of a geek myself but i didnt get most of that and what does it actually do?
zgr95 monkeys984 years ago
im trying to figure that out to i thinks some sort of larson scanner
Mdob zgr954 years ago
It combines many different independent projects into one easy to use form factor.
The MiniMenorah, Brain Machine, MiniPOV, Noise Toy, LED Running lights, LED Candle, LED Flashlight are included in a single altoids gum tin.
zgr95 Mdob4 years ago
oh thats pretty cool
davew394 years ago
What does AVR stand for?
matthewpoage (author)  davew394 years ago
From Wikipedia -- The AVR is a modified Harvard architecture 8-bit RISC single chip microcontroller which was developed by Atmel in 1996. ... Atmel says that the name AVR is not an acronym and does not stand for anything in particular. The creators of the AVR give no definitive answer as to what the term "AVR" stands for. I used the ATtiny84 chip (in the AVR family) and called the project Swiss AVR Knife because, like the Swiss Army Knife, I added as many small programs as I cound.
minigl4 years ago

i need the ready compiled hex-file please!
anyone can help me?
Hey, Awesome project! This may sound stupid, but how do you take such nice pictures? Did you make one of those white box setups? and are you using a high quality SLR or just a normal digital camera? Also, I suck at using EagleCAD. Do you have any tips because it takes forever! Did you use PnP Blue transfer paper, or just normal paper? Oh and one more random question. What major are you? I'm just curious because your work is very nice and you are very knowledgable! Thanks, Eric
matthewpoage (author)  silverflame445 years ago
Thank you for your interest in this project. It took me a long time and I like how it turned out. I am looking forward to using the board design and code in other ways. I use a Canon PowerShot S300 2.1 megapixels (it's about eight years old) to take my pictures. I shoot in macro mode in strong indirect light (by a north facing window) on a piece of poster board. I take A LOT of pictures and throw most of them away. I would like to upgrade my camera to one that can use older Canon lenses. And a tripod. The boards are masked with PnP Blue transfer paper. I heat the board with a very hot iron (almost highest heat; much hotter that suggested) and then position the paper on it. Because the board is hot, the paper sticks. Then I iron for a few minute and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Eagle CAD takes forever because designing boards takes a lot of care. I start with the container and then do revision after revision and keep tweaking my designs. You only see the ones I like! I majored in mathematics.
emu_death5 years ago
hey, nice project there, I'm going to look through the code tomorrow and see if it needs any cleaning up(I'm no wiz at C, but I getting close :) ). Do you have any video that you could upload of this thing in action, showing the various modes, etc. It would be greatly appreciated. I can't wait to get started on my own, just gotta wait for that digikey order to come in :).
cdubnbird5 years ago
so likewise i don't wan't to sound dumb either but what does it do? does it just light up some LED's in different patterns?
this project combines a few other DIY kits sold online into one small pocket-sized kit. The kits it combines are the: mini menorah, brain machine, minipov, noise toy, and it also works as an LED flashlight and candle, etc. If you want more specifics on what each thing does, click the links in the intro.
armynavy175 years ago
So I'm going to show my stupidity and ask what does this do and why would you need it.
dont feel bad. even after that explanation i still dont quiet get what it does....yet after the thneed analogy...i must have one.
i think it lights up the leds as the sound get louder,like some sort of graph or something
matthewpoage (author)  armynavy175 years ago
One needs this in the same sense that everyone needs a thneed. You could probably live without one :-( You'll get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. There are several popular AVR projects that use other chips with less memory. The ATtiny84 chips has a relatively large 8K of flash memory. This allows all of those projects to be incorporated on a single chip with room to spare. Other programs that incorporated LED or audio output can be added easily. The blue button triggers an interrupt that switch between programs and between states of a program.
MakersBox5 years ago
Looks awesome, and well documented. It is nice to see someone else pick the ATiny84 for a project.
mman15065 years ago
you could adapt a arduino breadbord style and intergrate it with a pcb
cyrozap5 years ago
Eagle files plz?
matthewpoage (author)  cyrozap5 years ago
Eagle files for the schematic and board are now included in Designing and Making the PCB (step 7). I modified a number of elements and these are included in the library file map.lbr.
Bongmaster5 years ago
great :) wouldnt mind an arduino type version :P