Xplained Mini First Look

The original purpose of this lab was to test run the new Atmel Xplained Mini board, make sure it is usable, and give feedback on what does/doesn’t work and how to improve it. I was also supposed to take note of any problems I found while going through the lab relating to the board.

In doing so, I encountered a classic road block that can stop a student from getting the device programmed.  Below is the screenshot.  

The error message in the screenshot says:

“Failed to enter programming mode. ispEnterProgMode: Error status received: Got 0xc0, expected 0x00 (Command has failed to execute on the tool). Unable to enter programming mode. Verify device selection, interface settings, target power, security bit, and connections to the target device.”

Note, if you receive an error that you cannot read the data, you may have closed out of a program while the board was in Debug Mode. Open a program, and run it in debug mode, and, in the debug menu, press “Disable debugWire and Close” to fix this issue.

Next, I switched the objective to looking for the differences between the Xplained Mini and the Arduino Duo– a popular microcontroller board with a very similar footprint. Differences were related to their physical properties such as pins and converters–mostly the ADC (Analog Digital Converter) pins.

Xplained Mini Project: Schematics

This part of the “Xplained Mini First Look” project was to compare and contrast the Xplained Mini board with the Arduino Uno, a popular microcontroller board with similar schematics. All I had to go off of for comparing the boards was the schematics and information online about them.

While reading the Arduino Uno webpage, I found that the Arduino Uno is based on the Atmega328 which is also on the Xplained Mini. Below is a screenshot from the Arduino website.

This is one of the block diagrams for the Arduino. The diagram shows in general how things are wired which is why it was useful in finding the ADC.

This is one of the schematics for the Atmega328P showing where on the chip which pins are related to what. It shows which pins are on the chip for the ADC; on this board it is pins 6 and 7.