Monday, April 12, 2010

WordClock boards have arrived

The WordClock board from Anool arrived!
The clock consists of three boards: Main board which houses the ICs, the LED board and the face (pictures to come)

Everything seems to be working except the reset from the FTDI interface. hmmm.

Yet another blinking light, and it is a miracle every time!


doug said...

I also had a lot of trouble with the original Arduino Wordclock reset in my V2 Arduino Wordclock PCB using the FTDI cable - In my design, I duplicated the EvliMadScientist FTDI interface from the Meggy JR.

From my analysis, the Arduino board is reset when DTR is toggled. With the FTDI cable, there is no DTR line, only RTS. My belief is that the Arduino IDE programmer only toggles DTR to perform a reset.

I have found great success in manually resetting the target board just after the sketch has been compiled. one day, I will have a look at what has to change in the IDS to allow the FTDI cable to reset the board.

PS - I love what you guys have made with the clock - the new stencil looks awesome. You can have a look at my clock page ( to see the gallery of what others have made their clocks into.

Justin said...

Thanks Doug! I had a look at your Word Clock Gallery. Nice clocks! Feel free to post Anool's version there.

About the FTDI, I came accross this on SparkFun's 3.3V FTDI breakout page
"... The FTDI Basic uses DTR to cause a hardware reset where the FTDI cable uses the RTS signal."

So it looks like you nailed it.

P.S. I mentioned to Alden that you were interested in his WordClock and he said he'd contact you.

doug said...

Hi Justin - I thought I would add a link to this page -- It shows what to do to set your Windows box to drop RTS on closure - this will reset the board...

Justin said...

Thanks Doug,
Have you tried this and did it work? I'm running Linux so I haven't. She seems to imply that everything should work fine as-is on Linux, but I still need to hit the reset button... small price I guess.

I can get auto reset to work using this ftdi interface ( which has a DTR pin in place of RTS, with this board ( I think I'll copy this in the future.