Revive a Freaduino MEGA 2650

IMG_4612The Freaduino MEGA 2650  looks a nice board at first view. It is advertised as Arduino MEGA 2650 compatible with many extras. Like a switch to run on 3.3V or 5V, which makes it easier to interface to 3.3V devices. And a more capable power circuit  when powered by a external powersupply: 800 mA 3.3V,5V 2A.

I have bought, a year ago, one of these boards: a 2012 version V1.4, date 22/10/2012. Looks well produced.

It has some deviations from the standard ATMEGA 2650 R3:

  1. The dimensions are not exactly identical to the Arduino MEGA2650, prototype boards do not fit. Pinout is identical though.
  2. It has a FTDI FT232L based serial interface instead of the ATmega16U2 IC.
  3. The FTDI FT232L on my board is a fake, so it becomes bricked when a current FTDI Windows driver detects this IC.

In 2014 I did not get it to work, due to the fake FT232L, and put it aside. But today I got it operational again! Alas still not operational on Windows, it works fine on a Linux system such as the Raspberry Pi.

Here are the steps!




All my standalone Arduino’s on one page. Also see the Raspberry Pi connected ‘Duino’s.
Each has been tested by compiling and uploading the standard Blink program or a variant.

Tested with the Arduino 1.6.5 on Windows 8.1 except the Freaduino tested on the Raspberry Pi!

Uno ATMEGA328 R2, R3

All are cheap but well made clones from China. All but one worked fine the first time. One, a Funduino, had a damaged bootloader, repaired with the excellent Bootloader program by Nick Gammon. And that Uno is fine now also! Read More


RasPiO® Duino and GertDuino

The combination of Arduino, such as the Uno with the ATmel ATmega 328P, and the Raspberry Pi is a natural one. The RPi is an allround computer with I/O facilities and a general purpose, though not real-time, operating system. The Arduino is a programmable microcomputer with also lots of I/O including lots of digital I/O, analog inputs and PWM outputs, made for running a dedicated program with precise real-time performance. Where bitbanging I/O on the RPi is not such a good idea, on the Arduino on the contrary it is common.  Exchange data via the serial ports to let both  platforms enhance each other and work together.

I have two boards that add an Arduino experience to the Raspberry Pi: the RasPiO® Duino and the GertDuino. Both function well. The RasPiO® Duino is a simpler, better supported, better designed and cheaper solution, though you have to solder it yourself. The GertDuino is ready to run, more powerful, since it has two ATmega IC’s (a replaceable 328 in DIP and a 48) but a bit rough on details.

I prefer the RasPiO® Duino. £14 including postage worldwide..  Much better supported and designed, runs on all RPi models and on jessie. The GertDuino, €30,  is a nice, build, and powerful board, Arduino compatible, two ATmega’s, with RTC and IRda, but takes away more of the RPi GPIO like I2C, and is a bit rough to work with and with much less support, the Reset issue, the board space wasted for a non-functional and not present powersupply, and seems to have problems on RPi model 2 and on jessie. Read More


RPi Cam Web Interface in action

This is my second test of the timelapse/video facilities of a Raspberry Pi with the camera on top.

So I did a standard RPi Cam Web Interface installation, on jessie this time since the installer is not completely finished at the moment for jessie. It went without a problem again. Only  advice I have is to configure the wireless interface before adding the RPi software, so that Apache sees both ethernet and wireless. The WLAN with long antenna operates fine in the garden! Read More


3.5″ LCD TFT Touch Screen Display Kedei on AliExpress

When surfing for information on 3.5 ” TFT touchscreens for the Raspberry Pi, to improve the TinyLCD experience, I stumbled upon AliExpress where several shops offer a 3.5″ LCD TFT Touch Screen Display for incredible low prices.

So I ordered two for the price of $14,85, postage included. A acrylic case and stylus is also included in that price! The shop Soonics has good reviews, but you  never know if one can trust that.

Here my experiences with the screen: quite slow refresh, not too high contrast, crisp screen, touch works, software works but is already outdated, but considering the price this screen is well worth the money! If I compare it to the NeoSec screen it is a better deal for applications with a high contrast theme and no demand on smooth video.

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