within the microcontroller that directs where to jump to
when a gosub command is encountered. By monitoring
this, you can make sure multiple gosubs are not somehow
getting lost. This is really an advanced user function.
Set Auto Update
This should always be selected. It tells the
debugger to update the variable, RAM, SFRs, and Stack
after every command is executed. You should select this
when the debugger is first connected, but it can be turned
on or off at anytime.
One of the most interesting robot platforms I’ve found
that is based on the Basic Atom chips is the Microbric Viper
robot shown in Figure 3. I did a search for locations that
offered this kit but the only place I could find that still had
some in stock was
www.electronickits.com. The Microbric
www.microbric.com shows a few other resellers
www.robotshop.us was the only one that had add-on
parts for the kit but didn’t have full kits in stock. I assume
this kit may be phasing out or a new version is in the
works. Microbric has other robot options as well, but they
don’t appear to be Atom based.
What makes this robot kit so interesting to me is that
it’s designed for the beginner. The robot is assembled
with just a screwdriver and this includes the electrical
connections. The boards have color-coded connections and
plastic locks that hold the boards together. The screws
serve two purposes: to both hold the boards together and
to make the electrical connection. Figure 4 shows the secret
to the Microbric connections.
The two-wheel version looks a little weird at first but it
can make a great robot. If you can find the add-on kit for
an extra set of wheels, then a four wheel robot can easily
be made. Figure 5 shows that type of bot.
Atom Nano Development Boards
Last time, I also mentioned and showed pictures of
some Nano development boards, including an early version
of the little breadboard programming adapter (Figure 6).
This board contains the programming interface circuitry.
The board is designed to plug into a breadboard and then
connect to the PC’s USB port. I’ve since been told by
Basic Micro that they are working on an improved version
that powers itself off the USB port of the PC. The early
prototype I have requires you to supply power. I look
forward to that new design.
Watch for more Nano information in future articles. I’m
told there are several new development boards on the way
that will make it easy to use the Nano chips. I hope to use
these to demonstrate some basic applications for the Basic
Micro Nano. In the meantime, check out what they have at
Figure 6. USB Programming Adapter Board.
BasicMicro.com and also look for it at our site at