Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Programming new Reiser panels (G3)

I think I've mentioned the 'panels' that Michael Reiser developed while he was in Michael Dickinson's lab. These are widely used, but programming them can be a bit difficult and tedious. (By program, I mean upload the firmware to the panels themselves, not simply changing the address, which can be done easily over serial.) Will Dickson at recently wrote a great little collection of shell scripts to make this process easier.

You will need a panel controller box, the panels you want to program, and an avrisp mkII.

First, plug the mkII usb into your computer and the female header side into the six-pin header on the front of the controller box:

Make sure to align the small arrow on the avrisp mkII with the arrow on the header:

Next, plug a panel face-up into the female header:

Now, download and unzip the scripts from Will's bitbucket site. In a terminal, cd into the iorodeo-panels_prog_avrdude/program directory. Finally, run

./program_panel <address>

(The first time, this might require your password.)
Note <address> is the panel address you want to assign to the panel in HEX. That's right, you need to convert to hex from decimal. To do this conversion, I use an interactive python prompt and the following:

import numpy as np
np.set_printoptions(formatter={'int':lambda x:hex(int(x))})
print <address in decimal>