Updating GOL Chip

by Tikishark on Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:59 am

I recently purchased and assembled the Game of Life Kit. Everything works, however, after only a few minutes (sometimes less), I receive a repeating pattern. After resetting the board, I get a similar if not the same repeating pattern. I've read that you can update the firmware to make the display more random, but I'm not quite how to go about that (I see the files on github, but how do I use them?). I've purchased the Adafruit Standalone AVR ISP Programmer Shield and have successfully burned an Arduino boot loader onto the chip that came with the kit. Can I use the same Programmer (that's not in a standalone mode) to update the new firmware to the GOL chip? Can this be done through the Arduino IDE? I've also noticed that Adafruit offers code like the TimesSquare Watch on Github. Can this be burned onto a chip as well?

Thanks
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Re: Updating GOL Chip

by adafruit_support_rick on Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:44 am

Most GOL patterns will stabilize after a few generations.

You need a different sort of programmer to update the firmware - you can't use the Standalone AVR ISP Programmer Shield. Instead, you would have to use a USBtinyISP programmer:
http://www.adafruit.com/products/46

You can use the standalone programmer shield to update the Times Square watch. You would have to remove the ATmega328P chip to program it, so you would probably want to assemble the watch with a chip socket. Unfortunately, that would make the watch too thick to fit into the band.
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Re: Updating GOL Chip

by Tikishark on Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:46 pm

Thanks.... Unfortunately, my GOL never really changes. It goes directly to the propellor pattern within 20-30 seconds. I misread the description and purchased the standalone programmer because I thought I could just pull chip from the GOL board and update the firmware. I guess I should have bought the USBtiny instead. Maybe there's something wrong with my chip?

btw - I actually don't own the watch. What I wanted to do was emulate what the watch did (phases of the moon and time) on a breadboard. I wanted to make more of a clock and not a watch. I own many of the parts, the Adafruit Bicolor LED Square Pixel Matrix and I2C Backpack, a trinket (and Arduino) and a DS1307. Is it possible to take the github code and apply it to an Arduino or something similar?

Thanks for the support...




adafruit_support_rick wrote:Most GOL patterns will stabilize after a few generations.

You need a different sort of programmer to update the firmware - you can't use the Standalone AVR ISP Programmer Shield. Instead, you would have to use a USBtinyISP programmer:
http://www.adafruit.com/products/46

You can use the standalone programmer shield to update the Times Square watch. You would have to remove the ATmega328P chip to program it, so you would probably want to assemble the watch with a chip socket. Unfortunately, that would make the watch too thick to fit into the band.
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Re: Updating GOL Chip

by adafruit_support_mike on Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:13 am

Try hitting the list of Methuselas: http://www.conwaylife.com/wiki/List_of_ ... ethuselahs
When you void a product warranty, you give up your right to sue the manufacturer if something goes wrong and accept full responsibility for whatever happens next. And then you truly own the product.
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Re: Updating GOL Chip

by adafruit_support_rick on Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:17 am

The github code for the watch ought to run on a Uno - it's the same processor.

I don't have a GOL, so I don't know what to expect of it. But it's not likely to be a hardware issue
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Re: Updating GOL Chip

by Tikishark on Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:54 pm

adafruit_support_rick wrote:The github code for the watch ought to run on a Uno - it's the same processor.

I don't have a GOL, so I don't know what to expect of it. But it's not likely to be a hardware issue


Thanks for the help.... I tried to get the watch code to run on an arduino paired with a LCD backpack and DS1307 Clock, but have been unsuccessful. Not sure if my wiring is correct? I followed the schematic, but that's based on an individual ATmega328 (probably already burned with the watch code) and some form of clock chip onboard. I'm just learning about all of this, and don't have the skill YET to figure it all out. If someone could do a fritz for the hookup, that would be great.

-- I've given up on the GOL... I think it's just performing the way it was programmed. I plan on purchasing a USB tiny to see if the updated firmware has an effect.

Thanks, John
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