Archive for the 'hardware' Category

Programming attiny85 with Arduino Uno

This is just a short post about how I finally, after considerable troubleshooting, got my attiny85 programmed. I followed the High-Low Tech guide for programming my attiny85 with the Arduino Uno. However when I tried to upload the blink sketch to the attiny I got a bunch of errors(e.g. avrdude: stk500_cmd(): programmer is out of sync, avrdude: stk500_paged_write(): (a) protocol error). I rechecked everything (software, wiring, etc) way too many times just to run into the same problem again and again. Finally, what worked was to distribute grounds to various GND pins on the Arduino board. Now I’m not exactly sure which one did the trick, but anyway everything works flawlessly now. Actually the trick is to drop the baud rate to 9600 in the Arduino ISP program, and also edit the programmers.txt in the arduino > hardware folder. ISP
avrisp.protocol=stk500v1 mkII
usbasp.protocol=usbasp Programmer
# parallel.delay=200 as ISP

Hope this helps someone out there experiencing the same problem.


Amilo Pro v2030

Alright I finally got Debian installed on the Amilo Pro 2030 laptop. There were a few problems that I managed to solve, like an invisible mouse pointer/cursor and the wireless. So I’d like to share the solutions here:

    Invisible pointer:

edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section “Device”
Identifier “Configured Video Device”
Option “HWCursor” “off”
Option “SWCursor” “on”


    Wireless(with internet access available, e.g. ethernet):

Add the contrib repositories to /etc/apt/sources.list
e.g. deb lenny main contrib

apt-get update
apt-get install b43-fwcutter

Download and setup the firmware when prompted.

Voila. Now get something to manage your connections according to your windows manager, I use wicd with LXDE.

Corsair XMS2 6400 800mhz DDR2

If you own a stick or more of this ram you’re in luck, you’ve well spet your money. These babys are very affordable and can be pushed to perform better than some more expensive competitors. However if you don’t pay attention, you might be mission out on the good stuff. My motherboard automatically set the ram at 5-5-5-18, which is not really where you optimally want to be since these sticks handle faster timings. 4-4-4-12 is where I’ve had mine for a long time at 2.1V (default 1.9V), but now I’m trying 4-4-4-10. With my cpu at 3.6ghz and my memory multiplier at 2.0D the system runs pretty nicely. Note that I’m not pushing the mhz higher than the original 800mhz. Give the timings a shot if you haven’t already 😉

Rig update

Here’s a little update on the rig that I built some months ago. First of all everything is running fine, which I am very happy about since it’s my first build. I’ve bought an 120 extra fan with an adjustment nob panel (SilverStone FM121), which replaced the Antec exhaust that came with the case (Sonata III).

I had to play around with the arrangement of the 3 fans before I found the optimal cooling combination. The problem was the great rpm and cfm difference of all the fans. 3 120mm fans: one front, one on the cpu heatsink, and one as rear exhaust. I had to put the new SilverStone as the rear even though I though I’d use it at the front because at full 2400rpm and 110.03cfm it just got all my airflow mixed up (Sonata 3 is quite tight) and reving it up actually increased temperatures slightly.

The Scythe fan that came with the Ninja didn’t have as much punch so I put the Antec on the heatsink and the Scythe up front. I’m still not sure if this is the best setup, but I’ll let it be for now. Temperatures are around 37-38 on idle and 55-60 during Orthos (cpu stress stability test), forgot to say that the e8400 is clocked to 3.8ghz atm… I just couldn’t resist 😉

I also bought a new Samsung hard-drive and moved the old one to my old pc, that I have great server related plans for. Found out something weird about the Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 ram, their official reported timings are 5-5-5-18 but somewhere else I read that 5-5-5-12 should be fine, and that’s where I’am at now… Maybe I’ll do some proper overclock on them later.

New Rig Project (3)

Today I installed the Scythe Ninja Plus Rev B heatsink, and here’s how it performed. At 3.0ghz the e8400 gave an idle temperature reading of 35C- So not bad, even though I think I might have applied a little too much thermal paste. Nevertheless, the max load temperature was 42C, which I am happy with.

I overclocked the e8400 to 3.6ghz with ease- I am amazed at how fast I was able to fix the bios settings on the Gigabyte ex38-dq6 motherboard. Much to my satisfaction, the overclock temperatures were 36C-37C idle, and 46C while running Prime95. I didn’t run Prime95 for very long, so I’d say the absolute max could be around 50C. Finally, I have to say that I am content with the Ninja’s performance with the 120mm fan on it. Now I’ve got a total of 3 120mm fans in the Antec Sonata III case- One at the front sucking in, second on the Ninja and the third at the back blowing out. All of the fans blow in the same direction to maximize air flow.

New Rig Project (2)

I previously told you that I was going to build a new pc for myself, and I gave a list about the parts. Now I’ve had the rig up and running for about an week, and I’m mostly happy. The e8400 processor is very nice, and in combination with the gigabyte ex38-dq6 motherboard, there shouldn’t be any problems overclocking it. However, the stock heatsink doesn’t do it’s job efficiently enough for my standards (min: 35C, max: 46C, avg: 38C with factory clock), so I’ve ordered a Scythe Ninja Plus. I hope I can fit it in the case 😀

The Zotac Geforce 8800 GT AMP! card is working like a charm. I ran 3DMark and scored just below 13000 with stock settings, and when I’ve got the new heatsink and some overclock, I’ll run it again and post the results.


Write comments if you have something you need to ask.

Current OS:

Arch Linux / Windows 7