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PCB making and design considerations.

  1. Feb 8, 2007 #1
    Hi, I'm messing around with some stuff in an attempt to make a robot, and I was wondering if anyone could help me with a couple questions I have toward those ends.

    I'm trying to use an ATmega2560 microcontroller http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc2549.pdf as the CPU of my robot, and I was wondering how exactly I would go about hooking up a hard disc drive to the microcontroller so that I could expand its memory an absurd amount. My best guess at this point is to use multiple digital I/Os from the microcontroller and connect them to possibly the same on the HDD. Then, possibly access the firmware on the HDD(No idea how!(Or maybe it's already written?)), and write a program to control the writing to and reading of the HDD. And possibly do the same on the microcontroller; with the number of I/Os being used representing the amount of data to be transferred each(?) clock pulse. I'm not really sure what HDD I'm going to use yet, so I can't really be more specific on that. I'm aware the external memory of the microcontroller can be expanded to 64KB; I'm looking to expand to 10+GB. I'm getting slowly convinced I'd need to use bank switching to pull this off, which I think negates some of what I just wrote... In conclusion, I'm not really sure on any of what I just said is correct, so any answers/clarifications/corrections/google keywords, would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2007 #2


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    Why not just scavenge an old laptop for the motherboard and HDD?
    Probably a smaller footprint and less power consumption than what you are contemplating.
  4. Feb 8, 2007 #3


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  5. Feb 8, 2007 #4
    That site should help, as soon as I figure out if I can substitute a higher data rate transfer method, and also if it's even worth the effort/cost. Thanks!

    No idea where I'd get an old laptop(junkyard maybe?). I do, on the other hand, have an old HP Pavillion 6600 that I tore apart that I was thinking of using. It's just that I'd have to attach an A/D converter(for sensors) and figure out how to access any digital I/Os. Which now that I think about it are probably any pin connections not used on the board. I don't suppose you have any idea how to program an intel chip without an OS on it? I'm trying to avoid incurring a large overhead when my robot accesses its HDD, although I'm not sure if the speed increase from software will even come close to the increase I could get from hardware.
    I don't really care about power consumption at this point btw. And I have no idea what you mean by smaller footprint(grasping at straws here).
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2007
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