It all started with me trying to make some temperature sensor nodes that have a low power draw. I'm making this a project of firsts. First time designing a PCB, first time using nRF24 radios, first time building a project around a ATMEGA328P rather than a Arduino, first time trying to run a MCU on low power and at a slow speed, first time writing bootloaders with a ISP, etc.
After reading about some people's projects and whatnot, I gather that I need to do. But much of the information is spotty or is written in such a way that I feel like I'm only getting half of the story.
Anyway, I have a lot of questions and am very confused. Almost all of it comes from the ISP, bootloading, etc portion of it. Here are just some of my questions or confusions:
1) I'm worried about installing WinAVR on my Win 7 64bit machine (I have read that it messes the Windows paths), has this been resolved?
2) I didn't see the ATMEGA328P in the partno list, I'm assuming that you can't just select the 168? Am I missing something? (http://www.ladyada.net/learn/avr/avrdude.html
3) Running the MCU at 8MHz sounds like it's all set in the fuses (and an 8Mhz crystal
). After reading what was in the fuses info page linked to AVR Tutorial, I think I got a handle on the concept, however, it seems like there are a lot of people messing with the boards.txt and programmers.txt files. I have no idea what these files do. It appears that the boards.txt file either tells the IDE what is supposed to be set in the chip or the IDE is setting the chip using the info in the boards.txt which would by-pass the need for an ISP no?.
4) Could it be as easy as burning a bootloader for a 3.3v 8MHz Pro Mini on to my chips?
Any help would be great.