Archive for May, 2010

Cricut Cartridge Dissection

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

I borrowed a Cricut cartridge for a quick tear-down.  Here's the "front" (the side that faces away from the cutter) of a "Cricut Sampler" cartridge:

And here's the back:

The markings don't show up in the picture, but the big chip on the PCB is an ATmega16 and it's paired with a 4MBit serial flash part.  The 6 pin .1" header seems to be wired for in circuit serial programming.  Here's a pin out:

Header Pin ATmega16 Pin
1 2 - MISO
2 5 - VCC
3 3 - SCK
4 1 - MOSI
5 4 - RST
6 6 - GND

From the markings on the PCB, I would imagine that most cartridge hardware is identical.


Workshop Aquired!

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Finding a nice place to set up a workshop was a goal I set for myself a few months back when I outgrew my makeshift basement workshop.  I managed to find a commercial location that fits my needs nicely but it needed some serious internal remodeling.  Thankfully, because of the state that the place was in, the management company was more that willing to let me make a number of modifications to the property and lease it to me for a reasonable price.  I've been rather busy lately cleaning the place out, painting, moving stuff in, etc. and there's plenty more left to do but it's just getting to the point now were it's a usable space. I'm super excited about having a nice work space with plenty of room for some larger scale projects!

(P.S. I've made a little bit more progress with the Cricut, so hopefully I'll have some of the kinks worked out of my logging stuff soon and I can post some more detailed info on talking to the thing!)