Guide to Xmega USART aka. Serial communication

Most of my projects involves having some sort of communication between PC and my micro. Either useful data is being transmitted between those two, or just for the sake of debugging, since I don't have any of the high end AVR debugging tools. Whatever reason, serial communication is always useful and I view it as a must have and very important module of any micro. In this article I'll be describing how to set up serial communication with XMEGA, also how to use standard printf and scanf functions in your C and C++ code. I won't be explaining what is a USART, I expect you to already be comfortable with the theory behind it and I'll leave out interrupts.

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Configuring xmega system clock

For me, one of the first things I wanted to test is how to setup the system clock. In this tutorial I'll be explaining how to set up external oscillator from 8-16Mhz and how to set up the xmega to use internal 32MHz clock. I think, by providing instructions for these two types of system clocks, anyone should be able to understand the logic behind the datasheet and set up whichever clock he/she wants.

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Playing with AtXmega16e5 breakout

For my final year project I ended up experimenting with ATxmega16e5 microcontroller, after major step backs with TI ARM microprocessors (don't get me wrong ARM is very powerful). 
At the first glance these new xmega series uC are quite impressive. 32MHz internal clock, incredibly fast ADC (16e5 can have up to 300ksps), 12 bit adc, DAC, two or more USARTs and list goes on. Moreover you are able to use tools you're familiar with, when it comes to program AVR family micros, providing you have programmed AVR family before. I have yet to test full capabilites of the new xmega series, but I'll write posts about individual modules, like ADC, USART, DAC etc.

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Pigaso - SVG to gcode coverter

For about a month I've been working on a SVG parser, which translates the SVG primitves to gcode, for the use with 3d printer. I started developing the Pigaso so I can easly plot PCBs with my 3D printer. Unfortunately for me, there wasn't any application, which would easily enable me to generate gcode from SVG image, or any image in that matter. So I though of making my own application to do just that. My main goal, is to develop a converted which is easy to use, and specialized for generating gcode, no hacking required. Continue reading for a demonstration.

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DIY 3D printer, AKA RepRap

Parallel to my work, I always do some kind of project every summer. Last summer was a game, which I didn’t manage to finish (got lazy on designing the levels). However, this summer I took on to a journey in a field I have almost no experience. Basically, I built my own 3D printer. Without any kits, I wanted to take away from this journey as much as I could.  I’ll try to remember all I did, and write as detailed as possible about this journey.  In any case, I would advise anyone to try and do this project, it’s a very good learning experience, but be warned that it isn’t a walk in a park, like I thought. When I started this project, I though it wouldn’t take more than 2 weeks to finish it. Well if you know what you are doing, probably it would take less than one day to assemble it, but I didn’t.

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