Beta 2 Firmware Released!

It is about time!

I just shipped a batch of kits with the new Beta 2 Firmware, which is also available here…

Noticeable Features of this Release

  • Greatly reduced power usage. Thanks to the new WatchDog reset driven sleep modes, Ognite now draws only about 0.75mA while running. This should translate to months of operation on a couple of AA batteries.
  • Diagnostic Startup Screen. This really helps find connection mistakes. I build a lot of Ognites, and I’ve even found a few bad connections that I’ve made thanks to this screen.

Still left to do

  • Really work on optimizing driving LEDs for brightness vs. power. The LEDs currently use up 7x more power than the chip, so this is where real battery life gains will come from. This is all empirical work, trying different power levels and driving modes to see the trade offs on perceived brightness. The relationship is completely non-linear, so this takes a lot of time to work out.
  • Re-encode the flame from better source material. I have some video that I took using a better camera than I need to process to get a higher quality flame both ion terms of pixels and flame action.

There is still also lots of room for improvement in tightening up the firmware. Ultimately, I am going to translate everything into straight assembly language and that will likely give at least 25% reduction in size and time – although admittedly these gains are almost purely symbolic since at this point they will not make a noticeable difference in the final product.

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