Computer Science 230 Assignment 4 solved

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Objectives of this assignment

• Work with timers, interrupts and the LEDs using the C programming
C programming language
In this assignment you will write several functions for a C language program. This
programs uses the LEDs on the lab boards (i.e., to keep this assignment simple, you
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will not need to use the LCD panel, and therefore need only work with a single C
source file). The code given to you has already configured two of the mega2560
timers (timers 1 and 3). Interrupt handlers for these timers are already provided
(i.e., you are not being asked to implement interrupt handlers). A brief
demonstration illustrating the behavior for each of the parts can be seen in this

The assignment is in four parts, ordered from easier to more difficult, each part
building upon your confidence in completing the previous part.
A. Write the code for lcd_state().
B. Write the code for SOS() which uses both your completed lcd_state() plus
arrays with LED and duration data.
C. Write the code for glow().
D. Write the code for pulse_glow().

There is also a bonus available for those who have successfully completed all four
parts. It is called light_show() and is to implement the LED pattern shown on the
YouTube video (link above).
The ZIP file distributed with this assignment contains a single directory consisting
of an Micochip Studio C-language project. The skeleton file a4.c is also contained
within this project directory. I have set the configuration of the project such that
paths for both the compiler and build tools are correctly set for machines in the lab.

Part A: lcd_state()

This part of the assignment does not involve interrupts.
In assignment #2 you wrote an assembly-language function named leds_on. For
this part you will write a function that accepts two parameters:
1. The number of an LCD; and
2. A number indicating the state to which that LCD must be put (with a zero
value meaning “off”, and all other values meaning “on”).
The function is therefore to turn an LED on or off and immediately return.
To simply your work, your function need only deal with PORTL LEDs as numbered
in the following diagram.
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You can also take advantage of notational convenience when writing to I/O registers
in AVR C. Assuming the DDR register for the port has been properly configured,
turning on LED #0 can be accomplished via:
PORTL |= 0b10000000;
while turning off LED #0 can be performed by:
PORTL &= 0b01111111;
which is equivalent to:
PORTL &= ~(0b10000000);

(Hint: This function might be a good candidate for including the use of a switch

Part B: SOS()

This part of the assignment does not directly involve the use interrupts.
By now you are familiar with Morse code, specifically that for SOS (dot dot dot, dash
dash dash, dot dot dot). We can implement dots and dashes by calls to led_state()
and _delay_ms().
You are to write a function to cause SOS to be displayed, but there is a twist here. In
the SOS() function are three variables:

1. uint8_t light[]: an array of 8-bit values indicate the LED pattern. An array
value indicates LEDs on or off by bits set or cleared, with bit 0 the state for
LED #0, bit 1 the state for LED #1, etc.
2. int duration[]: an array of ints (i.e., 16-bit values) representating the
duration in milliseconds for an LED pattern.
3. int length: the number of elements in light[] and the number of
elements in duration[].
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For example, at index 6 the bit pattern indicates LED #0 is turned on for 100

So the twist is that you must cause the LEDs to flash appropriately for SOS by using
these arrays: they already contain the patterns and durations required for SOS. You
can use the arrays by writing a loop in which defined/declared appropriate counter
variables, plus calls to led_state() and _delay_ms(). (A for-loop is perhaps a
better choice here than a while-loop).

Part C: glow()

This part of the assignment must use the program-scope variable named count that
is incremented by the timer 1 interrupt handler. When testing your solution, we will
evaluate glow() separately from pulse_glow(), i.e., we will call one or the other
function not both in the same test run.

Our current LEDs can be either on or off. There is, however, no easy way to set their
relative brightness. Put differently, we control LED brightness by adjusting current
through the LED, but we cannot adjust the current on our boards.

There is, however, another way to get something like a brightness control that
exploits something called pulse-width modulation. In essence it means turning an
LED on and off, doing so very rapidly, and in a way that gives the appearance of
brightness or dimness.

Suppose we wish to have a somewhat dim LED. Consider the following diagram.
This shows that every 500 microseconds, the LED is turned on for 75 microseconds
and then turned off for 425 microseconds. This cycle of 500 microseconds goes on
for as long as dimmer LED intensity is needed.
And suppose we want a brighter LED, but not as bright as the fully-on LED. Consider
the next diagram.
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Now for 500 microseconds, the LED is turned on for 250 microseconds and then
turned off for 250 microseconds.
So when the LED is on, we say the signal is high, and the time for which is the signal
is high is called the on time. Given than our period here is 500 microseconds, our
first diagram shows an on time of 75 microseconds, and the percentage of on time to
the overall period is called the duty cycle (i.e., 75/500 = 0.15 = 15% duty cycle).

our second diagram, the duty cycle is 50% (i.e., 250/500 = 0.5 = 50% duty cycle).
Going further, a duty cycle of 0% would be an LED that is completely off, while a
duty cycle of 100% would be an LED that is completely on.
You are to implement this notion of a duty cycle. Function glow() takes two
1. The number of an LCD; and
2. The duty cycle for that LCD expressed as a floating-point value between 0.0
and 1.0.

In order to implement this function, you must use an infinite loop, and therefore you
will only be able to ever set the glow for a single LED. The infinite loop will take
advantage of the fact that the global variable count is incremented once a
microsecond. The loop’s form will most likely need to be somewhat similar to:
threshold = PWM_PERIOD * given duty cycle
do forever {

if (count < threshold and LED is not already on) {
turn the LED on;
} else if (count < PWM_PERIOD and LED is not already off) {
turn the LED off;
} else { /* count must be greater than PWM_PERIOD */
count = 0;
turn the LED on;

Note that PWM_PERIOD is given in the top-most “DO NO TOUCH” section of a4.c.
Warning: Even though we might expect the LEDs to respond in a visually linear
fashion as we change the duty cycle, unfortunately our own visual systems do not
respond in a similar way. That is, the differences in brightness that we see as
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increase the duty cycle from 10% to 20% to 30% to 40% etc. will not “appear” as
evenly-spaced changes to our eyes and brains. Don’t worry about this (or if you
insist on worrying about this, please spend some time at
after you have finished the assignment).

Part D: pulse_glow()

This part of the assignment must use the program-scope variables named count
and slow_count that are incremented by the timer 1 and timer 3 interrupt handlers
respectively. When testing your solution, we will evaluate pulse_glow() separately
from glow(), i.e., we will call one or the other function but not both in the same test

Once you have completed glow(), you might have some intuition of how to
implement code to mimic those glowing LEDs appearing on some devices. That is, to
increase and decrease the brightness over time, we need to increase and decrease the
duty cycle over time. As our proxy for duty time in Part C was the value assigned to
the variable threshold, this means changing the value of threshold over time.

As with Part C, in order to implement Part D you must use an infinite loop, and
therefore you will only be able to have one LED pulsing. The infinite loop will take
advantage of the fact that the global variables count and slow_count are
incremented once a microsecond and once ever 10 milliseconds respectively.

loop will need to modify threshold by increasing it to PWM_PERIOD or decreasing it
to 0 in some way related to changes in slow_count. While your solution need not
mimic exactly the rate of pulsing that is shown in the YouTube video, it must be very

Bonus: light_show()

(This part of the assignment does not involve interrupts.)
Using the array idea from Part B, implement the light-show pattern using a loop that
iterates through your own versions of light[] and duration[] to produce the
pattern in the YouTube video.

What you must submit

• Your completed a4.c. Do not change the name of this file! Do not submit
any other project files.
• Your work must use the provided skeleton files. Any other kinds of solutions
will not be accepted.
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• 4 marks: Solution for part A
• 4 marks: solution for part B
• 6 marks: solution for part C
• 6 marks: solution for part D
• 2 marks: solution for the bonus

The total mark for this assignment is 20 (i.e., if full marks are given for parts A, B, C
and D, and the bonus is correctly implemented, the mark will be 22/20).
Some of the evaluation will also take into account whether or not submitted code is
properly formatted (i.e., indenting and commenting are suitably used), and the file
correctly named.