April 21, 2024

It is not uncommon to find yourself in a situation where a project does not meet your initial expectations. Often, these projects are abandoned and left to gather dust. However, there is no shame in failure, as it is better to try and fail than to do nothing at all. Many great projects and products have been born out of multiple attempts and iterations.

Although more than a year has passed since the introduction of the AVR DDS3 signal generator, no significant progress has been made. Consequently, I have made the decision to discontinue the project due to several reasons, primarily my lack of comfort with it from the start.

  • First of all, the need for two microcontrollers. The whole concept of simplicity is lost. Using the second MCU for generating DDS doesn’t sound right – there are way better specialized DDS chips that can give better resolution and bandwidth.
  • Another strong reason the user interface. I thought to add a 4×4 keypad, but in reality, this is a nightmare to use. The rotary encoder would be a better choice.
  • Signal generation method. We need to rethink the signal generating method. Do I need to run the DDS algorithm to make square or triangle signals?

Instead of struggling to write a complete firmware, I decided not to. The is no practical point to waste time.

What’s good in this project is an analog part. It might be I should choose a faster operation amplifier and a better PCB layout. I see better results combining AVR DDS2 with the analog part from DDS3. It could be I will focus on improving DDS2 that way. Or go with a new project where the DDS chip is going to be used.

So far, this is not the first project that won’t reach the finish. I think everyone has a bunch of unfinished projects. This one I felt the need to notice as few people expect it to be done.

Few PCB left if someone wants to keep experimenting or use them as a prototyping board for other projects. It has ISP headers, LCD supports, and a few I/Os. Drop a comment or send a message via the contact form for more details on how to get one.

My final advice, if your projects fail, don’t stop; don’t give them prominence. Learn from them and start making it better.