Progress continues with my AVR microcontroller board...
Today I was able to get some simple wireless serial communication tests working.
I followed this great tutorial post on AVR Freaks on creating interrupt driven USART echo program. I then took it a step farther and had each side of the serial link (PC and micro) echo the last character received pulse one.
All in all the test were not very interesting but they do lay groundwork for the development of a control packet structure for driving Gold Rush around.