Mister Tea

Member Since: April 28, 2011

Country: United States

  • Old post, Always check with Digi-Key. They have flat cable assemblies from Tyco for about 11 bucks each for a 6 inch cable (A9BBG-1606F-ND).

  • For whatever reason, VHDL is more popular outside the USA. Either language will do what you want. VHDL syntax and structure is based on Ada while Verilog looks like C. You can use both languages in a design, but not in the same source file. So if you download a VHDL memory controller and Verilog CPU, they can be used in the same project.

  • The problem is as simple as there aren't many, if any, 5V tolerant ARM micro controllers. You use buffers, or level shifters to protect your valuable silicon. They could have made the Due pins 5V tolerant using resistors but that would add to the board cost.

    Check out: http://ruggedcircuits.com/html/ancp01.html They describe the 10 ways to kill an arduino and explain how to counter each. They make what they call a rugged arduino which can tolerate wiring errors which would otherwise kill a regular arduino. Hopefully they will release a rugged Due.

  • The green light perfectly lines up. Green means go.

  • If you think about it, any 3 axis (XYZ) CNC system can be adapted into a 3D printer. I had an idea for a makerbot like project but a little bigger with an interchangeable head and tool storage. It could be a small CNC mill for PCB milling and machining light materials (plastic, wood, soft metals). Then I could remove the mill head and replace it with a plastic dispenser and now I have a 3D printer. Then combine the two processes and you can rough out a part in plastic and then do fine machine work to finish it off. That enables you to make all sorts of fancy plastic parts like custom electronics enclosures with curved surfaces. A third head could be a laser cutting head for cutting light materials such as plastic but that might be tricky in terms of optics, beam delivery and cost, but not impossible. I even went as far as thinking about a pick and place head for placing SMD components onto PCB's. You can make an entire electronics project on the machine from the PCB to the case. Think of it as a Swiss Army knife CNC. The idea came about when I wanted to build a CNC mill but also build a 3D printer. I knew they were both the same in terms of the motion system and mechanics. Why have two of the same thing taking up valuable space?

    It would be a great project but I just don't have the money or time as of now :-(

    Oh and check out the reprap page, someone made a machine that looks like it uses a hot glue gun.

  • I remember visiting MDM East, a medical device and packaging trade show sometime around 2009. Also mixed in were vendors from relevant industries and one feature there were plastic rapid prototype machines that were basically large and very costly commercial makerbots. I even remember remarking to my friend that those things could be easily replicated with the guts of a hot-glue gun and a spool of plastic. When I was leaving I saw a few young guys waiting to get on the shuttle bus. One was holding holding this wooden thing with PCB's and wires hanging off. I asked them what it was and was told its a makerbot, basically I met Bre and company. This was about a month before popular science printed an article about the makerbot and it started to take off. Before that day I never knew of the makerbot. I bet you any money he was shopping around his prototype at MDM to see if there was anyone looking to invest or buy his idea.

    If you ask me Bre has been looking to commercialize the makerbot from the beginning. Instead he used the OSHW/maker community to bootstrap his idea and is now moving on to a commercial version.

  • Any chance we will ever see a board like this with a DB9 and a MAX3232 on board? Just about every time I use RS232 there is a DB9 connector somewhere, either on the PC or a device.

  • You can adjust that by changing the sample rate. You will loose resolution but it depends on what you want to capture. If you are looking to capture a very short pulse, say in the nano second range then all you need is 0.04 seconds.

  • Analog to digital converters (ADC) used in oscilloscopes are often designed in-house and are the backbone of any good scope. Companies like Agilent, Tektronix, Rohde & Schwarz or LeCroy make their own ADC's. If you were to go out now and buy a 1 giga-sample per second (GSPS) ADC from National Semi (now TI) your going to spend at least $100 (TI ADC081000, 8 bit, 1GSPS) and that's if you buy in quantity. There are ADC's that cost almost $2000 in quantity, just for the chip itself!

    from the ADC its pretty simple, an ASIC, DSP or FPGA (or combination) can be used to process the data stream and then display it on the screen.

    And if you think $400 is expensive, the Agilent InfiniiVision 2000 series starts at $1200, and that's their cheapest "Economy" scope. The top of the line InfiniiVision 2000 is over 3 grand. But those are very nice scopes with oodles of features, I used one and I want one :)

    If you want, troll ebay and every once in a while you can pick up a really decent used scope that at one point in time was top of the line and expensive. I picked up my HP for $200 on ebay and it works fine.

  • There is also another nice program for developing both Verilog and VHDL code call Active HDL by Aldec. Its a professional tool but they do offer a free (but limited) student edition that does not require student verification. Just sign up for the free student edition and you get a download link via email. Its windows only though :-( http://www.aldec.com/en/products/fpga_simulation/active-hdl

    But I agree ISE is a visual mess, the interface is clumsy. I always felt more comfortable in Quartus II. There should be more low cost Altera devices on the market.

No public wish lists :(