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The Longhorn Engineer

Member Since: May 17, 2011

Country: United States



I am Parker Dillmann, the Longhorn Engineer. I started modding back in 2004 and have since then begun work on building a custom pinball machine. I am currently attend University of Texas at Austin for a degree in Electrical Engineering.


Run my website and youtube channel.


UTSailing Club

Spoken Languages


Programming Languages

SPIN, C, C++, Matlab, ASM, Labview, VHDL, Verilog


University of Texas at Austin


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Sailing, Snowboarding, Rock and Roll, Pinball, Hacking, Modding, Beer


www.longhornengineer.com http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLonghornEngineer

  • Theoretically near the resolution of the ADC.
    What this thing also needs is limit switches so on boot you can have a microcontroller calibrate it.

  • I finally got this guy working with the breakout board but I am having issues. It doesn’t “refresh” all the well. Looks like the screen has “burn-in” similar to LCD and plasma screens. Maybe I have a defective screen?

  • I think I will just copy how the Arduino introduces people and copy their projects. FPGAs are just so useful and once you grasp how easy Verilog is then there is no limit but you have to overcome the difficulty barrier in thinking in terms of designing hardware instead of designing software to control hardware.
    Once I get my current project out of the way I will probably start this. Key will be making the hardware platforms inexpensive and competitive to the Arduino mega.
    I bought this “break out board” on ebay for a Altera Cyclone II http://yfrog.com/h0fxlfuj Ran $50. Make something in the same footprint as the Arduino Mega and you got yourself a winner.

  • What would be a good first project? Blink a LED? Then move to a LED matrix?

  • I will have to look into that! The propeller doesn’t have a built in rom for the program so you have a I2C eeprom.
    I already have a propeller sending serial data to a Cyclone 2 FPGA. Works just like a 74HC595 except its 256 bits long. Could easily get the Uno or Mega talking to it as well. Will have to look into this.

  • Sweet lithiums! Decent prices to!

  • Well its not that they are beyond hobbyist. It is just not widely used and there is very little code in the wild when you compare it to Arduino and Propeller platforms. If you can code an Arduino you can learn Verilog and work with FPGAs. FPGAs are too powerful to write off.
    With a little work you can pair a FPGA and a Arduino for the ultimate Dev kit. Arduino does the uC and high level stuff and the FPGA takes care of all your glue logic.

  • I wrote some code for the propeller to get this guy working. It only supports 1 WS2801 right now but I am working on one that will work with a long chain of them. This code is mainly for using the WS2801 to control a set of mosfets which is good when you don’t have allot of CPU time to dedicate to controlling PWM.
    youtube video about the chip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EugcTOxVHx8
    Propeller Code: http://longhornengineer.com/code/WS2801_Driver.zip
    Would be awesome if Sparkfun carried the WS2803 or the DIP version of the WS2801.

No public wish lists :(