Member Since: December 15, 2008

Country: United States

  • Google Chrome because they are the most mature with the new W3C audio and video specs. I wrote a mini-moog emulator and a step sequencer - both in pure javascript and HTML5 (no flash). It runs well in Chrome, not so well in Mozilla Firefox, and not at all in IE.

  • Most beginner 2 channel fixed wing craft come with rudder and elevator control. Aileron control is considered an advanced control option and you MUST have elevator or you will end up stalling a wing (I saw that happen a couple of times, not sure if it was due to the limited chord angle or something else). If I were going for basic control, rudder and elevator are a good combination. With the combination of pitch and yaw you can get some decent bank angles - everything will be uncoordinated so you will be crabbing all over the place, but at least you have pitch control. Also, with pitch control you can always trade altitude for airspeed easily - which you sometimes need to prevent a stall.

  • Here’s an anecdote for you (hopefully I don’t get anyone in trouble over this). I ordered the Audio Amplifier Kit - STA540 about a year ago. During the soldering process I accidentally lifted a pad. I asked about a bare PCB so I can continue (I made the mistake early on). While Sparkfun does not offer bare PCB’s for that kit, Mike sent me out a completely new replacement! I still owe him a video of my MAME machine working with the STA540 :). You would NEVER get that kind of customer support from digikey / mouser. I’m just another number to them - a small number at that. Sparkfun treats you the same whether you have ordered $20 or $2000 worth of parts. For my DIY fix, Sparkfun is the go to place for me.

  • I just read the entire article - doh - and I noticed the link to the github repo. Check it out. Once I cloned the repo everything built and ran fine.

  • “Although nice, these tutorials are really kind of designed for someone who has knowledge and background in logic design and FPGA development.”

    This statement doesn’t make sense to me. You SHOULD have some knowledge and background in logic design before attempting to program FPGA’s. In fact, at the bottom of the wikipedia link you placed there is a section that describes the prerequisites. On there are Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT, and XOR. They also suggest a familiarity with low level languages like C or C++. I concur with those prerequisites.

  • Put your VGA frame buffer in external ram and write a dram module. Make sure you design in DMA for the dram module so the VGA module doesn’t have to eat up CPU time reading the frame buffer. That will save you a LOT of LUT’s with the 640x480 RAM gone.

  • Which is odd considering VHDL was a USG sponsored language. It takes from ADA, Pascal, and a few other languages of the day - but mostly from ADA (which is itself, a government language).

    Verilog is much more C like and more familiar (syntactically) to developers. Although in practice Verilog behaves very much differently than C, at least the learning curve of understanding the syntax is lessened.

    Maybe because Verilog is a newer language and the rest of the world has yet to catch up?

  • I first learned about the concept of magic smoke (and the importance of safety glasses) when I hooked up a 2n2222 backwards across 9vdc on one of those RS 40 in 1 sets. It popped and a piece narrowly missed my eye, striking my cheek and leaving a red mark. Also, a nice puff of magic smoke wafted above the carnage. I was maybe 13 at the time and I became hooked on electronics with that kit.

  • You would have to have a VERY high end FPGA to implement an ARM chip. I’m talking top line - I seriously don’t think you could fit a modern 32 bit ARM architecture on a mid level 500-1000 gate chip. I could be wrong, but remember, the ARM is a fully optimized pipelined processor. Those are not trivial to implement and take up a LOT of silicon. As a comparison, you can barely fit an AVR core on a 500 gate chip and AVR cores are much less complex than ARM’s.

  • They are working on an IDE similar to Arduino. Right now though you will have to do command line compiling. There are helper scripts and an example makefile to help you out, but if you don’t want to deal with that they will have an IDE out soon (they claim so at least). The “compatibility” with arduino is basically a porting layer so you can take existing arduino code, compile it on the pcDuino (using GCC, which is what Arduino IDE uses under the wraps as well) and just run it on the pcDuino like any other program you would run on a computer. There is no upload phase like an Arduino.

    Edit It’s important to note that on the pcDuino your code is compiled in situ, whereas on with the Arduino you compile it on another platform and upload to the Arduino.

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