Original Bus Pirate is a great tool for hacking, testing and programming things. It’s an universal serial interface board developed by Dangerous Prototypes. It is based on PIC24 microcontroller, FT232RL for USB interface and other parts to make it flexible. Eventually there has been a port of Bus Pirate to FPGA made by enthusiast from ultra-embedded. Core functionality is running on soft AltOR32 OpenRISC CPU inside Xilinx XC6SLX9 running at 48MHz. It has 1.1 USB, SPI and basic GPIO functions available. Since most of work is done inside FPGA there are even fewer components on board. The board was designed to fit in to original Bus Pirate enclosure. Using FPGA in such project has some benefits like USB. It can be implemented to support different USB devices like audio, mass … Continue reading
Almost every electronics now have SMD parts on it. Hobbyist sector is no exception. Sometimes parts only come in SMT packages and there is no way to avoid. If you need to solder few of them, maybe you can get away with soldering iron and a bit patience. But for larger batches maybe it is better to use reflow soldering technique. This is nothing more than baking circuits in oven. One thing is important here – temperature and timing. Instead of doing this manually, better leave this process to control circuit. Hamster though it would be fun project to make an oven controlled by FPGA. He programmed temperature stages as finite state machine. Temperature is monitored by using thermocouple. Heater element is switched on/off with solid state relay. The other … Continue reading
Remember the ever-popular pong? I would say your childhood is totally boring if you haven’t tried one these ball paddling games. It came in various forms like handhelds and even arcades with power ranger robots holding paddles – the running concept stayed the same through the years, if you can’t send the ball back then you lose. This project from Cornell is a bit different from the pongs that we have seen so far – it freakin detects hand movements and translates those hand movements into paddle movement – your like controlling the freakin paddle with you Jedi powers 🙂 gesture detection was attained though skin recognition which is processed in a Field Programmable Gate Array or FPGA from Altera. The project is built upon the idea that skin-detection, centroid computation, … Continue reading
We believe such task can be made by any tiny microcontroller. But if there is a lazy FPGA board lying around then put it to work. And here it is – Cyclone II dev board makes sure coil gets right amount of windings. New coil carcase is fixed to motor. FPGA reads each motor turn using reed switch. Simple HDL program runs counter and displays current value on seven segment LED display found on board. There is probably one thing missing – motor control that would stop once number of windings is reached. Anyway this is not for mass production of coils and project example may serve as nice material for learning FPGAs.
What does it take to measure frequency up to 100MHz. The answer is FPGA. Mike wanted to make pretty accurate frequency counter so grabbed Papilio FPGA board, attached TM1638 display board from DE and referenced frequency with GPS module. It works without GPS module but looses accuracy since these modules may give 1PPS with accuracy down to 20ns.