Sterny

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Sterny last won the day on July 30 2015

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About Sterny

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  1. @@spirilis Wow, how exciting it is that you decided to resurrect this thread. I had a quick look at your links. So along with TI LVD driver chip, and the PHY you linked, is it essentially routing the control and signaling to some GPIOs on a launchpad MCU? And with that, you'd be able to drive the SFP?
  2. Thanks porting the library! I've got some of those BlueFruits that I use with Arduino. I'll give it a try on a few Launchpads and Energia.
  3. Ah, thanks...makes sense to me now. I had envisioned the MSP430 being on the booster pack.
  4. Thanks the heads-up! It's interesting, at the following sheet, http://www.ti.com/lit/ml/sprt630/sprt630.pdf It says it includes the MSP430G2553IN20 uc and the photo shows the G2 launchpad, but then goes on to say the MSP430 launchpad is not included, and the uc will replace the MSP430 on the launchpad. I guess the launchpad is necessary just for programming? I'm going to pick up a couple. (edit, there's a limit of one). Thanks again. Sterny
  5. I've only used the S2 parts, but think the S1 used the AT firmware - if it was a S2, I'd suggest making sure you have the appropriate firmware installed. Are you using the sparkfun explorers to connect to your PC? Can you a use a serial terminal program like putty/screen and get the two chatting by connecting a terminal to comX and another instance to comY, where x and y are the comports of the FTDI on the sparkfun? I'm not clear what you mean when you say you can see failing show up on the comport - do you mean the MSPs com/serial port? I've only played with xbee's on Arduino, but there's a limitation on AVRs with only one hardware UART. You needed to define two pins with software serial to bitbang the connection to the xbee. You then can watch the MCUs serial connection, on say pins 0 and 1, and connect the xbee to software serial pins 2 and 3. The fact that you can see 'Failing' somewhere means to me that you're not serial printing to the xbee - just the USB uart connected to the MSP432.
  6. Hi all, Thanks for all your support. I've been working on building a 'Nibbler' 4-bit CPU project by Steve Chamberlin ( http://www.bigmessowires.com/nibbler/ ), with the help of a board developed by William Buchholz ( https://www.tindie.com/products/wmbuchholz/nibbler-4-bit-homebrew-cpu-pcb/ ) The project provides some bins that include the microcode for the project that is intended to be loaded on a few Microchip flash parts, SST39SF010A ( http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/25022B.pdf ). I was wondering if anyone could provide some tips or hints to use a 430 launch pad to write the bins out to the flash. From the data sheet, it seems like it would be possible to write a MSP430 application to implement the requirements to program the chip - with the possible help of some 74HC595 shift registers. But one thing that is unknown to me is what method to use to read the bin from a PC and pass it over serial to the MSP430 to write it out. I was initially thinking about a python script to the job. I'm really over my head in all of this, but I'm motivated to try to learn from the experience. If anyone has some experience in doing something similar and get me pointed in the right direction, or knows of some existing libraries that could be leveraged, I'd immensely appreciate your guidance. Best regards, Sterny
  7. Does the AWS facility also support C3100 launch pads, or is the CC3200 required?
  8. Hi @@zeke, Wow, I think it would be fantastic if considered starting up your project. The fact that you have already implemented similar tech previously makes me think this could actually come to fruition. I don't have any experience working with designing boards. I do understand there are some board house services where you can submit designs and get relatively fast and quality service at a pretty low price (e.g dirtypcbs.com, et al,). But I'm a quite a ways off in my learning to even approach something at the complexity you mention. Learning the software tools (Eagle, etc) is definitely something I want to explore in the near future though. My initial though was to try to prototype something with a breadboard or perfboard - but since you mention there are a lot of impedance considerations, I'm thinking that might present some problems, as I understand breadboards are fraught with impedance issues. It does seem to me that based on your role in actually teaching this stuff, such a 'boosterpack/shield' type of kit would also have some uses in education related to what you do for a living. I'd certainly be willing to contribute with some of the material costs that would go into such a project. If only to be able to get a first row seat in learning how something such as this goes from a concept into an actual board that can be attached to a MCU. Best regards, Sterny
  9. @@spirilis, Heh - yeah, SFP Boosterpack's - for when you need to talk to a MCU 300 meters away! I guess though, maybe one practical application would be a SFP tester, or maybe even a cable tester. But of course there are many products already out there that do that. For me though, it's the journey I'm interested in, and as this technology is related to what I do for living, dipping my toe in a bit deeper couldn't hurt. Plus, this type of media is where everything is at when it comes to device to device connectivity. Copper throughput and distance limitations are pretty prohibitive unless you're attaching to the top of the rack. v2 will support QSFP's. Thanks again for all the response. -Sterny
  10. @@zeke, Thank you again. I cannot express in a forum post how grateful and appreciative I am for you taking the time to point me in the right direction on how to begin my research on this project. Awesome!! @@spirilis, Wow, after reading a lot of your posts, I had always assumed you were a design engineer at your day job. Or, do you do storage admin work in addition to engineering there? I noticed that you've designed some boosterpack boards - based on the information @@zeke provided, how big of a lift would a SFP booster pack be? I'm just curious about some context from someone who has actually gone through that process. Regards, Sterny.
  11. HI @@zeke, Thank you very much for your reply. Your insight and suggestions are incredibly helpful to me. I'm actually familiar with 8B10B encoding and running disparities. Years ago, I attended some training from Medusa Labs, that provided instruction on fibre channel using Finisar's x-gig analyzers (whom was bought by JDSU a few years ago). Although at that time, I really had no previous exposure to the engineering side. And then recently, after getting into MCUs, and studying UARTs and RS232 signaling, I had an ah-ha moment. Probably apparent to most on this forum, but the realization I had was the 8B10B encoding allowed for getting away from the stop bit in UART communications. I kind of took a backwards approach to this, as I'd imagine most study the generic serial encoding first. But in my case, coming into the hobbyist electronics part of it after studying FC in the scope of my day job, getting a bit more lower level understanding on why such things are done is extremely fascinating and interesting to me. I'm also fortunate in that if I'm able to make any traction with this project, I have access to $125k X-gig instrumentation at work - it makes me giddy to think one day I might be able to trace the link, while also attaching logic analyzers to the MCUs and be able to affect the behavior in code. I had another question I'm hoping you might be able to provide direction on. As you noted, I put a link to a SFP datasheet in my original post. But the SFP vendors I have access to at work are typically branded by Cisco, Finisar, or Brocade. If I do a search for datasheets on those parts, I'll typically get back the 'marketing' datasheets from the vendors that really have no useful information on how to interface with them. Do you have any guidance on the best place to get datasheets by simply looking at their labels? I imagine these SFPs are OEM'd from a few different companies, but I'm struggling on how to best identify them and also how to best locate the actual datasheet necessary to interface with them. BTW, your project design sounds really interesting. I'm left to wonder what it would take to design and implement the physical connectors and LVDS interface on a breakout board. A quick search on eBay shows someone selling qty 30 Cisco 4Gbit SFPs for $30 - at a dollar a piece, I'd have to think playing with this stuff would be appealing to others and still be able to maintain a hobbyist price point. Thanks again for help! Regards, Sterny
  12. I work in the storage industry, and my shop has a large amount of Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet SFPs that are getting replaced and many are getting scrapped. I was working in the lab today and started wondering if any could be adapted in someway to get a couple MCU dev boards talking. I did manage to find a datasheet after some quick googling - http://www.avagotech.com/docs/AV02-0671EN So it's clear to me that at my particular stage in learning, interfacing with the board is beyond my capability. But as I continue my education, I think at some point I'd like to take a stab at it. I was wondering: 1. Have you come across any projects or libraries which attempt to interface older SFPs with more modern MCU dev boards? 2. What are your general thoughts about this? Is this a fools errand? I understand it's not very practical, but I thought it would be pretty cool to get two MCUs talking to each other and being able to dig deep in how it's actually accomplished. Working in the data storage industry, I'm used to looking at FC analyzer traces and working problems within the protocol, and dump data from the end device products. But as I get more and more into the actual electronics involved, I start trying to come up with different avenues of exploration. Thanks for reading! Regards, Sterny
  13. Hi Fmilburn, Thank you so VERY much for the link - this is exactly what I needed to know! I received a pm asking me for the coupon code to receive 80% off, bringing the 200 kit down to a more manageable $40. For everyone's benefit that is interested, here's the code I used: ENLABS It says while supplies last, and limits it to quantity 1. Regards, Sterny
  14. Hi bluehash, Thank you very much for your response. Also, thanks for the welcome. I've been lurking here for a few months after getting turned on to the launchpad kits. It's really made me a big fan of TI - the prices are great, and the documentation that TI provides seems to be first class as compared to the other ecosystems out there. I also appreciate that they still make alot of PDIP basic logic gates - really helpful for me as I get more and more knowledge under my belt. This is a great forum and blog BTW - I appreciate your posts about bargains out there So as it turns out, after reading your comment, I did some research on my current bench power supply. I have a Rigol DP832. A thread over at the eevblog mentions that I can use it to get negative voltages. http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/rigol-dp832-negative-voltages/ Clearly I have some stuff to learn about the basics, which is partly why the opAmp kit appealed to me. While I believe I understand how I can wire the circuit to get +/- voltages, I'm not really clear about the ground connection. Seems to me that it's referencing earth ground, but I'm missing some fundamentals on this part. Best regards, Sterny
  15. TI sent me an email announcing 80% off their TI-PLABS-AMP-EVM kit. http://www.ti.com/tool/ti-plabs-amp-evm I decided to pick one up as I thought it would be a good opportunity to follow their course and have something to experiment with. I have my own test equipment, so I'm not going to get National Instruments $2000 lab kit. Looking through the EVM user's guide (http://www.ti.com/lit/ug/sbou150a/sbou150a.pdf) I see that it has power connections that can be supplied by either the NI kit, or your own power supply. It shows using a 20v positive, and a 20v negative rail along with ground. The reason for this post is to request a recommendation on what kind of power supply I should purchase to provide the board both positive and negative leads. Any thoughts? Keep in mind I'm just a hobbyist getting into this and have only been dealing with voltages from 0.