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Fred

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  1. Like
    Fred got a reaction from spirilis in Mailbag   
    I'm not sure if this quite counts as "mailbag" as it's a bit big, but this was delivered recently. A nice new workshop for the end of the garden that I'm currently busy kitting out with workbenches, power, ethernet, etc. It obviously also required the purchase of some more power tools to do the job.
     

  2. Like
    Fred reacted to vinicius.jlantunes in New MSP-EXP430FR6989 128KB FRAM Launchpad Discounted to $13.99   
    I feel sad now when I see these offers. In the good old days of free shipping I would get one of these no doubt, but now cost of shipping to Brazil (+ import duties) is prohibitive.
  3. Like
    Fred got a reaction from spirilis in New toys on June 10th!   
    So.. if it links in to this post then that would imply a TMS570LC4357-based LaunchPad.
    http://forum.43oh.com/topic/8412-new-hercules-lps-in-bound/
     
    LaunchPads sometimes seem to follow along from the more expensive DKs and there is already a DK for the LC4357, so it wouldn't be a leap to imagine a LaunchPad version of this:
    http://www.ti.com/tool/tmdx570lc43hdk
  4. Like
    Fred reacted to L.R.A in New toys on June 10th!   
    There's already a post about the rumor and I'm just here to tease a bit

    A new ARM toy is coming June 10th.  Not only a new board but a new part.
    Be on the lookout!
  5. Like
    Fred reacted to roadrunner84 in "Your Ideas are Worthless"   
    personal time, what's that? oh, that stuff I had before I got kids
  6. Like
    Fred reacted to PTB in Stellaris Launchpad - Camera Flash Timer and Measurement Tool   
    Thought I would post an update on this project to help paint a picture with my other questions in other threads.
    Hardware
    ========

     
    I have gone to a new board layout which utilises the following new features.
    a) ULN2003 Darlington arrays to drive the leds. The old arrangement didnt have enough grunt to drive the leds off the mcu.
    Separated the bi-colour LEDS into separate discreet leds. Blue for Focus and Red For Shutter.
    c) Returned to 3.5mm Audio jacks instead of RJ45 jacks. Easier to get off the shelf cables.
    d) Added an extra booster pack set of pins in parallel.
    e) Moved design from Eagle to KiCAD
        Schematic Iridium Schematic.pdf
    e) I added a digital pot in an endeavour to make the light sensor auto-ranging for light levels. I failed on many fronts here.
        Firstly I screwed up big time on the chip socket. I somehow got a 18pin part in the board layout from a 16 pin part in the schematic.
        I only found out when I went to plug in the chip and the socket was too big. Nice work on my part.
        I am looking into making a small adaptor board to use the 16 pin chip in the 18 pin socket.
        Secondly, my thoughts of desensitising the phototransistor via programmable resistance appears futile anyway because the problem
        is actualy the phototransistor saturating. Adding resistance as per the circuit isnt going to help on that front.
          Did a bit of research on professional lightmeters and it would appear they cope with the problem by putting different strength filters
        on their light sensors and then you read off a different scale depending on which filter is in there.
    f) And lastly but certainly not leastly. @@Fred made me some awesome laser cut panels for the new design. These are sensational.
       I added some infill to the laser engraving and it looks better than the photo appears.

    Software
    ========
    Lots of minor tweaks and improvements. Code updated to Energia 15.
    One of the really annoying things was misbehaviour of Some of the GPIO's
    It appears wire.begin(); screws up GPIO PD0 and PD1
    I can turn pins PD0 and PD1 on and off at will until wire.begin(); is executed.
    After that PD0 is stuck Low and PD1 is stuck high.
    Fixed with info from this thread.....
    http://forum.43oh.com/topic/7421-new-energia-release-0101e0012-03202014/?p=60448
    Thanks to @reaper and @@spirilis for that thread.
    And thanks again to @L.R.A for getting fast analog read back for me in Energia 15.
    Current Version 0.40 Here Iridium_v0.40.zip
    This code is very much a work in progress with lessons constantly being learnt.
     
    Still Working On
    ==========
    Investigating using timers instead of loops to trigger sequences.
     
     
    Cheers
    PTB
  7. Like
    Fred reacted to RobG in The Marquee Clock   
    Instead of making your own PCB, how about using standard strips?
    You need to make a small tool, little bit wider than the strip, with shallow V on one end (or you can try to find jeweler's bending pliers.)
    Bending strip on one side between LEDs will arc the strip.
    I did a test once to see if I can make arcs and circles for xmas displays, and that worked pretty well.
  8. Like
    Fred got a reaction from RobG in Apple Watch Teardown : ST Micro + NXP NFC + TI OpAMP   
    They had to cram it in so they stayed under the free size limit in Eagle.
  9. Like
    Fred got a reaction from vinicius.jlantunes in Apple Watch Teardown : ST Micro + NXP NFC + TI OpAMP   
    They had to cram it in so they stayed under the free size limit in Eagle.
  10. Like
    Fred got a reaction from pine in Apple Watch Teardown : ST Micro + NXP NFC + TI OpAMP   
    They had to cram it in so they stayed under the free size limit in Eagle.
  11. Like
    Fred got a reaction from asgard20032 in Apple Watch Teardown : ST Micro + NXP NFC + TI OpAMP   
    They had to cram it in so they stayed under the free size limit in Eagle.
  12. Like
    Fred got a reaction from cubeberg in Apple Watch Teardown : ST Micro + NXP NFC + TI OpAMP   
    They had to cram it in so they stayed under the free size limit in Eagle.
  13. Like
    Fred got a reaction from bluehash in Apple Watch Teardown : ST Micro + NXP NFC + TI OpAMP   
    They had to cram it in so they stayed under the free size limit in Eagle.
  14. Like
    Fred got a reaction from spirilis in Apple Watch Teardown : ST Micro + NXP NFC + TI OpAMP   
    They had to cram it in so they stayed under the free size limit in Eagle.
  15. Like
    Fred reacted to spirilis in MSP-EXP430FR6989   
    The largest FRAM LaunchPad yet - https://store.ti.com/msp-exp430fr6989.aspx- $17.99 (128KB FRAM, 2KB SRAM)
     
    That one must've snuck in undetected!
     
    Similar to the FR4133, this has a built-in LCD.  A number of you got FR6989 Target Boards for the "ESI Project" campaign TI did last year, this is that same chip in LaunchPad form, and this has 40-pin XL headers instead of the puny 20-pin headers on the FR4133 and FR5969 launchpads.
     
    Tool website - http://www.ti.com/tool/msp-exp430fr6989
    It appears to have the eZFET with EnergyTrace.
    Nice to see they've populated the 40-pin headers *and* the LCD at the same time.
  16. Like
    Fred reacted to spirilis in MSP-FET for $43+shipping for 4/30 day   
    eStore code "FET43" - https://twitter.com/TXInstruments/status/593792328831279104
     
    Link to product: https://store.ti.com/msp-fet.aspx?DCMP=ep-mcu-msp-mcugen-en&HQS=ep-mcu-msp-mcugen-twit-storeevm-msp-fet-en(discount shows in cart when code is applied)
  17. Like
    Fred reacted to tripwire in MSP432 SRAM retention and flash waitstates - check your settings   
    TI recently updated the MSP432 Technical Reference Manual to "revision A". Looking at the revision history shows some particularly interesting changes...
     
    First of all, the documented default value of SYS_SRAM_BANKRET has changed from 0x000000FF to 0x00000001. That means that only bank 0 retains its contents in LPM3 and LPM4. I've seen some mention of this here already, but I'm repeating it because it's quite important to know. The program stack lives at the top of SRAM by default; from bank 7 down. If you don't enable retention on the banks containing the stack then bad things will happen when the MCU wakes from LPM3 or LPM4.
     
    The next one is less dangerous to get wrong, but kills performance if you aren't careful. The original release of the TRM said that the flash controller defaults to zero wait state mode on startup (FLCTL_BANKx_RDCTL.WAIT=0). That would make sense because the MCLK speed on startup doesn't require any wait states, and it also matches the MSP430 behaviour. Normally you don't need to even think about wait states unless you set the clock speed above a certain level specified in the datasheet.
     
    Unfortunately the updated TRM now says that the default setting is three wait states (FLCTL_BANKx_RDCTL.WAIT=3)! That's one more than the datasheet says you need for ordinary reads at the maximum MCLK frequency of 48MHz. In other words, to get best performance you need to change that setting irrespective of your chosen MCLK frequency.
     
    For code execution the effect is hidden somewhat by the 128-bit read buffer in the flash controller, meaning that the extra wait states are only applied when crossing a 128b boundary. By default this buffer is only used for instruction fetches, so code reading large blocks of constant data from flash (with the CPU or DMA) will suffer badly by comparison.
     
    Luckily neither issue causes any problems as long as you're aware and set the correct values in your program. I guess it's all part of the fun of using preview silicon
  18. Like
    Fred reacted to Lgbeno in Cheap solar battery + wireless IoT node   
    For grins I made this to test out on my own https://upverter.com/imp-guru/f43d6e493161a233/picoSolar-Boost-Converter/
     
    I'll probably put them on Tindie if anyone else is interested, otherwise feel free to grab the gerbers from upverter and order them yourself.  This time I used TPS61097A-33, it doesn't have this down conversion feature but my hope is that a NiCd in a 1xAAA unit won't exceed 3.8V. 
  19. Like
    Fred got a reaction from Nolan in Firmware Update Error   
    MSP Flasher (rather than CCS or Energia) is the best way to sort out any firmware issues. It shows you what firmware you have and lets you quickly and easily update it. If you suspect the firmware does need updating then that's the tool to check/fix it for you. Whilst the IDE may do the firmware update I've found they can be a little flaky on this.
    http://www.ti.com/tool/msp430-flasher
     
    As far as Energia goes, I stay well clear of it so can't help you there.
  20. Like
    Fred got a reaction from Nolan in Firmware Update Error   
    Just run mspflasher.exe from the command line (in the MSP430Flasher_1.3.3 folder). It should tell you what FET and MSP430 is connected and let you upgrade the FET. It's also used for flashing firmware - hence the name.
  21. Like
    Fred got a reaction from abecedarian in Firmware Update Error   
    When I had both CCS 5 and 6 installed, I found that they could both insist that their version of the firmware was the right one. I found the easiest way to sort out FET firmware was to use the latest version of MSP Flasher.
     
    Be careful if you have an early version of that launchpad with the XMS430FR5969 chip. A FET firmware update can render it unable to communicate with this deprecated microcontroller. Later versions are fine.
  22. Like
    Fred got a reaction from tripwire in Silicon Labs EFM8 microcontroller. Free if you poll.   
    Be a little wary of Avnet webinars. It seems you get heavily spammed afterwards. I'm not sure if anyone who registered for the FR5969 one ever got their dev kits.
    http://forum.43oh.com/topic/5790-register-to-be-eligible-for-a-free-fram-mcu-dev-kit-bundles-courtesy-of-avnet-and-ti/
     
    Why would anyone want to use an 8-bit microcontrollers these days when 16 and even 32 bit are cheap and low power?
  23. Like
    Fred reacted to BRey in ESP8266 - Anyone here play with one?   
    I have a few of them-ESP01, ESP12 & ESP201. They are all the same core, just different available pins & antennas. There isn't much variation in price( $3 - $4 ea.); the ESP01 comes with through holes & pins so it is easy to start with but only has a few I/o. I like the 201 for breadboarding (after moving the 4 pins on the end to the top of the board) Documentation is poor, but the net is filling in the missing pieces.
     
    Delivered firmware uses RX/TX & "AT" (modem) command extensions. Easy to set up, reliable, but slow. Automatically stores settings in Flash (SSID, passkey, baud, etc.) Lots of Arduino users. 
     
    Then the SDK was released and usage exploded. It is a MIPS core running 80mhz with lots of flash. There are several SDK forks some makefile/gcc but most Eclipse. I have used one with MQTT built in, played with the nodeMCU Lua, and now there is an Arduino port (Using the Arduino 1.6+ IDE, select ESP8266 board) Similar code compatibility issues to using Arduino code in Energia. If you want simple, go Arduino. I like Eclipse OK and the code produced has been more reliable for me.
     
    The game changer here is the price & price/performance esp. since a pretty solid wifi transceiver is builtin. Since it is Wifi I doubt true low power is possible, but there are some sleep modes and people experimenting. Deep sleep requires wiring a pin only available on the larger models (unless you can wire to the tiny chip!).
     
    I have gotten them fast from this guy: http://stores.ebay.com/tomyuen007?_trksid=p2047675.l2563He is across town (Atlanta) so 1-2 day service for me; but should be fast for anyone in the U.S. Ali & ebay probably best elsewhere.
     
    I find it ironic that Arduino people are hooking an 80mhz 32 bit MPU as a modem to their 16mhz 8bit boards.
     
    B
  24. Like
    Fred got a reaction from jpnorair in I want to buy an awesome 3D Printer   
    SLA printers definitely have the edge on quality, but you're obviously restricted by the curable resins (which are expensive). I didn't know they did a flexible resin but it seems they do. I've got a standard FDM printer and whilst it's useful to some degree, I definitely use my CNC mill more. A mill gives you a much wider range of materials. Would one suit what you need to do better than a printer?
  25. Like
    Fred got a reaction from spirilis in Silicon Labs EFM8 microcontroller. Free if you poll.   
    Be a little wary of Avnet webinars. It seems you get heavily spammed afterwards. I'm not sure if anyone who registered for the FR5969 one ever got their dev kits.
    http://forum.43oh.com/topic/5790-register-to-be-eligible-for-a-free-fram-mcu-dev-kit-bundles-courtesy-of-avnet-and-ti/
     
    Why would anyone want to use an 8-bit microcontrollers these days when 16 and even 32 bit are cheap and low power?
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