Monthly Archives: February, 2015
Welcome back to Digilent’s Show and Tell series! In this third episode, Larissa discusses our carrier modules, or Cmods. Cmods were originally created in order to give breadboard access to components that were not traditionally breadboard-able. One of the advantages to breadboarding while learning electronics is that students get a more tactile experience of connecting components together to make a functional circuit.
Some of the Pmods, such as the PmodOLED and the PmodCLP, need a higher operating voltage to run their screen than is normally supplied by system boards. This predicament could be solved by using an external power supply to power the screens, but that can get pretty inconvenient especially if you want your project to be portable. A slightly easier method that does not require a power supply is a boost converter circuit.
Digilent hasn’t always been located at 1300 NE Henley Court! Looking back at its old locations is so fun — getting to see where we were and how we’ve grown. Today, we’d like to show you one of our former locations, the one right before our current building. This was Digilent’s fourth location. Norm snapped these pictures on a Friday night in 2006, just after we had re-organized the main floor. This was the “combine” building — it sits above what is now one of Pullman’s fine dining establishments, Black Cypress.
Radar tracking systems have been around for about 80 years now. Typically, when someone mentions radar it evokes images of giant antennas used to track clouds or planes miles and miles away. Close range radar that works through walls seems to be something exclusive to the realm of science fiction. Perhaps the most iconic example of this is the motion tracker from the 1986 movie Aliens. Its ominous pulsing and shrieking tracking tone made it a fantastic plot device for building tension in the movie.
An impossible object is a two-dimensional figure that, at first glance, looks like a real 3D object. However, further inspection will lead to the conclusion that the object can’t actually exist in 3D. One famous example of this is the Penrose triangle. The concept was used in M.C. Escher’s famous Waterfall, and you might also recognize it as Digilent’s logo.
Robots that run around on motors are pretty sweet. These motors traditionally tend to be DC motors that are controlled through the use of an H-Bridge, which can change the flow of current so that the motor is able to run forwards or backwards. H-bridge modules, such as Digilent’s PmodHB3 or PmodHB5, also tend to have two pins labeled as Sensor A and Sensor B that measure which direction the motor is rotating. The two sensors, A and B, will be wired to the outputs of components known as Hall effect sensors. Unsurprisingly, these measure the Hall effect. But rather than having the “word in the definition” problem, let’s learn some of the practical details.
MPIDE comes with a nice serial monitor where you are able to print out values that your system board has measured onto your computer screen. But if you are able to print things onto your computer screen, wouldn’t it make sense if the chipKIT board also accepted and processed values that we typed into the serial monitor? It would make a lot of sense, which is probably why we can do just that. Let’s find out how.
Recently, a user of our products posted a tutorial about using a chipKIT uC32 to remotely control an FM Radio. We always love to see our users creating cool projects and try to give space here not only to projects created by us at Digilent but also by you the user. This project does require the use of multiple components and could be a bit overwhelming to a beginner, but we encourage you to try it out if you so choose!
One of our lesser known products that definitely deserves some more attention is the Electronics ExplorerTM Board. This is an incredible piece of hardware that everyone interested in electronics should have. When I first started in electronics, I used the popular Analog Discovery. After using the EE Board, another analog design product offered by Digilent, it has become my new favorite.
CoreEL Technologies, Digilent’s exclusive academic partner in India, attended the second Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education 2015 (IUCEE) in Bangalore January 7-9. They showcased the demo powered by the Digilent Zynq FPGA development board, Analog Discovery, and Basys 3 Artix-7 FPGA development board in the booth and held a workshop to teach the embedded design on Xilinx’s All Programmable Zynq SoC with the Digilent Zedboard.
Last week, some of us interns were getting restless and started talking about Valentine’s Day. We decided we should not just talk about it, but do something about it. After all, what is Valentine’s day but an opportunity to show your significant other, undefined relationship partner, platonic friend or anyone how awesome electronics are?!