Monthly Archives: February, 2015

Recap
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This week, we’ve continued getting ready for ECEDHA, especially preparing one of our exciting demos. A few of our team members have been traveling, so things have seemed quiet, though we have plenty going on. Check out some of those exciting things below!

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Our Team
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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.

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Pmod
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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.

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Community
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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.

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Guest Blog
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Last week, we introduced Richard Wall, who has done some fantastic work on our Learn modules. Today I’d like to introduce the first project in his module (the one to do with advanced microcontrollers using the chipKIT Pro MX7).

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Projects
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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.

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Guide
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With any upcoming projects you may be doing, will you be using transistors? A few months ago, Brandon wrote a post detailing the basics of transistors — what they are, how they work, how they can be used, etc.

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Tutorial
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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.

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Around Digilent
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As February, Black History month, draws to a close, we want to highlight the achievements of an amazing and inspiring engineer. Astronaut Robert Lee Curbeam, Jr., was born in 1952 and is the astronaut who holds the record for most space walks on a single flight.

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Guide
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The binary search tree (BST) is a data structure that is much different from the other structures that we’ve gone over so far. Unlike stacks, queues, and lists, a BST’s struct is not a “straight-line”. Each node in a BST has a left and right child node.

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Recap
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This week, we’ve been quite busy getting ready for ECEDHA, where we hope to see you! We’ve had plenty of other things going on, so, let’s round up some of the fun stuff we’ve been up to at Digilent and other cool links from around the web that we like. Check them out!

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Analog
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Show and Tell is a weekly segment where we focus on Digilent products and services that you may not know about. Larissa returns in the second episode to talk about one of our most popular tools, the Analog Discovery, and some of its accessories and add-ons (this includes the Analog Parts Kit).

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Microcontrollers
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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.

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Our Team
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Recently, one of our hardworking interns started a new video series. You may have seen James’ blog series about Pmods. Now there’s a video component as well! James begins the series by introducing Pmods and talking about their history.

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Analog
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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.

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Workshop
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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.

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Tutorial
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Now that we know about pointers and structs, we can make a linked list. A linked list is a dynamic data structure, meaning that it can change in size! There are several important points that we are going to go over in this post.

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Recap
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This week, we’ve been quite busy gearing up for Valentine’s Day — and we wish you a happy one! Without further ado, let’s round up some of the fun stuff we’ve done at Digilent and other cool links from around the web that we like. Check them out!

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Digilent Makerspace
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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?!

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