Monthly Archives: May, 2015

Recap
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It’s been a busy week! We rolled out all of our Maker Faire posts and recaps, and are getting ready for all kinds of busy fun in the next few weeks. We hope you have a pleasant weekend.

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Maker Faire
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As you know, a number of people here at Digilent went down to represent our MakerSpace at the Bay Area Maker Faire. As part of our booth, we brought a couple of main show pieces, including the LED Snake game and a breadboard wall. One of the top questions we received — and what you may be wondering yourself –was, “What is a breadboard wall”?

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Maker Faire
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Everyone from the MakerSpace at Digilent had a great time at the Maker Faire in San Mateo last weekend. We all were able to bring some of our own projects to the table to show everyone who visited our booth. I am here to talk about the project that I brought, the “human jukebox”. The project was a huge hit and turned plenty of heads. We even adopted one of the speakers from the TrashAmps booth, since the speaker we brought wasn’t very powerful. Kaitlyn was more than happy to showcase the project and even tried to sneak into the tech fashion show!

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Maker Faire
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The MakerSpace at Digilent made its way down to San Mateo armed with multiple fun projects we have been working on. One of these projects was the 900 LED Grid. This project was a fun and interactive piece to our booth that was very popular with Maker Faire patrons. The grid was running the Snake game and can be found in this Instructable. The Instructable goes into the process of building the grid and some of the ins and outs of coding Snake.

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Maker Faire
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This year, the MakerSpace at Digilent was able to attend the 2015 Bay Area Maker Faire. We brought two great demos, a breadboard wall, and a 900 LED matrix running the game Snake! Individuals also brought projects that they worked on. Our booth got a lot of attention due to the breadboard wall with simple and prepackaged circuits. Everybody loved being able to connect up a few parts with a couple wires and create a blinking light with a 555 timer. With that, there were also a couple adventurous people that created their own circuits.

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Workshop
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Digilent, in partnership with Coordination Nationale pour la Formation en Microléctronique (CNFM), is happy to announce the “Teaching Digital Design with Student-Owned FPGA Lab Platforms” workshop at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. The workshop will take place June 23-24.

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Maker Faire
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As you know from yesterday’s post, six of the members of the MakerSpace at Digilent went to Maker Faire to represent the MakerSpace and show off some of the projects that we have been doing.

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Maker Faire
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What a (last) weekend! The MakerSpace at Digilent traveled all the way down to San Mateo for the Bay Area Maker Faire 2015, our first Maker Faire as a MakerSpace. This is the first post in a series recapping what we saw and did. We had an amazing turnout at our booth, which you’ll hear about in a later post. To start us off, we each wrote a bit about our first impressions of Maker Faire as a whole. I’ll keep my part short as this is going to be a long post already!

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Digilent Design Contests
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The Digilent Design Contest Europe 2015 is finally over, and we can’t wait to share some of our favorite moments!

Talented students and advisers across Europe attended the finals of the Digilent Design Contest 2015 held at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca on May 16-17. Some of them traveled from Italy, France, Serbia, Hungary, and other far-flung regions in Romania driven by the strong desire to show off the projects they have been working for the last four or five months with the Digilent hardware provided.

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Recap
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Has this week been as busy for you as it has been for us? With people coming back from Maker Faire and beginning preparation for ASEE, it’s been hectic around here. We hope you have a good weekend!

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Projects
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First of all, for all you students out there that have graduated or will graduate this spring, congratulations! Part of the fun of graduation is personalizing your graduation hat, and making sure your family can find you in the crowd.

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Announcement
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On the last Monday of every May, the U.S. celebrates Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day. It is a day to honor those who have died while serving in the military. As it is a national holiday, the Digilent offices will be closed and operating at limited functionality this upcoming Monday, May 25.

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Our Team
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Upon his retirement from Microsoft in 1998, Gene Apperson and his family relocated to Pullman, Washington. After a few years, Gene decided to go back to school as an undergraduate in mechanical engineering. A professor, Bob Richards, soon asked Gene to switch to the Master’s program, even though most of his background was in electrical engineering. He ended up taking a VLSI design class from none other than Clint Cole. While Gene ended up asking Clint whether he would be able to do well in the class, they got to talking and decided to start a company together.

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Digilent Design Contests
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One of the really cool projects to come out of the Digilent Design Contest is a virtual touchscreen game hands-on tutorial for the ZYBO. This Instructable provides step-by-step instructions for customizing hardware to emulate a touchscreen on a simple TFT (thin-film transistor) monitor using camera and finger detection

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Projects
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As people come back from Maker Faire having seen — and made — some truly amazing things, we’d like to reflect back upon a fun project that one of our interns spent a lot of time on last year, the soda can theremin.

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Learn.Digilent
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After last week’s exciting design challenge, we’re back to a more traditional project — one with an incredibly practical application. We’ll be using the chipKIT Pro MX7 to control a DC motor.

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FPGA
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The goal of this Instructable by myronking is to build a simple two-wheeled motorized robot controlled by a ZedBoard. You’ll learn about communication and control logic with FPGAs.

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Accessories
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Have you recently gotten your hands on Digilent’s Autorange Digital Multimeter (DMM)? Are you just aching to start using it? Digilent’s Learn site has a couple of projects to get you started!

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Microcontrollers
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Have you every wanted to design your own controller area network (CAN bus)? If so, look no further than this tutorial on Hackaday. The project will guide you through designing your hardware with a CAN controller and transceiver. The tutorial uses the chipKIT Max32.

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Recap
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We know this past week has been a very busy and hectic time for many of you, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the interesting topics we have been discussing around the office lately. Have a good weekend!

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FPGA
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One of the companies we work closely with is Xilinx, and we’re honored that they feature some of our products on their partner pages. The Digilent partner page not only has information about our company, but links to our products that use a Xilinx FPGA (and a few accessories).

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Our Team
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Do Fridays ever have a whimsical feel? They do for us, so we thought we’d do a short retrospective on our fantastic mascot, Turbo.

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Maker Faire
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The Digilent MakerSpace will be at Maker Faire in San Mateo this weekend! Stop by our booth to see a wall-sized breadboard, LED Snake game, and learn what we do at the Digilent MakerSpace.

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Guide
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LEDs are one of the coolest electronic components. They can brighten up any circuits project and turn it in to an eye-catching bonanza of blinking lights. Okay, corny imagery aside, they’re pretty cool. But have you ever thought of how they actually work? You likely already know that LED stands for light emitting diode. Where does the light emit from, though? There are no bulbs or filaments in an LED. So what’s going on in there that produces the glow that we love to have in all of our circuits?

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