Soda Can Theremin Video

We recently published a video about a simple Theremin built using the Analog Discovery and the Analog Parts Kit. A Theremin is an electronic musical instrument which essentially turns the user into a variable capacitor. The user can then adjust the frequency of the sound produced by the instrument by moving their hand in relation to an antenna. As the distance to the antenna changes, the capacitance also changes, thus changing the signal frequency. In the Theremin showcased in this video, a recycled soda can is used as the antenna.

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Building Logic Gates with Transistors

This is a continuation of previous blogs about logic gates. Earlier you read about logic gates and their functions. Then you read about how to code logic gates in Verilog, VHDL, and C. Now its time to learn about creating logic gates with transistors. After reading all of these posts you’ll have learned about logic gate theory, coding logic gates in both hardware and software, and the physical hardware design of logic gates.

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Kirchhoff’s Circuit Laws

In one of my first circuits courses, the professor’s favorite words of advice were to “keep calm and remember KCL, KVL, and Ohm’s law.” With these three concepts, just about any electrical circuit can be analyzed and understood. Granted, things get a little more complicated when you add concepts like inductance and capacitance, but KCL, KVL, and Ohm’s law form the foundation of all circuit analysis. Brandon mentioned Ohm’s law in his blog post on how to choose a resistor for your design, so I will only be discussing KCL and KVL.

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Richard Wall: Using chipKIT Pro with Stepper Motors

I know it’s around spring break for many of our readers in academia, but here at Digilent, we just can’t get enough of Richard Wall’s work — whether he’s vacationing or not! Last week, we learned about methods of creating software time delays to pace processor operations. That project also demonstrates used time delays for signal conditioning. This laid the groundwork for us to talk about stepper motors and finite state machines this week.

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Richard Wall: I/O Control

Today, we’re going to revisit Richard Wall’s chipKIT Pro module. Last week, we learned how to get started with chipKIT Pro and MPLAB X. This weeks posts covers the methods of reading from and writing to the input and output (I/O) pins of the PIC32 microcontroller. Dr. Wall also presents software modeling concepts using data flow diagrams and control flow diagrams.

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Digilent WaveForms Software — What Is It and Who Should Use It?

On our website, WaveForms is described as a powerful suite of virtual instruments that brings analog and digital circuit design to your PC desktop. The instruments within WaveForms include an oscilloscope, logic analyzer, arbitrary waveform generator, digital pattern generator, power supplies, a voltmeter, virtual I/O devices, and a spectrum analyzer. Okay, so there’s a long list of fancy technical terms. But what makes WaveForms so special?

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A New Intern’s Experience Getting Started with chipKIT and Learn.Digilentinc!

Howdy! I’m the latest addition to the Digilent family, and I’m happy to make your acquaintance! As the newest member, my first task was to act as a guinea pig to test out our new Learn.Digilentinc webpage. After all, I was new to chipKIT, but I’m no fresh-faced newb (well… not much of a newb), I know my way around a microcontroller and this is hardly my first time blinking an LED, but I’m not a hardcore programmer or electrical engineer either, which was exactly what the Learn.Digilentinc website was created for. So I was asked to go through Digilent’s Learn site to familiarize myself with their hardware, and provide a little outside perspective on the tutorials. The following is a review of my experience with our Learn site, tutorials, and what sort of difficulties folks new to microcontrollers might have while learning the ropes on our hardware.

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Periodically Called Functions Made Easy With the Timers Library

Hey, everyone! Are you getting your week started right by using our awesome MPIDE for your programming needs? Are you just getting started with MPIDE? One of the first major functions used when starting out in MPIDE is the delay() function, as it makes it easy to see an LED blink on and off. However, once things get more complicated and multiple operations become necessary (e.g., configuring multiple digits on a 7-segment to display well as processing the data to display). The Timers library provides a way to easily define functions that should be called periodically. For example, function foo() should be called every 10 milliseconds.

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