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Tutorial
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Pushbuttons are an inherent source of problems inside of sensitive circuits. Ideally, we like to think that when a button is pressed it is either “pressed” or “not pressed” without any sort of funny business. Unfortunately, as pushbuttons are a mechanical component, a lack of funny business simply isn’t going to be the case.

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Guide
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We’ve posted plenty of projects before that make use of Vivado. But how do you begin using it? This Instructable provides a guide to getting started with using Xilinx’s Vivado CAD with the Digilent Nexys 4. Alex uses Verilog to create the logic design. The Digilent Intro to Verilog Project provides an introduction to logic design.

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Guide
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What is LabVIEW? How do I get started using it? What are some challenges a beginner might face? Miranda explains it all.

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After about a month of working with the chipKIT WF32 using LabVIEW, it came to my attention that the process to get all of the required software installed and working is not the easiest task in the world. That’s why I decided to create an Instructable that goes over how to get your chipKIT WF32 up and running with LabVIEW using LabVIEW MakerHub LINX, a package that is used to interact with common embedded platforms like Arduino, chipKIT, and myRIO. My Instructable also contains some resources to help you with the basics of LabVIEW coding.After about a month of working with the chipKIT WF32 using LabVIEW, it came to my attention that the process to get all of the required software installed and working is not the easiest task in the world. That’s why I decided to create an Instructable that goes over how to get your chipKIT WF32 up and running with LabVIEW using LabVIEW MakerHub LINX, a package that is used to interact with common embedded platforms like Arduino, chipKIT, and myRIO. My Instructable also contains some resources to help you with the basics of LabVIEW coding.

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Guide
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I have recently been working on SPI and I2C with the chipKIT WF32, LabVIEW Home Bundle, and various Pmods. Using LabVIEW MakerHub LINX, I was able to have the WF32 interface with the different Pmods and LabVIEW. I wrote an Instructable here about how I got the PmodALS (ambient light sensor) to interface with the WF32 which also includes a section on how to read the data sheet to find what you’re looking for. This Instructable was made as a guide so that others can understand how to read the data sheet in order to find the information required to use SPI for various sensors themselves.

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Tutorial
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For all those music buffs out there or beginners getting into the art of sound, here’s a quick way to generate your own buzz — but in a creative way. Music is one of the best ways to gather people together. If you’re ready to start on the path of a modern-day Beethoven, then it’s time to gather some parts and get started.

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Tutorial
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The chipKIT WF32 was the first Digilent board to have an on-board Wifi MRF24. By using the SD card port and WiFi module, we can host our own server from the WF32. We’re going to check out a demo where you can control the WF32 by using your computer.

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I recently published an Instructable on how to use I2C in LabVIEW using LabVIEW MakerHub LINX, chipKIT WF32, and PmodGYRO as an example. Digilent sells a both LabVIEW Home Bundle and chipKIT WF32 in the LabVIEW Physical Computing Kit. In this Instructable, I go over how to read the data sheet to find what you’re looking for and how exactly to code what you find. This guide also details how to set up pull-up resistors for successful I2C communication.

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When perusing our site, you’ve probably noticed the section entitled programming solutions, or looked through our…

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Have you ever looked at some of our images on Instagram and wondered how we compose them? Well, now you can learn how to take “Digilent style” photos with Quinn’s handy guide!

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Guide
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Implementation of an instruction pipeline is a common technique used when working with microprocessors. Pipelining improves operation and processing time. Microprocessors such as the Microchip® PIC32MX460F512L on the chipKIT Pro MX4 board use this technology to provide efficient processing and instruction execution. Though the process is sophisticated, it is actually quite simple in concept. In my explanation of instruction pipelines, I’ll specifically refer to the Microchip PIC32 microprocessor.

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Tutorial
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If you’ve been around the Digilent Blog, you’ve probably seen a lot of robots. Remember Susan the Line-Following Pig? Well, I recently found a small, portable solar panel in the MakerSpace at Digilent and I was inspired to build a solar-powered robot. Similar to Susan, I will be using the chipKIT Pro MX4 and the Digilent Motor Robot Kit (MRK) for my solar-powered design. However, when I first came up with this idea, it was the middle of winter. That being said, sunlight was quite a bit more scarce, especially up here in Pullman, WA. I first had to ask an important question: will I have enough sun?

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How-to
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Earlier today, Josh (a fellow intern and blog contributor) wrote a blog post about logic gates. After reading through Josh’s post and gaining an understanding of the concepts and basic functions of those gates, I figured now would be the perfect time to learn some code. I am going to go over each logic gate and it’s code in Verilog (a hardware language), VHDL (another hardware language) and C (software language).

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Tutorial
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The very basis of computers is binary. In electronics everything can be boiled down to 1s and 0s. Logic gates are digital circuits that take one or more binary inputs and produce a binary output. You can check out the basis of logic with Boolean Algebra.

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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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You’ll often hear about the “Linux kernel”, but what does that mean? Today we’re going to go about explaining what the Linux kernel is in terms that people can understand.

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Tutorial
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Printed circuit boards (PCB) are the basis for most electronics that we use the modern era. The power of the PCB is that it allows electronic components to be attached and connected more easily than with the alternatives (wire wrap and point-to-point).

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Tutorial
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In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, we’re also going to look at one of the posts on the blog from last November. James, one of our interns, explained exactly what a stepper motor is and how they work. It’s in-depth and incredibly useful.

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Tutorial
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We hear words like gigabyte (GB) and terabyte thrown around a lot, but what can we actually do with that much memory? At the most basic level of computing, we have bits, which are going to be either a 1 or 0. A byte is 8 bits. We’re going to represent a byte as a dot.

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This week happens to be National Library week, and although Digilent is not a library, we certainly use them! I’m not referring to public libraries, though (although I am personally a fan of them); rather, I’m talking about the C++ libraries that are widely used with our microcontrollers. Although C++ libraries are not quite the same as an IP for FPGAs, they serve a similar purpose. These libraries include a set of predefined functions that perform a specific task, such as sending and receiving a set of data over SPI, that the user can use without having to define what they do.

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Guide
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Back in March, we released a blog post announcing the ZYBOt. There was a set of Instructables and a video showing what the ZYBOt is all about. If you check those out, you can see that the ZYBOt is remote-controlled and has a video feed that can be displayed to a computer. The ZYBOt is a great project for people that want to dive into working with FPGAs and Linux.

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