Week in (p)review: February 20, 2011

in week in review by Ian | 2 comments

Don’t forget to share your current project in the comments or the forum. This week our favorite project gets a free SOIC protoboard.

Here’s a summary of major developments over the last week:

This week is about getting new stuff going, and getting stuff back in stock:

  • Manufacturing starts on a bunch of new projects: IR Toy v2, two USB LCD backpacks, CPLD breakout boards, and a couple more
  • Test plans for the new projects will go up on the wiki, which might give away a few early details
  • A second batch of some of the new breakout boards should be ready really soon, we’ll post an update when we hear more
  • There was a manufacturing test issue with Bus Blaster v1. We believe it was related to drivers on the test PC. This long-awaited board should be available really soon
  • Ongoing development in the project log forum

What are you hacking this week?

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Comments

  1. Ray Moore says:

    Ok,
    Project-o-the-day/week/year/whatever, my current project that’s taking up most of my spare time:

    NRCS: Neuvo Retro Computer System

    NRCS is a mostly (95% or so) breadboarded computer built around 8-bit microcontrollers (Atmel AVR). The goal is to have a computer that can be built by kids for science projects. The main CPU is an atmega1284p(40pin dip) running a Basic OS similar to the old commodore vic-20 CBM Basic. The video output is on a VGA monitor(and/or possibly a TV) with the video being generated by another AVR and several serial sram chips from Microchip. I am also including stereo audio capability as an option as well as SD card interface for mass storage. The device will have PS/2 keyboard and perhaps mouse capability as well. Currently the video resolution is 320×200 at 8 colors but with some tweaking I hope to get it up as high as 640×480. The color palette is basically limited to how many sram chips are part of the video system so that is expandable as well. Also to be included are options for serial port(both rs232 and ttl level interfaces possible), parallel port, ethernet(with the microchip enc28j60)and even USB client device through the V-USB AVR bitbanged USB firmware.

    This is a labor of love(love/hate relationship at times) as I work with kids ages 10 to 18 teaching them electronics, microcontrollers, and robotics in my spare time. So far I have the video generator working, mostly, at 320×200 8-color, a stereo audio generator and mic input, along with most of the i/o systems. The Basic OS is proving to be the most complex of the whole thing as I want it to be as versatile as the vic-20 or C-64 was with modern extensions for networking and possibly built in simple GUI web browser.

    If/when I get this completed or at least far enough along to be worth putting up online I will be sure to let the DP community know where to find it.

    Ray Moore/Grand and Glorious Leader of #emr on irc.magicstar.net

  2. Ray Moore says:

    Oops. What I didn’t mention is that we are using bus pirates for debugging the inter-chip communications interfaces as there are currently 6 AVRs in the NRCS build communicating with each other via SPI and I2C.

    Enjoy,
    Ray Moore/Grand and Glorious Leader of #emr on irc.magicstar.net

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