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A journey into Capcom’s CPS2 silicon – Part 2

Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 in Chips, reversed by DP | No Comments

capcom_dl1727

Here’s an informative part 2 of the Capcom CPS2 reverse engineering series by Eduardo Cruz:

Capcom’s Play System 2, also known as CPS2, was a new arcade platform introduced in 1993 and a firm call on bootlegging. Featuring similar but improved specs to its predecessor CPS1, the system introduced a new security architecture that gave Capcom for the first time a piracy-free platform. A fact that remained true for its main commercial lifespan and that even prevented projects like Mame from gaining proper emulation of the system for years.

See the full post on the Arcade Hacker blog. Be sure to see Part 1 here.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Programming STM32F103 Blue Pill using USB bootloader and PlatformIO

Posted on Monday, January 15th, 2018 in ARM, how-to by DP | No Comments

800px-Bluepill_pinout

Coyt Barringer wrote a post on his blog showing how he program the Blue Pill STM32F103 using USB Bootloader and PlatformIO:

This is the infamous Blue Pill board – a $2 ARM STM32F103 development board with all the capabilities of a Teensy 3.x at a fraction of the price of an Arduino. So what’s the catch?
I’ll tell you – software support.
A couple weeks ago I decided to invest some time learning this platform because I was sick of paying 20+ dollars for a Teensy. While the PJRC platforms are fantastic, they are expensive and need a proprietary boot loader in order to work. I want a small and powerful arm chip which I can integrate INTO my own PCBs and the Teensy does not easily or cheaply allow this. The Blue Pill and it’s derivatives appear to be just the thing I need!

See the full post at lostengineer.com.

Arduino Tutorial: Adding sensors to your data logger

Posted on Monday, January 15th, 2018 in Arduino, tutorials by DP | No Comments

Float configuration deploymnet on new housings

Edward Mallon writes:

This post isn’t another How-To tutorial for a specific sensor because the Arduino community has already produced a considerable number of resources like that.  You’d be hard pressed to find any sensor in the DIY market that doesn’t give you a dozen cookbook recipes to follow after a simple Google search. In fact, you get so many results from “How to use SensorX with Arduino” that beginners are overwhelmed because few of those tutorials help people decide which type of sensor suits their skill level. This post attempts to put the range of different options you can use with a Cave Pearl data logger into a conceptual framework, with links to examples that illustrate the ideas in text.

More details at thecavepearlproject.org.

Inside a PM1A color analyzer

Posted on Monday, January 15th, 2018 in Teardowns by DP | No Comments

PM1A-600

Kerry Wong did a teardown of a PM1A color analyzer:

As I mentioned in one of my posts a few years back, a color analyzer from the 80’s can be a treasure trove for the hobbyists. And at the very least, it is a cheap way to get yourself a photomultiplier along with the supporting circuitry to do experiments with. For instance, you can utilize the fast response time of a PMT to do accurate speed of light measurement in a lab setting like I showed in this experiment back in 2015.
I just bought another one off eBay, and this time it is a Beseler PM1A color analyzer. By the look of it, it is probably a cheaper version of the Beseler PM2L I did a teardown and reverse engineering with before.

See the full post on his blog.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, January 14th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 19 Comments

BP-600x373

We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

App note: PWM Basics

Posted on Sunday, January 14th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_apex_an30u

PWM basics and PWM drivers app note from APEX Microtechnology. Link here (PDF)

PWM circuits are taking the same general course of development traveled by op amps and many other electronic functions. Concepts were brought to life using discrete components and were followed by modules, hybrids and then monolithics.

App note: Microphone specifications explained

Posted on Sunday, January 14th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_tdk_an1112

All about MEMS microphone from TDK Invensense. Link here (PDF)

A MEMS microphone IC is unique among InvenSense, Inc., products in that its input is an acoustic pressure wave. For this reason, some specifications included in the data sheets for these parts may not be familiar, or familiar specifications may be applied in unfamiliar ways. This application note explains the specifications and terms found in MEMS microphone data sheets so that the microphone can be appropriately designed into a system.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, January 12th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

FPGA-based disk controller for Apple II

Posted on Friday, January 12th, 2018 in FPGA, vintage by DP | No Comments

yellowstone-in-600

Steve Chamberlin over at Big Mess o’Wires has been working on an FPGA-based disk controller for Apple II, which he call Yellowstone:

Apple II disk controller cards are weird, there are a crazy number of different types, and many are rare and expensive. Can an FPGA-based solution save the day for retro collectors? You bet! Nearly all the existing disk controllers connect the same 8-bit bus to the same 19-pin disk interface, so a universal clone is merely a question of replacing the vintage 80s guts of the card with a modern reprogrammable FPGA. This hypothetical universal controller card could connect to almost any Apple II disk drive, or a Floppy Emu. Here’s my first attempt.

More details at Big Mess o’ Wires homepage.

ESP32lights

Posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 in wireless by DP | No Comments

ESP32lights

Luca Dentella published a new build:

Today’s project, ESP32lights, is a smart device based on the esp32 chip.
Thanks to ESP32lights you can turn a load on and off (I used it for my christmas lights)

  • manually
  • based on daily schedules
  • based on the light intensity

ESP32lights connects to your wifi network, can be configured and operated via a web browser and it’s optimized for mobile devices (responsive web interface based on jQuery Mobile).

Full description on his blog. More tutorials about the ESP32 chip here.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Common emitter amplifier design tips & shortcuts

Posted on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 in techniques by DP | No Comments

Tips & tricks for the common emitter amplifier design by Alan Wolke (aka W2AEW)

This video provides some basic design tips and shortcuts for the Common Emitter, Class A, Amplifier. The considerations for selection of the DC Bias point are presented, as well as some tips on how to set/compute the gain for both degenerated and high-gain configurations.

Yet another ARM development tutorial

Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 in ARM, tutorials by DP | No Comments

armdevelopment-1056x675

ARM development tutorial at smdprutser.nl:

It has been a while since I wrote about ARM development. I recently made a Black Magic Probe (BMP) clone which acts different then the original. The BMP can source power to the target, but on my version control signal is inverted. Not a big deal, but can give unintentional results and has to be fixed. Just for my own memory I wrote down all the steps involved in setting it up and shared it in order to be useful for others.

See the full post on smdprutser blog.

#FreePCB via Twitter to 2 random RTs

Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

Every Tuesday we give away two coupons for the free PCB drawer via Twitter. This post was announced on Twitter, and in 24 hours we’ll send coupon codes to two random retweeters. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times a every week:

  • Hate Twitter and Facebook? Free PCB Sunday is the classic PCB giveaway. Catch it every Sunday, right here on the blog
  • Tweet-a-PCB Tuesday. Follow us and get boards in 144 characters or less
  • Facebook PCB Friday. Free PCBs will be your friend for the weekend

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • Check out how we mail PCBs worldwide video.
  • We’ll contact you via Twitter with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Easing the pain of SWD on modern DPS:es

Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018 in DIY by DP | No Comments

IMG_0501-225x300

Johan Kanflo writes:

On newer DPS:es, the SWD connector is a JST-GH (1.25mm spacing that is) which translates to “really tiny”. The annular rings where you need to apply solder and heat for adding wires are even smaller. This is why the OpenDPS SWD Bottle is handy. Add three P50-E2 pogo pins, and connect to your favourite SWD debugger.

See the full post on his blog.

Teardown of an opto-isolator

Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018 in Teardowns by DP | No Comments

package_close-600

Cross section and analysis of an opto-isolator from Electronupdate.

Check out the video after the break. (more…)

Free PCB Sunday: Pick your PCB

Posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | 22 Comments

BP-600x373

We go through a lot of prototype PCBs, and end up with lots of extras that we’ll never use. Every Sunday we give away a few PCBs from one of our past or future projects, or a related prototype. Our PCBs are made through Seeed Studio’s Fusion board service. This week two random commenters will get a coupon code for the free PCB drawer tomorrow morning. Pick your own PCB. You get unlimited free PCBs now – finish one and we’ll send you another! Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

App note: High-Power backup

Posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_murata_high_pwr_backup

App note from Murata on application of Electrical double layer capacitors (EDLCs). Link here (PDF)

When you consider backup function in your product, Murata’s supercapacitors (also known as EDLCs, Supercaps) are suitable for backup energy device. Murata’s supercapacitors can discharge in high power up to 10A. Therefore they can cover wide range of backup function that is from low power for long time to high power for short time. And you can design Murata’s supercapacitors into your slim devices because of the thin thicknesses. In addition, because supercapacitors have longer cycle life than batteries, they have potential for maintenance free.

App note: Lithium Ion Capacitors: An Effective EDLC Replacement

Posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2018 in app notes by DP | No Comments

an_taiyo_yuden_licap2

Hybrid capacitor of EDLC and LIB, Lithium Ion capacitors from TAIYO YUDEN offers solution to conventional EDLC lesser characteristics. Link here (PDF)

EDLCs were first created in Japan in the 1970s and began appearing in various home appliances in the 1990s. Since the 2000s, they have been used in mobile phones and digital cameras. EDLCs are typically used to protect against sudden momentary drops or sudden interruptions in power. They can instantaneously output large amounts of power, while a battery cannot. They are frequently used as backup power sources in servers and storage devices for integrated circuits, processors, memory and more.

While EDLCs are intended to be backup power sources, conventional EDLCs suffer from a phenomenon known as self-discharge, where the capacitor will gradually lose its charge over time. Self-discharge can occur more rapidly during exposure to high temperature environments. The extremely low self-discharge of an Lithium Ion Capacitor, even in high heat environments, ensures a long-lasting charge.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018 in Free PCBs by DP | No Comments

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

(more…)

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