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Messages - dps

Project development, ideas, and suggestions / Re: Rainbow Lamp - Making PCB with DirtyPCBs
My experience (albeit with KiCad) has been that the board dimensions are defined by the center of the polygon outline. This is not a copper trace, but just a rectangle (or more complex polygon) drawn on the board dimension layer (or whatever your board house uses).

So if I draw a 50x50mm rectangle on the board dimension layer, it doesn't matter how "wide" the line is; the center of the polygon outline defines the board dimensions.

Hope this helps; please correct me if I am mistaken! :-)
Project logs / Re: vUSB tiny AVR ISP
[quote author="CJlano"]As I said before, my panelization is made of a single 2x10mm slot (I think it is what you consider as milling) + 5-hole series for mouse bites. The slot is actually an "oval hole". So everything is included in the drill file.[/quote]
How did you specify the slot in KiCad? Make a component with an oval hole the desired size, no copper pad?
Hardware biz / Re: AOYUE 968 vs AOYUE 968A+
Not sure about the AOYUE 968. I have the AOYUE Int 2900, which is a digital-readout, temperature-controlled pencil iron. I got it from SparkFun Electronics a year or two ago.

It's decent, or at least it was until I started having trouble with the handle losing connection with the tip. Often when I use the iron, the base will start beeping at me, and the tip will stop heating up. After about 10 seconds or so, the base re-acquires a temperature reading and starts heating up the tip again. Very annoying!

/me saves up for a Metcal...
USB Infrared Toy / Re: Toy user would like to get it working in Linux, with pea
Per the IR Toy documentation:
Code: [Select]
ppm install Win32-SerialPort
To install Win32::SerialPort for ActiveState Perl.

Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install libdevice-serialport-perl
To install Device::SerialPort on Ubuntu(or any debian distribution).

Code: [Select]
yum install perl-Device-SerialPort
To install Device::SerialPort on CentOS(or any RedHat distribution).

Code: [Select]
pkg_add -r p5-Device-SerialPort
To install Device::SerialPort on FreeBSD.
That said, I don't have an IR Toy, so I could be off base here. :-)
Project logs / Re: Loggrid - Power line frequency and voltage monitor/logge
[quote author="matseng"]At every zero crossing the ADC value will serially be sent as two bytes via the optocoupler to the main board.[/quote]
Watch out for byte alignment issues! If the main board starts receiving (on powerup perhaps) in the middle of the 2-byte transmission, the main board will think that Byte 2 is really Byte 1 of a two-byte packet.

Instead, could you send a three-byte packet with a fixed-value header? That way you can detect the start-of-packet even if the main board gets out of sync with the sending board. If the receiver sees an initial byte that is not the start-of-packet value, it can wait until it does see the expected value.

If you want to get REALLY fancy, then add a fourth byte for a checksum! :-)
Bus Pirate Support / Re: CPLD Security Status Via JTAG With Bus Pirate?
[quote author="Flavor"]Should it be pretty straightforward with the Xilinx USB cable?[/quote]
Probably? I don't know what readback features the XC9536XL supports. iMPACT with the Xilinx USB cable should be your best bet, though. Plug in the cable, fire up iMPACT, choose Initialize JTAG Chain, then right-click the XC9536XL and see what options you get!
Bus Blaster JTAG debugger / Re: urJTAG and XC5VLX30
The XCF16P is a Platform Flash chip: http://

Looks like the FPGA still isn't being detected correctly.

I'm pretty sure there is a way to convert a .MCS file to a .SVF file. In iMPACT there should be an option to write a .SVF file instead of programming through a JTAG cable. Select that, then program the FPGA with a bitstream (or the Platform Flash with a .MCS file), then finish the .SVF file output (should be the same menu path as starting it).

Sorry, I don't have iMPACT handy to check the details. It's been a while since I tried this. :-)
Bus Pirate Support / Re: CPLD Security Status Via JTAG With Bus Pirate?
I don't think there's an easy way to do this with the Bus Pirate. You have to know the right command sequence to use with the JTAG interface.

That said, I have seen reports of people using the Bus Blaster with Xilinx's iMPACT tool: http://

iMPACT can read and program Xilinx CPLDs and FPGAs, but I don't know if the XC9536XL supports reading back the configuration bitstream. I'm pretty sure the FPGAs I use do not support readback (at least through iMPACT).
Project logs / Re: A/C Energy Saver
matseng: You're welcome! It's cool to see one's ideas included! :-)

Any luck building up the boards?