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Topics - BrentBXR

General discussion / Processing
Anyone here familure with Processing? The language i guess?

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions. Initially developed to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context...

I have seen it being used in a couple projects seen on hackaday or whatever; it seems to be some sort of visual programming language. but I am very confused about it; so I was hoping someone could shed some light on what exactly this is and how usful it could be over just using; say; visual studio express for PC side applications?

One project that really interests me at the moment is utilizing optical mouse camera's. I have not attempted yet but a few youtube searches brought up some nice projects and the best ones both used 'Processing' to visually capture the site data; and from the source posted it looks like it takes minimal effort to design a very nice GUI. I guess it already has serial support and is based around visual design; so its a good choice for the project.

but can anyone explain how it really works? or what its really for? When would you decide to utilize processing over say csharp or what have you?

Thanks in advance.
General discussion / Programming IDE's
Hey guys;

I am just wondering which IDE's you all use. I know differnt MCU's somtimes require differnt IDEs, like in my case; I use Eclipse for AVR's; and MPLAB for PICs. I would prefer to use Eclipse for all but I cannot find a dependible and easy to use plugin for PIC programming with Eclipse.

So I enabled the poll to allow up to 3 votes each; so please dont vote for the same item 3 times. Just vote for the ones you use once; so for example im voing 1 for eclipse and 1 for mplab.

If you select other; please post which IDE and for what MCU you use.

Project development, ideas, and suggestions / Project I need to do
Hey guys;

I have a rather (simple?) project I want to do; my AC unit is built into the wall pretty high and its annoying to turn it off/on... So I want to implement a simple RC5 remote to turn it off and on...

So what do you think is the simplest method for controlling the power? A servo is prolly over complicating this project but the interface isnt electronical; its a (cant think of the name) rotatory switch; so you turn it clockwise to turn it on and so on... but this uses the large appliance plug; not the standard wall socket; so would an SSR be the best method here? to two I suppose, for each input then earth should be fine always in right?
General discussion / PIC C30 Development using Eclipse IDE?
I use Eclipse with my AVR projects; and the interface is amazing once you learn how to use its many features (just literally an amazing IDE). I have it seamlessly integrated with AVR-GCC so I can do everything I need to without any external tools (so I dont have to build it then use a .bat to program it and so on...)

I would like to also use PIC with eclipse. I downloaded some PICCBuilder but it kinda sucks...

anyone know of any plugs for pic development? Im really only interested in C30 at this moment.]

Project development, ideas, and suggestions / High intensity UART comm causing reset?
Hey guys.

A few days ago I went over to a co-workers home whos also into electronics and he showed me a project hes working on; next to that project he had a second breadboard that was created so he could control all the normal human physical components with digital ones; so he could tweak settings; test things and everything from his computer setup in a differnt room; he even had a camera over the circuit to see the numbers being output (it was just some lame clock project) but I really liked the digital controllling circuit..

So I decided I would make somthing similure I could use for general purpose; I will attach an image of a flowchart I created showing the general ideas; i know it seems like alot but I am familure with every part of it; so it shouldnt be hard compiling them all into one project.


So I started by creating a terminal interface; now this terminal interface using stdio and scanf to receve 3 things from a string via terminal (ended by 0x0D or newline), it looks for:

1 char = command type (> = set (set values); $ = get (get values); ? = get AVR's information (dumps registers))
a space
the command string up to 25chars
a ',' if params are needed
a param up to 25 chars
then ';' and 0x0d (newline) ends it

so an example command is:

> aswitch1, on;

so that means i want to set; analog switch 1 ON.

Now the interface works great in the reguards as I can easily breakdown the string into the sections I need; but it randomly just keeps resetting! thinking perhaps I was sending to much via terminal; I increased my UART buffers and trimmed the srouce down ot the bare mini's but its still resetting randomly...

Any ideas on what could be causing it? now I can guarentee its not watch dog, its not a software reset, and its not leaving the forever loop (its within 3; thinking that oculd be it)...

Any ideas? Or anyone interested in seeing the code thus far to see?
General discussion / Fiberglass Pen
Alright; today because I didnt have work I decided to go down to an electronics hobbiest store of heard of, it turns out to be basicly a radio shack with a differnt name (so super expensive items (over 1$ for 1 LED?) and bad selection). Anyways; in the aisle with the wire, wire glue, conductive paint, and so on... I found a fiberglass pen.

Now a long time ago I remember seeing a video where a guy is modding somthing; so he needs to scrape some soldermask off a couple traces, he pulled out a pan and said 'the easiest method by far, the fiberglass pen' this thing looks basicly just like a pencel but the 'lead' part was a bit rounded. Anyways he did like three strokes and cleanly removed the soldermask to make a solder joint...

So when I saw that fiberglass pen next to all this circuit repair stuff; I thought great! I would love to own one of these, so I grabbed it. (along with 5 9v batt connectors (4 bucks!), .015 solder (~3 bucks), and a couple dip switches (1.5$ each what a ripppp)).

Now when I  got home and opened it I relised I didnt really look at the item; I just saw the name and got it. It turns out this is not like the one in the video; this one is a brush. like you spin the bottom and it pushes the fiberglass bristles up. So I decided to try it anyhow; technically its called an 'abrasive fiberglass pen'.

I found a old PCB and started rubbing away; about 10 minutes later I have a small section of copper showing......

So im wondering do any of you guys know if this is actually an electronic's hobbiest tool, if not why was it in a circuit repair section? Or do any of you know how to use it? or what its for exactly (besides being abrasive of course).

Its like this: ... ,7850.html The tip is actually a bunch of bristles
Bus Pirate Support / BPv4 USB Interrupt and Handling (was 'Silly UART Issue')
This is a spin off of a post viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3855 where I was asking for help trying to figure out why my UART2 wasnt working; as i teach myself pics.

Anyways; it turns out its my BP's! For some reason when I connect my v4 (and v3 did the same) at 4800 baud; on my 3.3v PIC24F's UART2. When I try to send to the pic; my BP freezes. Now the weirdest part; is I tried connecting the TX of a differnt UART<->USB device with the RX connected; and when I sent to from that device to the pic; the BP still freezes... But its not on all transmissions; because normal send from the PIC to BP works fine.

I have the PIC setup with an internal interrupt on RX. The code is simply counting up and spitting that number out UART1 and UART2 every second or so. Then when a RX is sent on either; then an interrupt happens and the sent char is sent back (like GOT: 'U') on the corrosponding UART (so if UART1 gets an RX, it sends it back on UART1).

UART1 is at 256000 baud
UART2 is at 4800 baud (for use with a wireless device).

Any ideas on what could be happening during that interrupt that could cause the BP to freeze like that? The USBASP UART device I use doesnt; it works perfectly as expected.

The source code used and some more details are on the forum post I linked above..

I love my BP's and have used them for UART 100's of times; so I know somhow the circuit is doing something thats jamming up my BP's, so any help would be greatly appreciated...
Project development, ideas, and suggestions / Still learning PICS
Hey guys. Im still teaching myself PICs and I am having a small issue. im using an PIC24FJ16GA002; heres the issue:

iv been playing with clocking and peripherals. This specific PIC has two on-board silica UART's.

32Mhz / 16MIPS / Internal OSC with PPL CLK

UART1 = 256000 BAUD

UART2 = 4800 BAUD

Now the annoying part is I am using the same exact code for UART1; on UART2. Just a different baud rate. I tried moving the PPS; I tried using both my BPv3 and BPv4; I also tried hitting some breakpoints and checking to see if the the U@ registers had data in it; or if the 'data ready' bit is set but im getting nothing. Now remember; UART1 works great, not a problem...

I attached the sources (not support.c or support.h that just holds a couple misc functions like my delay functions and so on...). Some of the stuff might be off thats only because I have been trying to tweak it to work.


So if any PIC guys have a free moment and wouldn't mind looking over my code; I would appreciate it.
USB Infrared Toy / Free PCB Build, IR Toy
Sorry I have such a crappy camera... All i have is my phone and its an old LG so its camera sucks and lens im sure is all scratched so on...

but I finally got my SMD transistor in! I originally had all the parts waiting before the PCB even arrived; I made a single one for one digikey order for all the parts. When I went to build it up I dropped the SMD transistor into never-land and had to wait until I found a replacment... Luckly my co-worker whos also into electronics just so happened to have similure smd (in package and charecteristics) on hand; so he gave me one...

It seems to work great! very neat! soon I will put the tv-b-gone firmware on it :D


(ohhhh thats such a cute puppy paw!!!11)
General discussion / Re: Need help with LCD.
Can you post some pics? Are you sure its a char LCD and not a graphics LCD? I know with most graphics LCDs (atleast the ones I have experence with) I think they had the same pinout but required stuff like negative voltage (easily generated with a hacked MAX2232A circuit. and so on..

Post some pics; im sure one of us can identify it.
USB Infrared Toy / IRToy - tv-b-gone firmware
Hey guys;

I decided with my free PCB code to get an IR toy (As the other devices I had my mind on were gone (mainly the component tester; I thought that would be a fun project to help develop)) so I ordered that and ordered all the parts needed via digikey (Some parts were no longer in stock; of memory the USB connector. So I just ordered like 4 similure types; so hopfully one has the same or close enough footprint, Im sure most will, if not 1). The parts have arrived now im just awaiting the board.

My question is in regards to the Tv-B-Gone firmware. I used to own a official tv-b-gone, I dont know what happen to it; I think my brother stole it... (this was when I was young and living with my parents, years ago).

Anyways; I really liked that device so before I got the free pcb code; I tried making one myself as ladyada has an open-source AVR version but I think I used bad transistors (as in to much of a drop) as the IR leds are not going off; but the status led lookes like its going good... Anyways I decided to get the IR toy to utilize that firmware.

I was wondering; how does the trigger work? Does it begin just after power is applied? I didnt see a button on the board or partslist. I was thinking; I would like to hack together a small circuit; just a 9v battery to 5v regulator with a nice cap; then run that into a USB mini-plug to use it on the go.

Also; is the LED on the board controlled via the PIC? I hope! I was thinking perhaps I could hack my IR toy; utilize the broken out pins to add a button to trigger the tv-b-gone script; if I do that I also want an LED to tell me if its going or not. I suppose even if that built on LED isnt; I can hack my own LED into a broken out pin too; but that would get dirty looking i think.
Project development, ideas, and suggestions / Learning FPGAs (Verilog to be specific)
Who all here in this community has experience or wants to learn FPGAs?

I just started myself and its remarkably powerfull devices. Extremly confusing though. I thought my background with microcontrollers would help but they are two completely differnt beasts.

Anyways; anyone else know or wanting to know FPGAs? perhaps we can learn together. Start a FPGA thread and share knowledge.
General discussion / A handful of DP

I actually forgot two things in this image: my CPLD board and my shirt but was to lazy to retake it. and in a few days; a IR toy wil be added to that (free PCB I already got the parts; I special ordered all of them from digi (in one single order makes it easier), which means in a couple more weeks; another.. and another..)

So the challenge:
Who can 'handful of DP' more then me!

I don't quite understand why I am so attracted do dangerousprototype products.. I guess because its quite what I wish I could do.. This is my kind of projects; from the BP to the BB... To the OBLS. I dont like blinking LEDs like so many hobbiests... I dont like making midi sounds like so many hobbiests... I dont like accelorometers like so many hobbiests... I like digital playgrounds. I like hacking other peoples work. I like making things happen that arnt supposed to happen.
Bus Blaster JTAG debugger / TDO Seems Stuck?
TDO seems stuck on 1

I keep getting this while trying to program my Xilinx Spartan-3A X3S200A 500k gate FPGA development board. Its weird somtimes it works fine; other times it doesnt work and I keep getting this TDO seems stuck. Somtimes the FTDI connection dies and it falls out of my hardware (windows XP).

I tried cleaning it and everything. I got it to work really well all last night after hours of struggling with it. Now its not working again... Any ideas?

Also when using urJTAG; then I do the 'cable jtagkey' if the FPGA development board is plugged in (it uses USB power; but the FTDI chip on board is for UART communication from the FPGA only; not JTAG.) it seems to connect to the FPGA's FTDI instead of the bus blaster. There are two connections the BBv2 makes; is it perhaps connecting to the wrong one? If so; which is the JTAG target connection so I can disable the other one?
Open Bench Logic Sniffer / Product review meets or beats
Ian and DP,

I know this has been brought up before but I was looking through some old EEVBLOG videos (specificly on a purchase I just made which was the Pickit2 found it turns out I made a good decision over the pickit3) anyways I started looking though other videos and landed on video's 44 and 45 which are Logic Analyzers part one and two. While watching it I had my OBLS in my hand just looking at the parts and the elegant device. of course while hes talking im doing the comparisons in my head and the OBLS always meets or exceeds the specs he brings up; for example:

For PC connected LA's

LA's that stream data are always the cheapest; in the 50-100 range
LA's that buffer the data are more expensive; in the 100-500 range

There are two types of LA's one with compression and ones without (RLA)

Commonly the LA's speed is set;

and all this stuff. On every point made the OBLS either meet the spec or exceeded it. And he was always talking about needing 200+ LA for any real measurement.

When the subject of perhaps sending him an OBLS was brought up; he wasnt very big. He now is.

I truly think if you sent him a demo OBLS (maybe even just loaned, i dont know) and had him try it out even before decining to do a review; i have no doubt in my mind he would review it. And we already know for the price of this LA it kicks most professional LA's in the butt. So I think he would do the review justice and I really think this would mean a large influx in purchases of the device. I think if Dave said; "for the price of this LA; it cannot be beat" you would have a good 50-100 purchases the week of the review.

And if you are going to go to the touble of sending him the OBLS you might as well send a BP also; im sure he would be amazed as everyone who first encounters one is, and also give it a good word. His thousands of viewers would all see it. Which in every reguard is a good thing from a biz aspect.

I dont know; I just think its time to let the OBLS be known; it is such a GREAT device that is still so unknown it hurts.

Let me know your thoughts.