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Ideal Scope for Hacking PCBs at Home

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Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: PCB design at home
Garcia-Lasheras   1/31/2014 4:08:15 AM
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@Hamster: "Seeed also have the Open Parts Library (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/Open-Parts-Library-p-1560.html), and a matching Eagle Library. Using these parts saves ordering 200 $0.04 SMD transistors when all I need is one."

This is a really neat & smart business model!! Some time ago I worked for an EMS provider and we faced this kind of issues.

When we designed the PCB in house, checking the already-available component stock in our warehouse was mandatory before using and ordering a new part.

But when a design came from a customer, we needed to check if we had a compatible component for every item in the BOM.

By the way, KiCAD developers have just added Eagle and PCAD design files support, but I've not tested it yet -- if I do that in the near future, I'll give you feedback.

Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: Niiiice....
Garcia-Lasheras   1/31/2014 3:56:36 AM
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@Hamster: "It was 512Mb/s - so beyond the realms of any test gear I can afford! "

Yes, you'd need a very expensive scope in order to debug such a fast signal -- one intended for debugging DDR2 as a minimum ;-)

By the way, I really love the idea of swapping beer for high-end instrumentation use time. I think this kind of deal may work fine in Spain! LOL

dcjenson
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Rookie
Noisy fan on DS1052
dcjenson   1/31/2014 1:25:24 AM
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Power up your new scope and see if the fan noise annoys you (highly dependent on your surroundings).
It bothered me in my home office, but the fix is easy and the DS1052 is simple to dissemble. Lots of good advice online about the fan replacement and gives you a good excuse to peel off a void warranty sticker. 

hamster_nz
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Freelancer
Re: PCB design at home
hamster_nz   1/30/2014 8:20:59 PM
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I would say it depends on what your preferred PCB supplier likes.

I use Seeed Studios, They supply all the support files required for Eagle (CAM jobs, DRCs and so on). This allows me to get correct DRCs and generate the correct output formats first time.

As a bonus Seeed also have the Open Parts Library (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/Open-Parts-Library-p-1560.html), and a matching Eagle Library. Using these parts saves ordering 200 $0.04 SMD transistors when all I need is one. As a bonus you to have Seeed assemble small runs of boards for you, as they have all the OPL parts on hand.

So although KiCAD's openess scores for me, I think for the low-end playing I do I'll stick with Eagle for now.  Once my PCBs get bigger than 100x80 (the limit for Eagle Free) or I start working with parts from outside of the OPL then I'll reconsder, but for now I'm happy with Eagle.

 

hamster_nz
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Freelancer
Re: Niiiice....
hamster_nz   1/30/2014 8:03:46 PM
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Um... It was 512Mb/s - so beyond the realms of any test gear I can afford! 

http://hamsterworks.co.nz/mediawiki/index.php/High_Speed_Link

When I squeezed 1080p (3x1.5Gb/s) out of a Spartan 6 I tried to see if I could swap beer for some scope time to see what it looked like. The only place in town with that sort of kit was Trimble Navigation, and they have a lot of engineers with very pricy tastes in beer.

I never took them up on it.

 

Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: Loof for Newark, element14 too
Garcia-Lasheras   1/30/2014 7:36:17 PM
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@_hm: "Newark and Element 14 also offer very good digital storage scope at very reasonable price."

I really love hearing how we --the EE professionals-- have a growing number of COTS low-budget tools. I've focused my attention in the DS1052E only because this is the one I've chosen for filling the scoping-gap in my private laboratory... and because it's hackable ;-)

So, I'm glad to see how you and other EETimes fellows are pointing to other cheap oscilloscopes. The more the info we have, the smarter choice we'll make.

_hm
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CEO
Look for Newark, element14 too
_hm   1/30/2014 6:54:48 PM
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Newark and Element 14 also offer very good digital storage scope at very reasonable price. I have used it and is pretty good. One should also look at this.

 

Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: PCB design at home
Garcia-Lasheras   1/30/2014 4:25:24 PM
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@wnatter: "What tool would you recommend for PCB design at home?"

If you plan to start a new PCB design project at home from the ground up, my advice is using KiCAD. It's free, fully open-source and works on Windows, Linux and Mac  -- for more information, you can check the blog I wrote about CERN contribution to KiCAD ;-)

"A friend mentioned Upverter, but I don't know how it compares with the other tools"

Upverter is a web based PCB design tool -- you work from your web browser over Upverter servers. In addition, the Upverter commercial policy is very similar to Github one: you can work for free if your project is published online as Open Hardware, but you need to pay for a private account and a full-featured experience.

Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: Niiiice....
Garcia-Lasheras   1/30/2014 2:40:33 PM
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Mike, I cannot wait to see what you are going to build with such a digital scope at home. ;-)

How fast does your custom two wire serial interface run in a Spartan?? As I remember, the bandwith you got was greater than 50-100 Mbps -- am I right? 

Garcia-Lasheras
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Blogger
Re: New killer DSO in town - DS1074z - $585 / 450 EU
Garcia-Lasheras   1/30/2014 2:34:07 PM
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Wow... I've taken a look to DS1074Z features and these are really cool. I think this is the cheapest four channel scope I've ever seen!

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