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Aeroengineer
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Re: Not electronic, but...
Aeroengineer   1/4/2014 11:40:42 AM
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Beta,

 

Thanks for the suggestions.  I will take a look at these too.  It will be fun to learn another new thing in electronics.

 

Aeroengineer
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Re: FPGA Boards [Re: Not electronic, but...]
Aeroengineer   1/4/2014 11:39:25 AM
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Thanks for the info.  I will look it over.  As for the applications, I am looking at doing some digital signal processing, possibly a LF radio receiver.

 

As to the connectors on the Red Pitaya, I know that the interconnects to be able to chain multiple Red Pitayas together are SATA connectors.  The other digital connectors I believe are IDE connectors.  Don't quote me on the last one, but I am pretty sure that is what it is.  I can find out more about them here for you if you are interested.

betajet
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Re: Not electronic, but...
betajet   1/4/2014 9:25:21 AM
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In addition to the tristesse.org list, I would also suggest looking at:

XuLA2-LX9 from XESS: Spartan 6 LX9 in small DIP module for US$69.

LOGi-Bone and LOGi-Pi: Spartan 6 LX9 cards that plug into BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi, for US$89 (Kickstarter ends 10 January 2014, delivery in April 2014).

Also, the Spartan 3 250E Papilio One is now US$38.  This is a nice, cheap way to get into FPGA design.

sa_penguin
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FPGA Boards [Re: Not electronic, but...]
sa_penguin   1/4/2014 6:53:10 AM
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If I ever get a reply from Lattice, I'll let you know. As for FPGA boards, at the risk of this thread going off-topic again, I started out by looking at the list here:

http://tristesse.org/FPGA/CheapFPGADevelopmentBoards

Not listed, but a contender is the Cyclone V GX Starter kit by Terasic [$180]. The big thing to consider is: what do you want to do, and how do you plan to hook it up?

PMOD connectors are a good start, that's why I bought the Lattice board. But once your speed rises, you need a high-speed logic interface, which means FMC - or HSMC. Parallellas and microZeds uses non-standard interfaces. I suspect even the Red Pitaya boards stack using something non-standard [don't quote me].

I've seen a link for a FMC-to-HSMC adapter but not vice-versa, which gives a slight edge to Altera. I'm looking fast ADC's: the Terasic high speed AD/DA card [$220] runs at 65Msps. Total cost: $400 - or $50 cheaper than a Red Pitaya. However, the Red Pitaya has an even faster ADC.

Your own needs may be different, of course.

hazydave
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Ever so slightly electronic, and kinda techie...
hazydave   1/4/2014 12:22:18 AM
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I got a RainSong graphite/carbon fiber guitar... with Fishman electronics. My wife contributed, but she's not going to buy me gear, electronics, etc. as a surprise. Too much money involved.

Kind of shopping for a new Android tablet at the moment, but I figure I'll use the current one (Galaxy Note 8) a bit longer, even though I favor the 10" kind. My home PC is a beast -- six cores, 64GB, three screens, huge SSD and RAIDs, etc. It doesn't move. 

Once you have a system like this, laptops are just an exericse in torture for any CAD work. And once you leave out CAD work (and the hobby stuff: music, video, photography, and other things that really just rock in front of all this hardware), what's left is pretty much as good on a tablet as anything else. And if you already know Linux, Android is just a natural... tablet-friendly GUI, but you could write code on it if you felt like it (and yeah, I do have Emacs installed...). 

Aeroengineer
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Re: Not electronic, but...
Aeroengineer   1/3/2014 9:15:19 PM
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I would love to hear what you think of it.  I am looking to get an FPGA dev board.  I am leaning towards something that has a Spartan 6 on it.  I think that I have figure out what project I want to do with it, it should be interesting.  I will do it in conjunction with the Red Pitaya when it comes.

 

The CoIDE is pretty nice.  It is nice that it has a set of user examples.  There are a few things that I do not like about it, but on the whole it works pretty well.

sa_penguin
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Re: Not electronic, but...
sa_penguin   1/3/2014 8:59:54 PM
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@Aeroengineer: The icestick is... on hold. I wanted to use it first, but alas! There's a download [Icecube2] from Lattice required, and something is causing the file transfer to fail about half-way through. I've sent an email to Lattice about this.

Meanwhile, I'm setting up the STM32 toolchain as per your suggestion. So far, so good.

Aeroengineer
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Re: Not electronic, but...
Aeroengineer   1/3/2014 9:44:49 AM
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I think that you have a pretty pragmatic approach.  Right now, I do not see myself anytime soon going back to a dual booted machine.  Running it as a VM for the occasional program that I need is working well. 

 

On the other hand, a –nix type OS is great for things like the Beaglebone Black.  It allows a device like that to be able to be more versatile (though not a desktop replacement).  I really need to play with the one I have some more.  I think that it is a really great device. 

GordonScott
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Re: Not electronic, but...
GordonScott   1/3/2014 9:26:03 AM
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I have a soft rule tht I don't upgrade anything until the first revision bump or service pack, unless I have to do so, or I particularly want some new feature. There are almost always a few peoblems, occasionally bad ones.

That's true of all my CAD and software packages as well as OSs.

I know a few iPhone people who recently wished they'd had the same philosophy.

Like you I can't afford to waste my time fixing things that get broken. I choose on the whole to let others firnd and report the unexpected consequences.

With Ubuntu, I tend to treat the 'standard releases' as release candidates and the LTSs as the formal releases. With Microsoft I tend to wait for sp1 or for around 3 months before I update.

I did get very cross indeed with Ubuntu when they switched from Gnome to Unity, as for once I _did_ use a new release rather than an LTS, with the view that it would be much quicker for me to get an Ubuntu system up and running properly than a Windows system (I had less than 3 hours; Windows I can install in that time, collecting and installing tools, too, made it improbable I'd manage it)  I was shocked that Ubuntu installed Unity, which I find awful to use, and found impossible quickly to configure. I started over with an older LTS and just about completed in time (like by 3 minutes, IIRC).  I thought I knew better than to do that, but apparently not :-(

Gordon.

Aeroengineer
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Re: Not electronic, but...
Aeroengineer   1/3/2014 8:44:42 AM
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No, I was running the standard distribution of Ubuntu for -nix programs.  If I needed to use a Windows program, I would boot into windows (dual boot machine).  The programs I was running were things like OpenFoam and a handful of other CAE programs. 

 

I know of the LTS versions, but to me if I cannot run the latest released version without any major issues, then it is a beta version.  The updates are essentially equivilent to service packs.  Heck updating from Vista to Win8 is easier than reinstalling the missing programs.

 

For me, an OS is a tool.  When it comes to my tools, I want them to just work.  I do not want to have to fix the tool.  My standard usage model does not require a lot of customized OS installations, hence that is no benefit to me.  In summary it just did not fit my requirements.  This does not mean that it is a bad OS.

 

There were a few other things that I fould annoying (like any OS that someone uses).  I dislike having to enter a pasword for everything.  To me this was as annoying as the Vista UAC issue. 

 

Once again, this is not to say that -nix OS's do not have their place.  there are some usage models that make it the right choice.  I still run it from time to time when I have a program that only runs on a -nix installation (though I usually run it as a VM). 

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