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D.I.Y. Sega Genesis Cartridge UMDKv2 (FPGA)

Posted July 22, 2014 by Chris

"The UMDKv2 is basically a PROM emulator. It’s a small FPGA board connected to a USB MegaDrive Kit. UMDKv1 (link) Is also worth a look, it uses an AVR microcontroller as a PROM emulator."

D.I.Y. 512Kb NINTENDO Game Boy Flash Cartridge

Posted July 21, 2014 by Chris

"Hopefully the information I have posted here will help you all succeed in building your very own Nintendo Gameboy Flash Cartridges. Soon enough you’ll be up and testing your own custom code or custom games on the real hardware."

Custom Standalone Programming Fixture

Posted July 19, 2014 by Chris

"I spent my evenings over Memorial Day weekend working on a customized fixture designed to make programming and testing the electronics of our Question Block Lamp really easy. As part of our plan to bring the lamps back into production, we decided that a custom programming fixture would go a long way towards helping our outsourcing partner get exactly what we want quickly and without the difficulty of communication."

NFC (Near Field Communication), RFID

Posted July 18, 2014 by Chris

"RFID is known as Radio Frequency IDentification. The technology is able to wireless-ly picking up information from a RFID tag which can be embedded onto most object. Fast and reliable. RFID has helped to rise up our productivity."

FPGAs, CPLDs and Combinatorial Logic – New PyroEDU Lesson!

Posted July 17, 2014 by Chris

The topic for this week’s lesson in FPGA and CPLD land is: Lesson 4: Combinatorial Logic. This lesson is part of our new PyroEDU course: An Introduction to CPLD and FPGA. Here’s an overview of the lesson:

"In the Introduction to Digital Electronics course, we explored AND, OR, NOT, NOR and other logic gates. Now we’ll harness the power of programmed logic to dynamically create and use these gates in a CPLD."

This online course is also be available through:

Constructing a Bluetooth controlled Robot

Posted July 16, 2014 by Chris

"In this post, I’ll show how to construct a robot with .NET Gadgeteer and how to control it using a Bluetooth connection from a PC application based on the 32feet.NET library. Let’s start from .NET Gadgeteer part. The base of our robot is the Rover 5 Tank Chassis, that provides two motors that can be easily controlled by the Motor Driver L298 Module."

Copy Protection in Modern Microcontrollers

Posted July 15, 2014 by Chris

"This article is based on the research made between 1996 and 2000. The past ten years of my research into hardware security showed that any microcontroller, FPGA, secure memory, smartcard, ASIC or custom chip can be successfully attacked given enough time and resources. The question is whether the semiconductor chip used in a particular application can withstand multi-million-dollar attack or would fail to defeat a 10-dollar attack."

Recording Sound With Discrete Logic

Posted July 14, 2014 by Chris

"The device records audio captured by a microphone at a sample rate of 8000Hz, it is stored into 8bit volatile SRAM, and then replayed out of a speaker, it is controlled via CMOS 4000 logic. It takes up 4 full breadboards, and requires -5, 0, 5 and 12v supplies. All chips are DIL."

Beyond OBDII – Small, Dedicated, Onboard Computers

Posted July 13, 2014 by Chris

"This is beyond OBDII readers, but not exactly iOS and Android apps like Torque. This segment is defined as being a permanent or semi-permanent installation. I reserve the right to keep this definition a “moving target” so as to keep it differentiated from smartphone and tablet apps ;-)."

RGB LED Ping Pong Ball Light

Posted July 12, 2014 by Chris

"I did some more scrounging to create a mini Locnar using the LEDs from a Glade Light Show air freshener. The wall wart had previously been scrounged from this air freshener for the bread board power supply. Now we reuse part of the circuit board with the LEDs combined with what we learned in the Ping Pong Ball diffuser project to create a color changing orb."