Jun 09

LED Matrix built and working

I’ve assembled and coded up the LED Matrix shield that I designed. It’s running on an Intel Galieo, but should also be compatible with other Arduino UNO Compatible boards. Assembly pictures and video demos are included.

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Jun 03

Time travel will happen – and I can prove it.

About 14 years ago, around about the year 2000, I wrote an article for a magazine called ‘Develop‘ – it was a magazine for developers in the console game industry. The magazine printed it, but they called it the ‘the Oddview’ and the editor (Owain Bennallock) followed it with a sly comment that said something along the lines of “if anyone else has an odd view of the future, write in and let us know”. The thing is, my vision of the future came true. I have another vision of the future to share with you, I think you’ll find it interesting and maybe a little scary at the same time. It will come true and you will remember where you heard about it first.

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May 16

Virtual becomes Reality – The Galileo Project.

I few weeks ago I posted about how I designed an enclosure for Galileo boards. I used the ‘cloud’ based software known as Autodesk Fusion 360 to do the design work. I then ‘shared’ the data with a colleague in another country part of the UK. He very kindly printed the design out on his HP DesignJet and what was just a collection of bytes in a virtual web service is now a physical entity in the real world.

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May 02

Internet of Things DevKit build for Galileo

Intel have released instructions on how to build the DevKit Linux image for Galileo, which includes all the required developer tools and access to Intel’s package repository.

Check out the build instructions here (PDF).

I’ve built the image and tested it and will make an image of the SD Card available on this blog later.

Apr 09

Getting Galileo on WiFi

A guide to getting Galileo on WiFi

The Intel Galileo development board has a full sized PCIe connector on the bottom.

Using this connector you can add a WiFi card to Galileo, so that it can joint your WiFi network, or even create one of it’s own. Galileo is compatible with a number of WiFi cards, and drivers for most of the popular Intel cards are included in the Linux distribution that runs on Galileo.

This guide shows you how I added Galileo to my wifi network.

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Apr 02

Getting to know Galileo

The Intel Galileo is a development kit produced by Intel, based around the Intel Quark X1000 SoC. The Quark X1000 is a Pentium-class 32 Bit ‘System On Chip’ device, with intel’s ISA architecture. Lets take a look at it’s features and get to know it a bit. Continue reading

Feb 28

Logitech M570 Teardown and Repair

The Logitech M570 is one of very few thumb-operated trackballs on the market. For anyone, like me, who suffers from RSI in the wrist, it is an ideal replacement for a mouse as it removes all the moving back and forth – your wrist stays in one position and does not move when using it.

I have had several of these over the years and they have all suffered from the same problem: after just a few weeks of using them, they start to develop problems like double-clicking and dropping files when you are trying to drag. I posted a blog about this earlier. You can read it here.

In this post we will teardown the M570 and repair the cause of the problem.

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Nov 28

Ink-Jet printed PCBs anyone?

I read in Electronics Weekly this week that the boffins over at Georgia Tech, alongside people from Microsoft Research and Tokyo University have developed a method of ‘printing’ circuit boards using a standard off the shelf ink-jet printer.

They basically took an empty ink cartridge and filled with an electrically conductive ink made with ‘silver nano particles’. When you print the circuit onto paper, the tracks are electrically conductive.

The main issue really is that it’s pretty hard to actually mount components onto paper, so they have to be glued on with electrically conductive paste. This is OK for basic proof of concept stuff, but it looks like we are still a way off from having truly functional printed-at-home circuit boards.

You can read the press release at Georgia Tech’s website here.

Printing with Silver Nano Particles anyone?

Printing with Silver Nano Particles

Nov 24

Using Creator v3.0 to target PSoC5 and PSoC5 LP

Recently Cypress updated their PSoC Creator tool suite to version 3.0.
V3.0 Brought with it some great new features, such as:

  • Auto Complete
  • Goto Definition
  • Code Explorer
  • Inline Diagnostics
  • Disabled code highlighting
  • Automatic indenting
  • And loads of other productivity and compiler improvements.

However as I have mentioned in this post before, the tool dropped support for the PSoC 5 Chip, which has been superseded by the fantastic new PSoC5LP Device. There are drop in replacements for every PSoC5 chip from the new 5LP Range. Cypress encourage developers to use the new 5LP devices in their new projects and when updating existing projects. The 5LP are pin and source-code compatible with the equivalent 5 Devices, but they are not binary code compatible. You need to rebuild your code with the new device selected in PSoC Creator.

But what do you do if you have an existing product, using PSoC5 devices that is out there in the field, all new boards that you manufacture should have 5LP on them, and you have to maintain and update the code on these boards? You cannot just build a project in the new tools and target the two devices – because the latest tools no longer support PSoC5, just the new PSoC5LP.

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