Electronics22 Aug 2010 01:46 pm

I haven’t done anything worth mentioning, so here’s a picture of some PCBs! :)

Front and Back of USB Jtag PCB

This is the USB Jtag PCB I previously mentioned, and I had it produced in a group PCB order managed by Laen – They turned out nice and came back pretty quickly, I’ll definitely be sending him more PCBs

As I was on vacation though, I just recently ordered the parts to complete these boards, and haven’t got them yet. I’ve also been thinking about priorities and am working more heavily on some projects which I won’t blog about :)

Things are still developing though, keep watching and I should have more to talk about in 2 weeks.

Uncategorized10 Aug 2010 06:32 pm

Ah right, I was planning to post last weekend;

I haven’t actually done anything too interesting though :) just messing around with some stuff while I’m away on vacation; Mostly doing less than usual though – that’s ok every now and then.

Electronics&PCB Layout25 Jul 2010 12:03 am

Despite having 2 weeks for this, I haven’t actually completed anything notable; So I’m just going to post some WIP images of a PCB I’ve designed to do general purpose programming (Generally jtag, but also AVR)

I’ve been working out the concepts in software using the modified USB stick (as I mentioned previously) but just haven’t had enough time to allocate to it yet. Soon, though.


Uncategorized17 Jul 2010 10:29 pm

I’ve been writing weekly now for a while – I’ve decided, though, that it’s unsustainable. Writing these posts has been a great motivator for getting some of my projects done, but they also don’t leave me a lot of time to do so.

So, I’m shifting the format and will write blog posts every other week – I’ll continue next week.

Thanks for reading! I hope some of this material has been useful to you, and please do let me know if you’d like to see something specific, or if anything isn’t clear.

Electronics&Hardware Hacking&Reference Material11 Jul 2010 12:10 am

So, many of you use JTAG?

I’ve been using JTAG for many years now, which started with FPGAs, and has mostly been for CPLDs and FPGAs since- but it’s also a pretty widely used protocol for programming and debugging mid range microcontrollers all the way up to high end CPUs. I’ve always wanted to look into how JTAG worked in more depth, but never really had the time.

Now, I do have some time (and some projects which depend on JTAG hacking) – so this post will go into the world of JTAG. (more…)

Electronics&Hardware Hacking&Uncategorized04 Jul 2010 12:00 am

Remember the PCI card from a few weeks ago?

Not too long after that, I did send out an order to manufacture some boards – and this last week they finally arrived! I’ve assembled a few, tested them, run into a few problems, solved them, and finally got a pretty basic PCI Port-80h debug card working.

In this post I’ll walk through these things, and talk some more about the PCI interface.


Electronics27 Jun 2010 10:18 pm

Oh, finally…

So, this post is a little bit late as well, I almost didn’t manage to make this work :) I’ve been now tinkering with writing a USB device stack for my USB stick for literally the past two weeks now; Being a new space, I’m used to the idea of having issues, but between incredibly stupid bugs, very minimal documentation, and errors in some critical hardware documentation, this has been quite a challenging project.

On the plus side, I now have my USB stick behaving as a virtual com port – so it will be trivial to write extensions and make it start to do really useful stuff (haven’t quite got around to that yet, so expect a part 3)

Additionally, in the process I’ve become pretty familiar with  how USB works, and I’ll try to more simply define it for those who are interested in getting started.


Uncategorized20 Jun 2010 02:12 am

Well, it was my intention to talk about USB in more detail today, but my USB project has been a little sidetracked – today I wrote the majority of my USB Device implementation but am still stuck debugging a hardware feature that’s not quite working how I think it should… I have a pretty good understanding of USB now from this project, but do actually want to make sure all of my assertions hold before documenting it ;)

So, nothing too interesting this week; Next week should be good though. (and the week after, and the week after. I have quite a bit lined up now, just not all done yet)

Electronics&Projects13 Jun 2010 12:00 am

Another week has gone by already? Well, I do at least have something to show for it.

So the thing I spent the most spare time on this last week has been designing a FPGA-based PCI card. This is something I’ve wanted to do for some time now (and have an earlier unfinished attempt that was far more complex), but I have recently encountered some inspiration for a board that will be somewhat useful, or at least interesting.

This board isn’t really much of anything special, but it will fill a specific niche, and will be sufficient to try out a lot of interesting things I’ve been thinking of in the PCI space.

So, This isn’t going to be an exceptionally impressive post, but I did collect screenshots from various stages of the board’s development, and  I’ll also discuss the design decisions behind this board.


Electronics&Projects06 Jun 2010 12:00 am

Hi again,

As promised, this week’s project entry is much less entertaining;

I did attempt to get this project a bit further today but distractions have taken their toll. Expect this one to come up again in the future :)

So, not too long ago I had the bright idea to build a little USB stick; My motives at the time were apparently highly questionable, so I am here about a month later with a fairly limited use USB stick

One of my major goals behind this project was to have an excuse to work out the details of USB, and try some stuff out, which I’m still doing now. Once I get that done with, I will attempt to explain just how all that works; USB is a bit elaborate, but it’s increasingly interesting and important these days, as serial and parallel ports are becoming more rare. I have another project along these lines too, but it’s quite a bit more low-level.

For this post though, I’m just talking about the hardware design of this project. (more…)

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