Hackaday Links: July 13, 2014


Don’t like sunglasses? Deal with it. They’re the pixeley, retro sunglasses from your favorite animated .GIFs, made real in laser cut acrylic. Points of interest include heat-bent frames made out of a single piece of acrylic.

Remember this really small FPGA board? The kickstarter is ending really soon and they’re upgrading it (for an additional $30) with a much better FPGA.

Sparkfun is now hosting the Internet of Things. They’re giving people a tiny bit of space to push data to, and you can also deploy your own server. That’s interesting, and you can expect us doing a full post on this soon.

Need waveforms? [Datanoise] is building a wavetable synthesizer, and he’s put all his waveforms online. Now if we could just get a look at the synth…

If you only have $20 to spend on a board, you’ll want to pick up at Teensy 3.1. [Karl] wrote some bare metal libraries for this awesome board, and while it’s not as extensive as the standard Arduino libs, it’s more than enough to get most projects off the ground. Included are UARTs, string manipulation tools, support for the periodic interval timers on the chip, and FAT and SD card support.

10 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: July 13, 2014

  1. > [Karl] wrote some bare metal libraries for this awesome board

    Thanks [Karl]. I am actually designing-in a K20 sub family chip and this can’t come at a much better time.

    I’ll probably need to modify [Karl]’s port of ChaN’s FatFS code to use DMA SPI. (Freescale crippled the SPI DMA by how the registers work, but there are some work around.)

    Remember kids… Modern FPGA board that just break out the pins without providing proper level shifters do not have 5V tolerant inputs. (resistors don’t work well for high frequency – RC = low pass filter C: parasitic)

  2. No matter how much I’d love to toy around with an FPGA, for the practical amount of use I’d get out of it, even in one of my larger, more expensive projects, I can’t justify $70 (or $100, to get the better one). It just seems like these things are all way too expensive for the level of practical use most people would get out of them. And, personally, I don’t want the HDMI ports or the USB ports or the SD card slot, just an FPGA on a break-out board with 0.1″ female headers.

    (If you’re able to make something like this, there’s probably a reasonably large market out there for you to get into…)

    1. http://www.joelw.id.au/FPGA/CheapFPGADevelopmentBoards

      At a quick scan, these are the FPGA boards that are in the $30-$40 range.
      Haven’t check the actual up to date prices in US $. You do want ones that have some on-board programming or with a programmer

      >KNJN Pluto boards are cheap ($29-$79) and small.
      >iCEblink40-HX1K Evaluation Kit is a $39 board with USB programmer
      >Bugblat pif ($25/$35) is a Raspberry Pi add-on board that provides a MachXO2-1200 or -7000
      >Bugblat tif ($25/$35) is a coin-sized, breadboardable MachXO2-1200 or -4000 board.
      >Random Altera boards on eBay. For around $20 to $50 there are plenty of Altera CPLD and Cyclone II/IV boards.
      >Wayengineer sell a large range of very cheap ($28-77) Cyclone II boards from Shenzhen

      1. Thanks for the heads-up. The Mimas is just about perfect for what I’d want, and the price isn’t above what I’d consider reasonable. It’s also got 70 GPIO pins, which is the main reason I need an FPGA (it’s ultimately cheaper in time and labor to spend $50 on the Mimas than to buy all the logic gates I need and design a board for them).

  3. Please give credit where credit is due. I actually wrote all of you a tip concerning Sparkfun and their Internet of Things service methods. Granted it didn’t go into enough detail. because I could not come up with enough, however I did bring the location up.

    1. None of the other projects in the post are credited to anyone but the creator either. And are you sure only you submitted the tip (and it was the one they posted based on)? I do not see why they should credit the discovery of a link unless you also happened to write a great text to go with it.

      I btw (also?) got the email from sparkfun about their project… i wouldnt call the tip all that special :)

  4. These sunglasses look nice but a little impractical. But “made from smoked acrylic”? I would insist on the specification for UV protection before wearing them! It sounds quite dangerous to use just a random grey material for sunglasses…

    1. That is very true. Your eyes only widen and accept more UV than without any sunglasses, so it is even more dangerous to wear sunglasses without UV filter than no glasses at all.

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