Interstellar 8-Track: The Not-So-Low-Tech Data Recorders of Voyager

On the outside chance that we ever encounter a space probe from an alien civilization, the degree to which the world will change cannot be overestimated. Not only will it prove that we’re not alone, or more likely weren’t, depending on how long said probe has been traveling through space, but we’ll have a bonanza of super-cool new technology to analyze. Just think of the fancy alloys, the advanced biomimetic thingamajigs, the poly-godknowswhat composites. We’ll take a huge leap forward by mimicking the alien technology; the mind boggles.

Sadly, we won’t be returning the favor. If aliens ever snag one of our interstellar envoys, like one of the Voyager spacecraft, they’ll see that we sent them some really old school stuff. While one team of alien researchers will be puzzling over why we’d encode images on a phonograph record, another team will be tearing apart – an 8-track tape recorder?

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Parts: SPI EEPROM (25AA/25LC)

3EEPROM-SPI

Microchip’s 25AA/25LC EEPROMs are data storage chips with a simple 3-wire interface. The 25AA/LC is an SPI version of the common 24AA/LC I2C EEPROM.  It comes in capacities of 128bytes to 128kilobytes. We looked at the smallest, the 128byte 25AA010A.

There are Bus Pirate demonstrations for most types of serial EEPROMs. Check out our previous 1-wire (DS2431) and I2C (24LC1025) EEPROM posts.

Continue below to see our test circuit and a demonstration of the 25AA010 EEPROM. We used the Bus Pirate to play with this chip from our PC.  For a limited time you can get your own Bus Pirate, fully assembled and shipped worldwide, for only $30.

Continue reading “Parts: SPI EEPROM (25AA/25LC)”