All posts by alpha

My first baby steps with the XuLA 50 board and Xilinx ISE on Ubuntu 11.04

1 week ago I didn’t know what FPGAs are, but yesterday I received my XuLA 50 board and I started with this great tutorial.

I got my LED to blink first because I had some GLIB problems and I was not able to simulate the design. But I found if I copy some lib files from my system over the the ISE install and do some kind of clean all generated project files it solved the issue…

I was in this (../Xilinx/13.2/ISE_DS/ISE/lib/lin64) directory and I copied and did override libstdc++ with this command: cp /usr/lib32/libstdc++.so.6.0.14 libstdc++.so (all three)

It would be nice if I could run the XSTOOLS also under Ubuntu, but it will not work with Wine. Right now I use a VM. I think there was a Linux download, but the link is broken.

Powerful but most inexpensive SDR (software defined radio) quest

Looks like there are a lot of open source SDR related things on the web. But the more powerful SDR hardware is expensive. The USRP is part of the GNU Radio project and it is $700 another radio with this price tag is the QS1R.

Now the question is, would it be possible to connect some of the components found in those devices modular together.

Looks like the LTC2208 is used in a lot of projects like this for ADC, the price for this hardware alone is $70 to $160 depending on the version and pieces. I’m not sure if there is a breakout board for this chip?

Another component found is a FPGA,  the XuLA project has  FPGAs between $39 (50,000), $79 (200,000)and $200 (1,000,000). VHDL is required to use the FPGA, I did order a $39 version – but I never used FPGAs and VHDL. I found this tutorial I will may use to learn something new.

A micro controller is also found on those board.

A onboard DAC could also be used to listen directly.

Gigabit Ethernet, USB or some other fast method to transfer all the data to the PC. Could SATA be used? Or firewire?

Sandwich bread like Subway rolls

image

This recipes is a copycat Subway roll.
wet stuff:
236ml or 1 cup fat free milk
236ml or 1 cup water (if the low carb mix is not used only 1/2 water)
1 egg
dry stuff:
195g or 1.5 cup whole wheat flour)
195g or 1.5 cup white whole wheat flour
180g or 1.5 cup low carb mix (1/3 coconut flour, 1/3 almond flour, 1/3 sifted carbquick mix (to remove the palm fat)) or 195g or 1.5 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
14g or two packs yeast
24g or 2 tbs sugar
8g or 1.5 tbsp salt
only if you have:
1 tbsp gluten
1 tbsp dough conditioner

Proof for 1 to 2 hours and bake for 17-20 minutes at 325F (162C) in a convection oven. I guess in a normal oven you will need to back it at 350F (177C)

Nutrition facts:
1 serving 1/2 roll
Calories 209
Carbs 30
Fat 6
Protein 9
Fiber 8
Sugar 4

  1. add all the wet stuff in a large measuring cup.
  2. add all the dry stuff in a mixing bowl
  3. let the dough hook make a round indentation in the dry stuff.
  4. stop and add the wet stuff, start and let everything pull together
  5. let knead for 10 to 15 minutes
  6. weigh the dough and divide in equal 5 pieces
  7. lightly flour each piece and roll out and roll to a 11″ baguette type form
  8. tag the seam on the bottom and roll the end in
  9. lay in backing form and spray lightly with water and cut 4 diagonal insertions
  10. turn your oven to proof and bring a large pan water to a rolling boil
  11. put the pan in the bottom of the oven and the bread in the middle and close the door
  12. let proof for 1 hour or until it has the right size
  13. remove the water pan and proofed bread from the oven
  14. heat the oven to 325F or 162C
  15. put the bread in the oven for 17 to 20 minutes
  16. remove bread from oven and let cool down

Ham Radio Shopping List

I was always interested in amateur radio and did get my Technician license in 2006 but I never got a radio and now I just successfully finished my General license testing… I’m still planing on getting the Amateur Extra class in the near future.

Anyway now it’s time for some practical Ham Radio things to be done and for that I need some equipment. I start from zero and need everything, I try to make a good starting list (08-25-2011):

  1. Transceiver, maybe a FT-857D (at HRO: $804.95)
  2. external SWR meter (MFJ-864 at HRO: $99.95)
  3. dummy load (MFJ-262B at HRO: $59.95)
  4. multi band antenna for HF
  5. antenna for 2m and 70cm
  6. antenna mount
  7. Coax Cable (LMR-240 and or LMR-400 and or LMR-600)
  8. power supply (Tripp Lite PR25 25-Amp at buy.com: $147.40 or Jetstream JTPS28 at cheapham.com: $83.95)
  9. auto tuner (LDG Z-11PRO-II at HRO: $179.99)
  10. usb cat cable to connect radio to PC ($40)
  11. usb sound card, like microHAM or SignaLink ($100-$200).

Some stuff I don’t need yet but maybe later:

  1. antenna switch
  2. straight key
  3. cable and hookup wire
  4. Linux ham software
  5. antenna analyzer (MFJ-259B $290)

I’m not sure if this is everything, but I hope this should cover most…

MFJ-259B

New Robocut 1.0.7 released.

I just released a new version of Robocut with just some minor changes. A user informed me that his plotter used the USB ID 111C. So I hard coded this ID in the program as well. Please send me an email if there are other IDs that are not in by default. There is a test that can be done to check if the new ID works first. Just convert the ID from hex (111e) to dec (4382) and start robocut like this:

robocut –usb-product-id 4382

If the new hardware works let me know and I will add it to the program.