Author Archive

NERP – FPGAOK

FPGA1

FPGA2

I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from the NERP FPGA workshop we did a couple weeks back.  There were a few people who asked me to post the Verilog code that went along with the two demos we did.  I added comments to the Verilog files in an attempt to clear up a lot of the stuff we cruised through to avoid turning this purely into a Verilog class.  The most useful comments will be in the VGA controller module we wrote: vga640x480.v.  Anyway, all the required project files to synthesize the logic we wrote are right here:  NERP_demo.zip

The software we used to build everything is the Xilinx ISE WebPACK 13.4.  You have to register with Xilinx and generate/download a license on their website to use the software.  Just remember that the above project will only work on the Digilent Nexys2-1200 board that I was using.

If you’re interested in grabbing a budget board for messing around with FPGAs or CPLDs, there are a few notable options:

  1. Papilio One
  2. CoolRunner-II
  3. DE0-Nano
  4. Basys2
  5. XuLA-200
  6. BORA

Also, thanks to Drew Fustini for the lovely photos you ‘re seeing above.  Actually, this whole FPGA thing was Drew’s idea.  So, if you were really itching to do some Raspberry Pi that week and walked in to find a bunch of nerds talking about programmable logic gates, then all your blame should be focused towards him.  On the other hand, if you enjoyed this FPGA crash-course you should thank him for that and any subsequent class/workshop he forces me to do.

MORE PHOTOS HERE

12

04 2013

Analog Signal Processing – Class Knowtes

2nd_Butterworth

 

Thanks to all who showed up on Monday night (Feb 18th, 2013) for the signal processing class.  It was a lot of material to cover in one night, but I hope everyone at least learned (and retained) something.  I was asked by several people to post my lecture notes online so people can review them.  It took me awhile to go through my notes and clear them up (somewhat) for someone besides me reading through them.  Also, I had to erase and rewrite a bunch of stuff because they were too close to the edges and were being cut off by my scanner.  So that’s why it took so long.  Anyway, here are the notes, the notes for the pre-class Math Review, and the 8-page info packet that I passed out during class:

Analog_Signal_Processing-SK

ASP_Class_Packet-SK

ASP_Math_Review-SK

Now that the class is over, the next thing to do is figure out what class to teach next.  I noticed that many of the attendees enjoyed the filter design example we went over.  Perhaps we could do a short class on some practical Analog Filter Synthesis?  Some people have “thumbsed-up” the idea for doing a class on learning how to use LTSpice to build schematics & simulate circuits.  Recently, I’ve been reverse-engineering schematics from double-sided printed circuit boards in older consumer electronics.  I could demonstrate some techniques on how to do that.  Another idea is moving directly past the Analog Signal Processing class and going right into Digital Signal Processing.  All the same topics from analog appear in digital such as convolution, impulse response, frequency response, & transfer functions.  Except most of the integrals become discrete summations when in the digital domain.  There are neat topics specific to digital such as FIR filters and sample rate conversion, which I think are the most interesting.  Actually, the website Coursera just started a DSP class this week.  If you were at Monday’s class, the Coursera course should be much easier since most of the topics are similar, like I described above.  Check it out.

If you have any feedback on Monday’s class, ideas for other electronics classes, or any other comment, then please let us know.  If you see me at Pumping Station: One and remember what I look like, then feel free to talk to me in person.

 

21

02 2013

ECE Academy – Analog Signal Processing

Signals

 

Transfer function?  Poles??  Frequency Response???  Are these sections you skip over when reading electronics datasheets and application notes?  Well, let’s put the shame behind us and finally learn these topics which are fundamental to being an electronics engineer.  Come join us in learning the exciting world of Analog Signal Processing!  We’re going to cut through most of the clutter usually taught in a core electrical & computer engineering course and present you the most basic and useful concepts within this discipline of electronics.  You’ll learn powerful tools to help expand your knowledge as an engineer and/or an electronics hobbyist.  The following topics will be covered:

  1. Complex numbers & impedance
  2. Common signals & classes of signals
  3. Linear systems & the impulse response
  4. Convolution
  5. Time-domain analysis of an RC Circuit
  6. Fourier Series
  7. Fourier Transform
  8. Laplace Transform
  9. Frequency-domain analysis of an RC Circuit
  10. Ideal & Practical filters
  11. Bandwidth
  12. AM Modulation
  13. Sampling Theorem & Aliasing

The overarching theme of the class is to emphasize why analyzing signals & systems in the time domain is inefficient and why you should do it in the frequency domain instead.  Along the way we’ll learn useful tools which have countless real-world applications.  We end the class with sampling an analog signal and turning it into a digital signal for use within a computer.

The class is quite heavy in mathematics, so be prepared.  Attendees who want to grasp everything should have at least some Calculus experience (know what derivatives & integrals are).  Come early if you would like to review some math.  The class will be all whiteboard & markers so you aren’t required to bring anything.  You can bring a notebook to take notes if you like.  There is a lot of material to cover, so it’s possible the class might run long depending on how savvy the audience is.  Either way, you’re more than welcome to stay after and discuss signal processing applications or anything else with electronics.

The Details:

  • Who: Anyone (Open to the Public)
  • When: Monday, February 18th – 7:00pm to 9:00pm;  Come at 6:30pm for math review.
  • Where: 3519 N. Elston – 2nd Floor in the Electronics Lab
  • Cost: FREE

 

05

02 2013