Posts Tagged ‘Pumping’

NERP Tonite! The Tiva-C 32-bit Microcontroller and Launchpad demo board

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.
med_ek-tm4c123gxl_tivalp_angle_new
Since the days of Windows 3.1, personal computers have used 32 bit CPUs. It was a simple world. Microcontrollers were 8-bit and PC’s were 32-bit. Due to crazy cheap and small single board computers, multimedia-capable CPUs are doing tasks formerly done by 8-bit MCUs. But there are also lots of 32-bit microcontrollers. The casual distinction between a computer module and an MCU is whether the unit normally runs a general purpose operating system like Linux or Android.

Why would a designer choose a dumb ‘ol microcontroller over a module with HDMI? In many cases an MCU with a slow clock can do I/O related real-time tasks that are difficult (or impossible) to code on a RPi. Built in peripherals like timers and A2D have always simplified MCU board design, and wireless drivers as on-chip peripherals are becoming common. If 0.5mm pin spacing doesn’t scare you, you can design your own system from the board up. Microcontrollers aren’t going away any time soon, especially in industrial measurement and control applications.

Several months ago NERP looked at the Teensy 3, an MCU module that uses a 32-bit ARM “M4″ based microcontroller IC made by ST Electronics. In ARM land, M designates a microcontroller. The Texas Instruments Tiva-C series (formerly Stellaris) MCU ICs are also based on an ARM M4 design. The Tiva-C family’s main advantage is super low power consumption. As with lots of other MCU families (at TI and others), there is an Arduino-like development environment for rapid prototyping. TI calls it’s MCU demo boards Launchpads. Daughterboards (“shields”) are called booster packs. At NERP tonight we’ll see a Tiva-C launchpad and the “sensor hub” booster pack running with Energia, TI’s Arduino-based IDE.

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at
http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and
http://pumpingstationone.org/
Doors open at 6:30pm.
NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14, Pumping

30

03 2015

NERP Tonite! A Red Pitaya (And a special request.)

NERP is not exclusively Raspberry Pi, the small computer and embedded systems interest group at Pumping Station:One in Chicago. NERP meets every other Monday at 7pm at Pumping Station:One, 3519 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago.
Tonight at NERP, Drew Fustini will introduce us to a brand new, small single board Linux computer. The Red Pitaya is so different from, say a Raspberry Pi that comparing the two would be like comparing, well, raspberries and pitayas. The Red Pitaya (pitaya is also known as dragon fruit) does high speed high quality data acqusition and control with several kinds of i/o. Scientists and engineers can use the Red Pitaya to build custom hardware and virtual instrumentation interfaces for precise measurement and control applications. The ADC/DAC’s are very fast compared normal embedded systems. The processor configuration is also different from normal RPi class systems. To give an idea of just how different the Red Pitaya is from an RPi, the Red Pitaya’s Hello World program is a Digital Storage Oscilloscope. Drew will show us how  to get signals of various types into and out of the Red Pitaya, and some examples of time and frequency analysis can work in virtual instrumentation. Delicious. Also, Drew does Really nice slides! https://plus.google.com/photos/+DrewFustini/albums/6126873248127580209?banner=pwa

Speaking of analog — Tonight we’ll have a brief diversion into the land of discrete analog electronics. The Colpitts oscillator is an alternative to Direct Digital Synthesis for producing sine waves in the RF spectrum. Joe Talafous has been working with the Colpitts circuit, and he will show us how to get RF out of a few cheap components. I like to remember that Electronics for the DIY’er used to be “hard” before the advent of Arduino shields. Facetiously it might be said that analog RF is _real_ electronics.

A special request for a worthy cause: Cathleen Doyle (cdoyle at northbrook dot info) tells us that the Northbrook Public Library will be running a whole month of programs this June highlighting maker/diy activities. They’re hoping to find someone who could give an awesome, introductory lecture/demonstration on the many uses of Raspberry Pi’s and how they work. Would there be anyone PS:One could recommend and who would be willing? We do pay!

http://www.northbrook.info/

Find NERP and Pumping Station:One at
http://www.meetup.com/NERP-Not-Exclusively-Raspberry-Pi/
and
http://pumpingstationone.org/
Doors open at 6:30pm.
NERP is free and open to the public.
Ed Bennett ed @ kinetics and electronics com
Tags: electronics, embedded, NERP, Open Source,
raspberry pi, hackerspace, Beagle Bone, Element14, Pumping

16

03 2015

Analog Game Night This Saturday!

Bring your favorites!

 

Anyone got a cool new game to play this holiday season? Wanna play it with a bunch of other gamer geeks? Got any awesome new minifigs, counters, or gaming dice sets that you want to show off to people for some geek cred? Just wanna hang out with some fun people and play games, drink beer, and eat some tasty snacks?
Bring  your favorite games over to Pumping Station: One this Saturday, the 5th, at 7pm and play the night away! As usual, all games are welcome [even cuddle dice, though you may have a hard time finding people to play with], major gamercred to homemade games.

See you there!

03

01 2013