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Author Topic: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag  (Read 11015 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« on: July 14, 2013, 10:39:36 PM »
USB Serial Module: http://jim.sh/ftx/
DSRB-88 Geiger Counter:
Induction Coin Shinker: http://thegeekgroup.org/stomper
FPGA Development Board: http://de0-nano.terasic.com

 

Offline mswhin63

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 11:20:19 PM »
Excellent Dave, FPGA.

I have a DEO Nano as well as a DE0. Looking forward to try it out as well as looking forward to any future video on FPGA and even Micro's

 :-+
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Offline ChrisBoden

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 12:00:52 AM »
Thank you Dave! :)
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 12:40:33 AM »
I love how symmetrically shrunken the quarter is - the text and image aren't distorted at all! It's impressive that you can shrink something like that to two thirds its diameter in microseconds and do it so perfectly.
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Offline ddavidebor

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EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 01:03:07 AM »
For the geiger counter try  with a clock with luminescent background, the one that you can see in the dark.
 

Offline nitro2k01

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 01:11:34 AM »
You probably have to lift the skirt off of the smoke detector to get a signal. It's just an alpha source, and probably covered with a metal can to keep the radiation out. Please weigh the quarters. My prediction would be that the compressed one is slightly heavier due to oxidation on the surface. And FPGA videos, yes please!
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Offline electronic_eel

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 01:13:58 AM »
Yes, please do some FPGA videos. I have just experience with microcontrollers yet and think reconfigurable logic is an interesting topic to learn something about.
 

Offline dentaku

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 01:15:10 AM »
Well, that made a decent dent in your mountain of mail.
 

Offline ddavidebor

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EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2013, 01:26:32 AM »
But still a bit disappointed by this mailbag. A lot of (nice) postcard but only 2 nice items
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 01:28:49 AM »
Please weigh the quarters. My prediction would be that the compressed one is slightly heavier due to oxidation on the surface.

Can two randomly selected, clean quarters be expected to have such similar mass that a bit of oxidation will make a measurable difference beyond the existing difference between them?
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Offline Winston

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2013, 02:22:36 AM »
I definitely want to see FPGA segments using the DE0-Nano, please.  I've always wanted to know more about FPGAs.

The Timberline Lodge you looked at in the Oregon calendar was used in the classic Stanley Kubrick film, "The Shining" which was a rare example of a movie that was far better than the novel it was based upon, thanks to Kubrick's great talent, of course.  From Wikipedia:

"The 1980 movie The Shining used aerial shots of the Timberline Lodge as part of its opening scene, and exterior footage for some establishing shots of the fictional Overlook Hotel throughout the movie. The movie was based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, which was inspired by The Stanley Hotel in Colorado.[citation needed] Several of the exterior shots in the film which purport to show the lodge, such as those of the hedge maze and loading dock, were taken at Elstree Studios in England, using a mock-up of the south face of the lodge. There is no hedge maze (and hardly any level ground) at the Timberline Lodge. All interior scenes were shot at Elstree Studios as well, and do not depict the interior of the Timberline Lodge."
 

Offline TheWelly888

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2013, 02:34:55 AM »
Another vote for showing us the FPGA demo! It's a new area for me.
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Offline nitro2k01

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2013, 02:56:52 AM »
Please weigh the quarters. My prediction would be that the compressed one is slightly heavier due to oxidation on the surface.

Can two randomly selected, clean quarters be expected to have such similar mass that a bit of oxidation will make a measurable difference beyond the existing difference between them?
If I knew, I wouldn't be asking. Then again, the question is if Dave has a precise enough scale.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2013, 03:03:21 AM »
That's probably about as likely as a chemist having a 6.5 digit multimeter.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2013, 03:10:01 AM »
I have the massmeters but not the crusher........
 

Offline daqq

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 03:31:45 AM »
Hi Dave,

If you're looking for an accessible rad source, try thorium wolfram welding rods. It's not particularly radioactive, but certainly it's above the background.

On the topic of your smoke detector - those are mostly made (or were) with americium 241 - an alpha emitter, which was enclosed in an ionization chamber - it would certainly not emit outside of the detector. Even if you were to open up its guts, the geiger counter might not be able to pick up the alpha particles.

David
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Offline synapsis

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 03:35:10 AM »
Another thumbs up for FPGAs.  :-+

I've had a DE0-Nano sitting on my desk for over a month and it's quite a bit to get your head around for "young players." I have experience in industrial PLCs and desktop multithreading, but I still need to adapt my thinking to concurrent execution.

And you're not missing too much down here in Southern Arizona. We have the San Xavier Mission and the border "fence", with the occasional ghost town here and there. If you do get down here, I believe you'd really enjoy the Titan Missile Museum. It's interesting to see the 20+ year old control systems.
 

Offline Winston

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 03:45:22 AM »
The Geek Group's quarter shrinking "stomper":

Project Stomper Mark 4 Walkthrough (CGI)



Early Stomper Tests (Crude Prototype)


 

Offline Winston

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 03:58:39 AM »
And you're not missing too much down here in Southern Arizona.
Don't forget the Kitt Peak National Observatory telescope complex!

http://www.noao.edu/kpno/

I was a visitor there long before the post-9/11 paranoia, so I don't know how things are done now, but I just walked around and into the various observatories which had plexiglass-enclosed public viewing areas within the domes.  Awesome hardware!  I was wearing a T-Shirt which said "Life's a Mountain, not a Beach" countering the popular T-shirt then which said "Life's a Beach" (after "life's a b*tch and then you die").  I was there during a weekday and was alone except for an older couple who were walking around like me who assumed I worked there, probably due to my relative youth and my T-shirt.

Of course, Meteor Crater and the Grand Canyon are absolute must-sees in northern AZ.  Petrified Forest National Park is fairly interesting, too, along with some ancient native American structures and a smallish volcano ash dome (can't recall the names of either).  And, Dave, I don't know if it was just my viewing point, but on my second visit to the Grand Canyon I went to the northern side, more out of the way and not worth it in my opinion if you've already seen it from the southern side.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 04:12:19 AM by Winston »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2013, 04:48:06 AM »
I watched some video's of Thegeekgroup thinking, cool , another hackerspace. but all i see is a bunch of rednecks having some fun of the type : hold my beer and watch this...

I don't get it. Its supposed to be a hackerspace ... Very little hacking going on. All they do is yell out high voltages and then destroy coins .

I don't get the obsession that people have with that stuff. It is dangerous , and useless.
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Offline synapsis

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2013, 05:40:00 AM »
And you're not missing too much down here in Southern Arizona.
Don't forget the Kitt Peak National Observatory telescope complex!

http://www.noao.edu/kpno/


Very true. I grew up near the base of Kitt Peak (yes, middle of the desert nowhere) and totally forgot about it. Last time I was up there was 1986.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2013, 05:45:22 AM »
I don't get the obsession that people have with that stuff. It is dangerous , and useless.

It's a challenge to build things and fun to watch what you built do something "big". Building something that can crush a coin like that isn't trivial (OK, it's not quite building an oscilloscope, either) and it's exciting to see your project do something you couldn't do yourself.

People like "hold my beer" entertainment for a reason.
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Offline Winston

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2013, 06:01:17 AM »
All they do is yell out high voltages and then destroy coins .

I don't get the obsession that people have with that stuff. It is dangerous , and useless.
Personally, I just like concept of the tremendous symmetrical force of the EM field and counter-field produce by 100,000 amps flowing through a heavy gauge copper coil that vaporizes into a plasma while inducing as much as 1,000,000 amps within the quarter.  Very cool. P.S. - I'm similarly fascinated with thermonuclear weapons.

Back in the early 2000's when silver was much cheaper, I asked this guy if he could shrink a 1 oz, pure silver Silver Eagle:

http://www.capturedlightning.com/frames/interesting1.html

Back then, I believe he may have had a different, lower energy system, so he said to send him a Silver Eagle, he'd give it a go, see if it worked, then send my shrunken coin (or debris) back at no cost to me.  What a deal!  It worked and he used my coin for his shrunk Silver Eagle photo (back then anyway; don't know if he still does and I don't have my coin handy to check which reminds me that I need to find where the heck I put it!)

Semi-technical paper on his system:

http://www.capturedlightning.com/photos/shrinker5.pdf
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 06:04:18 AM by Winston »
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2013, 06:51:37 AM »
The DE0 nano board is nice, I have it too. In combination with NIOS you can write C programs with it and access (memory mapped) blocks implemented in VHDL (or Verilog). When I tested it, it was a bit difficult to integrate the SDRAM in NIOS, needed a PLL instance in Quartus to work, with the right phase shift etc., but then you have a good 32 bit soft core CPU and lots of RAM, and IPs on the FPGA to use. And with the Eclipse based IDE you can even single-step debug your programs.

For VGA maybe take a look at my YaGraphCon project: http://www.frank-buss.de/yagraphcon/ . The bit depth is a generic parameter, but only BRAM support so far, but easy to use if you just want to display something like text on a VGA display (sometimes you can even get them for free in the dumpster ;D ). Recently I changed it to a register based interface instead of the SPI interface, which works already with a 6502 soft core, which is inside a port of an Atari 2600 implementation I work on for the Turbo Chameleon for an OSD:

https://github.com/FrankBuss/TCA2601/blob/master/YaGraphCon/YaGraphCon.vhd

Should be easy to integrate as a component in NIOS, but I guess there are VGA controllers in the Quartus MegaWizard as well, but I can't find it. Anyway, always more interesting to write your own entity than using some IP block.
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Offline 99tito99

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Re: EEVblog #494 - Mailbag
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2013, 07:49:44 AM »
Hi Dave:  Yes, maybe a multi-part blog on FPGAs and Nano FPGA Development Board(s).  Part 1 for the Newbies (me included) would be brief intro to FPGAs, the basics, how they work, different types, etc.  And then certainly several demo project including how to do the basic programming.  Cheers, Science-Mark
 


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