Author Topic: Amp Hour #65  (Read 5249 times)

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Offline bkochis

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Amp Hour #65
« on: October 18, 2011, 07:16:09 pm »
Silego fpga chips can be mounted using the link below to standard prototyping layout (.1 inch pin spacing).  They also offer a stainless steel mask for applying the solder paste.  Enjoy!

http://www.proto-advantage.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3100070

I have ordered from Proto Advantage before and their service is great.
 

Offline bkochis

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 02:35:59 am »
I ordered the 8 pin FPGA development board.  Although the website states "8 weeks for delivery" I just received a FedEx tracking number and the product was shipped via 2 day air.  Not bad for the $15 shipping I was charged. 

I wanted to learn some FPGA and for 50 chances to foul things up for $1 an attempt, this is a very inexpensive learning experience. 

Don't know where Dave got $50 shipping but I guess that what Aussies have to contend with.

I did have an issue installing the designer software.  My computer (Windows Vista) had associated the BIN1 executable as "Pspice Results File" and would not complete the installation by automatically extracting the software. 

I manually extracted the software to a folder, attempted to install and everything worked swimmingly. 

I will keep you updated.
 

Offline yanir

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Amp Hour #65
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2011, 04:05:30 pm »
I too just ordered this. I called them up and found out that they are reprogrammable when they are on the development board.
Not as risky as I thought. They just can't be field programmable, yet, as the said on the phone. So perhaps a field programable version is on the way. I'm excited to use these in simple devices that I would have used a way more expensive micro' for.
 

Offline FreeThinker

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2011, 04:17:12 pm »
Well according to the GreenPak website the standard postage to Europe is $50, and you may still be charged Duty etc, makes the whole thing less attractive outside of the US.
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
MOONDOG
 

Offline yanir

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Amp Hour #65
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2011, 06:29:37 pm »
For hobby use maybe, but for production what's another 50 bucks for $0.18 mixed signal fpgas
 

Offline FreeThinker

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2011, 07:30:02 pm »
For hobby use maybe, but for production what's another 50 bucks for $0.18 mixed signal fpgas
For Large Quantity's I would agree but for smaller quantity's it becomes more of an issue, but this is not their target market. They are concentrating at volume outlets (at the moment) but this must surely be a short term objective and so I expect that we will see a more user friendly device in the future marketed for much smaller volumes (per order). It's a nice chip full of potential but aimed at the volume market and this needs to change if it's popularity is to increase.Bear in mind that @.018/unit postage cost represent 30+% /1000 even more in smaller quantity's.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 07:47:14 pm by FreeThinker »
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
MOONDOG
 

Offline yanir

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Amp Hour #65
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 10:02:45 pm »
At high enough volumes you just have them deliver your parts preprogrammed from their factory in china to yours. I doubt they are going to go after the hobby market directly.

I plan on using this for short runs (around 100). They won't even preprogram that amount (starts at 3k).  Not very friendly to small batch production either.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 10:05:19 pm by yanir »
 

Offline yanir

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2011, 04:28:26 pm »
I too just ordered this. I called them up and found out that they are reprogrammable when they are on the development board.
Not as risky as I thought. They just can't be field programmable, yet, as the said on the phone. So perhaps a field programable version is on the way. I'm excited to use these in simple devices that I would have used a way more expensive micro' for.

Correction, with the dev tool, you can change your design and use an emulator to debug, but once you program it that's it.

Still works well for testing a design, just don't hit that program button! :), burned a chip already with useless functionality.

Will report back with any other useful info.
 

Offline yanir

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 09:48:12 pm »
So I have my first working design. I have made a simple alarm. When pin3 goes low, a timer counts down to 10 seconds and sends a modulated 4khz 50% duty pwm signal to out pin8 to a piezo buzzer. It's really fun to program this. I don't usually think in digital logic blocks. So playing with counters, luts, flip-flops etc is a great way to learn more low level hardware elements. I have an nb3000 fpga development board, but this is so easy to play with I've learned more with this than the nb3000.

Going to design board for this next week. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

Offline yanir

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2011, 09:20:04 pm »
Hi, I just made my first batch of door alarms. See photos attached.

The silego part is definitely tough to hand solder.  I got lucky on my first try with hot air, but subsequent attempts have proved unsuccessful. Reflow oven has worked every time with good solder paste print. If I do a one off, I manually apply the solder paste. Difficult to do with this pitch.

For the batch (49 to a board) I used a stencil printer, and the results were good. Had some failures and need to rework those. Some were shorts and some have an odd behavior I need to diagnose. Either way it's usually the silego part that is the problem.

I need to develop a better method of hand reworking that part.
 

Offline yanir

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2011, 09:24:52 pm »
Oh and BTW, thanks to the Amp Hour podcast for telling me about this cool part. It really made this project a success.
 

Offline bkochis

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 02:15:10 pm »
Yanir,
The website I mentioned above, proto-advantage, sells a stainless laser cut stencil that would help with the solder paste issues.  Someone mentioned their factory in china, probably true, but this is a Ukrainian company. 

It would be great is the ADC carried more digits, not just the eight, but you can't have everything. 

Nice work, BTW, looks well thought out.
 

Offline yanir

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Re: Amp Hour #65
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2011, 07:23:13 pm »
Thanks! I really enjoyed working on the project. I know I'm really under utilizing this chip, but I love how I was able to make a working device with just a couple of parts.

I think I will get that stencil you pointed out. should help with the one off's and rework.
 


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