Author Topic: Learning the Art of Electronics  (Read 728 times)

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Offline David1

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Learning the Art of Electronics
« on: May 03, 2018, 06:07:02 am »
The digital chapters of LAoE require a custom display with added functionality that is not sold in the UK (details on the LAoE website at the link below). Do you have any ideas for an alternative approach please, for example:

  • Using a simulator for the circuits in the digital chapters. It would be a good opportunity to learn how to use a simulator but I have no idea how feasible that is. For example, would the simulator suffer from not having details of the custom display or would input and output functionality be provided anyway in most simulators?

  • Building a display and other functionality from generic components. I am quite happy to have a go at building something from scratch but have so far not found a good reference on the web.

  • Some other approach that I haven't thought of.

The digital pages of LAoE involve building a microcomputer from parts, but not the display, so I'm guessing it must be pretty complicated. However, LAoE is a brilliant course and I'm thoroughly enjoying the analogue chapters and do not want to miss the digital.

Any ideas about alternative approaches would be much appreciated.

https://learningtheartofelectronics.com/parts-lists/lcd-display-and-programming-board/
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 03:21:37 pm by David1 »
 

Offline nathanpc

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Re: Learning the Art of Electronics
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 07:07:04 am »
Looks like they are not selling a display, but a whole module with a lot more functionality built-in that they have designed themselves, so you're out of luck apparently. Your best bet would be to purchase one of the generic LCD modules available online and experiment with that one instead.
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Learning the Art of Electronics
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 11:55:17 am »
I think you have to be pretty creative for most of the experiments.  Modify the experiment, change the requirements, whatever is necessary to learn an equivalent lesson.
 
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Offline David1

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Re: Learning the Art of Electronics
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 03:36:24 pm »
Thank you both.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 03:22:59 pm by David1 »
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Learning the Art of Electronics
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 03:44:39 pm »
By all means do simulator work - but don't short change yourself of the experience of doing digital in the real world.

Sometimes there are surprises that can be a lesson of themselves.
 
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Offline rstofer

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Re: Learning the Art of Electronics
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 12:23:18 am »
Expand the digital portion, do it on an FPGA!  You will have to get there eventually.

To be honest, I haven't looked at the digital experiments so I only have a guess about what is covered.  Most of the simple logic stuff can be done on a lowly CPLD.  It's not until you need internal RAM (BlockRAM as Xilinx calls it) that you would need an FPGA.  Yes, there are other differences as well but they're kind of at the edges of the topic.

https://store.digilentinc.com/search.php?Search=&search_query=cpld

If you want to get to the point where you are laying down CPUs in an FPGA, Google for the LC3 project.  This is a great little RISC CPU that is easily created in an FPGA.  A couple of thousand lines of code covers it.  That may seem like a lot but it really isn't.  Some of the lines are blank!  The vast majority of the code is in the Finite State Machine and that's a lot of repetitive detail.
 
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