Author Topic: Beginner FPGA dev board  (Read 33840 times)

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Online MagicSmoker

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #75 on: December 17, 2015, 10:39:21 am »
Bizarre!... But if you want to can the whole of China marketed via AliExpress all over a single fuck up with your one and only credit card issuer then so be it  :palm:

I guess there is some truth to that old cliche about America and Britain being two countries separated by a common language... I said that the problem was NOT with my credit card issuer (they stated they never received a charge to decline, actually). Aliexpress sent me an email (the body of which is reprinted below) which was reminiscent of "Brazil" (the movie) or "Catch-22" (the book):

Quote
Thank you for shopping on AliExpress !

We are sorry to inform you that we have to cancel your order for security reasons. To make sure your transaction is secure, please provide us with documentation for further verification.

When we receive your documents, we will verify them within 3 business days. If the documents are valid, you can reorder on Aliexpress.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your patience and understanding.

As you may note without me even prompting, nowhere does it say what "documentation" is necessary "for further verification." Furthermore, there is a line at the bottom of the email that says it was automatically generated and that replies to it will be ignored. THAT is why I am unlikely to place another order with them anytime soon. An FPGA development board is work related, and the way I see it, if I spend 30 minutes screwing around with Aliexpress (or writing posts about it here... ahem) then I just blew whatever money I theoretically saved vs. buying a legit board and USB Blaster from DigiKey, etc.

You picking up what I'm putting down now, compadre?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 10:42:48 am by MagicSmoker »
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #76 on: December 17, 2015, 03:36:26 pm »
Did you happen to apply for an AliPay account? I seem to recall requiring documentation for that, but it shouldn't be needed. A straight credit card transaction should work just fine. I'm sure if you were ordering from Nigeria things would be different, but the USA should be just as easy as the UK for VISA or Mastercard. AMEX is another thing entirely if thats what you used.  :-//

Oh, Brazil is one of my favourite movies  :-+ You wouldn't be a Mr Tuttle, sorry Buttle by chance?  ;)
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 03:38:14 pm by Macbeth »
 

Offline bingo600

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #77 on: December 17, 2015, 06:59:50 pm »
I've bought quite a lot on Ali ,and never had a problem with my Visa Card.
I even feel i'm better protected there than on *bay/*Pal.

They don't release the money to the seller until you have confirmed that you have received your goods.

Just don't miss your "last protection" date, before you make a dispute/claim.

I have made 3 disputes, and have gotten my money back every time wo. any hazzle.


/Bingo

Ps:
The most annoying thing, is that they are often shipping via registered mail , and you have to go to the post office to pick it up.
Then again, it might even be an advantage getting it via registered mail or ....

 

Offline SpidersWeb

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #78 on: December 17, 2015, 07:12:40 pm »
Last night I ordered one of those $37 kits myself. Although afterwards I realized I kind of want one with some DRAM on board - so probably end up buying something else next year :P

No problems with Aliexpress payment here, but I've been using them for years so my details were all saved in etc etc


 

Online MagicSmoker

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #79 on: December 17, 2015, 07:37:51 pm »
Did you happen to apply for an AliPay account? I seem to recall requiring documentation for that, but it shouldn't be needed. A straight credit card transaction should work just fine. I'm sure if you were ordering from Nigeria things would be different, but the USA should be just as easy as the UK for VISA or Mastercard. AMEX is another thing entirely if thats what you used.  :-//

Nope, didn't apply for AliPay, didn't use an Amex. Poking around the site some more I did come across something about also verifying my business email, so I am trying that.

Oh, Brazil is one of my favourite movies  :-+ You wouldn't be a Mr Tuttle, sorry Buttle by chance?  ;)

 :-DD More like Sam Lowry... But yeah, Brazil is one of my favorite movies of all time (along with Caddyshack and Airplane! - which probably says too much about me).

 

Online MagicSmoker

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #80 on: December 17, 2015, 10:37:12 pm »
I decided to spring the extra $50 and get a DE0-Nano. It seems to be popular and looks like a good intro to working with FPGAs. I didn't get the one with the on-chip hard processor both because it seems you really overpay for that capability relative to a separate but equivalently powerful MCU, and I imagine it will just make the learning curve that much steeper, and at this stage in my career I am more into getting results rather than noodling around.

 

Offline Avien

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #81 on: December 17, 2015, 10:59:17 pm »
I decided to spring the extra $50 and get a DE0-Nano. It seems to be popular and looks like a good intro to working with FPGAs. I didn't get the one with the on-chip hard processor both because it seems you really overpay for that capability relative to a separate but equivalently powerful MCU, and I imagine it will just make the learning curve that much steeper, and at this stage in my career I am more into getting results rather than noodling around.

I have DE0-NANO and I have used it in my Master Thesis. Best thing about using Altera for start? Signal-TAP.
You can always implement NIOS II soft-cpu if you need and want to program something in C, but do not expect much from it (it only gets a job done). I have used F version with Scatter-Gatter DMA and it was road through hell. Also lovely Eclipse...
Now I would get SoC version with Ethernet (also "small" version). First it has much more logic inside, different LE, dual-core ARM and programmer for less than 100$? I know someone who buys those and put it inside products :D
Wish it only had more GPIO...
 

Offline ale500

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #82 on: December 19, 2015, 01:03:52 pm »
I also got one of those not that cheap Cyclone IV boards out of ebay, it came with the same USB Blaster clone as Macbeth mentioned, but the board is different:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Altera-Cyclone-IV-FPGA-Learning-Board-EP4CE6E22C8N-mit-USB-Blaster-Programmer-/111832274825?hash=item1a09b91789:g:wPcAAOSwgyxWVGtq

Sadly, all pins are being used. The ones on the connector are the pins used for VGA  (16 bit color VGA!) plus the 2 PS/2 pins.

« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 07:04:15 pm by ale500 »
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #83 on: December 19, 2015, 06:33:16 pm »
Sadly, all pins are being used. The ones on the connector and the VGA pins (16 bit VGA! Plus PS/2).
You've got J3 for GPIO?

Nicer board for the extra money. Some SDRAM, better VGA, proper FLASH, and an A/D for starters.
 

Offline ale500

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #84 on: December 19, 2015, 07:01:14 pm »
Yeah... but as I said (I corrected my post above, it seems I sopped mid sentence and continued with something else), J3 are the VGA/PS2 pins... I'd rather have the pushbuttons and 7-Segment display there... well
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 07:03:37 pm by ale500 »
 

Offline justanothercanuck

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #85 on: December 21, 2015, 02:40:21 am »
came across this playlist on youtube a couple weeks back...  sounds pretty good for a beginner (it starts from digital logic and goes from there)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7kkolCtIBKLukrBsEDwKRTE64JvaJDhM

Maintain your old electronics!  If you don't preserve it, it could be lost forever!
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #86 on: December 21, 2015, 10:02:05 am »
came across this playlist on youtube a couple weeks back...  sounds pretty good for a beginner (it starts from digital logic and goes from there)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7kkolCtIBKLukrBsEDwKRTE64JvaJDhM

Does it discuss how to create timing constraints? If it was written then I could find out within 2 minutes, but since it is video I would have to spend a few hours looking for something that might not exist.

That's a bad use of my remaining life.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #87 on: December 21, 2015, 10:13:10 am »
Does it discuss how to create timing constraints? If it was written then I could find out within 2 minutes, but since it is video I would have to spend a few hours looking for something that might not exist.

That's a bad use of my remaining life.
Yeah. A bit like going through all of Daves EEVblog vids. Only so many to watch before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I just wish there was an internet search engine out there to help look for specific stuff?
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #88 on: December 21, 2015, 10:22:29 am »
Haven't watched the playlist but I did look at the actual playlist.

I think it's a good start and when someone tries them and have failures they hopefully look for extra information about timing constrains, but at least those videos could get someone started (I'm guessing because I didn't watch any of them yet)
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #89 on: December 21, 2015, 11:04:51 am »
I just wish there was an internet search engine out there to help look for specific stuff?

Good idea. I wish you hadn't mentioned it publicly, because now I can't patent it ;)
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #90 on: December 21, 2015, 11:08:18 am »
I think it's a good start and when someone tries them and have failures they hopefully look for extra information about timing constrains, but at least those videos could get someone started (I'm guessing because I didn't watch any of them yet)

Many other things could also get them started. And if they are skimmable and searchable (e.g. text), then we could know they would be a good starting point.

There are good uses for video blogs, but too often they are done by someone that can't be bothered to spend the time to make life easy for their audience.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Beginner FPGA dev board
« Reply #91 on: December 21, 2015, 11:17:57 am »
I think it's a good start and when someone tries them and have failures they hopefully look for extra information about timing constrains, but at least those videos could get someone started (I'm guessing because I didn't watch any of them yet)

Many other things could also get them started. And if they are skimmable and searchable (e.g. text), then we could know they would be a good starting point.

There are good uses for video blogs, but too often they are done by someone that can't be bothered to spend the time to make life easy for their audience.

Agreed, I'm partial to text myself:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/no-bitbanging-necessary-or-how-to-drive-a-vga-monitor-on-a-psoc-5lp-programmabl/

Then again it's up to the one imparting knowledge to figure out all the fall-outs, there are no shortcuts for those even if you went to the most credited school in the planet.

Guidelines are good, but we all have to figure the rest on our own.


 


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