Archive for December, 2014

Every which way but loose …

Posted in Doodling on December 27, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

… that was a movie weren’t it?


So, with the ethernet connection PLUS the USB to RS232 cable I had  a bit of fun as a study break.  So we’ve got two Terra Term sessions (one by serial port, one by ssh over ethernet), a cygwin terminal, a TighVNC X session and a terminal running on the pirate.  Silly fun but all I could get into as the study is frazzling the brain somewhat.

Previously I did forget to report the trauma of getting the LCD display going.  Kookie issue, classic in fact.  The font they used for the “code” view on the blog the instructions sat was COURIER, and oldie but goodie font coming from type writer days.

In keeping with the lack of Human Factors considerations the 1 and the  little “L” looked the same so I spent a week of study breaks re-reviewing code until it clicked and voila!


Why? Its too small.

Now I have to admit I only got the display to rattle my Nephew (since he has a boring old Raspberry Pi without LCD).  It is way too small to be practical.  If it was a touch screen then perhaps it could have been a Programmable Entry Panel (PEP) like what I have used and programmed on some of the defence projects I have worked on.  Will likely be good enough for simple tasks.

I am trying, in the background, to sort out why Lisp for Erlang (lfe) is not installing on this beasty.  Once I get that sorted, with the help of the user group, I will likely dabble a bit.  Stay tuned.

Remote wireless TENS

Posted in Arduino, Wifi on December 21, 2014 by asteriondaedalus

For a Zzzzzaappppppping good time.



I bought a couple of YellowJacket (Arduino compatable with Wifi built in) yonks ago.  I do that 😉

So I thought I would dust one off to build a wireless controlled TENS gadget.

I came across a 555 based timer TENS circuit and it looked like a fun distraction from my Dissertation (an hour here or there don’t you know).



The Yellow Jacket looks like the ideal solution because it has on board power regulation including outputting 5V and 3.3V.

The 5V output will go to the emitter (the “arrow”) on the transistor to drive the 1:10 transformer.

It turns out the RS-232 connector I got for my BBBs actually is a pin for pin match for  “JP1” that are on the YellowJacket.  Down to the regulated 5V required on that connector (the I/O on the cable is 3.3V which seemed to work fine).

The YellowJacket has a “raw” power input of 7-44V would you believe so I will solder a 9 volt battery connector to it to drive it.

YellowJacket pinnouts

YellowJacket pinnouts

The one “trick” was all the docco claimed the YellowJacket was an “mini” as far as the programer was concerned.   Using Arduino 1.0 this did not work.  Nor did the “Uno” setting of some of the knock-offs (Chinese or otherwise).  Luckily, a little playing around and it uploaded fine with “Arduino NANO w/ Atmega328”

So, a few experiments with blinking lights etc. and all seems go for working on the pulse driver and webserver elements.

Now, I note you can still get these as Chinese knock-0ffs but they are about $50 seems over the top.  Although, other more recent gadgets might still be upwards of $50 for the MCU (Electric IMP for example).  Spark Photon is a likely good choice as it is only $20 – mind you, you wont need 120MHz for a TENS unit.  RFduino maybe.

What a comeback!!!

Posted in Raspberry Pirate on December 11, 2014 by asteriondaedalus


All that carry on by Raspbogons about ODROID-W being a copy of the Raspberry Pi, Broadcom mysteriously canning supply of their chips to Hardkernel.  Sort of expected Hardkernel to roll over and die right.

Meet what is touted as a Raspberry Pi Killer.

Four cores, 1.5GHz, 1Mb RAM etc.

Makes it sort of a Beaglebone Black killer as well.

Why? $35.

Now if they can squeeze that chip onto the ODROID-W formfactor Hardkernel take the market.


Posted in The downside of Opensource on December 2, 2014 by asteriondaedalus
Exclusive Open Source

Exclusive Open Source

Okay, so I’ll bite.

Red Pitaya. Opensource!


2 channel 50 MHz.

Now this begs the question … well it doesn’t really as we’ve asked it before.

Opensource hardware?  Runs Zync SOC (see also Parrallella)

Someone has to build it.

Someone then has to buy it.

Not free at all for users.

Go figure 100MHz DSO from China $320.

Or 20Mhz with FFT analyser $$65.

Zync SOC dev board $189.  How about an input conditioning board for the Zync SOC dev board for $300.  Was that what it would really cost?