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  #31  
Old 06-07-2017, 07:30 AM
mbishop mbishop is offline
 
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'Soul of a New Machine' - excellent book that all engineers/managers should read.
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  #32  
Old 06-07-2017, 09:17 AM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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'Soul of a New Machine' - excellent book that all engineers/managers should read.
Great book, and I should read it again... "no mode bit" has been a catch phrase for my career!

We were also involved in the early days of the PC development because IBM was our partner. I still have the original user manual for the PC printed in fan-fold format. I wonder if it's worth money?

My group also designed the world's first video DRAM, which was built by Motorola for us. We were so uninspired by the IBM PCs graphics capability that we developed the VRAM. In the end, we didn't use it, but it was a good idea. Right about then, the Apple Lisa was coming out so we decided that developing our own computer was not the best use of resources.

...sigh...
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  #33  
Old 06-07-2017, 09:44 AM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
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In the end, we didn't use it, but it was a good idea. Right about then, the Apple Lisa was coming out so we decided that developing our own computer was not the best use of resources.
Good call; the Lisa was a stunning success for Apple.

(I've owned a couple dozen of them; at one time I was probably the most prolific exporter of Lisas to Japan. Long story, but those machines fed my family for a few months when I was between jobs. And yes, I know the Mac was the next step and was at least marginally more successful.)
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  #34  
Old 06-09-2017, 02:51 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Here's an example of a simple C program (Arduino sketch) that shows how easy it is to process Dynon or Garmin serial information using the Falcon-AVR here.

This program displays:
HDG
IAS
ALT
AOA

on a 20 x 4 LCD screen as a 'backseat' display. The ALT is corrected altitude using the barometric pressure setting.

It took about an hour to write, which is pretty good because 'C' is relatively new to me (... I remember FORTRAN...)! I cut it down from a 1600 line program (auto-trim controller) just to demonstrate the function.

I have a graphics display module that would be very cool to use for virtual instruments, but that's a different project!

V
Here's the text display. Ignore the pushbuttons and IR receivers. The graphical display is working fine, just needs more time behind the keyboard to finish up.

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  #35  
Old 06-15-2017, 08:56 AM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Here's the text display. Ignore the pushbuttons and IR receivers. The graphical display is working fine, just needs more time behind the keyboard to finish up.

Update: Here's a photo of my 'back seat display' progress. This is driven by the Falcon-AVR which is also running my auto trim control and flaps positioning in my Harmon Rocket.

The graphics are still a work in process. Unfortunately, the very cool display (Gameduino 2) is no longer available. It has a GPU which makes it easy to display moving images and jpegs and sprites. Looks like a 4D Systems display may be a choice for future effort.

I'm still looking for some more prepaid group-buy orders for the Falcon-AVR circuit boards. I need a total of 20 prepaid orders to cover the costs on the next board run (which is north of $600 for the 4-layer blank pcbs). PM me for more information. Here's the link to the Falcon-AVR documents..

If i can't get a group buy together, I will refund the prepayments and just run a couple of more protos for my own needs. I'll be finalizing on July 1.

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  #36  
Old 06-23-2017, 10:30 AM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Default Update on Falcon-AVR order group buy

Some good news and some not so good news.

I am less than a week away from making a decision on the group buy of Falcon-AVR printed circuit boards. I'm a little short of the minimum quantity of boards I need to order, so now is the time to get ahold of me (via PM), or (ahem) pay your PalPal invoice!

I am not making any money on this, and will probably have to subsidize the purchase by $100 or so!

Now the good news: I have completed the design of an option board that allows a Teensy 3.2 to directly plug into the Falcon-AVR instead of the ATMega 328.

This will increase computing speed by about 10x and allow much larger programs to run on the board. More information on the option board (aka Talon-AVR) will come in July, but it also includes a second hardware serial port for more throughput when using add-on boards (for example BlueTooth and WiFi).

Thanks to everyone who has supported this project so far, I hope more can join in.

Vern
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  #37  
Old 06-24-2017, 04:54 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Thumbs up Falcon-AVR group buy minimum quantity achieved!

Thanks folks! I have released the pcb order to manufacturing based on my MOQ of 10 boards. I was hoping for 20, but c'est la vie.

It will take about 10 days for me to receive the boards. Give me two weeks to completely assemble and debug one board to verify the design before I begin shipping the blank pcbs out to my backers. The good weather may get in the way.

I will be verifying both 14V and 28V [actually 60V] versions.

Oh... I will also be verifying the Teensy 3.2 version....!
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  #38  
Old 06-24-2017, 07:25 PM
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Kevin Horton Kevin Horton is offline
 
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Thanks folks! I have released the pcb order to manufacturing based on my MOQ of 10 boards. I was hoping for 20, but c'est la vie.
Great news!

I'm happy to send more money to help ensure your share of the cost isn't too outrageous. How much more do you need per board to make the numbers work out?
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  #39  
Old 06-24-2017, 07:36 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Great news!

I'm happy to send more money to help ensure your share of the cost isn't too outrageous. How much more do you need per board to make the numbers work out?
Now that's a posting I don't get very often! Thanks, Kevin, check your PM.
Vern
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  #40  
Old 06-27-2017, 07:53 PM
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vlittle vlittle is offline
 
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Default Tape-out

In the vernacular of the semiconductor industry from the last century, when a database file is released to manufacturing, we called it 'tape-out'.

In my case, it was just pushing buttons on my Cad software, but the result is the same... manufacturing will take about 7 days, shipping to me (in Canada) a few more days, then I'll perform verification.

I'm also checking out a 'desktop' configuration that strips your the Falcon-AVR down to a glorified Uno-like device which can then be upgraded to the 'lab' or 'field' configurations later on. The whole point is flexibility, which is why it's all through-hole.

As I mentioned previously, there will also be an applique board that will allow a Teensy 3.2 to plug in for those who like more horsepower. This will be available in August. In addition to the horsepower, it will also support a second hardware serial port for higher performance WiFi or Bluetooth support. I have already tested Bluetooth connections that allow a 9600 bps connection between a Dynon EFIS and the Falcon AVR. I need to run this interface at 115,200 bps, but that takes a bit more effort.

If the moderator is watching, perhaps we can move this discussion into its own thread...

V
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