Mojo Spartan-6 FPGA Boards!

Mojo Back

Mojo Spartan-6 FPGA Boards!

I’m not gonna lie, super excited for this project. I’ve been wanting to get started with FPGAs for a while now, but the price was too high. Not to mention, you have to learn a new language, or two (VHDL and Verilog, you had better learn both eventually.)

Spartan-6 Chip; ATMega16u4 Far Right

The Mojo board simplifies it, or will attempt to. Coming in at only $74.99, the price is quite right; and the creators aim to step you through tutorials as they roll out the project. Now, compared to most FPGA development boards, it doesn’t have many bells and whistles: no Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, USB Host, high speed RAM, or much really. It gets by with just a reset button and 8 leds, if you really want it, you can just wire it up (except the high speed ram, that requires additional engineering, shipping from Krypton; that involves Superman — don’t even bother.)

Anyway…was saying…excited!

Check out this list of premade modules (called cores) while we wait, and spam the hell out of them till they sell you one — you won’t regret it!

Building A Thermostat Using Arduino

This gives an excellent description of the technique. I’ve still yet to determine the switching current, which I’d like to before I build a potentially hazardous item. End goal of this project? Constructing a ‘Nest’-like learning thermostat. Mostly just to predict when I’ll come stomping in from the cold, and adjust the temperature appropriately an hour or two ahead of schedule.

Keeps it toasty.

Teensy (The once and future king) Model 3.0

ImageThis thing is epic embodied. Go ahead and contact Mr. Teensy Himself on Twitter and tell him how appreciative you are. Because it won’t be long before these things are everywhere. With an ARM Cortex-M4 processor and an independent IC for the bootloader, it’s quite resilient to bricking (necessary for me!) native USB, what else is to be expected from PJRC

Oh yeah, and fully working Arduino bootloader and libraries for everyone who doesn’t want to program in C/C++. This is going to be big. Paul claims they easily overclock to 96MHz, and combined with a 32-bit processor, that’s a lot of computing power. Not to mention the 32bit analogWrite() (billions of levels of precision) and 13bit analogRead() (65536 levels of read, or down to a 134uV precision per level. Compare that to a Arduinos’ precision of 19mV, or 4.2mV for the Mega with the 1v1 voltage reference.

So…basically stoked. Get it here for the next day or so.

P.S. Of course, the Kickstarter for this thing was fufilled basically instantly. I mean, we all have the Teensy 2.0, right?

UPDATE: Galago is fully-funded!

As of this morning (15 September) this Kickstarter had reached $30 000 in funding, and as such will be produced. So begins the debate on whether or not to order a few more…

In any case, hopefully Kuy can get these built relatively quickly and the development environment pans out as described. If not, I’ve got plenty of nights and weekends to try and write my own bootloader/toolchain.

Galago, a ARM Cortex-M3 development board with a real time debugger!

ImageWhat a great find for $19. Half the price of a Arduino (from radio shack, at least, I go with the chinese knockoffs for $17) and orders of magnitude more capability. Too great to pass up, I swung for one. Here’s the bad news, unless they sell $30k worth, they don’t get any of the funding. And, there’s only 17 days to go. Hopefully they can pull this one out of their ass, get funded and give PJRC and their new Teensy 3.0 a run for their money.

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