I’m very proud to say that my For Cheap Robots project is still going strong! As some of you may recall, at the beginning of last month, I announced the beginning of my For Cheap Robots series here on the Digilent blog. Since then, I’ve added several more tutorials to the list and gotten a huge amount of positive feedback. I want to thank any and all of you who here who follow the Digilent Blog and decided to pop over to Instructables to check it out!
I recently found another exciting example of Digilent boards in an academic textbook! The Zynq Book is a handy tool for a deeper understanding of “sophisticated” devices and as the first look at the Zynq System on Chip (SoC). In fact this is Digilent’s mission: to bring engineering to every interested person through affordable materials.
As we continue on with our Pmod series featuring one of Digilent’s largest product lines, we find ourselves needing to see what’s going on inside of our microcontrollers and FPGAs as they race through their code at 80,000,000 times a second (or even faster!). Once again, Digilent has a variety of solutions to solve our dilemma. Our visual Pmods range from simple LEDs and a seven-segment display (SSD) to complex OLED and LCD screens.
In the world of technology, progress happens so fast that it is almost impossible to find a good and up-to-date source for digital design. That’s why I am so excited that I found Digital Fundamentals, (the 11th edition) by Floyd.
This past month, we have been busily working on the launch of our newest educational board, the Basys3!
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I designed the proximity-sensing LED circuit to eventually move it on to a printed circuit board, or PCB. This was my first experience with PCB layout, and thankfully it was successful! The board I designed is in the picture below. We ordered 6 “prints” and soldered them in our MakerSpace. I also included extra vias (electrical connections between the layers of the board) so that we could connect multiple boards together.
Who doesn’t love interactive LEDs? This project started because I wanted to make a simple circuit that I could later move on to a printed circuit board (PCB) that I designed myself. (The original goal was to learn PCB design and layout.) This idea was given to me by my manager, Larissa, and was inspired by Evil Mad Science’s Octolively. Being an analog enthusiast, I came up with my own design that doesn’t use any ICs.
After 15 years, we’re still hard at work building better tools for engineering education. We’re working more closely than ever with leading companies like Xilinx, Analog Devices, Texas Instruments, and Linear Technology, and our shared mission is the same — to create tools and technologies that give students access to the most relevant technologies. And I can honestly say that we’re all still loving our jobs! Since joining with National Instruments almost two years ago, we’ve gained access to a larger group of world-class engineers and improved our manufacturing processes, but we’ve maintained our laser-focus on producing the best, lowest-cost teaching and learning kits for engineers.
You may recall a post we had a few days back on the Pmods that offered a DAC. As I mentioned then, DACs are used for a wide variety of applications but one of the most common ways that you see a DAC being used is in audio applications. Digilent’s Pmod line offers several audio peripheral modules that do just that.
Previously, we had the chance to take a look at the LS1, which is a great Pmod to use with line-following robots such as Susan. Today, we’ll take a look at five of the digital-to-analog converter (DAC) Pmods. Four of them are conveniently named DA1, DA2, DA3, and DA4, and the last one is a R-2R circuit.
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