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Holiday Special

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Dec 21, 2020
I'm playing with my S100 Bus computers which I built over 40 years ago. They still work!! They played a major role with making computers mainstream. ...

Unusual Pyneboard

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Jul 16, 2020
I was expecting little bits of pine saw dust compressed and glued together to form a monolithic board. ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 09

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 30, 2017
31ST JULY More on the U7 voltage regulator The XL_STAR schematic dated Monday 21st February 2011 does not contain any details of U7 (the IC that can get really hot). From the picture in the XL_STAR Users Manual on page 9, U7 and C28 have replaced U2 and L4. The left is the photo in the manual, on the right is a photo of my XL_STAR with the U7 alternative.   (waiting for the original photo to be restored)   U7 is marked with L048B but the closest device I've found is a National DP ...
We're definitely heading towards technology of Star Wars and Star Trek.     Intel/Altera have tiny power supply modules that are so simple that anyone could use them. Their EM2120H01QI for a lazy 1.3V - 5V @20A continuous power supply at 90-95% efficiency! ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 08

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 28, 2017
31ST JULYCrawling about With the preliminary shakedown tests out of the way it was now time to delve into the detail. I spent bits of today learning about the ins and outs of the CodeWarrior IDE, its C compiler and freescale MC9S08MM128. I learned a few interesting things that might be of interest to all. Here they are;   1. MC9S08MM128 bit fields The MC9S08MM128.h files contains structures and explicit definitions to support bit fields for some of the MC9S08MM128 registers. These are ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 07

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 25, 2017
29TH JULY My First Program Using my process of having to "Learn to crawl before you Walk before you Run", I wrote the proverbial "Hello World" program for embedded processors that does nothing more than turn LEDs on and off.  The procedure followed is that described in Section 8 (Is Corporal Klinger still wearing a dress?) of the XL_STAR Users Manual but with different code.  My program is devoid of any interrupts and just turns LED on and off.   Having the XL_STAR demo program ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 06

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 22, 2017
29TH JULY The Big Bang All armed and ready to go I accidentally blew my XL_STAR up. I had a lapse of concentration when reconnecting my XL_STAR and connected the USB cable to the wrong USB connector. There are two USB connectors - the right one and the wrong one (for power). I only came to notice something was wrong when trying to run my program.   In my frantic search to fix this I discovered a new 1.04 revision of the XL_STAR Users Manual (entitled "Developing code for the element14 ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 05

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 20, 2017
26TH JULYFreescale CodeWarrior IDE Putting the battery subject aside, It was time to check the CodeWarrior Installation.   I plugged in the XL_STAR to my PC.The USB device drivers installed without a hitch.   I then ran up the FreeScale CodeWarrior but encountered a read only error pop up about Read Only access to the preferences file. Since I have Windows 7 restarted it using "run as administrator" to enable read/write access to the preferences file and it worked. No dramas! Did ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 04

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 19, 2017
26TH JULYBattery With the battery holder soldered in it was time to find a suitable battery. I could not find any specific reference to a particular type of battery in the manual so I needed to consult the schematic diagram and the battery holder data sheet. The schematic indicates that a rechargeable lithium ion battery is required. The data sheet say that the 3008 holder is for a CR2450. The battery voltage will b ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 03

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 17, 2017
26TH JULY The XL_STAR kit arrived last night. As a bonus, all of the crosshair LEDS are installed and also got a coin battery holder. Thanks very much element14!   The coin battery holder is not installed so I'll have to install it. This is a good opportunity to use my 10mm soldering iron tip. My set of iron tips ranges from 0.4mm to 10mm. Here are a few pictures of them. 0.4mm, 1.2mm, 10mm tips.   Almost all hobbyists, professionals and even manufacturers have the soldering ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 02

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 15, 2017
25th July Whilst waiting for the board, I commenced work by laying out the Static Memory LCD adapter board. This board fans out the 0.5mm spaced pins to a more human friendly 100mil (0.100 inch) connector.   ...

VY Canis Majoris Part 01

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Mar 14, 2017
This is a reprint of my original experiences with the XL_STAR RoadTest. The original posts were lost with a site upgrade but thank goodness I kept a backup copy.   Enjoy!   XL_STAR board Project Blog (19/07/2011)   Waiting with anticipation for my XL_STAR kit to arrive!   Ideas, ideas, ideas! What to do?   Static Memory LCDs? This technology is relatively new and boasts low power requirements. I've ordered some for another project and I am considering interfacing ...


Posted by COMPACT Top Member Feb 2, 2017
I've left a trail of decoys to make things harder! ...


Posted by COMPACT Top Member Feb 2, 2017
Computer Security is important. Make sure you employ the appropriate measures. Shutting down your Computer is a sure fire way to limit its exposure to online threats. ...

EAGLE gets an upgrade!

Posted by COMPACT Top Member Nov 28, 2014
I just started EAGLE 7.1 and it informed me that 7.2 has been released. This has been downloaded and installed.   Details for 7.2.0 available here:   In addition; The User manual has been updated to "3rd Edition" The ULP manual has been updated to version "7.2.0 The English ULP manual contains some German - "Inhaltsverzeichnis"   ...