Flying high with Zynq

Open source enthusiast? Drone enthusiast as well? FPGA fan? Rejoice! The first Unmanned Air Vehicule combining all those technologies has recently been announced. It’s powered by a Xilinx Zynq processor running ArduPilot, and its source code is planned to be released. The team behind the project used a DJI F550 airframe and plans to test on more hardware. One of team founders says that using the FPGA part of the Zynq allows an easier real time processing, especially computationally intensive tasks. Before we see a video of the flight, we’re happy to learn that the Zynq board runs on Linux!


Fitting 3D prints on Eagle boards


Using a electronic design to mesh your mechanical design can be quite a difficult task. 3D printers come to the rescue to facilitate this process, especially when using an Eagle to design a PCB.

In the following post, the designer used several LEDs to build a clock which worked fine but there was a slight light leakage around his custom made 7 segment numbers. More information on this project in the link below.


Spit out VGA with non-programmable logic chips

Bitbanging a VGA can be a tough task due to the timing requirements. Nevertheless Sven gave it a go and not only he bitbanged a VGA on an arduino, but he managed to configured an array of 7400 logic chips to output a VGA signal.

Consisting of two parts, his project first consisted in outputting a VGA signal on a monitor then talking about adding circuitry to take care of frame counting, geometry and color.

A simulator was first used to plan out the graphics, then a 7400 chip configuration was designed for the display.


Make a CPLD module yourself!

A CPLD (Complex Programme Logic Device) is a very useful tool in the hands of a techie. Their complexity comes between a PALs and an FPGA, and architectural features of both. As implied by its name, these chips can be programmed to meet the logic functions that suit your needs. In this amazing tutorial, Bill Herd shows us how to build a CPLD module using Project files, an Oscillator and a PCB.

Synth secrets revealed!


Synthesizer fans are usually fond of programming them. In the following article, you’ll find out about the author’s approach to program every instrument at a time. Moreover, when reproducing the complex sounds of a particular instrument, the author breaks up the formulas into several articles and details how he got the results.


3D Printed eyeglasses, VR lenses


Google Glass, Oculus Rift, head mounted displays are becoming a reality and the number of their users is on the rise. But have you ever heard of lenses made with a 3D printer? Well, all that was required is: a  CAD model, a 3D printer, and silicone mold material! Are they operational? Yes sir! An iPhone can even be attached to a homemade head mounted display (once again) to view 3D videos and images!


Altium’s CircuitMaker saves the day for Max & Duane at ESC Minneapolis


In a very interesting column on, Max Maxfield explains the features of Altium’s circuit maker. Making several changes to one of his previous designs, he showcases the capabilities of the CircuitMaker. Those of you who are familiar with CircuitMaker will be happy to learn about the latest news related to the software. Altium proposes the latest and best version of its software for free. Provided that users make their designs open source. More information on Max’s take can be found in the link below.


Vintage BBC computer gets FPGA buddies

We still have some retro for the old-school enthusiasts. Many of you knew about the BBC Microcomputer System. It was an innovative machine created during the 1980s. It is possible to link the BBC Micro to an FPGA board, following specific designs, via a tube interface. You can find out more about the BBC Micro in the video, and find the detailed designs on the link below.

Via Hackaday