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ante
Apr 9, 2005

No... Not without incident.

The open source verilog stuff supports the Icestick, no one is using Lattice Diamond software anymore

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Stack Machine
Mar 6, 2016

I can see through time!


Fun Shoe

That's good news. I love my "make && make prog && minicom" one-liner and assume I'm not the only person who feels this way. I also get the impression that if I ever needed to automate any of the process it's more obvious how to do it with the open source tools.

The Icestorm toolchain does not seem to perform register retiming though for whatever that's worth.

Forseti
May 26, 2001
To the lovenasium!


I'd like to get one of these bad boys based on the ECP5 FPGA also from Lattice, which is also supported now by open source tools. The ULX3S, an open source dev board. Looks really well done, I think they're currently swamped in orders so it could be a while though. Although it is open source so if you have the capability you could assemble one yourself, but that's a pretty high skills bar to reach.

It's a much more capable part than the iCE40 although only available in BGA if you wanted to make a product with it.

Cojawfee
May 31, 2006
I think the US is dumb for not using Celsius

What is a good open source tool for verilog?

ante
Apr 9, 2005

No... Not without incident.

I don't think there are any options, it's just Yosys

Forseti
May 26, 2001
To the lovenasium!


Symbiflow is a good place to start, I'm not exactly clear on the project structure but they seem to be the nexus where yosys gets combined with the place and route for the specific device (icestorm for iCE and I think the ECP5 one is trellis or something like that). I'm not totally clear on whether they've absorbed the separate projects or just collaborate though.

https://symbiflow.github.io/

Stack Machine
Mar 6, 2016

I can see through time!


Fun Shoe

I know the ice40 one, Icestorm, has Debian packages, which means anybody can live the dream of running an entire FPGA dev environment on a Raspberry Pi.

For Verilog simulation in open source land you can get Icarus Verilog and gtkwave to view the waveforms. Packages are available for these too so you can really have the height of EDA in 1995 or so on a toy computer.

karoshi
Nov 4, 2008

"Can somebody mspaint eyes on the steaming packages? TIA" yeah well fuck you too buddy, this is the best you're gonna get. Is this even "work-safe"? Let's find out!

Stack Machine posted:

I know the ice40 one, Icestorm, has Debian packages, which means anybody can live the dream of running an entire FPGA dev environment on a Raspberry Pi.

For Verilog simulation in open source land you can get Icarus Verilog and gtkwave to view the waveforms. Packages are available for these too so you can really have the height of EDA in 1995 or so on a toy computer.

Verilator, if you need a performant verilog simulator.

Stack Machine
Mar 6, 2016

I can see through time!


Fun Shoe

Does Verilator still require a C++ program as a top-level? I guess if you're a programmer learning electronics that's OK, but it requires a little more setup and willingness to slog through bullshit than the likes of Icarus. It is really impressively fast though. Faster than commercial simulators for synthesizable designs.

karoshi
Nov 4, 2008

"Can somebody mspaint eyes on the steaming packages? TIA" yeah well fuck you too buddy, this is the best you're gonna get. Is this even "work-safe"? Let's find out!

Stack Machine posted:

Does Verilator still require a C++ program as a top-level? I guess if you're a programmer learning electronics that's OK, but it requires a little more setup and willingness to slog through bullshit than the likes of Icarus. It is really impressively fast though. Faster than commercial simulators for synthesizable designs.

It still needed C++ one year ago. It's for bigger projects, for sure.

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



.

Fanged Lawn Wormy
Jan 4, 2008

SQUEAK! SQUEAK! SQUEAK!


dumb PCB design question:

does doing a 2-sided SMD design differ in cost much from doing a 1 sided? I'm sure it has a lot to do with the components in question.

ante
Apr 9, 2005

No... Not without incident.

Yes, but I've never gotten two sided assembly so I can't quantify that.

It's more than double the amount of work - one extra paste / assembly / reflow / inspection step, plus additional alignment and possibly glue steps - so I'd expect assembly costs to more than double.

That said, assembly is still usually way less than component costs, so it might not matter for your application.

KnifeWrench
May 25, 2007

Practical and safe.



Bleak Gremlin

Fanged Lawn Wormy posted:

dumb PCB design question:

does doing a 2-sided SMD design differ in cost much from doing a 1 sided? I'm sure it has a lot to do with the components in question.

You can save a fair amount on assembly with a single-sided design, but I've rarely had a design where the cost savings was worth the sacrifice.

And I'm pretty sure it doesn't depend much at all on the components. It's just a question of whether you need to flip the board and assemble the second side at all. A single resistor on the back side is going to significantly increase the price.

Foxfire_
Nov 8, 2010



Component weight matters. If you stick heavy things on both sides, it'll be very expensive/unbuildable. You need surface tension to be able to hold the bottom parts while the top is reflowed.

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Would having two pads (no smt assembly) on the back, vice 0, affect the price?

KnifeWrench
May 25, 2007

Practical and safe.



Bleak Gremlin

Dominoes posted:

Would having two pads (no smt assembly) on the back, vice 0, affect the price?

It might slightly, depending on the house, and whether that's the ONLY exposed copper on the back. But if they're making a mask for through holes anyway, then no, I can't imagine it'll make a difference. Or at least, I don't think it should. Maybe I'm missing something.

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...

Fallen Rib

Anyone running an old version of Altium that can open P-CAD files, or (long shot) P-CAD itself? I've got some old PCB files that I'd like to get into something modern, but they're all old-rear end P-CAD format and nothing reads them. Even the Gerbers are an old format that none of the Chinese fabs can read. GerbV can display them, so they're valid.

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



KnifeWrench posted:

It might slightly, depending on the house, and whether that's the ONLY exposed copper on the back. But if they're making a mask for through holes anyway, then no, I can't imagine it'll make a difference. Or at least, I don't think it should. Maybe I'm missing something.

Thank you. That makes sense - and you've reminded me about the standard through-hole pads on the back that'll be there for most designs. I think I misread the prev posts, which were about 2-sided SMT assembly.

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...

Fallen Rib

Dominoes posted:

Thank you. That makes sense - and you've reminded me about the standard through-hole pads on the back that'll be there for most designs. I think I misread the prev posts, which were about 2-sided SMT assembly.

Yeah, think about what double-sided assembly entails. That's gonna cost $$. Pads? Not gonna change the price appreciably, especially on a hobbyist-level production scale.

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



The shop I've been using doesn't even do 2 sided SMT.

And it seems like the trick to hand-soldering DIMM ports is stencil + paste + hot air.

Dominoes fucked around with this message at 01:12 on May 19, 2020

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

How old is old enough for the altium pcad deal?

ante
Apr 9, 2005

No... Not without incident.

https://i.imgur.com/p4ew3u6.mp4

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

I thought that was one of those "this is so hard i just fumble around and nothing happens !!! ugggh" black and white before commercials for a couple cycles.

Sagebrush
Feb 26, 2012





Gravy Boat 2k

I wonder how hot that iron is

sharkytm
Oct 9, 2003

Gimme Gimme Swedish Fish...

Fallen Rib

taqueso posted:

How old is old enough for the altium pcad deal?

I'm not 100% sure, what are you running? Looks like pre V13 needs addon packages downloaded, V14-19? do it natively, and 19+ is a little different but should work. It's a couple of .PCB and .SCH files, if that helps.

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

I've got a v15 install if you want to send me your files, the open dialog says it can load PCAD 19 ascii files.

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Got my first working circuit board. It's a small breakout board from a larger project that measures pH and temp. The extra wires soldered on are because I forgot an important one on the ADC, and seem to be having solder issues (Or a board issue I can't ID) with the ground pin on the temp sensor.

Let me know if you'd like to see the schematic or PCB layout. Have drivers made for C++/arduino, Python, and Rust. Tested on Pi, STM32, and arduino, that let you take readings, or calibrate.

Dominoes fucked around with this message at 02:13 on May 20, 2020

shovelbum
Oct 21, 2010



Fallen Rib

Insanely dumb question bc I can just look up the answer, but there's so many answers I figured I'd just see what you guys kept in the parts bin for motors. Like I have a bunch of those lovely 80 cent toy car gear motors, so what's the next step for just "stock" motors, everyone seems to use NEMA 17 motors in everything...

KnifeWrench
May 25, 2007

Practical and safe.



Bleak Gremlin

shovelbum posted:

Insanely dumb question bc I can just look up the answer, but there's so many answers I figured I'd just see what you guys kept in the parts bin for motors. Like I have a bunch of those lovely 80 cent toy car gear motors, so what's the next step for just "stock" motors, everyone seems to use NEMA 17 motors in everything...

The only answer to this for me has always been salvage. If you don't have something specific needs, then it's just going to be whatever motor was in that thing you were planning to throw away.

Also SciPlus is a great source whenever you're not feeling picky.

shovelbum
Oct 21, 2010



Fallen Rib

KnifeWrench posted:

The only answer to this for me has always been salvage. If you don't have something specific needs, then it's just going to be whatever motor was in that thing you were planning to throw away.

Also SciPlus is a great source whenever you're not feeling picky.

Good call on sciplus, the pandemic business has put a damper on scavenging

ante
Apr 9, 2005

No... Not without incident.

I have four large bins full of motors tbh. I love them, but I never seem to do anything with them.


A variety of DC motors, stepper motors, servomotors, BLDC motors, I got 'em all. All the way from little tiny camera lens steppers to an ebike-style hub motor.



I have a problem

Splode
Jun 18, 2013

~chill yourself~


ante posted:

I have four large bins full of motors tbh. I love them, but I never seem to do anything with them.


A variety of DC motors, stepper motors, servomotors, BLDC motors, I got 'em all. All the way from little tiny camera lens steppers to an ebike-style hub motor.



I have a problem

"Oh boy, look at all the free stepper motors I can salvage from this printer! What a steal"

Turns out having a bunch of randomly sized motors isn't as useful as I predicted!

Forseti
May 26, 2001
To the lovenasium!


For testing ideas I pretty much just use my drill or cordless screwdriver (a beefy Dewalt that can actually drive deck screws no problem, I love it)

Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


I have an industrial automation project for work I'm trying to complete but don't have the knowledge to actually execute it. Basically I'm trying to detect when a can that should normally be full is empty, and then use air to knock it off of a conveyor.

My idea is to use an inductive proximity sensor to detect the can and a photo eye to detect if there is or isn't liquid in the can. If the prox sensor detects a can and the photo eye doesn't detect liquid it would trigger a solenoid to open for x seconds to let air flow through and push the can off the conveyor. I would also need an adjustable timer so when the photo eye and prox are triggered x seconds later the relay for the solenoid would activate.

What are some good resources that would teach me how to actually build a project like this. I know most of the components I need and mostly understand how it would work but don't know for example how to power this, how to actually wire it, etc.

I've been taking some online classes through udemy about various industrial automation topics and it's been really helpful with troubleshooting and repairing our machines but I just have this big gap in knowledge whenever I want to build something from scratch. I feel like if somebody handed me a box with all the components for this project inside it I could probably build it, but I don''t know enough to be the one to choose those components.

Stack Machine
Mar 6, 2016

I can see through time!


Fun Shoe

Are you trying to detect whether the can is TOTALLY empty? Seems like you could set up a fan just strong enough to blow away the empty or nearly empty cans and leave the full ones undisturbed.

KnifeWrench
May 25, 2007

Practical and safe.



Bleak Gremlin

Josh Wow posted:

I feel like if somebody handed me a box with all the components for this project inside it I could probably build it, but I don''t know enough to be the one to choose those components.

Blank pages are usually the hardest :-/

Don't expect to go straight to the answer. Aim for a proof of concept for each component first, then work on integration (but don't underestimate the difficulty of integration):

-Detect a can
-Detect liquid (optical sensor seems an odd choice for this in a can, which implies opaque, BTW, unless I'm misunderstanding)
-Activate a jet of air with precise timing.

All of these steps can be done on their own, in any order, on the bench, with ugly wiring, controlled by a computer that's way too powerful. Hopefully the process will teach you some of the things you need to know about connecting them together and what kind of infrastructure you will actually need.

Think about the constraints you do have, i.e:

-What power is available at the factory?
-What is the source of the compressed air?
-Do any of these elements exist for other processes? (Interchangeable parts/shared ecosystem are always a plus)
-Do you need to log or communicate results somehow?
-How much can it cost? (You can potentially violate this for proof of concept, but you should be clear-eyed about the work you're making for yourself for production)

If you can anchor yourself with a starting point, you can work outwards from that.

Good luck!

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



edit: nvm

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Depending on the details that Knife alluded to, maybe you could use a external liquid level sensor that's connected to some type of servo that checks each can. Although you could probably find a less mechanical approach. Note that that specific one I linked specifies non-metallic container.

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Shame Boy
Mar 2, 2010

THE HORROR
THE HORROR





If the top is open you could just use an ultrasonic rangefinder, I think they make ones specifically for sensing liquid level. With this you could even tell if a can has been half-filled, though blowing a half-full can off a conveyor belt with air seems... messy.

I think modern systems just use a good camera, computer vision and a bright light to verify that something's empty so if you have infinity budget you might want to look into that, there's probably pre-rolled solutions specifically for doing that. Your photo-eye idea would probably work too I guess if the liquid isn't very transparent...

e: Actually depending on the liquid you could even just shine a laser or bright light into the can and use a sensor to detect how much is reflected, if it's a metal can I'd imagine the signal difference between "shiny metal" and "liquid" would be pretty significant. Are you allowed to say what liquid is going to be in the can or is that a ~trade secret~ or something?

Shame Boy fucked around with this message at 15:08 on May 21, 2020

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