The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

July 21, 2013

Exploiting the FPGA in the Pano Logic Zero Client

Filed under: digital logic,Electronics,Pano Logic — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:58 pm

I’ve managed to find some useful I/O and program the FPGA on my new (to me) Pano Logic Zero Clients. Below are the steps you could take to start working on these cheap but large FPGAs. I assume that you are facile with Xilinx ISE and have a jtag cable which works with either impact or adept2.
cheap FPGAs Woohoo

July 20, 2013

In Search of FPGAs or Pano Logic Generation 1 Teardown

Filed under: digital logic,Electronics,Pano Logic — Cranky Sysadmin @ 7:44 pm

In my general search for fpga’s and devices I might use for SDR projects, I came across a hackaday article on the topic. The comments on the topic are promising, so I went ahead and started looking for a Pano Logic Zero Client. I didn’t just find one. I found ten for $50 on ebay! These are the generation 1 version. It turns out that this is probably a better choice for me anyway. The generation 2 has an enormous Spartan-6 LX150 which is nice, but ISE webpack isn’t licensed to program it. The gen 1 has a Spartan 3E XC3S1600E. This is still a large (by my standards) fpga and the webpack license will program it fine. See below the fold for a teardown and some details.
The Fold

July 13, 2013

DSP Resources

Filed under: Electronics,ham radio — Cranky Sysadmin @ 9:59 am

I’m learning DSP basically from the ground up without an advanced math background. My goal is to gain a deep understanding of digital signal processing (I’ll define deep when I’m tired of learning). Below are some of the resources that I’m using to get started. As I find more resources, I’ll add them here.

  1. Analog Devices DSP Primer. A very brief 10,000 foot overview.
  2. FFT for dummies. This page doesn’t actually get into the details of Fast Fourier Transform, but it does describe sampling methods and how to interpret the output of FFT programs.
  3. The DSP chapter in a recent ARRL Handbook. Chapter 15 in the 2013 edition. This has an overview and PIC based examples of the pieces of a software defined radio.
  4. Signal Processing for Communications. I have only started reading this free online resource. It is the textbook for the Coursera DSP course. It’s available for free Download.
  5. The Scientists’ and Engineers’ guide to Digital Signal Processing. I haven’t started reading this yet. It’s available for free download or hardcover purchase.
  6. Calculus Made Easy. I have a newer edition with more chapters. If I want a deep understanding of DSP, I am probably going to need to learn Calculus.
  7. Experimental Methods in RF Design chapters 10 and 11 (revised 1st edition). Looks like lots of practical stuff here. They use an ez-kit lite adsp-2181 which I’m having a hard time finding.

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