Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

mikroElektronika ARM development tools

Recently mikroElektronika has been so kind to send us a couple of samples of their latest ARM development tool series.

The latest mikroElektronika ARM development tool series

mikroElektronika is known for their broad range of development boards especially in the PIC series where the most common board is their EasyPIC board. Now they have done it again and come up with a new product line – the ARM series.
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Review: IEMP v1.0 – Simple Arduino DDS Signal Generator

September 11th, 2011 No comments

Name: IEMP v1.0 – Simple Arduino DDS Signal Generator
Distributor: ITead Studio
Price: $59

Evaluation Type: Development Tool
Application you used the part in: Signal generation
Was everything in the box required?: No, but Yes if you want to customize
What were the biggest problems encountered?: The power supply on the board gets really hot when used

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The story about the uniJTAG

After a couple of weeks designing, and deciding how the layout should, we ordered a couple of PCBs to test.
This friday we recieved the PCBs and soldered the first prototype. The soldering went fine, except a minor mistake with the packaging of the ordered Atmel EEProm. After bending some of the EEProm leads, everything was soldered and we were ready to test.

When we connected the uniJTAG the first time, it enumerated, and 4 devices was identified – two serial ports, and two USB Serial Converters.
With the FT_Prog tool from FTDI we changed the settings stored in the EEProm to 1 JTAG device (245 FIFO+MPSSE) and 1 Serial device (232 UART).
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uniJTAG – The Universal JTAG Programmer

We have been looking for an inexpensive Universal JTAG Programmer for while, but we haven’t been able to find one! Instead we decided to make our own, inexpensive, FT2232 based JTAG programmer – the uniJTAG!


The uniJTAG is a 5 by 5 cm board, with a USB port at one side, and JTAG and IO headers at another.

The JTAG port supports a wide range of voltages, as it is connected to a couple of voltage translators (74LVC2T45). This makes the uniJTAG even more universal, as you can use it together with any JTAG’able device, running at 1.2V to 5.5V.

The IO header can be used as 8 single controllable IO’s, or it can be used as a full standard UART port. With a jumper you can chose whether the IO’s should be at a 5V level, or a 3.3V level.

The board has also an onboard EEProm for storing the FT2232 configurations, so the uniJTAG is a plug and play solution, and it automatically enumerates as a JTAG and a Serial device.
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Getting started soldering SMD components

November 16th, 2010 1 comment

In this post I’m going to give some Soldering hints for soldering SMD components, and which tools you need to get started


Temperature-controlled soldering station

Velleman Soldering Station (VTSSC40N)

You need a good iron for soldering SMD components, especially when using small/thin tips. I’ve chosen to get a temperature-controlled soldering station because this will help keeping the tip-temperature constant, whatever tip size I’m using.

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