Category Archives: General

PC boards for RC2017/10 are here!

My PC boards from PCBWay have arrived and look great! Time to get soldering.

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Elf switches and video

I did test the switches wired to my RetroChallenge project solderless breadboard last night, and they work fine. Today I worked on the monochrome NTSC composite video output. First I got the video counters working, and generated a frame with … Continue reading

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Second breadboard prototype

Since my PCBs aren’t likely to be here before Tuesday evening, and I’ve abandoned the 5×7 matrix LEDs, I’ve had to throw together a second hardware prototype using the HP 5082-7340 hexadecimal LED displays. In this photo, it is running … Continue reading

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Schematic and PCB layout finished, boards ordered

Late last night I finished the schematic and PCB layout, and ordered boards. As soon as I woke up this morning I realized that I forgot to deal with the 5V CMOS output of the TIA-232-F receiver feeding the non-5V-tolerant … Continue reading

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FPGA-Elf display drivers and multiplexing

For my previous FPGA-Elf, I used actual hexadecimal displays as per the Popular Electronics construction article. The only hexadecimal LED displays still made are from Broadcom/Avago, don’t have the integral red filter, and cost around $40 each. Used or NOS … Continue reading

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Vector generator partially calibrated

I added a 10 microsecond delay after loading the DAC, and adjusted R108. Now the ramps endpoints are full scale, and the positive and negative ramps are reasonably symmetric.

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Obtaining 1/8″ aluminum

Many people recommended ALRECO in Henderson, Colorado (near Brighton) as a source for aluminum.  I haven’t been there, but I’m sure they would have been able to satisfy my needs.  However, before I found out about them, I discovered that … Continue reading

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Useless error dialog

I was typing in a browser window, when all of a sudden this dialog popped up: I don’t even know what software was trying to start; I don’t think it was related to the browser. I clicked on the Details … Continue reading

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The Speechless Animal

In the twilight of a beautiful day, when fancy seized upon my mind, I passed by the edge of the city and tarried before the wreck of an abandoned house of which only rubble was left.  In the rubble I … Continue reading

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Finding specialty screws

I need some #2 PLASTITE® 45 or PLASTITE 48-2 thread-forming screws, and had some difficulty finding a source for them in quantities less than 10,000. I really don’t want to invest $700 in screws. I inquired on a mailing list, … Continue reading

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