Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lattice FPGA Development Kit and Development Tools Sale

Lattice Semiconductor is offering big discounts on ECP5 FPGA development boards and development tools while supplies last until March 31, 2017 UPDATE: promotion has been extended to June 30, 2017 while supplies last.

Items on sale for less than $100 US include the ECP5 Versa Development kit ($110 discount), the ECP5-5G Versa Development Kit ($150 discount), the Connectivity IP Suite ($896 discount), and the Lattice Diamond FPGA Design Software 12 month subscription ($796 discount).   The development kits include a free limited version of the Lattice Diamond Software so you can have a powerful ECP5 FPGA development kit with tools for only $89.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Upcycle it Design Challenge with Intel Edison

Element 14 is hosting the Upcycle it Design Challenge to upcycle an obsolete item using the Intel Edison Kit for Arduino.  The entry deadline is only a few days away, project proposals are due March 3, 2017, but you have until June 9th to complete the project.

Only 15 official challengers will be selected and will receive a free Challenger Kit from element14.  The top prizes include a Keithly digital multimeter, Dremmel Multitool kit and Weller soldering station.  First, second and third prizes will be given as well as a smaller prize for all other challengers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

IBM and Arrow Electronics Helping Indiegogo IoT Startups

IBM recently announced it will partner with Arrow Electronics and Indiegogo to help IoT startups.  IBM will give free access to Watson IoT platform and cloud service discounts.  Arrow has already been supporting some Indiegogo campaigns that have electronic components and meet certification criteria, This page lists many of the benefits of Arrow certification.  Indiegogo currently has 62 Arrow Certified Campaigns.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

TI Development Board Deals for Engineers Week 2016

This week the AM437x starter kit is only $99 ($149 off with coupon code EWKDEAL10).  It's engineers week and TI has 12 deals on it's best-selling products while supplies last.  There are deals on a few SensorTags, LaunchPads, BoosterPacks and EVMs.

The AM437x starter kit (TMDXSK437X) has a 4.3" capacitive touch screen LCD, on board camera module and connector for a Wilink8 evaluation board.  The Wilink8 bundle is also on sale for engineers week (coupon code EWKDEAL12), it supports WiFi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Low Energy and includes a Wilink8 EVN and an SDIO board to connect the wilink to hosts with generic SD/MMC card slots.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Digi-Key Helps Electronics Makers to Market with Maker.io

Maker.io is a new site for makers from Digi-Key Electronics.  The site was created to guide makers through the steps required to get an electronic device from concept to production.  The site has links to articles and tools for every phase of development.  It also hosts some projects that feature products sold by Digi-Key.  Maker.io is still in Beta and currently has only 18 projects, a few are by makers and the rest feature Adafruit and Sparkfun projects.  There is also a Maker.io YouTube channel and Maker.io twitter account.  There are over a dozen videos on the YouTube channel, see the Welcome to Maker.io video below for more information.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Free CADSTAR Schematic Design Software Offer

CADSTAR is offering a free license to its Schematic Design software.  This is a permanent node-locked to your MAC address.  You also receive CADSTAR Library Editor Software and a 68-page tutorial. This is a limited time offer and ends in March, 2016.  You can upgrade the free version to a dongle-based license if you pay for maintenance.  See this Zuken press release for more details on the offer and upgrades.  If you aren't familiar with CADSTAR by Zuken watch the video below.


If you are interested in maintenance or upgrades you will need to contact a CADSTAR reseller.  My local reseller is Algozen, they cover New York and Ontario Canada and they are great to work with - very knowledgeable and great support. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

World's Largest Arduino Maker Challenge

The World's Largest Arduino Maker Challenge is being hosted on  Hackster.io partnered with Adafruit, Arduino, Atmel, and Microsoft.

World's Largest Arduino Maker Challenge

There will be 1000 participants in the contest - selected based on project ideas in phase 1. Winners in phase 1 receive an Arduino MKR1000 (US only) and  Genuino (outside US).  In phase 2, three winners will be selected and win travel to a Maker Faire to present the project and a $500 gift certificate to Adafruit.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How to Avoid the DHCP delay if Ethernet is Disconnected in Debian Jessie

In Debian Jessie if the Ethernet port is not connected and the interface is set to automatically use dhcp at boot, the system will still wait for an IP address.  This adds about a minute to the boot time of a BeagleBone Black.  

Here is what you will see during the delay:
[   12.172221] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): eth0: link is not ready
[***   ] A start job is running for LSB: Raise network interf...26s / no limit)

To avoid the delay change the interfaces file to use something other than dhcp.  Here is a listing of the original file:
root@arm:~# cat /etc/network/interfaces
# interfaces(5) file used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
# Include files from /etc/network/interfaces.d:
source-directory /etc/network/interfaces.d

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

I just changed dhcp to manual, other options are auto and static.  Look at the man page for interfaces for more information on the other parameters.  

You can still connect Ethernet and use DHCP to get an IP address after the system boots with the dhclient command.

root@arm:~# dhclient eth0

I looked for the cause of this delay and found it mentioned in Debian Bug report logs - #754218

Am 01.12.2014 um 18:08 schrieb Christoph Anton Mitterer:
> On Mon, 2014-12-01 at 18:00 +0100, Michael Biebl wrote:
>> Very likely, yes. If you use DHCP, it can easily take a few seconds for
>> your network to be configured.
>> And now that /etc/init.d/networking both handles allow-hotplug and auto
>> interfaces and blocks for ifup to complete for those interfaces, the
>> delay during boot is kinda expected.
> So can we keep the other fix as it is? I mean this will just cause
> another stupid systemd-is-responsible-and-it-sucks hatred storm by
> people... :(

Not quite sure what you mean with "other fix"? Can you elaborate?

You can't eat a cake and have it too.
Either we wait blockingly (and wait actually means, well, delaying your
boot process and making it slower) for ifup to complete during boot as
workaround for broken software which doesn't deal with dynamic network
changes and requires $network, or we don't blockingly wait and cause
that other software to break.

For jessie we decided to take that boot delay hit in exchange for
supporting $network requiring software.

I believe a reasonable fix would be to detect that the port is not connected and skip or interrupt the wait for a DHCP response.  I admit I don’t know how much work that would be, or what else it would break.  Booting seems much faster with systemd otherwise.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

StarterWareFree for AM335X and BeagleBone Black

A public StarterWare Repository has been set up at SourceForge.net.  It is based on StarterWare 2.0 from Texas Instruments.   This purpose of this public repo is to update the sources with fixes faster than TI is able to do.  The current version already has fixes from the TI forums.  Some other changes are a BeagleBone Black patch, LwIP and FAT filesystem improvements, MMC and better PRU support.

If you aren't familiar with starterware here is the description from the TI page:
"StarterWare is a free software development package that provides no-OS platform support for ARM and DSP TI processors. StarterWare includes Device Abstraction Layer (DAL) libraries and example applications that demonstrate the capabilities of the peripherals on the TI processors. StarterWare also provides pre-built binaries for quick evaluation on the target."