The ground JUST DID NOT slip(p) under our feet…

[ Gerber 274x ] [ Excellon ]

Seems like everyone used to make their [ home-made PCBs ], with Cu, etching, and photographic solutions…

Anyway, today was a wonderful day. I visited Dr Anderson again (twice), and here are the updates:

  • Design ideas
    • Not sure if we should use a complex codec, a complex DSP, a complex codec with a simple DSP, or the fourth combination of these two entities.
    • On giving up already: BeagleBone doesn’t have audio support out of the box, but an [ audio cape ] IS AVAILABLE. It has a [ codec w/ HP amp ] sitting on it
      • So…we should just give up now, as this thing is already made and done and we can’t possibly out-complete with Ti when it comes to making boards?? Well.
        • Dr Anderson’s thoughts: we shouldn’t think that we’re up against Ti’s engineers when it comes to outperforming an audio shield.
        • Anyway, if we think about it, the entire BeagleBone black project is probably one (hobbyist) person / intern working on this, perhaps during free time, as
          • Big companies like Ti would probably not invest a lot of engineering resources on boards that sell thousands, when they can focus on chips that would sell millions
          • This intern could have pitched this idea and convinced the management to support
          • This intern / engineer spent about a year on this project, and did a good job because s/he knew how to do things
            • We are learning.
          • The design was open-sourced so that the developer community could take it to an all new level (without much expense to the corporates)
  • Codec SMT breakouts
    • Van Leer’s PCB milling support has been found!
      • What’s supported (digital CNC):
        • 2 layer PCBs, max. size around 10 in x 8 in
        • Vias
        • Vacuum (not sure what this is)
        • 4 mil spacing (not sure what this is)
        • No mask, no silkscreen
      • We’ll be taught how to put the solder paste on and bake the parts!
      • We would need to provide these files: [ Gerber 274x ] [ Excellon ]
        • Two formats to guarantee drill hits
      • Our design would be reviewed, and then milled over 2-5 days
        • Long queue likely – we could move to the Invention Studio once we have the process figured out
  • DSP
    • studying filtration, with a focus on adaptive filters
    • coding a DSP: we have borrowed Dr Anderson’s [ C5515 ezDSP board ]10947498_10153092511434254_1167557813_n
    • A [ BeagleBone Black ] has been ordered (hopefully coming soon!)
      • Interestingly, the Black seems to beat the more expensive BeagleBone is (all?) stats…
        • Comparison [ source ]
          BeagleBone Black BeagleBone BeagleBoard-xM BeagleBoard
          Processor AM3358
          ARM Cortex-A8
          AM3358
          ARM Cortex-A8
          DM3730
          ARM Cortex-A8
          OMAP3530
          ARM Cortex-A8
          Maximum Processor Speed 1GHz 720MHz 1GHz 720MHz
          Analog Pins 7 7 0 0
          Digital Pins 65 (3.3V) 65 (3.3V) 53 (1.8V) 24 (1.8V)
          Memory 512MB DDR3 (800MHz x 16), 2GB (4GB on Rev C) on-board storage using eMMC, microSD card slot 256MB DDR2 (400MHz x 16), microSD card slot 512MB LPDDR (333MHz x 32), microSD card slot 256MB LPDDR (333MHz x 32), SD card slot
          USB HS USB 2.0 Client Port, LS/FS/HS USB 2.0 Host Port HS USB 2.0 Client Port, LS/FS/HS USB 2.0 Host Port 4 Port LS/FS/HS USB Hub, HS USB 2.0 OTG Port USB HS Host Port, HS USB 2.0 OTG Port
          Video microHDMI, cape add-ons cape add-ons DVI-D (via HDMI connectors), S-Video DVI-D (via HDMI connectors), S-Video
          Audio microHDMI, cape add-ons cape add-ons 3.5mm stereo jack 3.5mm stereo jack
          Supported Interfaces 4x UART, 8x PWM, LCD, GPMC, MMC1, 2x SPI, 2x I2C, A/D Converter, 2xCAN Bus, 4 Timers 4x UART, 8x PWM, LCD, GPMC, MMC1, 2x SPI, 2x I2C, A/D Converter, 2xCAN Bus, 4 Timers,
          FTDI USB to Serial, JTAG via USB
          McBSP, DSS, I2C, UART, LCD, McSPI, PWM, JTAG, Camera Interface McBSP, DSS, I2C, UART, McSPI, PWM, JTAG
          Price $49 $89 $149 $125
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