Bandwidth upgrade for Agilent DSO-X 3014A

A few weeks ago I ordered a bandwidth upgrade (DSOX3BW24) to 200 MHz for my Agilent DSO-X 3014A oscilloscope. As this is a software upgrade the hardware must be already have a bandwidth of at least 200 MHz which is limited in software. The only new hardware which is provided through the upgrade are four new N2863B probes which provide a bandwidth of up to 300 MHz instead of the N2862B which were supplied with my oscilloscope providing up to 150 MHz of bandwidth. Continue reading

U-Boot on BeagleBone Black

Understanding the boot up mechanism of the BeagleBone Black is important to be able to modify it. As we later want to change the Linux Kernel itself we need to know how it is started by the BeagleBone.

The AM335x processor on the BeagleBone Black has many configurable options where it can boot from which are all documented in Chapter 26 of the AM335x ARM® Cortex™-A8 Microprocessors Technical Reference Manual. The BeagleBone Black provides by alternative boot sequences which are selectable by the boot switch (S2). Continue reading

BeagleBone Black

For my recent electronics projects I wanted something more powerful than the usual Atmel megaAVR or AVR XMEGA microcontrollers I used in the past. The obvious step upwards in performance is some embedded system running Linux. A few years ago I played a little bit with an ALIX.3D3 embedded board, but nowadays most people would start with a Raspberry Pi and I also used to have an early model of those as well. Even though the Raspberry Pi seems to be everywhere there is a better alternative in my view: The BeagleBone Black. The most obvious advantage of the the Raspberry Pi (even compared to the Model B) is the much high flexibility concerning I/O. Most important it provides with its general-purpose memory controller (GPMC) a high-bandwidth parallel memory interface which is ideal for a fast interconnection e.g. with FPGAs.
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Maker Faire Hannover 2014

Es ist kaum zu glauben, aber schon wieder ist (fast) ein Jahr vorbei! Die Maker Faire Hannover findet dieses Jahr zum zweiten Mal statt und nachdem ich letztes Jahr den Besuch sehr genossen habe war es keine Frage dieses Jahr wieder vorbei zuschauen. Im Gegensatz zum Vorjahr findet die Maker Faire dieses Jahr sogar an zwei Tagen statt und der Andrang am Samstag früh lässt schon darauf schließen das es wieder ein voller Erfolg wird.

Beim Rundgang durch die diesmal zwei Hallen gab es einige Projekte und Maker aus dem letzten Jahr wieder zu sehen, aber auch viel neues. Die Organisatoren habe auch etwas dazu gelernt und so fühlen sich die Hallen nicht mehr ganz so gedrängelt und stickig an wie beim letzten Mal, wobei die Temperatur ruhig noch tiefer sein dürfte. :) Die Anzahl der 3D Drucker Stände hat im Vergleich zum letzten Jahr etwas abgenommen und ist meinem subjektiven Eindruck etwas den Arduino Projekten gewichen.

Im Außenbereich gab es diesmal deutlich mehr Essens- und Getränkestände, so dass hier eine optimale Versorgung gegeben war. Das Highlight des letzten Jahres, die Schrottroboter von Kolja Kugler, wurden dieses Jahr durch den Drachen Elsie und ein fahrbares Pferd des britischen Künstlers Paka vertreten, welche genauso beeindrucken konnten.
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HP 300s+ Scientific Calculator - Short Review

HP 300s+

HP 300s+

A few weeks ago I was searching for a new calculator which could do hexadecimal conversions as I often need them while programming and I find it more convenient to have a dedicated calculator on my desk instead of using a software calculator on the PC. In school I had a TI-36X solar from Texas Instruments, which could do this easily and now I wanted to have an additional calculator with similar features.

While searching for alternatives I found the HP 300s+ Scientific Calculator. We also used to have several calculators from HP which I also very liked. It looked like a decent entry-level calculator which is advertised with a "Perform decimal and hexadecimal conversions." feature. For 15€ including shipping directly from HP it looked like a bargain. It was delivered very quickly by UPS. Continue reading