I have started working fulltime in my company so there have not been much time to work on my own projects.
But, here is the new Almtracker 4 project:
- DRA818 VHF module with 0,5W or 1,0W output power
- USB port for SW update and configuration
- External 3.3V UART or GPIO:s
- UBLOX GPS
- OLED display
- 50mm x 55mm PCB size
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It got a little bit wider. I think it is looks better if it is a little bit wider than the BeagleBone Black and thinner rather than the same size and thicker.
New HW features:
- It will be using the BeagleBone Black (BBB) instead of the old white one (BBW).
- Added ADC to measure RSSI-level.
- Added some more termination restors
- Added GPIO connector (good for debugging)
There are 3 modules under development. Alm3GPS, Alm3Audio and Alm3TNC. These applications uses network sockets to communicate.
- Alm3GPS takes data from the GPS uart end exports it to a socket
- Alm3Audio is a uart to socket server for audio data stream.
- Alm3TNC is a APRS terminal controller running KISS mode only at this time. Uses Alm3Audio to receive and transmit.
My idea is that is shall be possible to tap in to the communication between the different programs and use the data in other applications. Therefor network sockets are used to communicate between the modules.
First example is a windows C# application that can be used to listen to the received audio.
aprx program (http://wiki.ham.fi/Aprx.en) is used as a APRS igate and interfaces with the Alm3Audio via a network socket.
The last version is working as expected but I just want to use one board. Not two (CPLD Cape + Almtracker3). I also want to be able to use it standalone, without the need for the BeagleBone. Therefore I decided to add a FPGA to the Almtracker3 board. It its possible to add a microblaze processor in the FPGA and run the board standalone. There will be less functionality but it will definitely be less expensive. I also added i PMOD port for extra hardware. It can be used for example if you want to use a existing GPS or connect a display.
The new PCB has been sent of with DHL so it will arrive some time next week.
I have just sent the RF Cape files to production. Hopefully the PCB:s will arrive in 2 weeks time for testing.
I just added the CPLD cape to the BeagleBone Cape Plug-in Board Design Contest.
Contest link: http://beagleboard.org/capecontest
Entries link: http://beagleboard.org/CapeContest/entries
At last I got the first produced boards to test and everything seams to function as intended. For testing I’m using the I2CServo controller and more test SW are underdevelopment. If you are interested I have a few to spare. Mail me
I have just built and tested the first Rev A of the CPLD cape and it works as expected I will shortly add more information about the board. The first serial production is under way and will hopefully have the first five samples in a month or so.
Soldering the prototype without proper equipment was not so easy…
I just got a e-mail confirming that my “CoolRunner-II CPLD” cape PCB has been produced and should arrive here in a few days.
Just created my new site page.
Let’s se what will be in store for this site.