paltronix.com

Welcome to Paltronix: Embedded Development Products

Navigation Menu

We sell the best embedded products for your development needs

How to Begin Building Your Own Computer

Posted by in Development Boards, Development Tips, Guides

We decided to write a separate post on how to build your own computer. As this is an embedded development website, including as much information about all fields of computing is important. We at Paltronix hope you find this piece informative and come visit us at our local shop to purchase development products!


To begin building your own computer, you will need to gather the right components. There are build guides available online which offer component lists for a variety of “build your own” computers. We recommend choosing a build guide, such as this popular list to find a gaming PC under $500. and then shopping around online (or in your own community) in order to gather high-quality components for great prices. Once you have your supplies, you’ll be ready to get the job done!

We recommend clearing a flat surface, such as a larger desk or kitchen table, which gives you ample room for boxes and parts. Before you unbox your components, you should should be aware of one risk. It’s static electricity. There is a way to avoid the risk, and this is purchasing a wristband which is anti-static. When you wear it, you’ll be grounded at all times. We think that everyone who builds their own computers should invest in these wristbands.

Also, you should choose footwear that has rubber soles. Another tip on avoiding static electricity is to work on your computer build in a room that has non-carpet flooring. Rugs stir up a lot of static electricity. When you do open boxes that contain your components, you’ll notice that most of them come in bags with anti-static properties. Keep them in these bags until you need them.

Open Your Case First


Getting the case ready is probably the simplest part of building a new computer. Put the case on your flat surface and take away its side panel. This panel’s removal will allow you to get into the case. Usually, the panel is located on the left-hand side. In addition, you should take away things that are hanging inside of the case. If something is affixed to the case, on the inside, move it out of the way.

Now, you’ll need to put your power supply into the case. It’s known as PSU for short. This component is usually situated on the back of a case, in an uppermost corner or on the bottom. You should see a slot with a square shape. This is the slot for the power supply. The slot will feature screw holes on two or more corners and the power supply unit will rest inside of it, with its female socket and switch facing in an outward direction. If you need more help, look at the manual which came with your case. It should show you exactly where the PSU needs to go.

After you take care of this, it will be time to install the computer’s processor. This is a more complex operation. However, plenty of people do it themselves and you can, too. Be sure to read lots of tips on installing a computer processor before you begin. This guide by Super Micro should help. When you educate yourself, you’ll have more confidence. You’ll know exactly what to do and what not to do!

Start Building a Computer Today

The Internet makes it so easy to find great components for fair prices. Also, it’s loaded with instructions on which components to buy and how to build a computer, step by careful step. So, why not start building a computer today?

Read More

LV24-33A Development Board

Posted by in Development Boards, dsPIC/PIC24 Development Boards

Ordering Information

Order Code: LV24-33A
Manufacturer: MikroElektronika
Availability:
Price: £99.00

Please note that the 16×2 character LCD, 128×64 graphic LCD, touch-screen overlay, DS1820 temperature sensor and SD card are not included with the LV24-33A development board and must be ordered separately – please see below for LV24-33A options.

Overview

The LV24-33A is MikroElektronika’s development board for 64, 80 and 100-pin digital signal controllers in Microchip’s dsPIC33F family and PIC24F/24H 16-bit microcontrollers. The LV24-33A includes a high-speed USB programmer and in-circuit debugger plus many useful built-in I/O features.

The LV24-33A is supplied with a removable PIC24FJ96GA010 MCU board and provides everything you need to start developing for, experimenting with or learning about this microcontroller. Additional MCU boards may be ordered separately for both the PIC24FJ96GA010 and dsPIC33FJ128GP710 as can empty MCU boards for users wanting to add their own 64, 80 or 100-pin 16-bit PICs and dsPICs where surface mount soldering facilities are available.

By including the programmer, in-circuit debugger, PIC MCU board and useful I/O devices on one board, the LV24-33A will save you having to waste time trying to set up individual programmers, debuggers, prototyping boards and I/O devices. Use of one of MikroElektronika’s dsPIC/PIC24 compilers with their included library routines and example programs also makes developing faster and avoids the need to struggle with hardware and software from different manufacturers.

The LV24-33A’s low cost, ease of use, reliability and wealth of built-in features also make it an excellent platform for the teaching of digital signal controllers in colleges and universities.

Features

  • On-board high-speed USB 2.0 programmer.
  • On-board in-circuit-debugger (when used in conjunction with mikroC, mikroBASIC or mikroPascal dsPIC/PIC24 compilers).
  • Accepts plug-on MCU modules (100-pin PIC24FJ96GA010 included).
  • 85 LEDs show status of the dsPIC’s I/O lines.
  • 85 pushbutton switches to simulate digital inputs.
  • Two analogue potentiometers for simulating analogue inputs.
  • Character LCD interface (16×2 character LCD available as option).
  • Graphic LCD interface (128×64 graphic LCD available as option).
  • Touch-screen controller (touch-screen overlay for graphic LCD available as option).
  • Socket for DS1820 temperature sensor (DS1820 available as option).
  • Two RS-232 ports with DB9 connectors.
  • MMC/SD card slot.
  • ICD2 connector.
  • All I/O lines are available for easy off-board expansion.
  • Pull-up or pull-down port defining.
  • Power supply can be by USB or optional AC/DC power adapter.
  • Large range of optional interface boards available.

Using the LV24-33A

The LV24-33A is incredibly easy to set up and use. On first connecting it to the USB port of your PC using the lead provided, Windows will prompt you to install a driver from the supplied CD-ROM. The PIC24FJ96GA010 that comes fitted to the LV24-33A is pre-programmed with a demonstration program that runs immediately. You can then install the LVPICFlash programming software, also on the CD-ROM, and reprogram the dsPIC with any of the included pre-compiled example programs to try out the board’s I/O features and get a taste of the sort of projects that you can develop.

To write your own programs, you can use the assembler in Microchip’s freely available MPLAB software or any make of dsPIC assembler or compiler that generate HEX files. However use of MikroElektronika’s mikroBASIC, mikroC and mikroPascal dsPIC/PIC24 compilers is recommended as these come with library routines that support all the LV24-33A’s built-in I/O devices and MikroElektronika’s optional interface boards, as well as allowing for use of the LV24-33A’s MikroICD in-circuit debugger. Demonstration versions of these three compilers are included, which enable you to write programs up to 2K in size, or you can save money on the individual prices and buy one of our starter packs that also include full versions of the compilers.

Your programs can make full use of the LV24-33A’s I/O devices and any that are not required can be disabled by way of clearly labelled jumpers and DIP switches. MikroElektronika’s range of optional interface boards can be fitted to the LV24-33A and it is also straightforward to connect your own circuits as all of the PIC/dsPIC’s I/O lines are available on eleven 10-way IDC headers.

Specifications

Supported PICs/dsPICs

The following list gives the PICs and dsPICs currently supported by the LV24-33A in numerical order.PIC24F Family
PIC24FJ96GA010

dsPIC33F Family
dsPIC33FJ128GP710

Package Contents

  • LV24-33A development board with 100-pin PIC24FJ96GA010 microcontroller and 10MHz crystal.
  • USB programming/power cable.
  • RS-232 serial communications cable.
  • Printed user manuals.
  • CD-ROM containing LVPICFlash programming software and drivers.
Read More

RoboBox 3.0 Robot Kit

Posted by in Beginner, Robot Kits

Ordering Information

Order Code: ROBOBOX3
Manufacturer: Inex
Availability: In Stock
Price: £89.00

Overview

ROBOBOX 3.0 (from Robobox.io) is an intelligent robot kit that is ideal for beginners and suitable for everyone who wants to learn about robotics. A compact programmable microcontroller board acts to control the workings of the robot and users use the friendly LOGO language in either text or graphical icons making it ideal for those with no previous programming experience.

Features

  • Quick and easy to assemble – no soldering required.
  • Programmed using easy-to-use LOGO language – ideal for robot beginners, those with no programming experience and use in schools and colleges.
  • Complete packages including everything required to build and operate five different robot projects.
  • Experiments cover simple wheel and track-based robots, light-following and line-tracing techniques plus use in sumo and fire-fighting competitions.
  • Supplied with detailed and easy-to-follow documentation covering robot assembly and programming.
  • Wide range of optional interface boards and sensors available.

Five Robot Projects

1 – COMPACT-BOT – a simple wheeled robot that detects collisions using touch sensors.
2 – LIGHT-BOT – a wheeled robot that detects and follows a light source.
3 – PICOTANK-BOT – a track-based robot that follows a line.
4 – SUMOTANK-BOT – a track-based robot for sumo competitions.
5 – SUMOPACT-BOT – a wheel-based robot for sumo competitions.

i-BOX 3.0 Robot Controller Module Specifications

The “brains” of the RoboBox 3.0 is the i-BOX 3.0 microcontroller board, which features:

  • 16KB memory.
  • Four DC motor outputs.
  • Four digital inputs.
  • Two digital outputs.
  • Four 10-bit analogue input channels.
  • E-bus port.
  • Piezo speaker.
  • Download programs via RS-232 serial port or USB (using included USB to RS-232 adapter).
  • Powered from four AA batteries (not included, 1700mAH or higher rechargeable batteries recommended).

Package Contents

  • 1 x i-BOX 3.0 controller board.
  • 2 x ZX-01 touch sensor.
  • 2 x ZX-02 Cds light sensor.
  • 2 x ZX-03 infrared reflective sensor.
  • 1 x GP2D120 infrared distance sensor.
  • 1 x aluminium baseplate.
  • 1 x tracks and wheels set.
  • 1 x screws and fixings pack.
  • 1 x plastic joiners set.
  • 2 x DC motor with 48:1 gearbox.
  • 2 x DC motor with 120:1 gearbox.
  • 4 x motor mounting.
  • 1 x CX-4 RS-232 serial cable.
  • 1 x USB-serial converter.
Read More

LAP-16032U Logic Analyser

Posted by in 16-Channel Logic Analysers, Logic Analysers

Ordering Information

Order Code: LAP-16032U
Manufacturer: Zeroplus
Price: £99.00

Features

  • 16 logic analyser channels.
  • Sampling rates up to 100MHz.
  • 64Kbits per channel memory depth (through the use of compression this can be increased to a maximum of 16Mbits).
  • I2C, SPI, UART and 7-segment display protocol decoding as standard.
  • Two free protocol decoding options of your choice from those listed below. After ordering, just telephone or email us with your choices.
  • Extensive range of further protocol decoding options available. Allow for your two free protocol decoding options and then order any that are also required, either with your logic analyser or at a later date.
  • Powered from PC’s USB port.
  • Lightweight, compact and extremely portable.
  • Supplied with USB cable, test leads and sprung-loaded test clips.

Overview

Not long ago a logic analyser represented a considerable investment for most electronics companies and their cost put them beyond the reach of hobbyists. Even with the advent of PC-based logic analysers, they could still cost upwards of several hundred pounds. Now all this changes with this high-quality 16-channel 100MHz logic analyser priced at under £100.

The LAP-16032U is an incredibly easy to set up and use 16-channel logic analyser. Extremely compact and lightweight, the LAP-16032U connects to and is powered by the USB port of any desktop or laptop PC making it very portable and ideal for use in the field. The LAP-16032U provides sampling rates up to 100MHz and 32Kbits memory depth per channel. Furthermore Zeroplus’s patented compression techniques allow up to 8Mbits memory depth per channel. Additional features include I2C, SPI, UART and 7-segment display protocol decoding and output connections allowing synchronisation with other test equipment such as.

Specifications

Sampling Rates
Internal clock (timing mode): 100Hz – 100MHz
External clock (state mode): 100MHz

Threshold Voltages
Working range: -6 ~ +6V
Accuracy: ±0.1V
Maximum input voltage: ±30V
Impedance: 500kΩ/10pF

Memory
Total memory: 1Mbits
Depth per channel: 32Kbits (up to 8Mbits with compression)

Trigger
Condition: pattern/edge
Trigger channel: 16 channels
Pre/post trigger: yes
Trigger level: 1 level
Trigger count: 1 ~ 65535

Software Functions
Time base range: 5ps ~ 10Ms
Vertical sizing: 1 ~ 5.5
Enable delay: yes
Data compression: 16Mbits maximum
Width display: yes
Maximum trigger page: 128 ~ 8192 pages
Trigger delay: yes
Infinite increase spacer bar: yes
Automatic zoom in of spacer bar: yes
Automatic software upgrade: yes
Data range selectable: yes
Statistics: yes
Bus inquiry and counter: yes
Enable bar: yes
Bus analyser module plug-in: yes
Bus package list: yes

Power Supply
Power: from USB
Power at rest: 1W
Power at work: 2W

Protocol Decoding Options for LAP-16032U

Enhance your LAP-16032U by adding additional protocol decoding options. Any of those listed below can be bought separately to complement the I2C, SPI, UART and 7-segment display decoding features provided as standard. These comprise software and upgrade codes and so may be ordered whenever required and not just when ordering a logic analyser. Don’t forget that you can request any two of these free of charge with your LAP-16032U.

See also:

A low-cost 16-channel logic analyser with sampling rates up to 200MHz, 128Kbits memory per channel and in-built I2C, SPI and UART serial bus protocol decoding.
Read More