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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?

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Serial 128×64 GLCD Adapter

Posted by in Display and User Input Interface Add-ons, Interface Add-ons

Ordering Information

Order Code: GLCD128X64SER
Manufacturer: MikroElektronika
Price: £7.95

Connect your 128×64 graphic LCD easily and save MCU pins with this high quality serial graphic LCD adapter. The board is based on a Microchip MCP23S17 16-bit I/O expander with SPI serial interface and also features adjustable contrast. Suitable for use with MikroElektronika’s PIC development and prototyping boards.

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NEW Easy8051B + mikroC

Posted by in 8051 Starter Packs, Starter Packs

Ordering Information

Order Code: E8051BC
Manufacturer: MikroElektronika
Availability: In Stock
Price: £229.00

Starter pack includes Easy8051B development board, 16×2 character LCD, 128×64 graphic LCD, DS1820 temperature sensor and full version of mikroC 8051 compiler.

Overview

The Easy8051B C Starter Pack is a great-value 8051 development package that contains everything you need to start developing with and learning about these popular microcontrollers using the C programming language.

The pack comprises the Easy8051B development board with its on-board USB programmer and a full version of the easy-to-use mikroC 8051 compiler. Also included are blue backlit 16×2 character and 128×64 graphic LCDs and DS1820 temperature sensor, all of which simply plug on to the Easy8051B board.

Features

  • Easy8051B development board with high-speed USB 2.0 8051 programmer.
  • Support for 14, 16, 20, 28 and 40-pin DIP-packaged and 32 and 44-pin PLCC-packaged 8051s (40-pin AT89S8253 included).
  • Built-in I/O devices including 38 LEDs, 38 pushbutton switches, four multiplexed seven-segment displays, 4-channel 12-bit A/D converter, 12-bit D/A converter and RS-232 port.
  • 16×2 character LCD.
  • 128×64 graphic LCD.
  • DS1820 temperature sensor.
  • Large range of optional interface boards available.
  • mikroC 8051 compiler with easy-to-use integrated development environment (IDE), user-friendly text editor, simulator, and compatibility with the Easy8051B’s programmer.

Package Contents

  • Easy8051B development board with 40-pin AT89S8253 microcontroller and 8MHz crystal.
  • USB programming/power cable.
  • RS-232 serial communications cable.
  • Blue backlit 16×2 character LCD.
  • Blue backlit 128×64 graphic LCD.
  • DS1820 temperature sensor.
  • Printed user manuals.
  • CD-ROM containing 8051prog programming software and drivers.
  • Full version of mikroC 8051 compiler.

See Also:

Easy8051B BASIC Starter Pack


Easy8051B Additional Microcontrollers & Adapter Boards

AT89S2051 20-pin MCU
The AT89S2051 features 2K byte Flash program memory, 256 byte RAM, up to 15 digital I/O lines and on-chip UART, analogue comparator, two 16-bit counter/timers and 8-bit PWM channel. Up to 24MHz. 2.7 – 5V operation. 20-pin PDIP package.
Order Code: AT89S2051
Manufacturer: Atmel
Availability: In Stock
Price: £4.99
AT89S4051 20-pin MCU
The AT89S4051 features 4K byte Flash program memory, 256 byte RAM, up to 15 digital I/O lines and on-chip UART, analogue comparator, two 16-bit counter/timers and 8-bit PWM channel. Up to 24MHz. 2.7 – 5V operation. 20-pin PDIP package.
Order Code: AT89S4051
Manufacturer: Atmel
Availability: In Stock
Price: £11.99
AT89S8253 40-pin MCU
The AT89S8253 features 12K byte Flash program memory, 256 byte RAM, 2K byte EEPROM, up to 32 digital I/O lines and on-chip UART, SPI serial interface and three 16-bit counter/timers. Up to 24MHz. 2.7 – 5V operation. 40-pin PDIP package.
Order Code: AT89S8253
Manufacturer: Atmel
Availability: In Stock
Price: £19.99
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LAP-321000U-A Logic Analyser

Posted by in 32-Channel Logic Analysers, Logic Analysers

Ordering Information

Order Code: LAP-321000U-A
Manufacturer: ZeroPlus
Availability: In stock
Price: £799.00

Overview

The LAP-321000U-A is an advanced 32-channel logic analyser. Extremely compact and lightweight, the LAP-321000U-A 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-321000U-A provides sampling rates up to 200MHz and 1Mbits memory depth per channel. Furthermore ZeroPlus’s patented compression techniques allow up to 255Mbits memory depth per channel. Additional features include advanced protocol decoding for 1-wire, CAN, HDQ, I2C, LIN, Manchester, Microwire, Miler, PS/2, SPI, SSI, UART, USB1.1 and 7-segment displays as well as output connections allowing synchronisation with other test equipment such as oscilloscopes.

Features

  • 32 logic analyser channels.
  • Sampling rates up to 200MHz.
  • 1-wire, CAN, HDQ, I2C, LIN, PS/2, SPI, SSI, Manchester, Microwire, Miler, UART, USB1.1 and 7-segment display serial bus protocol decoding as standard.
  • 1Mbits per channel memory depth (through the use of compression this can be increased to a maximum of 255Mbits).
  • Powered from PC’s USB port.
  • Lightweight, compact and extremely portable.

Specifications

Sampling Rates
Internal clock (timing mode): 100Hz – 200MHz
External clock (state mode): 100MHz

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

Memory
Total memory: 32Mbits
Depth per channel: 1Mbits (up to 255Mbits 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: 32Mbits 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

See also:

A great value 32-channel logic analyser with sampling rates up to 200MHz, 64Kbits memory per channel and in-built 1-wire, I2C, Manchester, Microwire, Miler, SSI, SPI and UART serial bus protocol decoding.
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LAP-32128U-A Logic Analyser

Posted by in 32-Channel Logic Analysers, Logic Analysers

Ordering Information

Order Code: LAP-32128U-A
Manufacturer: ZeroPlus
Availability: In stock
Price: £499.00

Overview

The LAP-32128U-A is an incredibly easy to set up and use 32-channel logic analyser. Extremely compact and lightweight, the LAP-32128U-A 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-32128U-A provides sampling rates up to 200MHz and 128Kbits memory depth per channel. Furthermore ZeroPlus’s patented compression techniques allow up to 32Mbits memory depth per channel. Additional features include advanced protocol decoding for 1-wire, I2C, Manchester, Microwire, Miler, SPI, SSI, UART and 7-segment displays as well as output connections allowing synchronisation with other test equipment such as oscilloscopes.

Features

  • 32 logic analyser channels.
  • Sampling rates up to 200MHz.
  • 1-wire, I2C, Manchester, Microwire, Miler, SSI, SPI, UART and 7-segment display protocol decoding as standard.
  • Further protocol decoding options available including USB1.1, PS/2, CAN and LIN.
  • 128Kbits per channel memory depth (through the use of compression this can be increased to a maximum of 32Mbits).
  • Powered from PC’s USB port.
  • Lightweight, compact and extremely portable.

Specifications

Sampling Rates
Internal clock (timing mode): 100Hz – 200MHz
External clock (state mode): 100MHz

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

Memory
Total memory: 4Mbits
Depth per channel: 128Kbits (up to 32Mbits 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: 32Mbits 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

See also:

A great value 32-channel logic analyser with sampling rates up to 200MHz, 64Kbits memory per channel and in-built 1-wire, I2C, Manchester, Microwire, Miler, SSI, SPI and UART serial bus protocol decoding.

 

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BIGPIC5 Pascal

Posted by in PIC Starter Packs, Starter Packs

Ordering Information

Order Code: BP5PASCAL
Manufacturer: MikroElektronika
Availability: In Stock
Price: £209.00

Starter pack includes BIGPIC5 development board, 16×2 character LCD, 128×64 graphic LCD, touch-screen overlay, DS1820 temperature sensor and full version of mikroPascal PIC compiler.

Overview

The BIGPIC5 Pascal Starter Pack is a great-value PIC development package that contains everything you need to start developing with and learning about these popular microcontrollers using the Pascal programming language. The BIGPIC5 Pascal Starter Pack is particularly suited to those with advanced development needs and applications requiring plentiful I/O lines.

The pack comprises the BIGPIC5 development board with its on-board USB programmer and mikroICD in-circuit debugger and a full version of the easy-to-use mikroPascal PIC compiler. Also included are blue backlit 16×2 character and 128×64 graphic LCDs, touch-screen overlay for graphic LCD and DS1820 temperature sensor, all of which simply plug on to the BIGPIC5 board.

Features

  • BIGPIC5 development board with high-speed USB 2.0 PIC programmer and mikroICD in-circuit-debugger.
  • Support for 64 and 80-pin PICs (80-pin PIC18F8520 MCU board included).
  • Built-in I/O devices including 67 LEDs, 67 pushbutton switches, two analogue potentiometers, two RS-232 ports, RS-485 port, CAN interface, PS/2 connector, 12-bit D/A converter, battery-backed real-time clock and SD/MMC card slot.
  • 16×2 character LCD.
  • 128×64 graphic LCD.
  • Touch-screen overlay that fits over graphic LCD.
  • DS1820 temperature sensor.
  • Large range of optional interface boards available.
  • mikroPascal PIC compiler with easy-to-use integrated development environment (IDE), user-friendly text editor, simulator, and compatibility with the BIGPIC5’s programmer and mikroICD in-circuit debugger.

Package Contents

  • BIGPIC5 development board with 80-pin PIC18F8520 microcontroller and 10MHz crystal.
  • USB programming/power cable.
  • RS-232 serial communications cable.
  • Blue backlit 16×2 character LCD.
  • Blue backlit 128×64 graphic LCD.
  • Touch-screen overlay for graphic LCD.
  • DS1820 temperature sensor.
  • Printed user manuals.
  • CD-ROM containing PICFlash2 programming software and drivers.
  • Full version of mikroPascal PIC compiler.

BIGPIC5 Additional Microcontrollers & Adapter Boards

PIC18F8520 80-pin MCU Board
This MCU board based on the 80-pin PIC18F8520 is the same as the MCU board supplied with the BIGPIC5.
Order Code: PIC18F8520MCU
Manufacturer: MikroElektronika
Availability: In Stock
Price: £13.95
PIC18F8722 80-pin MCU Board
This MCU board based on the 80-pin PIC18F8722 may be fitted to the BIGPIC5 in place of the supplied PIC18F8520 board.
Order Code: PIC18F8722MCU
Manufacturer: MikroElektronika
Availability: In Stock
Price: £15.95
PIC MCU Board1
The PIC MCU Board1 is an empty MCU board onto which 64-pin PICs may be fitted by those with surface-mount soldering facilities. The board accommodates PIC18F6310-PT, PIC18F6390-PT, PIC18F6410-PT, PIC18F6490-PT, PIC18F6520-PT, PIC18F6585-PT, PIC18F6620-PT, PIC18F6680-PT and PIC18F6720-PT microcontrollers.
Order Code: PICMCUBOARD1
Manufacturer: MikroElektronika
Availability: In Stock
Price: £3.95
PIC MCU Board2
The PIC MCU Board2 is an empty MCU board onto which 80-pin PICs may be fitted by those with surface-mount soldering facilities. The board accommodates PIC18F8310-PT, PIC18F8390-PT, PIC18F8410-PT, PIC18F8490-PT, PIC18F8520-PT, PIC18F8527-PT, PIC18F8585-PT, PIC18F8620-PT, PIC18F8622-PT, PIC18F8627-PT, PIC18F8680-PT, PIC18F8720-PT and PIC18F8722-PT microcontrollers.
Order Code: PICMCUBOARD2
Manufacturer: MikroElektronika
Availability: In Stock
Price: £3.95
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