ReconTech's Blog

This is a blog about our everyday exploits in all aspects of everything. From science, art, computing, engineering, playing badminton to even playing computer games. Just about everything!

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Posted by on in En Vacances

This summer, like last summer, we decided to go to Saint-Jean-de-Monts on the west coast of France for our annual vacation. However this time we broke the journey between Calais and Saint-Jean-de-Monts in half and spent the night in Clecy. In the morning we planned to have a quick look around the town before continuing on our journey. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that there were quite a few things to do in the town, so we decided to stay for most of the day. What we got up to is the subject of this blog post.

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Posted by on in Robotics Using FPGAs

Hello and welcome to another one of my scientific computing journeys. This time it is into the world of Robotics and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). I've been toying with the idea of building a FPGA controlled robot for quite some time now, but I have not really been motivated by the four wheel chassis ones available on the market. By chance on Tuesday I came across a 17 Degrees of Freedom (DOF) Biped Robot Educational Kit, from Ali Express, for peanuts.

Now normally I would be suspicious of a potentially good kit for the price being offered, however given the recent news about Ali Express' 100 Billion Euro stock market floatation I convinced myself that they must be doing something right, so I took the plunge and bought one.

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Posted by on in OpenCL, Altera SDK and the Parallella Post

Hello, quite recently I received my back-ordered Parallella kit  from Adapteva, which I reviewed on this website here (review link). In its vanilla form the Parallella kit, which could be touted as one's personal supercomputer, requires a set of accessories to get it off the ground and up running.

These accessories are either mandatory or optional. The accessories that I have acquired for use with my Parallella kit, so that it can be used in a headless HDMI configuration and a brief description of my experience in getting LINUX working is the subject of this blog post.

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Posted by on in DC Motor Controllers

The L298N is a dual full-bridge motor driver available in a 15-lead multi-watt package that is popularly used in Arduino motor shields. The multi-watt packaging is required,  since this device can supply a DC current of up to 4A and has a total power dissipation of 25W. When run to it's limits and given the amount of heat this device is required to dissipate, it is not unsurprising during operation to see it tethered to a heat sink. This all sounded so interesting that I decided to check the device out. So an overview of this devices' characteristics and functionality forms the basis of this blog post.

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Tagged in: arduino DC Motor
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Posted by on in DC Motor Controllers

To experiment in implementing DC motor controllers with FPGAs and Microcontrollers I recently bought a 12V DC motor from eBay. Now, normally, one would have a target application in mind and peruse the motor's datasheet to see if the motor is fit for purpose.

However, at this stage of my experiments with DC motors I am only interested in developing the electronics to drive a motor efficiently, as well as gather useful telemetry to send back to a host PC.

Once this initial phase has been successfully achieved I will look at using DC motors in real-world applications like robotics and quadcopters. ...

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