Using a RTLSDR dongle to validate NRF905 configuration

Fabien Le Mentec January 27, 20146 comments
I am currently working on a system to monitor the garage door status from my flat. Both places are 7 floors apart, and I need to send the data wirelessly. I chose to operate on the 433MHz carrier, and I ordered 2 PTR8000 modules: http://www.electrodragon.com/w/NRF905_Transceiver_433MHz-Wireless_ModuleThe PTR8000 is based on the dual band sub 1GHz NRF905 chipset from NORDICSEMI: http://www.nordicsemi.com/eng/Products/Sub-1-GHz-RF/nRF905I...

Introducing the VPCIe framework

Fabien Le Mentec August 31, 20133 comments
Introduction

My daily work involves platforms featuring an embedded CPU communcating with a FPGA device over a PCI Express link (PCIe for short). The main purpose of this link is for the CPU to convey configuration, control, and status commands to hardware slaves implemented in the FPGA. For data intensive applications (2D XRay detector readout backend), this link can also be used as a DMA channel to transfer data from the FPGA to the CPU memory. Finally, a slave can interrupt the CPU using...


[ C Programming Techniques: integer type optimization ]

Fabien Le Mentec May 22, 20131 comment

I am currently working on a voltage controller running on a ATMEGA328P, ATMEL AVR 8 bits microcontroller. The controller logic is implemented in the main() routine and relies on a periodical timer whose frequency is fixed at application setup. Among other things, the timer ISR handler increments some per tick counters which are then used by the main routine to implement the voltage controller timing logic.By looking at the code, one noticed that I use the uint8_t type for counters instead of...


Interfacing LINUX with microcontrollers

Fabien Le Mentec May 7, 20132 comments
Introduction

I am increasingly asked to work on small spare time projects where a user needs to control some device over the INTERNET. Recently, a friend needed to control heater relays and measure the temperature of its geographically distant secondary house. Another case relates to the control of a pan tilt home monitoring camera. A last one is the control of an old XY plotter DACs.

In both applications, the user wants to access the system over a web browser using HTTP. From the user...


C Programming Techniques: Function Call Inlining

Fabien Le Mentec April 29, 20137 comments
Introduction

Abstraction is a key to manage software systems as they increase in size and complexity. As shown in a previous post, abstraction requires a developper to clearly define a software interface for both data and functions, and eventually hide the underlying implementation.When using the C language, the interface is often exposed in a header '.h' file, while the implementation is put in one or moreĀ  corresponding '.c' files.

First, separating an interface from its...


Metal detection: beat frequency oscillator

Fabien Le Mentec January 30, 20161 comment
Plan Introduction Theory Electronics Software Tests ReferencesNext part: building the detector 1. Introduction

This article discusses the implementation of a beat frequency oscillator (BFO) stage for metal detector. While they are mentioned here and there, the article does not detail other important electronic stages such as the power supply, and user interface, the coil or the detector frame. I may write other articles on these topics, and other detection methods.Before...


Introducing the VPCIe framework

Fabien Le Mentec August 31, 20133 comments
Introduction

My daily work involves platforms featuring an embedded CPU communcating with a FPGA device over a PCI Express link (PCIe for short). The main purpose of this link is for the CPU to convey configuration, control, and status commands to hardware slaves implemented in the FPGA. For data intensive applications (2D XRay detector readout backend), this link can also be used as a DMA channel to transfer data from the FPGA to the CPU memory. Finally, a slave can interrupt the CPU using...


An absolute position encoder VHDL core

Fabien Le Mentec November 11, 2015
Introduction

Let's consider motorized systems controlled by electronics. A closed loop architecture looks like this:

The following components are involved:

  • the motor itself (DC, stepper ...),
  • the controller, in charge of computing position according to the whole system state,
  • the driver board in charge of generating signals and power for the motor,
  • the position encoder, the subject of this post.

Most of the time, there is a difference between the position the system...


Metal detection: building the detector

Fabien Le Mentec February 6, 20164 comments
IntroductionBefore starting, you may want to read this post describing the BFO stage:

//www.embeddedrelated.com/showarticle/911.php

I have detailed the implementation of a BFO stage for detecting metal. Now it has been validated on the bench, the next step is to integrate it in a stand alone instrument for testing on the field. A few things have to be done to reach this goal:

  • make a PCB for the electronics,
  • house the PCB in a box,
  • add a power supply,
  • make a frame to hold...

Handling latency in data acquisition systems

Fabien Le Mentec November 8, 2015
Introduction

In recent projects, I found myself working with data acquisition systems. For instance:

PCIe/10GbE readouts for 2D XRay detectors (RASHPA slides, RASHPA paper) instruments mixing 1D signal acquisition and triggering, microcontroller based system for audio transmission: (NRF spearker)

While they differ in purpose and performances, they share a similar...