vhdlnerd

Introduction

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Hi!

I did not see an forum for such things as introductions.  Since I just got a Papilio One (250K), I'll use just this forum.

I'm just getting back into hobbyist electronics.  I used to do a lot of stuff at home before I got a job in digital design -- nothing like having to do a hobby for a living to kill the fun of it. :-)

I wanted to get into using the Arduino but wanted to add a FPGA to the mix and that search led me here.  I bought the Papilio One and the VGA wing to play with.  I started designing the over-done-but-always-fun VGA controller.  I already checked out the VGA code here and at OpenCores (and I've done one myself in the past); so, I might have something to show in a week or two.

Anyway,  as you can tell from my alias, I know VHDL -- I've been coding in VHDL for a living for 12+ years.  I can't say I know everything about VHDL (or my alias would be "VHDL Guru" :-) but I'm glad to share any of my expertise with the forum members when I can.  I've got experience mostly with Xilinx devices (CPLDs and all the way up to the new 7 series) but I've done design work on Lattice and Actel FPGAs, also.

I look forward to being part of the Papilio community.

-vn

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Hi vhdlnerd :)

Welcome to the team. Let's hope we can make great stuff together :)

BTW, since you're speaking about VGA, I'm to publish a small VGA design for 250K with VGA wing (3-bit), which mimics the old adapter found on ZX Spectrum 48K. I'll also publish a game demo (a "C" clone of good old Jet Set Willy game, but still incomplete). I just fixed a bug I had on the core, should release the files during the weekend (cause I'll be one week off for holidays without internet access most of the time)

Álvaro

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Álvaro,

Thanks for the welcome. 

That reminded me of my first computer, a Timex Sinclair 1000 (and later the 2068).  I had a lot of fun learning BASIC and Z80 assembly on those.  Really wish I kept them but I lost them in the many moves over the years.

-vn

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I got my first cut at my VGA controller done.  I was totally surprised -- it mostly work the first time I put it into hardware.  A pic of the output:

vga-001.jpg

This is 640x480 at 60Hz refresh rate (with a 8x12 pixel font, 256 characters).  I still need to tweak it a little.  If you look close, the first scan line has a one pixel offset and the last scan line is missing.

Might be a day or two before I can look at it again but will post when these flaws are fixed. 

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vhdlnerd,

Sorry for the late response, I was so caught up with finalizing a couple new designs that I missed this post. :)

Thank you for joining us here, it's always exciting when someone starts posting about the projects they are working on. The VGA controller is looking good!

That reminded me of my first computer, a Timex Sinclair 1000 (and later the 2068).

Hey! Way cool! That was my first real computer too. :) Someone from my Dad's work gave it to us and I immediately latched onto it and moved it into my bedroom... It came with some tapes with programs on it but it sadly didn't come with the tape reader. My greatest moment with it was when I realized that maybe I could just use my own tape recorder! Was super exciting when a tape that had a maze game on it loaded up and worked! I think that was the moment I was hooked on computers... Do you remember those horrible membrane keys? My next computer, the Commodore 64 was waaaay easier to use.

Jack.

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Jack,

Yes, I remember that lovely membrane keyboard.  :)  I also remember if you needed to do any "serious" number crunching, you turned off the video since the CPU was generating the video and eating up a lot of CPU cycles.  ;D

I think that's when I got hooked on computers, also.

I never had a Commodore VIC20 or 64.  I think my next computer was an Atari ST (I think I still have it in the garage somewhere).

Update on the VGA controller: I fixed the one pixel shift in the first scan line. As one would guess, it was a off by one error -- vertical blanking lasting line clock too long.  Have not had time to look at the missing last scan line.  I just don't have as much free time as I did back in those TS100 and Atari ST days -- got I wife and family now that take up most of the free time.

-vn

 

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