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Sunday, 15 January 2012

So, how's the penguin?

I've been fiddling with my Pinguino board a little after the build I reported last time. I have, in fact, created a second board - this one will end up as my first Pinguino project. I would like to make a DDS signal generator, but this one needs to include a sweep function so I can more accurately measure crystal filters.

Here's the new board, you'll see that I have interfaced an LCD display, a keypad and if you look carefully you will see there is a rotary encoder there also:

The display has a really neat blue backlight, but is almost impossible to photograph:
I actually want to use a four line LCD display that I have here, I think the software needed to drive the four line display will be the same, I just wanted to start with something I am more familiar with. I am a great believer in build a bit - test a bit.

The keypad will be used for frequency entry, and I have that working OK - I wrote a test program to simply display the keypad entry on the LCD and that's working fine. The shaft encoder will be used to change the frequency steps by utilising the push click switch that's built into it and the rotary part will be tuning when in signal generation mode.

So far so good, but the DDS module I have here I used before:

This uses a AD9850 DDS chip, and at the time I was interested in the later AD9851 DDS but I couldn't find a way to buy the chip in anything other than the basic SMT package itself. A quick look on eBay suggests that you can now get development boards quite cheaply for this IC now so I have ordered one. It includes 6x clock multiplier on board so it should be easier to get extreme accuracy without spending a fortune on an accurate high stability high frequency clock module.

So, now I wait for a parcel from Hong Kong - why there aren't any in the UK I have no idea.

Time will tell, fun though, egh?

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