Archive for May, 2011

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First hike of the season

May 22, 2011

So today I went hiking with my son.  Backpacking season starts next weekend, and I needed a shakedown hike.  You know, a hike to evaluate things. To figure out how aggressive of a backpacking trip to take on Memorial Day weekend.  To evaluate our physical condition.  And to test new gear.

This hike was a 8.0 mile hike in the Lost Creek Wilderness, just south of Bailey, Colorado.  The first thing to test was my memory.  The last time I hiked this trail was about 20 years ago, so at times it was a challenge to recognize the various landforms and features along the way.

Most startling was a giant rock that I used to pitch my tent on top of.  Back in the day, this rock was gigantic and stuck into the side of the mountain, forming a nice flat area perched about 40 feet above the trail.  Today it was hardly recognizeable, and after a while I figured out why.  The rock had moved.  The best I can tell, it has moved about 20 to 30 feet!  It is no longer stuck in the side of the mountain but out some distance.  The dirt on the previously flat area has slid down the mountainside– no longer flat. Read the rest of this entry ?

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ADC In An FPGA

May 1, 2011

Geek Alert!  What follows is very technical.  It involves ADC’s, FPGA’s, and sophisticated electrical design.  If this doesn’t sound like you then you can safely skip the rest of this blog post.

EDIT:  Part 2 of this series is up.  Read it here, when you’re done with Part 1, of course.

I’ve always had this crazy idea to implement an ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) in an FPGA.  Recently I worked out a lot of the details, enough where I started to get concerned about future patent violations and associated legal issues.  I’ve decided to post a summary of my work, as a record of prior art, just in case something actually comes from this.  Along the way, some other geeks might be interested in this.

This ADC is supposed to be inexpensive– that’s the main goal.  My requirements for this were to have no active external components.  The idea is that if you already have an FPGA with some unused pins, and add some passive components then you could have a simple ADC for almost nothing.  Along that line of thought, the logic inside the FPGA should also be super small. Read the rest of this entry ?