FPGA driven reflow oven

Almost every electronics now have SMD parts on it. Hobbyist sector is no exception. Sometimes parts only come in SMT packages and there is no way to avoid. If you need to solder few of them, maybe you can get away with soldering iron and a bit patience. But for larger batches maybe it is better to use reflow soldering technique. This is nothing more than baking circuits in oven. One thing is important here – temperature and timing. Instead of doing this manually, better leave this process to control circuit. Hamster though it would be fun project to make an oven controlled by FPGA. He programmed temperature stages as finite state machine. Temperature is monitored by using thermocouple. Heater element is switched on/off with solid state relay. The other… Continue reading

Lab 2 Lunar Lander GAME

This is a project done by the students from Cornell University. The idea was to have a full hardware and software video game solution that is able to use real-time motion tracking as control input to a video game. With the help of motion- tracking technology, they simulated a gun which works on finger/hand movement and the movements are displayed on a VGA monitor. For the game, they have used an Altera DE2 board with a CycloneII FPGA to implement the video processing core. The video input is taken from video camera that outputs an NTSC signal that is processed to extract RGB values from the image in the camera’s field of vision and all that is possible because of power of FPGA parallel processing. The game is fairly playable… Continue reading

Make Your Own Music

Ever wonder to have tools which can help you compose your own music. Most of them which are available are software’s, but this one is a hardware which was done as a final-year project by the students of Cornell University. They designed and implemented the Audio Composer and Conductor Suite (A.C.C.S) which is a combination of tools to develop and compose new music. The software end handles audio note frequency and note length generation through a user based input FPGA hardware then generates multiple tracks of musical notes on a synthesizer that are played over speakers. Running in parallel with the audio output is video detection hardware to track the user’s movements. The entire set up is centred on 2 Altera FPGA Development Boards, a DE2 and a DE2-115. The… Continue reading

Beat proagrammable gate array

The name might sound complicated enough, but the project is actually a fun to use synthesizer –sequencer which also has an added ability to sample and compose. This project was built by two people as their final year project for Cornell University. As far as the hardware part is concerned, they use an Altera DE2 FPGA board for processing the data and a popular software by Mathworks named MATLAB as a user interface since it has an ability to create interactive GUI without much input. The synthesizer uses a combination of sampled and additively synthesized sounds to produce various instruments. The FPGA based sequencer takes input from a MATLAB GUI and sequences each instrument separately, allowing the user to make compositions in real-time. Moreover, an automatic gain control algorithm was… Continue reading

Be a piano hero

The students at the Cornell University have developed something interesting that might excite all of you. We all have seen a vast number of virtual piano but this is something special. It’s a virtual piano which the user can play on the screen, even if the screen is not a touch screen. Amazed, well that’s the beauty of the project. Instead of using a costly touch-screen based monitor, they simply hook up a camera, and with some amount of small calibration, your monitor could easily turn into a touchscreen The Karplus-Strong string synthesis Algorithm is widely used to simulate the real instrument sound produced by strings. One major trade off the project is that, instead of storing the image to display in SRAM, they have just make a virtual buffer… Continue reading

An NTCS Battleship Game on an FPGA

Yaaay! Another FPGA project from Cornell guys! These guys used the DE2 FPGA board to pursue solving the problem of generating color NTSC signals and wanted to show that the VGA DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) is able to handle it. Sounds simple? How about if I tell you that the DE2 FPGA Boards don’t have NTSC ports built into them? NTSC output without NTSC ports – our friends from Cornell got us covered, get the freakin VGA port spit out NTSC signals and not just one but two! General Purpose color NTSC generators were used, NTSC signals are pushed out the VGA pins at full frame rate in 315×242 pixel resolution. Thats the video part so who takes care of the battleship game logic – A NIOS II system runs… Continue reading