Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Nixie speedometer looks perfect on vintage truck

Luke Miller have purchased a vintage pickup truck and decided to add some electronics in to it. So he came up with idea of adding a Nixie tube based speedometer. Instead of using trucks cables and other sensors he used a GPS receiver for measuring speed. This way device came out to be universal that may be used in any car if you wish. Nixie display tubes require pretty high voltage to be driven. For this there is a DC voltage converter used. Tube segments are driven using K155ID1 drivers that are specially designed for this purpose. To access GPS signals, there is a PmodGPS receiver used. All that fun is controlled by Basys2 Spartan-3E FPGA board. GPS module sends data stream via USART that can be captured and decoded. The only one thing is needed is speed data. Via trial and error method the data was decoded (seems that documentation of GPS receiver is scarce). A simple look-up table helped to convert kph in to mph. Since truck doesn’t exceed the 99mph there are two Nixie tubes used. If… Continue reading

Display made of seven segment LED indicators

We are used to see displays made of dot pixels. But this one is a bit different – it’s made of seven segment displays. When you take a large number of these and treat individual LED in indicator like “pixel” you get interesting results. Skot has started this project called DigitGrid to show that indicators can display more than numbers and letters. He used 512 7-segment digits to form an array. Digits are grouped in to modules that are controlled by TLC5920 Driver. All these modules are connected to Spartan 3E FPGA which receives frames over serial interface. Animations are created using Processing and then passed to DigitGrid. Project is pretty ambitious as it requires lots work to assemble in to one working piece. But results look astonishing. Continue reading