Meetings – 2016

Friday the 2nd of December 2016

This month was a week earlier than usual so we had a debriefing from the intense program swapping in November. Several members brought their USBasp and ZIF socket experimenter board as well as a notebook, laptop or Pine64 loaded with Arduino IDE and required drivers. Also spare Atmega 328 chips and some prototype breadboards with hook up wire were included. We demonstrated some programming of 328 CPU chips. Some LEDs were flashing, proving their efforts were successful. Eric Clarke gave a short presentation on the Atmel 328 fuse bytes, demonstrating how difficult it is to understand them.

Friday the 11th of November 2016
The rest of the kits were distributed to the members at this meeting and we had a very hectic and instructive session on programming the Atmega 328P microprocessor. Discussion was also entered into regarding the group having a WiFi internet connected setup for future meetings. This should be discussed relatively soon, as it seems not having an internet connection is an impediment to our workshops.

Friday the 14th of October 2016
Unfortunately not all of the kits arrived in time for members to receive their orders.
After distributing the  ATMEGA Development Board and the USBASP-USBISP AVR Programmer, Peter Gheude proceeded to demonstrate the various methods of communicating with the Pine64 I/O using the Python language. Control was processed by straight forward i/o pins and included a demonstration of an I2C 4 line digital display module amongst other devices.
At the October meeting we will be focusing  on the various uses to which we can put the Pine64.
All members who ordered the component tester project will receive their kits of parts.
Each kit comprises of the following;component-tester
1 x ATMega Colour Component/Transistor Tester Kit
1 x USBASP-USBISP AVR Programmer Adapter with 10 Pin Cable for Arduino.

usbasp-module

2 x ATMega328p-PU microcontrollersexperimenter-module
1 x ATMEGA8 ATMEGA48 ATMEGA88 Development Board AVR ZIP DIY Kit.
1 x Variable Ceramic 6mm Trimmer Capacitor 30pF
1 x 16MHz Quartz Crystal.

Please don’t forget to bring along your Pine64, microSDs, monitor, mouse keyboard, etc and any projects you may have underway to the meeting.


Friday the 9th of September 2016
The September meeting included a presentation by Peter Gheude, showing the building blocks of an 8 bit processor. Also this covered the Atmel processor range. In particular the Atmel328p which is the main processor used in the Arduino range of experimental platforms. It’s also the CPU used in the component tester kit that is currently being featured in our suggested SAMG bulk buy. Further reports and ideas on the Pine64 were also discussed by members.

Friday the 12th of August 2016
The August meeting included a presentation by Steven Gunnourie – Technical Manager –  Comms/Navigation RAAF Base Edinburgh. He gave a PowerPoint based talk how the aircraft movement at the base is controlled and the technical aspects of his position. We will also be discussing more on the Pine64 and on the upcoming project of “Component testing” using an Atmel Atmega328P processor.

Friday the 8th of July 2016
The July meeting was a very successful bring your own Pine64. Those members that did not have a Pine64 were able to see how it performed. Various operating systems were used including Debian8, Ubuntu and Android. It was evident that video replay still has a way to go in all but the Google android O/S. However, if videos can play OK using Android then it’s only the configuration in the other O/Ss that is causing the problem. Other demonstrations included a brilliant configuration by Peter Gheude,  using a Windows PC running Remote Desktop and controlling the pine64 via a router hookup. He also demonstrated how to use Putty, a Win32 Telnet and SSH client which is able to get access to the administrator level of Linux.  The software setting and the processes used will be put on our site in the near future.

Friday the 10th of June 2016

Arty - Diligent board
Brd: Arty Mfr: Digilent / Avnet Type: Embedded
running the Oberon AutoCAD slide viewer:

The evening kicked off with Chris Burrows demonstrating an overview on the use and programming of FPGA integrated circuits.

Topics covered were:
What is an FPGA, Two FPGA definition languages: Verilog and VHDL, Examples of low-cost FPGA development boards, Project Oberon: A soft-core RISC processor and Operating System and a demonstration of the Astrobe for RISC5 development system. More information here:   http://www.astrobe.com/RISC5
Following the presentation Peter Gheude supplied the newly awaited Pine64 kits to those who had entered the Kickstarter program. Next month will be a bring your own Pine64 kit to learn more about these SBCs.

Friday the 8th of July 2016
The July meeting was a very successful bring your own Pine64. Those members that did not have a Pine64 were able to see how it performed. Various operating systems were used including Debian8, Ubuntu and Android. It was evident that video replay still has a way to go in all but the Google android O/S. However, if videos can play OK using Android then it’s only the configuration in the other O/Ss that is causing the problem. Other demonstrations included a brilliant configuration by Peter Gheude,  using a Windows PC running Remote Desktop and controlling the pine64 via a router hookup. He also demonstrated how to use Putty, a Win32 Telnet and SSH client which is able to get access to the administrator level of Linux.  The software setting and the processes used will be put on our site in the near future.

Friday the 10th of June 2016

Arty - Diligent board
Brd: Arty Mfr: Digilent / Avnet Type: Embedded
running the Oberon AutoCAD slide viewer:

The evening kicked off with Chris Burrows demonstrating an overview on the use and programming of FPGA integrated circuits.

Topics covered were:
What is an FPGA, Two FPGA definition languages: Verilog and VHDL, Examples of low-cost FPGA development boards, Project Oberon: A soft-core RISC processor and Operating System and a demonstration of the Astrobe for RISC5 development system. More information here:   http://www.astrobe.com/RISC5
Following the presentation Peter Gheude supplied the newly awaited Pine64 kits to those who had entered the Kickstarter program. Next month will be a bring your own Pine64 kit to learn more about these SBCs.

Rpi 3
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B V1.2

Friday the 13th of May 2016
Rick M. demonstrated the new Raspberry Pi 3 single board computer.
Using a  Debian v8 (Armbian) Pi3 operating system Rick generated prime numbers with programs written in C and Python to demonstrate the Pi3’s performance.  Peter Gheude ran a Udoo quad core ARM module and the capabilities of the two units were compared using video playback and prime number generation code. It was discovered that the audio was troublesome on both systems particularly with an HDMI interface displaying video. Members also showed interest in future sessions on various programming languages.

Toaster image
Kickstarter project “Toaster” a 5v or 3.3v and a 5-16v power supply for breadboarding

Friday the 8th of April 2016
A video on 5 different small board computers was shown including one that is just over a 1 inch rectangle in size. Also a short video on the kickstarter project “Toaster” which is a 5v or 3.3v power supply on one side and a 5v to 16v supply on the other side, suitable for bread board design. The final video demonstrated how to install a surface mount I.C. onto a PCB using a saucepan on the cook top in your kitchen. What….???

We also had a demonstration of the new OS Armbian running on the Udoo by Peter Gheude.

Friday the 11th of March 2016
The evening kicked off with a detailed presentation on SD (secure digital) memory cards by Thomas Loo. Many different types were discussed and the presentation concluded with a test program showing that not all SD or USB memory thumb drives are created equal. Thomas’ presentation documentation will be put up on our web site in the near future so watch this space. Choices were discussed for the Pine64 and its available peripherals.. Also a small introduction to the mysteries of the humble mobile phone battery.

Friday the 12th of February 2016
The AGM and election of office bearers was conducted at the beginning of the meeting.
The following positions were voted on and adopted by open ballot.
Chairman / Meeting organiser / Web site Editor: Eric Clarke
Treasurer / Secretary / Public officer: Peter Gheude
Web site 2nd Editor: Philip Kocent
Committee: Chris Burrows, Mark Spooner, Colin Huckel and Rick M

Some ideas were put forward by Peter Gheude and others for discussion at the AGM which includes: Bring your own project nights,  ask for group assistance and suggestions on personal projects as a weekly agenda item, committee projects like updating the SAMG constitution so it matches our new directions and requirements, committee meetings using a Skype hook-up and should we reintroduce coffee/tea and how it’s managed.
At the meeting a refund in cash was made available to Pine64 members as an over payment of $46.20 was contributed. Ed.