Recent updates on the CompuPhase pages

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Recent updates on the CompuPhase pages

 
20 July 2016
pawn Blocks: visual programming
The pawn Blocks Designer is a new application for visual programming in the pawn language. This article gives a brief introduction and a video demonstrating embedded programming in an easy, graphical way.
10 June 2016
Starling audio player, model H0430
A new model is added to the "Starling" series of solid-state, programmable audio players for exhibition centres, scale models and public address systems. Model H0430, features an integrated power amplifier, so that it can directly be used with passive speakers. Switches, sensors and detectors are very easily connected to this model.

This page is also available in German and in Dutch.

4 April 2016
New product: USB Dome Button
The “USB Dome Button” is a large mushroom/dome button that a PC or workstation detects as a USB keyboard —with just one, configurable, key. It can be used as a general actuator, or as an emergency stop button, or for quiz games (the button is compatible with common quiz software). Various models are available.

This page is also available in German, in French and in Dutch.

New product: solid-state audio player DM440
The DM440 is a solid-state player for background music. It can be used for streaming audio, but more importantly: it can play fully scheduled music from its memory card, with full automatic gain control (to level the volumes of different tracks), professional cross-fading, and logging which tracks actually played at any specific time (because the DM440 supports multiple playlists, selectable by the end user). News, weather and traffic information may be fetched via a network connection and inserted at the appropriate times. General music updates occur daily at a scheduled time.

This page is also available in Dutch.

Update of VisualPlace
Freeware VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.

This is a maintenance release, with corrections and enhancements in version control support (Subversion), OCR and footprint scanning accuracy, and support for EDA suites. See the release notes for details.

VisualPlace is a free application.

This page is also available in Dutch and in German.

7 December 2015
The site layout is improved for smartphones
The entire site has been adapted to give a better appearance and easier functioning on devices with a small screen, such as smartphones.
New article: Configuring a micro-controller for low-speed USB communication
A recurring message that we are reading about microcontrollers with USB support, is that they only support USB full-speed, but not low-speed —we have been reading this both in forum messages as well as in knowledge-base articles of the microcontroller manufacturers themselves. However, as a matter of fact, support for full-speed implies support for low-speed —you cannot design a USB device controller that only supports full-speed. Wiring a USB device controller for low-speed appears to have become "lost knowledge". This article shows you in detail how low-speed must be wired and configured, and why it applies to every USB device controller of every brand.
Updated utility: KiCad Librarian, version 1.1
Open source The KiCad Librarian allows to maintain symbol and footprint libraries, as well as make adjustments to individual parts or generate new footprints from a template. It supports the KiCad EDA suite and runs in Windows and Linux.

Notable new features in this version are: a synchronized view of two libraries, to allow for easier comparison. A few templates (for footprint generation) were added as well.

The KiCad librarian is an open source utility (Apache license version 2).

Update of VisualPlace
Freeware VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.

Notable new features in this version are: user-defined colour rules for the bill-of-materials report, an improved footprint browser, an improved OCR engine & interface, integration with Subversion (version control), and improved pick-&-place machine support (notably support for the Neoden TM-245P). See the release notes for details.

VisualPlace is a free application.

This page is also available in Dutch and in German.

6 January 2015
Updated utility: KiCad Librarian
Open source The KiCad Librarian allows to maintain symbol and footprint libraries, as well as make adjustments to individual parts or generate new footprints from a template. It supports the KiCad EDA suite and runs in Windows and Linux.

Notable new features in this version are: an ability to filter footprints or symbols on keywords, improved documentation, and bug fixes (especially in the support of s-expression libraries).

The KiCad librarian is an open source utility (Apache license version 2).

Update of VisualPlace
Freeware VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.

Notable new features in this version are the support for assembly stages (for assembly lines with multiple stages), OCR of silk-screen image for recognizing designator labels and footprint positions, an interface to PCBSynergy, an improved footprint browser & layout editor, the ability to print (barcode) labels in the for items in the bill of materials, and revised documentation. See the release notes for details.

VisualPlace is a free application.

This page is also available in Dutch and in German.

Update of the SYLT Editor
Freeware The SYLT Editor is a self-contained utility to create or modify SYLT frames in an MP3 track (or, more accurately: a SYLT frame is inside an ID3 tag, which in turn is prefixed to an MP3 track). A SYLT frame contains text (e.g. the lyrics of a song) plus time-stamps attached to each line, word or syllable. Versions of the SYLT Editor are available for Microsoft Windows and for Linux.

New features in this version are a new lyrics display window, and support for recent versions of Microsoft Windows.

VisualPlace is a free application.

22 July 2014
Updated utility: KiCad Librarian
Open source The KiCad Librarian allows to maintain symbol and footprint libraries, as well as make adjustments to individual parts or generate new footprints from a template. It supports the KiCad EDA suite and runs in Windows and Linux.

Notable new features in this version are improved support for creating schematic symbols (from templates), a richer set of templates, and various usability improvements.

The KiCad librarian is an open source utility (Apache license version 2).

Update of the Termite serial terminal
Freeware Termite is a simple RS232 monitor, with plug-in support to allow for various extensions.

New in this release are a new filter to highlight text based on regular expression matches, and additional translations of the user interface.

Termite is a free utility.

New publication: A Trace Tool for Embedded Systems
Circuit Cellar published our article on a tool to help debugging and monitoring embedded systems. The article describes the design of a dongle (hardware) and a software system. All design files and the full source code are available.
10 February 2014
Updated article: Reel quantity estimate
When working with reels, for doing "pick & place" on a PCB, it is not uncommon that you wonder how many components are left on the reel. For a good estimate, you need to have four numbers. This article tells you which numbers, and gives you the equation (plus an on-line calculator) to do the calculation.

New insights have led to pragmatic improvements in the calculator.

Update of VisualPlace
Freeware VisualPlace assists in (manual or automated) PCB assembly. Component placement is extracted from files generated from the EDA suite (notably the Gerber files, the centroid file and the bill-of-materials). The application visualizes the component placement and converts the files (with corrections, where applicable) for further automated processing. Due to a plug-in architecture, VisualPlace works with many EDA suites, and more can be added.

Notable new features in this version are improved heuristics for determining component positions from a Gerber file; support for barcode scanners; general purpose notes (that you can attach to a spot on the PCB); and improved support for fidicuals. See the release notes for details.

VisualPlace is a free application.

This page is also available in Dutch and in German.

Updated utility: KiCad Librarian
Open source The KiCad Librarian allows to maintain symbol and footprint libraries, as well as make adjustments to individual parts or generate new footprints from a template. It supports the KiCad EDA suite and runs in Windows and Linux.

Notable new features in this version are support for creating schematic symbols from templates, support for generating 3D models for components, and optional support for a repository (for sharing symbols and footprints).

The KiCad librarian is an open source utility (Apache license version 2).