[Coco] Re: [Color Computer] Re: USB Anyone?

Phill Harvey-Smith dragon at aurigae.demon.co.uk
Sat Apr 16 13:45:31 EDT 2005

James Dessart wrote:
> On 16-Apr-05, at 1:00 PM, Phill Harvey-Smith wrote:
> I've been wanting to get into CPLD programming. What kind of software 
> works well, and what would my startup costs be? What can I do for free 
> or very cheap? What do I *need* to buy? What are my options, 
> software-wise, on Windows XP?

I have only used Xilinx CPLDs, but I believe most of this would also be
true of Altera, Lattice etc.

Xilinx webpack, is available free from Xilinx's website, and includes 
the ability to program most of their CPLD/FPGA chips. It includes the 
HDLs Verilog and VHDL, and the ability to enter your design as a 
scematic also.

Probably the best way to get started it to buy a starter kit, the Xilinx 
one is available from their website for $49, which has onboard an 
XC9572XL and a Coolrunner 2 XC2C256, and comes with a programming cable, 
and a CD containing webpack/design notes etc.

If you wanted to go the cheapest way the programming cable schematics 
are IIRC available on the web, download webpack for free, and design 
yourself a demo board (actually easier than it would first appear), 
Xilinx sell their CPLDs in their online store, and the XC9536, XC9572 
are available for only a few dollars.

>>Problem is is the USB chip available in anything but surface mount ?
> If it isn't, that takes it out of some hobbyists' range. I have enough 
> trouble soldering through-hole components. :) although, I imagine, if 
> you have the right equipment surface mount can be much easier. Just 
> bake to board, with all surface mount components in place, from what 
> I've heard. I guess it'd be difficult to do both sides, though, if your 
> design calls for it.

Nope you don't need an oven, just a fine soldering iron, some 
magnification, solde braid and a little patience. basically :-

1) Tin all tracks by running hot iron with solder over them, making sure 
there are no solder bridges.
2) Line up component with tracks, and tack corners down.
3) Run soldering iron accross pins melting solder onto them, don't worry 
about connecting pins together at this point.
4) Apply soldring braid and iron to pins, this will suck up any solder 
joining pins and make a pretty good joint if done correctly.

I have used this method to solder chips with 0.5mm pitch though it is 
fiddly :) and you do need magnification of some sort I would reccoment 
at least 3x.


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