Learning the Guitar, Pt 5

I fell off the wagon again, for quite a while.

It’s now October, 2015 and I’ve become rather rusty. The only thing I’ve been doing on occasion is Guitar Nick’s fingerstyle progressions. Have not progressed beyond about #15.

On the other hand, I’ve focused on my Arduino creations and now have some very cool effects.

Am starting to progress beyond #15, so we’ll see what the next couple of months bring.

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Arduino Christmas Lights

With the recent purchase of an Arduino microcontroller, my interest in electronics was rekindled after many years hiatus. One of my goals back in the day was to create a colour organ where lghts would flash in beat with the music. With the Arduino, I can easily do that and much more, so I set about coming up with a project that made use of modern day LED’s. The result will be Christmas lights that:

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Arduino & Bluetooth

Was playing with an HC-06 Bluetooth board today:


Was able to successfully pair with this from my phone and send commands via a Bluetooth terminal on the phone to the Arduino, although I found the communications very difficult to maintain. Here’s my brief review of IR vs Bluetooth communications:
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An Interesting Guitar Site

I received an email today from someone about my guitar blog and almost fell over dead. After all, my site is a backwater. Anyways, it was a cross linking email, and is something I’d normally ignore, however this site looked kind of interesting. What interested me about the site was:

– The site design is responsive (thus very modern)
– It had a great index to different techniques/topics
– It had chords for campfires

Although I’ll never spend the time to be able to play much on the guitar, www.hubguitar.com looks to be a pretty impressive web site offering. I’m looking forward to practicing some of the lessons he offers.

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Costing a FastLED Display Locally

Here’s an approximate cost breakdown if I were to head into some local electronics stores to purchase components for my portable displays:

Miscellaneous items include zip tie, solder, a few sizes of heat shrink tubing.

Then there’s my labour at a minimum of $40/hr and it takes about 45 minutes to build one.

Oh, did I mention all the time I spent learning/developing the coding and techniques?

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Learning the Guitar, Pt 4

I fell off the wagon for quite a while, but while I was on it, I quite liked spending time practicing the ‘fingerstyle’ method.

I’ve since found a site that offers 100 easy fingerstyle exercises at www.guitarnick.com, so I’m now focusing on these and have gotten back into it somewhat.

Once I’m more comfortable with fingerstyle, I hope to get back to my justinguitar and other material.

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Electronics Links


  • http://www.cs.washington.edu/education/courses/cse370/99sp/sections/may18/slides/sld002.htm



  • http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/amplifier/amp_2.html

    Good Links

  • http://tristesse.org/FPGA/CheapFPGADevelopmentBoards


    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtXvUoPx4Qs&feature=youtu.be
    • http://scale.engin.brown.edu/classes/EN164S11/
    • http://www-inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs150/sp13/agenda/
    • http://www.newae.com/tiki-index.php?page=IntroToDigitalCircuits
    • http://engineering.purdue.edu/~ece437l
    • http://ecee.colorado.edu/~ecen2350/AlteraSoftware/
    • http://mil.ufl.edu/3701/gcpu.html
    • http://engineering.purdue.edu/~ece437l
    • http://6004.mit.edu
    • http://www.cecs.csulb.edu/~rallison/pdf/


    Online Labs

    • http://teahlab.com
    • http://tams-www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/applets/hades/webdemos/16-flipflops/10-srff/clocked-srff.html


    Cypress SoC Links

    I was given a Cypress PSoC 3 development kit. This includes an 8051 controller, programmable logic along with various analog components. The development software allows for visual design, lots of components in the libraries as well as programming in C. Oh, and I now have a PSoC 4 as well.


    TI MSP430

    I purchased this at the 2013 Vancouver Mini Maker Faire for $11.


    Bora Binary Explorer Links

    I purchased this board through the Kickstarter program. This board includes a Xilinx XC9572XL CPLD, which gives you equivalent to around 1600 gates.


    Altera FPGA Links

    I purchased an Altera DE1 development kit, which includes a Cyclone II FPGA. What an awesome looking board. 


    Altera De1


    Xilinx Links

    • http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Catalog.cfm?NavPath=2,400&Cat=10
    • http://hamsterworks.co.nz/mediawiki/index.php/FPGA_course


    Verilog Links

    • http://cjdrake.github.io/verilog-flip-flop-macros.html
    • http://www.ee.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/Teach/Verilog/manual/index.html
    • http://vol.verilog.com/VOL/main.htm
    • http://www.asic-world.com/verilog/veritut.html
    • http://electrosofts.com/verilog/
    • http://sutherland-hdl.com/online_verilog_ref_guide/verilog_2001_ref_guide.pdf
    • http://www.verilogwiki.info/wiki/index.php/Tutorials
    • http://openhpsdr.org/wiki/index.php?title=Verilog


    VHDL Links

    • They would go here!




    CPU Design


    Links Sites

    • http://homebrewcpu.com/links.htm
    • http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/CPU-Design-HOWTO.html#ss4.1


    Digital Simulators (see Altera for Modelsim)


    Analog Simulators

    • http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/#LTspice 
    • http://www.new-wave-concepts.com/pr/livewire.html 



    • Digital Design And Computer Architecture
    • Digital Design Principles And Practices
    • Fundamentals of Logic Design
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