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   Technical Projects


As I said on my homepage I am doing a masters in electronics at the University of Otago. Here are two of my electronics projects that I have done as well as information about some of my blender coding hobbyist projects.

Blender Projects

Blender is the 3D graphics package that I use for conference presentations, church, etc. For a fun project I am implementing an Ocean FFT effect that will be able to mimic the effect of a deep ocean swell.

To track its development click here to see its development thread on blender.org.

A frame from an animation is shown below:


Electronics Projects

Parallel Port ADC

This was done as part of a design paper, We were allowed to make 'basic changes' to a reference design. I added a CPLD and changed the ADC from a simple 8 channel, 8 bit dual in line IC to an AD7891-AS1: an 8 channel, 12 bit, 500ksps converter from Analog Devices (ADI). The hardware definition language that I used was VHDL since it is verbose and less implicit than Verilog.

Monochrome CMOS Camera

My CMOS camera was originally ment to be a night sky camera for my supervisor. However after alot of 'project refocusing' now I am just designing a prototype prototype CMOS camera - somebody else can customize it to an application after I am finished. Below is an image of the main board.

I had broken up the design into two components: the camera head and the main board, however after each 'refocusing' I didn't go back to redesign it. So in case you are wondering, "why didn't you just put everything on the same PCB", well, now you know...

The CPLDs that I have used are the XC9500XL series from Xilinx and are being programmed in VHDL. I have finished programming the first CPLD (the one that is not mounted at 45 degrees to the horizontal) and am now trying to deal with the second CPLD. This is proving to be difficult but I am slowly breaking ground.

Above shows an image of the camera head PCB. You will notice the hole, this is to allow the back of the IBIS4 imager to be in contact with a peltier device through a cold tongue. The square chip at the top of the image is an AD7891-AS1 from ADI that is used to take thermal readings. The other ICs are buffers. I have written a small console program using lex and yacc which makes it easy to control the camera.

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Email: web@simonharvey.com