All Hardware, Great and Small

I’ve been fascinated by assembly language since I first learned to program: get really close to the hardware! However, there was still a small gap between those opcodes and what the hardware actually did.

When I went to Uni, one of the courses I took was to design a (simulated) microprocessor and implement an opcode map. I loved it – but it still wasn’t real enough.

A few years ago I stumbled across James Newman’s work with his MegaProcessor – a “micro”processor that had been implemented using transistors and LEDs instead of integrated circuits. And it’s big. Really big. Ten meters (thirty feet) big.

One of its nicest features is that one of its RAM banks is built as an array, to provide a display of the bits that the RAM contains. But that means it’s a pixel-addressable display, so I couldn’t help myself…

I wrote a (configurable) program to run on the machine, and sent it to James. He was kind enough to confirm that it worked on the real hardware – and even YouTube a couple of different runs:

A quick test to show the program worked
The smallest cell size for the maze, given the “screen” dimensions

Power over Ethernet

I’ve been working on PoE projects recently. The most important thing: getting a circuit done and tested that can be incorporated into a variety of projects.

I found Silvertel’s PoE modules, and really like their smallest, the AG99xx range. So, I had to put one into a project. First up: curtains!

This project was easy because there was no data: I just needed a raw power delivery system.


I’ve been published!

My SAE J1772 Tester has been featured in DIYode, an Australian electronics enthusiast magazine.