New Lower prices for Speedy Courier service to Greece

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http://www.speedy.bg/ is the courier service we use for shipments inside Bulgaria. Speedy is 100% Bulgarian company and offers excellent service at good price. Their shipping system easily integrate with custom solutions including our internal ERP system and this allows us with singls mouse click to generate AWBs and call pickup with automatic filling of all necessary fields from our internal database.

About year ago they purchased Romanian courier company and start offering shipping from and to Romania and Bulgaria at the same price as the local prices, so it was same if you ship your order from Plovdiv to Sofia or Bucuresti.

This year they expands further and purchased courier company in Greece and from June 1st they do offer same local low cost prices to shipments to Greece too! If small parcel 0.5 KG before cost about EUR 11 to ship from Bulgaria to Greece, now it cost EUR 4.63

Keep the good work Speedy and please expand even further 🙂

Incredible 6 parts CNC plotter

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Jay made the smallest CNC plotter made by Laser cut parts which according to his blog cost about $20 to re-produce, this is really amazing piece of engineering:

http://plotterbot.com/2013/11/how-to-build-a-tiny-cnc-drawing-robot/

I do wonder if something similar could be adapted for solder paste syringe and to make small solder paste spit machine which to eliminate the need for stencils for prototype runs.

Low Cost LCD-TO-VGA adapter

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A13 processor have no HDMI and VGA output as his big brother A10, so we had to work out something using the LCD interface it have.

We browsed IC video DACs and there is plenty of them, but they are expensive and didn’t fit well OLinuXino low cost concept, so we decided to give a try and make simple R ladder video DAC.

A13 LCD interface is 18 bit this means we will need 3 channels x 6 bit Video DAC.

All VGA monitors have 75 ohm terminator on their input lines and the video signal is 0.75V for white level and 0V for black. So knowing this we could make resistor ladder DAC with R, 2R, 4R, 8R, 16R, 32R connected in parallel with RGB 0-5 bits. The values are easy to calculate when we know the LCD buffer output voltage 3.3V and the voltage we want to have when all bits are “1” i.e. 0.75V. The resistors using the 1% precission values picked were 549 ohm, 1050 ohm, 2180 ohm, 4370 ohm, 8660 ohm, 17800 ohm.

The adapter was routed and pcb prototypes were run. The assembled adapter was attached to LPC1788 board with 4.3″LCD with tweaking the output to match VGA lock frequency and the result was perfect.

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The picture which appears on LCD was color stripes with small ball which you can move by tilting the board (using on-board accelerometer), as you can see from the picture the colors are perfect and image is standing still with no glitches and jitters.

So now we have low cost VGA solution for our A13-OLinuXino and can move forward with the PCB schematic finish and routing. Note that the VGA signals go through buffers which are gated i.e. we can enable and disable the VGA output and A13-OLinuXino will be able to work with both LCDs and VGA.

EDIT: schematic is included here below:

iMX233-OLinuXino-Micro the EUR 20 Linux single board computer is routed nice and clean

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We finished the iMX233-OLinuXino-Micro routing and the files are push to GitHub.

Tomorrow we will run the prototypes, we were very tempted to see if we can make the design 2 layers first, we placed the memory directly under the iMX233 processor so the signal paths are very short and should be not problem for 133 Mhz, but the cross talk may play bad joke for us with no ground planes to separate the signals. Well crossing fingers and … we’ll see in few days on what frequency it will run.

Meantime the software developers did enormous amount of work. The iMX233-OLinuXino have now Open Embedded Layer and Raivis now is having fun with Linux Kernel 3.3 trying to move the 2.6.x drivers to the latest Kernel.