#qi-hardware IRC log for Saturday, 2013-09-14

wpwrakphew. i don't really want to create a temple of battery worship ...00:04
wpwraki want the damn thing to work. it sits there all year long, doing very very little. there's hardly an excuse for it to survive only a couple of years.00:05
DocScrutinizer05there is: constantly keeping batteries charged at maximum00:46
DocScrutinizer05car batteries can cope with that, at the expense of you feeding them with a tiny bit of water twice a year00:47
DocScrutinizer05all other batteries don't really like that treatment too much00:47
wpwrakyeah, dunno what lead-gel is like04:35
wpwrakbut ... do they self-discharge so rapidly that the charging logic has to keep them topped up all the time ? e.g., wouldn't the life improve if it let it discharge to, say, 80% before recharging ?04:36
DocScrutinizer05hmm, dunno. Probably the circuit works better when used twoway04:40
wpwraktwoway ?04:42
DocScrutinizer05very simple circuit with transformer and two transistors works both for powering by AC and charging battery, as well as powering it by battery and providing AC04:44
DocScrutinizer05other designs have a AC->DC "PSU" with battery buffering the output and a DC->AC converter running all the time04:45
DocScrutinizer05medium quality UPS guarantee a brownout max duration of <20ms04:46
DocScrutinizer05better ones don't allow any dropouts at all04:47
wpwrakyeah, online vs. offline04:51
wpwrakbut in either case, you shouldn't have to involve the battery all the time. i mean, it has no "startup time". so you, if you're using fast electronics and not, say, electromechanical relays, can decouple it from the regular power flow.04:53
wpwrakin a way, the electronics, the difference should de facto disappear. also in the diagrams on wikipedia :)04:55
wpwrakyou can just use caps for the very short-term stuff (let's say, 10 ms)04:58
DocScrutinizer05wpwrak: to guarantee a "in-sync" power from the UPS, you usually need to run the DC->AC converter all the time, synchronized to the AC-mains line04:59
DocScrutinizer05only way to ensure max 10ms of dropout time04:59
wpwrakso, ~1 mF uF @ 250 Vdc ?05:00
DocScrutinizer05unless you use really massive electronics, with MCU to control everything05:00
wpwraks/uF //05:00
wpwrakwow. an MCU ! now we're talking high-tech ;-)05:00
DocScrutinizer05for PSU we actually do ;-)05:00
wpwrakit already has one to talk to USB and such, so ...05:01
DocScrutinizer05so this one needs to AD-convert mains and monitor it05:02
DocScrutinizer05and ramp up any switched-mode PSU 12->230V in <10ms exactly in phase05:02
wpwrakit supposedly does that (reports mains voltage)05:02
DocScrutinizer05nah, I'm talking about watching the wave form05:03
wpwrakwell, if you go AC-DC-AC all the time, you could just monitor the charge status of your caps, no ? if they drop too low, you bring the battery online05:03
DocScrutinizer05and basically predict it05:03
DocScrutinizer05that#s a feasible alternative05:04
DocScrutinizer05I guess then you just need to take care about the temperature, since that's probably another killer factor for your batteries05:05
wpwrakhmm, need a universal remote control with a "climate" button then :)05:05
DocScrutinizer05but honestly I think batteries dead after 3 years is mainly due to crappy cheap circuit in UPS05:06
wpwrakyeah, i suspect that05:07
DocScrutinizer05charger barely stabilized at all @ 14.4V05:08
wpwrakstabilized ? i'm sure some chinese fab knows how to do it with mains plus air gap alone ;-)05:08
wpwrakah, sunrise. time for the vampires to get some coffin time :)05:12
wpwrakthe smartphone generation, from an evolutionary perspective: today's http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/07:48
larscjust put your smartphone into airplane mode and all will be good07:59
wpwrakyou should post that in the comments08:02
whitequarkwpwrak: (air gap alone) hahahaha08:31
whitequarkI should start a #qi-hw fortune file or something08:31
lekernelmixxeo board tests >> https://twitter.com/Milkymist_Labs/status/378535068811026432/photo/116:32
wpwrakthe overall contrast seems a bit low. maybe use an image with stronger colors ?18:01
kyak"anelok" :) it is pretty funny how you came up with this name19:17
kyakbut it's good19:17
kyakwpwrak: you might want to register the according irc channel19:18
wpwrakgood idea. done. thanks !19:23
wpwrakfor now, i'll keep things here, though.19:23
kyaksure, don't scatter the information19:28
rjeffriesHas anyone been in contact with wolfspraul? Is he OK? Still in China? 19:39
wpwraki suppose he still exists. but he's been very very silent lately.19:40
wpwrakif something goes wrong with the servers and you mention it here when he's around, they often come back soon thereafter. this may be coincidence or maybe silent wolfgang is watching the channel and fixing them.19:41
rjeffrieswell, he is missed.20:11
rjeffriesI sometimes wonder what happened to his stash of over 1,000 remaining Ben Nanonotes. By now they may be landfill.20:12
lekernelwpwrak, that being said, sharism.cc has been down for months20:21
rjeffrieslekernel did they make BSD run on your milkymist board? 20:24
rjeffriesone assumes sharism as a business is on the dead pool. that's too bad, but it happens20:25
lekernelnot yet, but Yann's last commit is 6 days old. so there's still some progress...20:26
lekernelrjeffries, have you seen this sharism-independent milkymist board? https://twitter.com/Milkymist_Labs/status/378535068811026432/photo/120:27
rjeffriesyes, I've been keeping an eye on your latest project. Looking good! I have not looked carefully at the specs however. 20:34
rjeffrieslekernel (lazy question, have not RTFM) does Mixxeo (great name!) have SPI bus and or I2C available as a low cost way to OPTIONALLY loosely couple something else that's MCU based? 20:35
lekernelalmost all unused FPGA IOs are routed out20:36
lekernelfeel free to hook up your MCU to the IO connectors and write some code ...20:36
lekernelnote that you could also shove your MCU into the FPGA ;)20:37
lekernelunless you need ADCs etc.20:37
rjeffrieslekernel thanks for the info. am I correct to interpret it as saying in a polite way, "Mixxeo does not currently include SPI or I2c protocol support. But someone could do so."20:45
rjeffriesLOL I thought you might suggest I shove my MCU somehere teh sun doesn't shine. <g>20:46
rjeffriesI think your USB support is more robust than before, correct?20:47
lekernelthere's no USB on Mixxeo - I'm sick of fixing bugs stemming from ridiculous protocol overengineering and for things that most people take for granted20:48
rjeffriesTotally different line of questioning, then I STFU: roughly how many LUTs does Mixxeo use? 20:48
rjeffriesHow many UARTS of what speed did you design in, any free?20:49
lekernelthe HDMI ports are 3Gbps UARTs ;)20:49
rjeffriesOK, but used (designe dto be used) for video out20:50
lekernelwell the IOs are routed with proper differential impedance for LVDS, so you can use them at high speeds. don't take gateware/software support for granted, though.20:53
lekernelthe only supported feature on Mixxeo is video mixing. for everything else, you need to edit code, run ISE, etc.20:54
rjeffriesEthernet still in teh mix?20:55
lekernelon the development prototypes only and totally unsupported20:55
lekernelmight reintroduce it at some point, but that's not clear atm20:56
rjeffriesYou are hard core. LOL It's OK, but you are REALLY minimalist.20:59
rjeffriesThat implies Ethernet caused issues on Milkymist (to my mind)21:00
rjeffriesI apologize. this is the WRONG IRC. I'll check in oon your irc at some future point21:01
lekernelnot that many especially compared to monstruosities like USB, but enough to irritate me. and you need a TCP/IP stack, a way to configure IP addresses, etc. which take time.21:01
rjeffriesunderstood. 21:09
rjeffriesone way to go to avoid all would be you define a nice, clean API (you prolly already have). then use a REALLY simply protocol over serial between an external board and Mixxeo.21:11
rjeffriesI am well aware that you want to keep your project totally open, and it is. an API plus a protocol would allow your users to fairly easily add some VERY slick user interface stuff.21:12
lekernelthere will be the user interface built-in21:13
rjeffriesI won't mention specific products, but there are several off the shelf boards that could interface to Mixxeo over serial, then provide interfaces so an iPad ot Android tablet or a linux notebook or whatever can be used woth Mixxeo21:14
lekernelit's a mess to use21:15
rjeffriesyour in-built UI will be great, I am sure. but Users will want this and that and 19 other things.MIDI DMX WiFi Erhernet the mind boggles. video capture hardware (cheap but good...)21:16
rjeffriesthe beauty of ALLOWING external interface is a million peopel can code for that platform that will never learn to sling FPGA gates21:17
lekerneland the way to make a slick UI is to hire a great designer, not hope that one will fall from the sky21:17
lekernelmost open source projects have ONE developer21:17
rjeffriesbut this is all moot. Theoretical. Nice chatting, I do like your work, a LOT21:18
lekernelexternal interfaces are allowed, but simply not supported.21:18
lekerneluse a screwdriver, soldering iron, JTAG cable, ISE, migen, etc. all on your own21:18
rjeffriesyes, but I am talking about a LOOSELY couple appraoch, all you have is YOUR UI, plus an API and serial port to outside devive. Be well21:18
lekerneland the source is yours to mess with21:19
rjeffrieswe differ about where the demarc is, that's all. smile. 21:19
wpwraki suppose you could simply have an extension header for adding things. implementing some simple interface (SPI or such) shouldn't need an expert with a lifetime of verilog experience.21:50
wpwrakthen an external CPU could use that for communication. and do on its own side whatever it wants.21:51
uncloudedwpwrak: +1 for it being nice to read about the design process on the list21:59
uncloudedand I definitely want one of these at ~US$100 once they're ready22:00
uncloudedmy favourite features would be the jog wheel and the pretending to be a USB keyboard22:01
uncloudedand the fact that it's open of course!22:03
wpwrakkewl :)22:16
wpwrakfor the jog wheel, i have two options: a 22 mm wheel with rotation and a center button. or a 32 mm wheel with rotation, center button, and four "cursor keys"22:17
wpwrakthe latter should also exist in 22 mm, since my samsung phone has that. but it may be difficult to use all the features at such a small size. (the samsung software doesn't use it in a very nice way, so it's hard to tell how it would be with good software)22:19
wpwrakalas, 32 mm would make the device considerably larger. and the display may look "wrong" being much smaller then. but we'll see.22:19
uncloudedthat's a good point.  the success of the eventual crowdfunding campaign might be affected by the aesthetics of the prototype.  golden ratio and all that22:41
wpwraklet's find out what clones there are in china ...23:08
wpwrakhmm, nothing to see. just one obscure  IL SWITCH Co., Ltd in korea, but they don't even seem to have a (at least non-asian) web site23:29
wpwrakmaybe capacitative is the future :)23:30
wpwrakoh dear. http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/541686087/new_for_iphone_4_button_sticker.html23:31
wpwrakah, "click wheel" is the magic word23:35
wpwrakbut of course, that's capacitative again. oh well. for further study23:37
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