Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby AndyC » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:36 pm

It will still be better and cheaper than the Zebax one I just ordered!
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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby FHuettig » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:27 pm

theover wrote:Tonight I'll try the to adjust some GP IO pints with Linux commands, and connect some L.E.D.s or something to them to test it out

In case it's any help I've created both C and C++ libraries for GPIO, check here, description here. There's even a bit-bang'd SPI library, slow but functional. There's also a command-line script to control the individual pins. Some example code too, all in that directory. One of these days I'll get around to cleaning it all up and adding more documentation.
-- Fred -- Hardware Guy --
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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby SQ2KL » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:03 pm

I am a member of the radio astronomy research group from Poland. We are working on unique Radio Astronomy Project - build the pulsar clock.

Now, we are redesign new hardware and developing new software and I am really interested in getting two of your breakout boards. I want to use this board with my Parallella board to test new idea: connect Parallella board with High Speed ADC:
AD9284 (dual 8bit ADC 250 MPS
AD9467 (single 16bit ADC 250 MSPS):

First stage:
I am going to use this board with my Parallella board (16core) to test and proof of concept idea.

Second Stage:
Finally, we will use Parallella board (64 core) to test idea full scale computation intensive data processing (poly-phase filter bank and de-dispersion signal from pulsar- 30-60-100MHz wideband) (of course the university must buy this parallella version board).

Finally stage:
Design dedicated PCB board with selected High Speed ADC (of course who works with Parallella cluster)

Science background ... -universe/ ... rate-clock ... dansk.html

[sorry, this article is in Polish] ... -w-gdansku ... wiecie-251

If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information.
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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby theover » Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:35 pm

I've tested the PMOD connector, it was easy to get a LED connected to the +3.3V, and connect the other end to one of the user settable bits, which have 200 Ohm resistors in series with the Zynq outputs.

However, finding the right GPIO numbers was hard, and the numbering of the actually present connections on the breakout board is upside down and unclear.

I found through looking through verilog, ucf C source and some Linux stuff and the Zynq 7010 docu from Xilinx that the actual number to be used with the "gpiotest" program from above (which downloads and compiles easily on the Parallella) ar like this, when the breakout board is properly connected under the Parallella board (looking at the side of the boards at the side of the PMOD connector):

Code: Select all
            | 58 59 60 61 GND VDD |
            | 54 55 56 57 GND VDD |

Using "sudo ./gpiotest -g 61" lets the LED connected to the third from the right, top row connection, with it's other end to either the GND or VDD (+3.3V normally I think) light up and off again or at half PWM brightness as the program runs, and only the correct number output responds.

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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby theover » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:41 pm

Well, I just changed the speed and drive current for the GPIO pins in the verilog, copied a new bit.bin file to the boot partition, started Parallella (with hdmi, took about 5 minutes to re-compile with free planAhead), and tested this with the breakout board in place:

Code: Select all
 echo 61 > /sys/class/gpio/export
 echo out > /sys/class/gpio/gpio61/direction
 echo 1 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio61/value
 echo 0 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio61/value

the shorting current measured as 11.5 milli Amps, so it all appears to work.

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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby claudiug » Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:43 am


Do you know when the Porcupine board will become available for buying online?

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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby DeanoC » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:00 pm

aolofsson wrote:
DeanoC wrote:I don't need one right now but will do at some point, but I can wait until I can purchase one. The two projects I'm working on are

1) A lightweight 2D Core + maybe a 3D core.
2) Porting Sproulls FPGAtools to zynq.

Are you sure you don't want one right away.:-) I am 100% in support of you work on #1 and #2. Those would be huge boosts for the Parallella community.

Having JTAG would be nice, particular for FPGAtools but given where I am, I hate to take one away from someone with a more urgent use, however if u have a spare one it would be appreciated :)
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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby yanidubin » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:56 am


I'm working on a mobile robotic camera platform / processing station. Currently positioning my DSLR using motors, configuring/triggering exposures on via USB, and using accelerometers/PID control for closed loop control - all driven from a lowly AVR (+ USB host controller) controlled via a UART, or the accelerometer in an Android phone (via BT). I have only done rough prototyping of the robotics, and have a ways to go before I have any sort of stable platform I can publish design files for. Only then can I begin to look at mechanical zoom control and so forth.

The Parallella is the perfect fit for the processing brain, being a low power, highly customisable processing platform (I am interested in both run-time reconfiguration of the FPGA for highly tuned operations, as well as the Epiphany as a more general purpose co-processor). The porcupine is what I need to have the Parallella become the single brain to control the robotics platform (via the AVR) as well as control/configure exposures, retrieve and process images (via USB).

I daresay there will be overlap with the image processing side of advanced UAV/gimbal style projects moving to the Parallella. The robotics part itself could be used for any number of applications involving camera control and image processing, or guided video capture. My interests are real-time target tracking/acquisition (eventually - requires additional instrumentation, of course), exposure bracketing, HDR, panorama capture/stitching, GPS tagging (since my DSLR lacks it, but my Android device doesn't) - and programmed tracking / intervalometer type tasks, such as tracking stars for stellar photography.

This is a hobby project - I have limited time/finances, and progress will be slow - but if you can help out, and there is interest, I will eventually create a tech blog of sorts to share my progress online (and of course plug the Parallella at my local robotics club :)

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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby dsouth » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:02 pm

Thanks for your interest in the Porcupine breakout boards! We look forward to hearing about your experiences.

Continue to post your ideas and feedback on our forums here, but please email future inquiries into receiving a Porcupine board to
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Re: Free Parallella Porcupine breakout boards!!

Postby AndyC » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:16 pm

Aha, my board arrived thanks guys.

Here are some pics, generating a 45kHz saw wave via a first order sigma delta ip block running on the fpga.

No stopping me now!


photo.JPG (130.98 KiB) Viewed 30200 times
screenshot_39.png (175.37 KiB) Viewed 30201 times
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