Happy Birthday, Skywired!

Abstract first-order delta-sigma modulatorOne year ago today, I posted The Plan, the kickoff post both for this blog and for an ambitious DSP transceiver project. My wife had started a blog a few months earlier, and I was her sysadmin. I saw the fun she was having, and soon realized that administering two WordPress sites would not be much more work than administering one. The year since has brought 57 posts and pages about topics ranging from delta sigma data conversion to electronics books for children, but I’ve kept the project emphasis and the full-documentation style.

A3PN250 FPGA breakout boardThe transceiver vision from The Plan has shifted a bit. Initially, I planned an FPGA-centered design, even to the extent of building the analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters myself. That work led to a better understanding of delta sigma data conversion and with it a sense of realism about achievable levels of performance in a discrete design. I designed¬†a high-performance A/D breakout board, but soon realized the pace of the project was likely to make me miss next year’s peak of the sunspot cycle and with it the best radio propagation for the next 11 years.

KK7B R2 receiver, top sideI changed my focus to building a transceiver around R2 receiver and T2 transmitter kits that are old enough to vote. That project is still in progress, by the way. The R2’s output amp isn’t working right yet.

The following pages were the most popular this past year:

  1. How to solder QFP, TSSOP, SOIC, and Other Surface Mount Parts
  2. A3PN250 FPGA Breakout Board
  3. The FPGA level shifter: Not entirely crazy!
  4. How Delta Sigma Works, part 1: Introducing the Delta Sigma Modulator
  5. How Delta Sigma Works, part 2: The Anti-Aliasing Advantage

Traffic has grown gradually but satisfyingly this year, bringing visitors from an even 100 countries. (The US is top, followed by the UK, Germany, Canada, and India.)

Thank you for reading. If you are a repeat visitor or an RSS subscriber, a big thank you for that as well. Here’s to more “Electronics, DSP, and Ham Radio”!

Have a great 2012!

New Projects Pages

I’ve added project pages to Skywired. The top menu bar will now list one page devoted to each project I write about on the blog. The project pages will make a one-stop location for getting schematics, layouts, and source code, and they will have a list of posts related to the project, too.

The first project page is about the A3PN250 FPGA Breakout Board. It will be joined by others as more projects cross my workbench.

I’m excited about the project pages. This is a feature I’ve planned from the start of the blog. I think you’ll find them a big help.

Skywired’s new tutorial section

I’m happy to announce a new tutorials section here on Skywired!¬† A click on “Tutorials” on the menu bar above will take you to a list of Skywired’s how-tos and explanations.¬† The first tutorial is about how to solder fine-pitch parts, such as QFPs, TSSOPs, SOICs, and so forth. Over time, I plan to expand the range of tutorials to cover both practice and theory.