Markus | Monday, January 15th 2018, 18:29

-- A basic general purpose USB enabled display

Figure 1. The USB VFD board

When ordering at Pollin Electronic, there is this unwritten rule of at least throwing in one probably useless item, one that you might never even get to work (or that is broken in the first place). In my last order, this was a Samsung HCS-12SS59T vacuum fluorescent display[1]. I absolutely love this kind of display and they were cheap at only EUR 1.75 a piece. So why not?

In this post, I will showcase the project that this display became.

→ Click here to continue reading ←

Tags: avr hardware

Lattice MachXO2 Based FPGA Development Board

Markus | Updated Monday, November 27th 2017, 18:37

-- Tiny and cheap, but versatile

Figure 1. A rendered 3D-image of the Tiny-XO2 board


The Tiny-XO2 is a small, versatile and cost-effective development platform for Lattice MachXO2 field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). It is built around a MachXO2-1200HC FPGA which features 1280 LUTs, 64 kbits of EBR SRAM and one PLL besides various other features[1]. The development board extends the functionality by providing a USB-to-serial converter and a crystal to allow quick and easy prototyping. All I/O pins are available on the .1 inch headers and labelled directly on the board. Figure 2 provides an overview of all the board's functions.

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Tags: fpga hardware

GCC is Scary

Markus | Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 19:58

-- Debugging an application which only works in the debug build

Figure 1. The error message I was confronted with

Recently, I had an interesting bug in one of my C applications where the application would work in the debug build but not in the release build (-O3 etc.). It turned out to be a really stupid mistake of mine where I went 'How could that ever work?!' after finding it out. However, this opened my eyes to how strong gcc's optimization feature really is.

In this article, I will explain the mistake I made, how I went about solving it and what I learned about gcc in the process.

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Tags: gcc software

Building a Custom Mainline Linux Kernel System on the Orange Pi PC

Markus | Updated Sunday, August 6th 2017, 09:21

Figure 1. The Orange Pi PC single board computer
This post will explain how to build an Arch Linux system with the latest mainline Linux kernel for the Orange Pi PC by Xunlong from scratch. The target system is intended for server use only. Graphical features, while they may work, have not been tested and are not the focus of this post. The tutorial starts with a completely blank SD card, which means the following steps need to be accomplished in order to reach the goal:
  • Build the cross compiler
  • Build U-Boot
  • Partition the SD card and install U-Boot
  • Build the Linux kernel
  • Install it and the Arch Root FS onto the SD Card
  • Fun and profit :)

→ Click here to continue reading ←

Tags: linux orangepi software

Home File Server Upgrade

Markus | Sunday, July 24th 2016, 10:00

In this video I will show you one of the recent upgrades to my file server I have at home.

It had a cheap power supply and the original fans in there and I finally decided to invest the money and change them in the hope of better temperatures and longer lifespan for the entire system.

Specs of the current hardware:

  • Mainboard: AsrockRack C2550D4I Mainboard
  • CPU: Intel Atom C2550 Quad-Core
  • HDD: 4x 4TB HDD in Freenas' RAIDZ2
  • Case: Silverstone DS380 Case
  • PSU: Silverstone SFX 300W power supply
  • Fans: BeQuiet Pure Wings 2 (PWM)

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Tags: computer server video

Using Sigasi with GHDL and GtkWave

Markus | Tuesday, May 10th 2016, 17:43

This video demonstrates a little program I wrote to emulate vcom/vsim using GHDL. It enables Sigasi to check syntax and to simulate using GHDL/GtkWave.


Tags: fpga ghdl gtkwave vhdl video

Lorem Ipsum | Tuesday, May 3rd 2016, 00:00

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As shown in Figure 1, the referencing systems works.

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Vivamus sit amet libero eget lacus molestie fringilla. Mauris quis ligula enim. Vestibulum vestibulum quam vitae pellentesque venenatis. Aenean tincidunt maximus augue, a sollicitudin justo placerat non. Mauris egestas ligula in semper porta. Sed rhoncus fringilla aliquam. Pellentesque sem elit, consectetur ut lacus vitae, rhoncus ultricies tortor. Integer lacinia libero id tortor consequat tincidunt. Donec maximus maximus leo et sodales. Mauris pretium tortor vitae neque fringilla, id sollicitudin quam tempor. Nunc mollis scelerisque tortor at vulputate.

Tags: untagged

DIY power amplifier

Markus | Thursday, December 10th 2015, 15:55

In one of my older videos, I tested an audio power amplifier circuit by Douglas Self [1] on a breadboard.

After that evaluation showed how great the design really is, I decided to create a real PCB design for it so I can actually use this as one of my daily use amps.

→ Click here to continue reading ←

Tags: audio hardware

Older blog entries

Markus | Friday, August 22nd 2014, 16:12

My old blog entries and videos released under "CClassicVideos" can be found on

Figure 1. My old website.

Should the website be unreachable, you can view an archived version over on

Tags: personal video