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Jim Thompson
Works at United Space Alliance
Attended Auburn University
Lives in Pearland, TX
405 followers|357,492 views
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Jim Thompson

Projects  - 
 
New blinken!
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paulo silva's profile photoJim Thompson's profile photo
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+paulo silva what is this, and why is here?
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Jim Thompson

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Just got my first self-designed printed circuit boards in the mail. I went to oshpark.com, because their prices and turnaround time were the best for a low-volume do-it-yourselfer like me. Their boards are gorgeous with a purple solder mask, gold finish over exposed copper, and white silkscreen for lettering and component placement marks.

I did all the design work in EAGLE, including a prototype single-sided board I made myself using the toner-transfer process (necessary, but what a mess!), then the full double-sided board you see here.

Next steps: use the DMM to test trace continuity, test-fit the components, solder everything down, and finally a full-up functional test. This is my first, so wish me luck!
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Jim Thompson

News Articles  - 
 
Just got my first self-designed printed circuit boards in the mail. I went to oshpark.com, because their prices and turnaround time were the best for a low-volume do-it-yourselfer like me. Their boards are gorgeous with a purple solder mask, gold finish over exposed copper, and white silkscreen for lettering and component placement marks.

I did all the design work in EAGLE, including a prototype single-sided board I made myself using the toner-transfer process (necessary, but what a mess!), then the full double-sided board you see here.

Next steps: use the DMM to test trace continuity, test-fit the components, solder everything down, and finally a full-up functional test. This is my first, so wish me luck!
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Luis Diaz's profile photoJim Thompson's profile photo
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UPDATE: second batch of boards is in the mail!
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Jim Thompson

News Articles  - 
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I can't blame them...
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Jim Thompson

Projects  - 
Great news, Makers! We're excited to announce the immediate availability of the Arduino IDE 1.6.10, AVR core 1.6.12 and SAM core 1.6.9. The most notable feature of this release is the introduction of an up-to-date bundled toolchain for AVR containing the latest goodies from Atmel, ...
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Jim Thompson

Projects  - 
 
Received some IC sockets in the mail today. Using them to build a semi-permanent display board for my HP 5082-7300 LED displays. Only four wired up today, eventually I'll have this protoboard wired up for 15. (Wanted to wire up 16, but the board's not quite long enough.)

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Jim Thompson

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Cool new Adafruit product for those of you who dig vintage display technology:

https://www.adafruit.com/products/3248
Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits Pimoroni Micro Dot pHAT with Included LED Modules - Red ID: 3248 - Looking for an unashamedly old school LED matrix display board? Lookie here! The Pimoroni Micro Dot pHAT is made up of six red LED matrices, each 5x7 pixels (for an effective display area of 30x7) plus a decimal point, using the beautiful little Lite-On LTP-305 matrices.Perfect for building a retro scrolling message
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It's here! Turns out it is a partially assembled kit. I have some soldering to do.
https://plus.google.com/photos/107922856550864443326/albums/6333669999426316129/6333669998070622322
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Jim Thompson

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Received some IC sockets in the mail today. Using them to build a semi-permanent display board for my HP 5082-7300 LED displays. Only four wired up today, eventually I'll have this protoboard wired up for 15. (Wanted to wire up 16, but the board's not quite long enough.)

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Jim Thompson

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Friday cool project.
https://github.com/pirxthepilot/monomepi-stepsequencer
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Very nice, the sequencer control looks nice and easy to use, nice work
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Jim Thompson

Tutorials & How-To  - 
 
Cool Arduino project of the day.
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Really stylish weather forecast.
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Jim Thompson

News Articles  - 
 
Cool Arduino project of the day.
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Portrait videos sucks!
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Jim Thompson

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Last week I had for you a demo of the retro-tech TIL 311 hex digit LED display; this week it's the HP 5082 7300, a very similar display, but with some important differences.

The most obvious difference is that the HP display has its pins arrayed across the top and bottom of the digit, where the TI display has them on the left and right sides. The HP arrangement makes it easier to breadboard a display with the digits right next to each other, though for any permanent installation you're going to have a custom PC board or sockets, so this probably is not much of a difference in the long run.

Physically, the two display modules are about the same width, but the HP is about 1/8" shorter. However, the emitting areas of each display are about the same size.

In the HP display, the individual LEDs are a bit larger, probably due to the fact that they're square rather than round. This makes the displayed digits seem more "smooth" and less "pixelated". It makes a difference, and I prefer the legibility of the HP displays.

The most significant difference is that the TI display will display hex digits A-F, whereas the HP doesn't; it's decimal digits only. (There's a special version of the HP display, the 7340, that will display hex digits.) If you input 0xA (10 decimal), the HP display does a "lamp test" in which it lights up every LED except the decimal. If you input 0xD (13 decimal), the HP displays a "minus sign" for negative numbers. If you input any other hex digit, the HP goes blank.

In the video, you can see that I've used the same breadboard and Arduino nano, and have simply wired the HP displays (on the right) in parallel with the TI displays (on the left).

I bought 16 of these HP displays. I only wanted eight, but on ebay the smaller lots actually cost more per digit than just biting the bullet and buying a lot of 16. (The total with shipping was $83 - ouch, but I really love these little guys.) The seller actually had an original blister pack, but it was so old that the glue holding the backing paper onto the plastic blisters had come undone, and when I received the package, most of the displays were rattling around loose in the box. No harm done, though, as they all look and work just fine.

I'm hoping that somewhere down the line I can find a batch of the hex-capable version of these displays.

Next week I hope to have for you a demo of the MAN2A, a 5x7 LED grid with individually addressable pixels. (Cool!)

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Jim's Collections
Work
Occupation
Engineer, Software Architect, Code Monkey
Employment
  • United Space Alliance
    Engineer, Software Architect, Code Monkey, present
  • Link Flight Simulation
  • Jackson and Associates
  • Western Geophysical
  • United Space Alliance
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Pearland, TX
Previously
Huntsville, AL - Murfreesboro, TN - Huntsville, AL - Atlanta, GA - Auburn, AL - Houston, TX
Education
  • Auburn University
  • Virgil I Grissom High School
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
JT
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
2 reviews
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