Here are some things I recently found interesting and useful. You might like them too.

NXP customer service. They are a little hard to reach but they do get back to you pretty quickly by e-mail and the service is outstanding. I needed some help getting LPC1114FDH28 samples. I needed a second round of samples (another 10) because no North American distributor carries small quantities of the chips. They came through like the champs they are. They also thought that I could talk Mouser into carrying the chips so I could buy a few at a time for development work. Mouser, are you listening?

Proper Fixation is a programmer's blog. A very interesting programmers blog. My programmer friend Clyde introduced me to them via this blog post on programming with Forth. I don't necessarily agree with all his points - I LOVE Forth for embedded programming - but I did find it a good read. The comment section of the post is a good read, too.

You might have some use for this cute RS-2322 interface. The interface can take signals out of a UART or a chip with a UART on it and produce full RS-232 level signals. It can accept input voltages in the range of 1.65 volts to 5.5 volts. That would be 1.8V to 5.0V nominal. If you use the NXP 74AVC2T45DP chips for the interface section it will operate from .8 Volts to 3.6 Volts. The board has been tested with the 5.0V chips interfacing to a 3.3V on chip UART up to 115,200 baud. It should go as fast as 230,400 according to the specs but I haven't tested it at that rate. Along with RxD and TxD signals it can also handle DSR, DTR, CTS, and RTS. RI (Ring Indicator) needs to be jumpered according to usage. But that signal is rarely used these days. I suppose I should add that I designed the board. If you are building a serial interface for something like the GreenArrays GA144 this board could come in handy. It can be jumpered for DTE or DCE with a jumper header and comes in DB-9 Male and Female flavors. The boards are produced by my favorite board house OSH Park, whose motto is "We're fab". And they are. The bare boards, Male DB9 or Female DB9, are available for $8.60 from the OSH Park store.

I have mentioned this before but I think it is worth a mention again. If you are hand-soldering surface-mount chips, you NEED Chip Quick SMD291NL no clean solder flux. It makes soldering surface mount chips by hand a breeze. It can even be used to clear minor solder bridges. And best of all it doesn't require clean up. Very good stuff.

M. Simon's e-mail can be found on the sidebar at Space-Time Productions.

Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.