[time-nuts] counter

John Miles jmiles at pop.net
Sun Jan 30 07:00:27 UTC 2011

> With regard to the home-brew counter project, if it still exists:
> >From friend Marcus Leech on another list:
> "Don't know whether you've seen these:
> http://www.knjn.com/ShopBoards_USB2.html
> $79.95 for the low-end board, which includes and FX2, and a small
> Cyclone FPGA.  Pretty good
>   value."
> Thanks, Marcus. this looks like the very thing, just need the "front end"
> Don

One word of warning, purely hypothetical in nature.  As of a couple of years
ago, rumor had it that the guy who runs knjn.com (also fpga4fun.com) was
convinced that his customers wouldn't mind running his proprietary .exe to
configure the board's USB chip and FPGA every time the device boots up.
Schematics were supposedly also not available at that time.  If these
rumored policies still prevail, that means you'll have to reverse-engineer
the board's JTAG-over-USB connections in order to do anything practical with
it.  Oh, and also, if you propose open-sourcing the results of your reverse
engineering effort, he may or may not throw a fit and accuse you of setting
out to wreck his business model.

Not that I have any direct knowledge along these lines. :-P

Suggest going with a Digilent board instead -- the Nexys 2 is a bit more
expensive but infinitely more 'hacker friendly' than any of the KNJN
products.  At the very least, you want to contact knjn.com before committing
to their board and ask some very pointed questions about the development
process and support code.

-- john, KE5FX

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