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Journal dutky's Journal: Hacker's Handheld XI, the walking dead

Ok, again, not much has happened since last October, but a bit of progress has been made in the last few weeks:

First, I found a new board that is much closer to my desired specs (it uses the Samsung 2410X that I was interested a year ago and includes a CrystalLAN CS8900A providing an ethernet port). The board, the LN2410SBC from ClabSys, costs $250 in quatity 1 from the U.S. distributor, LittleARM, but the documentation that I've seen so far is a bit sparse.

Second, I've found a neat way to build a custom, multi-output power supply: Texas Instruments makes these neat little, self-contained switching power supplies in DIP packages. You can pretty much build a power supply as if you were plugging together lego blocks! Sure, you need to add a few passive components (bypass caps and a couple of pullup resistors on the regulated devices) but it's a hell of a lot simpler than building a buck/boost supply from NatSemi Simple Switcher, which come in nice TO-220 and DIP packages, but require external inductors, or the Maxim/Dallas parts, which usually come in surface mount packages and require external inductors. In either case, the circuit layout for a good switching supply is non-trivial and the TI parts have it all done for you.

Anyhow, with the TI parts I can, relatively quickly, construct a power supply that will provide logic voltages for both the SBC (5V) and the LCD (3.3V) as well as the LCD bias voltage (-36V) and 12V for the CCFL inverter. Right now I'm putting together tools to etch and drill simple circuit boards.

If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke