Today, I’ve had an eventful day – not only have I received my small, test order from RS Components, I have also received the Nixie tubes and power supply boards. We chose to order 16 Nixie tubes – five for each 8-bit input register and six for the output register. Separate flyback boost converters are needed for the Nixie tubes as they operate at 120V which we are unable to supply directly.
I have yet to power up the tubes, but I’ll be sure to post some pictures when I do – they should give the TwitALU that vintage feel that we’ve been after. Continue reading
Here we go everyone, as promised, a video of the prototype system working from start to finish! I can recommend viewing it in HD at full screen with a bit of volume for effect. Obviously theres still the final system to create but this is the big turning point in functionality. Let us know what you think in the comments here or on YouTube we’re interested to know what you think of the system as much as the video at this stage.
That’s right It’s finally happened everyone, at 3:31pm on the 23rd July 2013 the following exchange took place on Twitter between myself and the TwitALU system!
The first command and response processed by the prototype ALU hardware
Musical references aside my time has, since building as much of the actual system on breadboard as was needed and ordering PCBs, been spent mostly on finding a suitable Python 3 compatible Twitter library and getting it to work.
Job number 1 was finding one I liked the look of. Truth be told, this extended as far as some Googling and finding a list of popular libraries. Then choosing one that was actively maintained, worked with Python 3 and introduced the least interfering with data between me and the actual Twitter REST API 1.1.
We thought it was about time you saw the breadboard monster that we’ve been developing with until the PCBs arrive and here she is! It’s only a mostly functional version of the registers and the adder function but it’s allowed us to make sure all of the most important functions work for now.
- A basic functional prototype of the registers and adder hardware