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Diary, March 2022

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Sunday, March 6, 2022

Rusty Brown

I finished reading the book Rusty Brown by Chris Ware, which I started reading on October 7, 2021, the day I received it after I ordered it the day before. I saw the book for the first time the Saturday before. The title of the book refers to the comics character Rusty Brown. He does not play a center role in whole of the book, but only in the first of three stories that are contained in the book. The story is often hard to follow. Especially the last story feels like a collection of unrelated scenes each of which cover two opposite pages. Often, these leave you wonder how they continue. You are expected to fill in the holes yourself. Still this is an interesting book.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


I went to TkkrLab for the first time in almost five months and an even much longer time that I went there on a Tuesday evening. I solderd some wires to my Creep Cluster. so I can experiment with it. I also was given a look at a prototype of the new badge for the MCH2022 camp. The badge has an iCE FPGA on it. It is similar to the one on the UPDuino v2.0.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Gen C: Children of 2050

In the afternoon, I went to see the exhibitions Gen C: Children of 2050 at TETEM art space. This exhibition is not really about art. It is a futuristic imagination about how the world will look in the year 2050. It felt rather utopic, especially with respect to current events.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

A Pattern Language

At 13:10, I received the book A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction written by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein in English and published by Oxford University Press in 1977, sixth printing from 1982, ISBN:9780199726530, which I had bought yesterday at 09:38:02 from Antiquariaat 'Bij nader inzien'for € 35.00. In 2002, I alread spent some commenting on some sections of A Pattern Language.

Some flower

Some flowers on our magnolia have opened. The temperature for March has been about average, but we had a lot of sunny days. Till today we had 71% sunshine, while 38% is the average. But the clear skies also means that the temperatures during the nights have been low often dropping below zero degrees Celsius. And also the coming days the temperatures will get close to zero and next week might even drop below zero. Great chance that the flowers will turn brown due to this. Today, the temperature at Twenthe Airport has gone up to 19.2° Celsius, just below the record of 19.6° from 2019.


From the hardware design design of the MCH2022 badge, I understand there is going to be a ICE40 UP5K FPGA in it. The FPGA has 5280 logic units, 1104kbit RAM, eight DSP cores and 39 programmable I/O pins besides the two I²C and two SPI interfaces (datasheet). The FPGA will be connected to the LCD display on the badge. There is some demo code in Verilog available in the badgeteam / mch2021-fpga-lcd-driver-test github repository.

Friday, March 25, 2022


I recieved the book Over Schilderen | On Painting written in Dutch and English published by De Balie in 1990, ISBN:9789066170674, which I had bought on Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 11:24:46 through the internet for € 5.00.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

MCH2022 badge schematics

I want to investigate how the ICE40 FPGA on the MCH2022 badge is connected. To follow the steps I took, do: The 'fpga.kicad_sch' schematics contain four yellow rectangles representing the ICE40UP5K FPGA. The top one is related to the power supply. The bottom left own seems to be related to the connection with the LCD as many of the connections have LCD in the name. The middle bottom one seems to be related to various serial in/outputs. There are a number of connections to another square labled 'ESP-PSRAM64H', which looks like an external memory module that can also be accessed through from the ESP processor on the badge. The right middle one seems to in/output connections connected to a connector on the board through some resistors. I figured out all the connections to the other components. The results can be found on a dedicated page.

I had a closer look at the badgeteam/mch2021-fpga-lcd-driver-test GitHub repository, which contains code to control the LCD driver from the FPGA. The proto2.pcf file contains the mapping of pin numbers to logical names. I checked these with the mapping I found myself and found one difference that was due to an error of mine. I also continued with getting/updating the tool chain:

git clone
cd yosys
make config-clang
make test
sudo make install
cd ..
This installed Yosys 0.15+57.
sudo apt-get install build-essential clang bison flex libreadline-dev \
  gawk tcl-dev libffi-dev git mercurial graphviz   \
  xdot pkg-config python python3 libftdi-dev \
  qt5-default python3-dev libboost-all-dev cmake libeigen3-dev
git clone icestorm
cd icestorm
make -j$(nproc)
sudo make install
cd ..
git clone
cd arachne-pnr
make -j$(nproc)
sudo make install
cd ..
git clone
cd nextpnr
cmake -DARCH=ice40 -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local .
I got the error 'Policy "CMP0079" is not known to this version of CMake'. The problem is that latest version of cmake on Ubuntu 18.04 is 3.10.2. You need at least version 3.13. I downloaded and continued with:
sudo apt-get remove cmake
sudo mkdir /opt/cmake
sudo sh --prefix=/opt/cmake
I added the /opt/cmake/cmake-3.22.3-linux-x86_64/bin path to /etc/environment and continued with:
. /etc/environment
cmake -DARCH=ice40 -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local .
make -j$(nproc)
sudo make install
This is enough to compile the example by running You need to install verilator to simulate the example by running

This months interesting links

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