Building a 4bit / 8bit computer in CPLD

8_Bit_Computer_by_Ben_AndersonSomething we’ve been working towards is building a homebrew CPU from scratch in CPLD. If you’ve seen any of our “Getting Started with CPLDs” guide, you might have noticed that we’re working towards completing the ALU before we can start adding proper CPU features to it. This article is less about the CPLD side of things (we’ll continue with the guides) and more about the rest of what we’ve been doing.

Building things on breadboards is fine but I often find that I either need to pinch something from the design, I knock wires out of place or there’s some other reason that it gets destroyed. In order to get round this, I’ve started building a modular control panel for my ongoing project. I’ve named it…. The Carlputer… ahem.

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Making a pallet coffee table – Part1

PalletIt’s not all electronics here in The Hack Shed. We sometimes dabble with wood too. We normally have a few pallets knocking around and I’ve turned several into simple wooden planters to put in the garden. My latest venture into woodwork is turning a pallet into a coffee table.

This particular project started a couple of months ago and then has been left on the back burner.

I started by cutting pieces of wood to fit into the gaps (hence the two different colours). I chose not to make them an exact fit because I wanted that 1-2mm gap to help with the rustic look. Once the pieces were in place, it all had a good sand down. I haven’t sanded any of the underside yet and there are also a few sharp nail ends sticking through which need to be ground off.

Eventually this thing will have some sturdy legs, probably from an old fence post. For the top, I think I’m going to paint a union flag on and then sand it to make it look worn. Depending on how I feel at the time, I may even just leave the wood grain on top and apply some wax or danish oil because I quite like the contrast between the two different types of wood.

Stay tuned for more updates….