A little OT - looking for help designing electronics of embedded linux device

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Fri Jul 3 15:01:47 MDT 2009


Jeff wrote:
> I am trying to find a contract electronics design company who can help 
> me design a product (the product will run embedded Linux so it's not 
> entirely OT). I've talked with a couple of different local companies 
> (VPI, Neonics) and based on the discussions I had with them I've 
> discovered that what I'm after is apparently a bit more cutting edge 
> than I had thought. Because it's apparently so cutting edge, it's going 
> to take a company or individual who's expertise is in the specific field 
> of eletronics I'm after (measuring distances using the "time of flight" 
> of an RF signal). Also they need to be someone who is up to date not 
> just on what's on the market but what is just barely hitting the market 
> and what is about to come out of the labs and onto the market in the 
> next year to 2 years.

Would GPS signals be sufficient?  Sparkfun has a wide variety of GPS 
circuits, and they're finally coming down in price.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=4

Potential problems with GPS include precision, the initialization period 
(up to 40 seconds, I've heard), and satellite visibility.  The GPS 
advantage is a fairly low price due to commoditization.

There's also AGPS, which improves the precision but increases the price 
a lot.

> Does anyone know of any company, individual, or guru like that? (They 
> don't have to be local to Utah though it would be great if they are).
> I've tried google - but the problem is every custom electronics design 
> company claims to be great in their marketing materials and I've 
> realized I'm probably only going to be able to weed through them based 
> on references.

Sparkfun could be the right place to ask.  They've designed a lot of 
circuits and they probably know a lot of good designers.

I should say that I've also wanted to build a pair of circuits that 
measure distances using RF signals.  With triangulation, and if the 
measurements happen often enough, you could make outdoor video games. 
It would be better than a Wii!

Shane



More information about the PLUG mailing list