Need some help with small (sub 1000(?) gate) Gate Arrays.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by rasputin666, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. rasputin666

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    I work in maintenance for a rural basketball stadium. We are in the process of refurbishing an old show court and are looking to replace an obsolete thirty year old electronic scoreboard.

    I have some rather rusty hobbyist skills and I figure I can save a fair bit of cash for diversion to other pressing projects if we can do it ourselves.

    For maximum flexibility and expandability I would like to implement a one chip, simple (cheap) as possible serial reciever (RS232 protocol) that receives a 2 byte packet of the form:


    (-ve/+ve logic (or mixed) whatever's easiest, encoding in transmitter can compensate if necessary.)

    The first byte is an address, the second data to directly drive a buffered seven segment display.

    Once upon a time I was a bit of a hobbyist, and can figure out what I want in discrete bits. (But prices and soldering that many joints (on top of building the displays) don't fill me with joy).

    Essentially, first I would like to know, is there a cheap (roughly $10) gate array (of whatever variety) which can be configured to do what I want? Or some other way to achieve the same result in a similar price range? And using a minimum of external components.

    Second. If anyone would be so charitable, could they assist me with designing such a device?

    Google gives me plenty of choices but "digital stupidity" doesn't appear to be an option unless I'm willing to resort to my old TTL & CMOS Data Books and take a complexity hit that defeats the purpose of the exercise.

    The block diagram below is approximately what I think I want. Sorry for my "shorthand" but I haven't done any design for years and I'm making up what I don't remember. Hopefully my meaning comes across.


    Thanks in advance for any help anyone might be able to give me.
  2. rasputin666

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    I've been out of the loop too long.

    I figured cutting edge 20 years ago is exactly what I wanted. I was almost right. Just not the architecture I expected.

    The AT89C2051 at $AU3.50 in quantity does the job and quite a bit more.

    Looks like artificial stupidity just ain't what it's cracked up to be. LOL.