The digital chapters of LAoE require a custom display with added functionality that is not sold in the UK (details on the LAoE website at the link below). Do you have any ideas for an alternative approach please, for example:

  1. Using a simulator for the circuits in the digital chapters. It would be a good opportunity to learn how to use a simulator but I have no idea how feasible that is. For example, would the simulator suffer from not having details of the custom display or would input and output functionality be provided anyway in most simulators?

  2. Building a display and other functionality from generic components. I am quite happy to have a go at building something from scratch but have so far not found a good reference on the web.

  3. Some other approach that I haven't thought of.

The digital pages of LAoE involve building a microcomputer from parts, but not the display, so I'm guessing it must be pretty complicated. However, LAoE is a brilliant course and I'm thoroughly enjoying the analogue chapters and do not want to miss the digital.

Any ideas about alternative approaches would be much appreciated.


  • \$\begingroup\$ An alternative to a custom display is another custom display, provided that you implement all necessary (and likely undisclosed) functionality, which will cost you many times more. How would you like this alternative? \$\endgroup\$ – Ale..chenski May 3 '18 at 5:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try a cheaper tutorial. Indeed , this is modest and expensive. \$\endgroup\$ – Dorian May 3 '18 at 8:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ali Chen. Yes, I had similar ideas but do not want to give up so thought it worth asking if anyone here has ideas on alternative approaches as my amended question above. \$\endgroup\$ – David1 May 3 '18 at 17:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dorian. Good idea but I really like the approach of LAoE. They don't give you all the answers and I find it makes me think hard, which helps learning. \$\endgroup\$ – David1 May 3 '18 at 17:44

The board consist of:

  • One sylabs c2 usb programmer (10$ chinese on ebay)
  • Dallas microcontroller programmer (2 to 5$ because it's a common USB-Serial adapter)
  • A very very slow 32ch logic analyser, cheap alternative - LED and resistors (5$), expensive but future proof alternative: Hantek LA5034 34 Channel 500MHz USB PC Based Digital Virtual Logic Analyzer (95$)

If you don't need all the channels you can also use a cheaper one with few channels as you pointed in the comment.


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