apricot card for the alpha backplane. I used Laen's service (DorkbotPDX) so I got 3 copies of the design. Quick electrical tests (resistance between linked pins and unlinked pins) look correct. I did make a stupid mistake with the hole sizes for the sma connectors (I really should just always make my own components every time). This card contains the usual msp430 board controller for the alpha series backplane, but also a tiny happy fpga (Xilinx spartan 3AN) so I can begin exploring signals (bound to all the single ended and differential lines). There are multiple additional power supplies here that are controlled by msp430 (the microchip MCP1825 for 2v5 is in the upper right)
On the bottom right is the little ldo (3v3 always enabled) for the msp430 controller - I like to use the micrel MIC5205's for this - low noise, easy, simple, always works. Above that is a small ceramic filter cap and a standard resistor/led combo (I don't usually put leds on all the power supplies but when there isn't an enable control for them I do - saves trouble shooting and drains the caps once the power is cut). This 3v3 supply feeds the msp430 controller just above (socket is empty here) and fills the electrolytic cap on the top (but backside) of the board. Above the controller socket are the filter caps and the pullup resistor for reset (needed by the sbw programmer - just tap a launchpad - works great and cheap).
In the center is the Xilinx Spartan 3AN fpga (just a tiny one - but enough for this). Near by are the split jtag interface and a jumper for PUCD. This fpga has an internal flash so I don't have to add a separate prom image - yay. There are four io banks, 1 is locked to 3v3 (backplane SPI/I2C is 3v3) but the others are switchable (jumpers on the left side). Some pins are brought out for external use on the top as well as 2 sma connectors (but remember I botched the hole sizes so they are left unpopulated). The 2v5 regulator is on the lower left side as well as it's filter and bulk caps.