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December 2004

Nuts and Volts Magazine

Special All Projects Issue!

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Projects

Build A Data Logger - For Less

I often need some kind of data logging ability. Whether it’s measuring a battery voltage under load, temperature under the house, or light levels in the garden, it seems there’s always a need to sample sensor measurements over time for something. Happily, a data logger makes an excellent embedded control project; you end up with a useful gadget that is fun to build.


Digital R/C Airplane Camera

I’ve always been interested in photography and, when I first saw an advertisement for a “key chain digital camera,” I had to get one. In fact, I got two, sincethey were inexpensive and so small that I figured I would lose one.


Focus On The Shot, Not The Shutter

This project features a simple, small unit and full-use capabilities for arial, wildlife, and physically dangerous photography.


Garage Parking Assistant

Looking for an easier way to park your car or truck in the garage? Read on. Parking vehicles accurately in a standard-sized garage requires judgment, experience, and a little bit of guesswork. In my own case, there isn’t enough room to walk in front of my van if I pull it in too far. If I don’t pull in far enough, the rear bumper of the van will block the garage door’s closing path. This has been a challenge for several years...


The Ever Shrinking µC - PART 1

Six Pins and One MIP — If You Can See It!


The Telephone Rang Indicator

Build This Device That Informs You When Someone Has Called Your Telephone


Theory of Zeroing Circuitry

Cancel Out Your DVM Lead Resistance


Build The Muscle Whistler

There are 656 muscles in the human body and all of them generate a small voltage potential when they are activated. This voltage — which is called myoelectricity or EMG — is present on the surface of the skin surrounding the muscle. The detection of this signal is important in both clinical medicine and medical research.



Columns

Personal Robotics
by Mike Keesling
A Look at Robotic Behavior
At the rate I have been adding motors, drivers, and sensors to my projects, I will be in a lot of trouble in only a few years. I have done 12 motored centipedes, 18 jointed hexapods, and I am planning a robotic ecosystem with 30 robots with three motors each. Of course, at some point, this has to stop; I’ll need to scale back.

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
A Specialized DSP-Equipped Microcontroller ...
To perform DSP (Digital Signal Processing) tasks, you’ll need a bit more than just math and some fancy programming. DSP hardware traditionally came (and still can come) as a dedicated DSP IC, which requires special compilers and debugging tools.

Just for Starters
by Mark Balch
Applying PWM — A Light Dimmer
Varying the power delivered to DC loads is a common problem in projects — such as robotics — where motors and lights require more control than simply on/off. Rapidly changing supply voltage to a DC motor or light is often impractical or disallowed by the electrical characteristics of the load.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Back to the Bands
A weekend project to return to amateur radio with kits — it doesn’t get any better than this.

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
BASIC Stamp Accessories Made Easier
Not long after the BASIC Stamp started a revolution in small microcontrollers, Scott Edwards started what turned into a cottage industry: serial accessories. Thanks to the new (and free!) SX/B compiler from Parallax, you, too, can join the serial accessory club ... and do so much more.

In The Trenches
by Gerard Fonte
How to Make Projects That Work
There is probably nothing more frustrating, annoying, and embarrassing than spending a week on a "simple" project that doesn't work, only to have someone else do it in an afternoon and with a handful of junk-box parts. What makes some people better at getting things to work properly? In this special all-projects issue, we'll look at ways to make you more successful in making projects that work.

Q&A
by TJ Byers
Q&A
In this column, I answer questions about all aspects of electronics, including computer hardware, software, circuits, electronic theory, troubleshooting, and anything else of interest to the hobbyist.