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February 2006

Nuts and Volts Magazine

Lights, Camera, Stop Action!

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Features

Data Processing Using SCAM - Part 5

Implementing SCAM Explaned: Assembling the Parts With ABEL


The Magnetic Amplifier

A Lost Technology of the 1950s — Rugged, dependable, EMP-proof, and capable of handling greater electrical powers than either transistor or tube, the magnetic amplifier is a simple device that can be built by anyone.



Projects

Build A High Speed Photo Flash Trigger

During the early 1930s Harold “Doc” Edgerton, a faculty member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), started experimenting with strobe lights, better known today as electronic photo flashes.


Micro Gust Thermal Anemometer (MGTA)

At Geller Labs, we use LM399s in our high performance, low cost voltage standards for hobbyists, schools, and amateur scientists as the 01HS high stability option. Even with its special thermally insulating cover, all of our products using the LM399 are contained within an enclosure — such as a plastic box — to further shield the LM399 from room air currents.


Monitor Indoor/Outdoor Temperature And Relative Humidity With One Device

Using a 16F870 PIC, a two-Line LCD display, and two Sensirion SHT15 temperature/humidity sensors, you can build this handy, portable, battery-powered device which will give you easy, accurate simultaneous temperature and relative humidity readings inside your house and outside your window.


Programming The 54¢ Micro

We all know that a microcontroller (MCU) is much more complicated than a single TTL logic IC, such as the 7400-series gates. And so it’s no surprise that an MCU was much more expensive than a chip of “glue logic.” But things have changed recently. MCU prices are falling into the same range as TTL gates.



Columns

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.

Open Communication
by Louis E. Frenzel
Short-Range Wireless Explosion
Wireless everything. If it seems like you are hearing and seeing more about wireless devices every day, it’s not just your imagination. Over the past few years, there has been a virtual explosion of new wireless devices and services.

Personal Robotics
by Mike Keesling
Robo-Potpourri
Yes folks, it is time for Robo-Potpourri. Robo-Potpourri is the lost and found of my writing endeavors, a time to pick up little loose ends and such.

Getting Started With PICS
by Chuck Hellebuyck
Microchip PIC-Based Resistor Checker
This article describes this project and shows how easy it is to use the A/D port with the PICBasic Pro compiler. In fact, I was able to write the code within 31 commands so this could be done with the sample version of PICBasic Pro which you can download from http://www.melabs.com for free.

The Design Cycle
by Peter Best
Weighing In With Freescale’s HC08 Microcontrollers MCUs
I like stuff that is easy to use. I also like easy-to-use stuff that is free. Many of you may have received a free copy of Freescale Semiconductor’s CodeWarrior Development Studio for HC08 v5.0 in the mail. If you didn’t, fire up your web browser and go to http://www.freescale.com/cw5 to download your free copyof the CodeWarrior HC08 Development Studio.

TechKnowledgey
by Jeff Eckert
Techknowledgey 2006
Events, Advances, and News

Stamp Applications
by Jon Williams
Lights, BASIC Stamp, Action!
Having been raised in the desert of southern California, I’m pretty much a warm weather person. The fact is, I don’t like the winter months — not at all, nothing about them. Okay, except for one thing — holiday lights. The coolest thing about the Christmas season is the lights. I know what you’re thinking: “Hey pal, that was two months ago.” True, but we can do lighting any time of year — and not just for holiday displays. In fact, my own interest in lighting control started when I was 18 ...

In The Trenches
by Gerard Fonte
Instrumentation
Instrumentation, sometimes called test and measurement, is a vital component of engineering and production. This month, we'll examine instrumentation fundamentals and look at a couple of examples. We'll also discuss some practical aspects that may help you during the design and development of your product.

Departments

News Bytes
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
20th Anniversary Price Reduction

New Products
by Nuts & Volts Magazine
New product reviews